Today, I’m really excited to dive in to all things niche with Robyn Graham. She’s a certified brand specialist, host of the Second Phase podcast, a personal branding coach and a headshot/branding photographer. She has so much branding knowledge to share, so let’s get this party started!
Brooke: I would love for you to tell us a little bit more about what you do business wise. How do you help people? I’d love to dive into that for just a minute.
Robyn: From a photography perspective, I do solely headshots and personal branding photography. I help people create visual content to make a good first impression or tell the story of their business visually. From a branding perspective, I work with clients one on one to help them identify their niche and what their second phase is going to be. The majority of my audience includes people who have been in corporate and want to do something where they can live and work freely. I help them create those personal brands, so they can stand out in the sea of online noise. I also guide them on the processes and strategy behind starting a business with a great foundation for success.
Brooke: That is amazing! I love all of that. I’m really excited to get into some nitty gritty on the topic of a niche. When I decided to niche and specialize in something, my business exploded more than it ever did before. So first of all, why is a niche important and how does someone start the journey to discover what they’re going to specialize in?
Robyn: Let’s start with how they begin the journey. I have what I call my niche or brand equation. It’s basically looking at your values, visions and passions. Take a piece of paper and make a vin diagram, the diagram with circles that overlap. Start by making a list of all your core values. Then, list of your visions. How do you visualize yourself as a person? Who do you visualize yourself working with? Next, list your passions. What fuels you?
At some point in those three lists there’s gonna be overlap. It may be one thing or 10 things, but it depends on how many things you list out. Where they overlap is going to give you a great deal of guidance in terms of where you should focus your energy and efforts. You can look at that as your niche and where you want to put your energy, so that you can really focus to grow yourself and your business.
Now, let’s talk about the importance of niching down. If you don’t have a niche, you don’t know who you’re talking to. That is the number one reason why it’s important to really hone in on what you do, how you do it, why you do it, and who you serve by doing it. At the end of the day, all of your content must be directed to your ideal audience.
Brooke: Wow, so good! I’m all about tangible strategy. What about those photographers that are just getting started and don’t know what they like yet. What is a good timeframe for them to be able to dabble before they find something they’re passionate about? Is it from day one or would you give them a year? I’ve heard a lot of different opinions on this.
Robyn: Think of your business or brand as an hourglass. At the very top, it’s wide. That’s where you have all these things you like, things want to experience and people you want to work with all these people, but trying to do it all will leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. You are going to quickly identify who you like to work with and who you don’t. Like that hourglass, you start at the top and very quickly, you’re going to narrow down what you like. Then, that becomes the point where you niche down.
At the bottom of the hourglass, it opens back up. This is where you’ve decided you’re going to be a wedding photographer, because you love working with brides and capturing those special moments. I think you have to look at where the opportunity going to take you versus how you may lose business, because you’re not working with all different people.
Brooke: Yes! When we don’t know who we serve, we leave people confused and end up losing more clients than if we would just declare a niche and move on with that.
Robyn: If I can just add to avoid confusion on your website, tell your story and showcase your work in a way that shows the journey of how you’re working with people. That’s going to be key to eliminating confusion. The opposite of confusion is clarity. When you have clarity about what you do and who you serve, then people are going to be completely clear on the fact that you’re there to serve them.
When you have clarity, you have more confidence in what you do and you’ll trust yourself more. Then, your clients are going to have more confidence in you too. At the end of the day, all of the content you put out, be it on your website or social media, should be consistent and cohesive. Once they trust you, they’re going to share you. Even if you niche down, you still have those opportunities as long as you’re communicating it effectively.
Brooke: Yes! I feel like sometimes people feel confident, but then quickly get discouraged when they don’t immediately get bookings for what they want. Others fear they’re going stuck doing this for the rest of their life. Remember, it is your business. You can change your mind at any given time. I promise you, the more you put out your niche and the more confident you feel, the more your business will grow. It may not happen overnight, but you’ve got to stick with it. Keep showing up and putting yourself out there. Robyn, you have given us so much gold today. I know that you have so much value to offer. So where can people get connected with you online and give us that podcast name one more time.
Robyn: The podcast is the Second Phase podcast. You can access that on iTunes or anywhere you listen to podcasts. Also, if you go to therobyngraham.com/resources you can access all kinds of downloads and tips. Then, my facebook group where I spend most of the time is The Female Entrepreneur Insider. I do a lot of live trainings, have guests and all kinds of different things.
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