Ever wondered why photographers cost so much money? My hope is that today's new episode of "You're Not The Boss Of Me" will clear the air up a little bit!
Before we jump into today's post, have you seen that I now have a FREE RESOURCE library?! You can sign up here and receive every single free resource I've ever made, plus any more that are created in future. Resources include: "How to identify your ideal client, 35 blog posts for creative business owners, and how to plan a brand photoshoot!" I hope you like them!
The longer that I'm in business, the more I realise just how important it is for business owners to claim their niche. I see businesses every day who are vast, covering so many different niche's, and it can look super confusing. But before we jump into why you should considering choosing a niche for your business, let's discuss what a "niche" actually is.
A niche is basically a specific and well defined area that someone focuses their marketing on. There can be a niche in almost anything. For example, if you're a cake maker, your niche might be that you make children's birthday cakes. Or, if you're a designer, you might design wedding dresses. To get even more niche, the cake maker might say she bakes "peppa pig themed birthday cakes" (random, but that's what popped into my head), and the wedding dress designer may only make dresses for bohemian brides.
You get the idea.
But why would you want to get so specific with your niche?
Now, I'm not suggesting that you need to go as niche as the "super niche" businesses I listed above, but choosing a niche of some kind is wise. Here's why.
You Can't Be All Things To All People:
So let's say you're a photographer. You love to take pictures, and you love pictures of pretty much everything: families, weddings, landscapes, fashion... you name it, you do it. And as a result, your website showcases alllllll of the things you can do. I can see why that would be tempting: "The more I show, the more I'll get booked!" Sadly, that's very often not the case. In fact, it will deter people, and make it even harder for you to book work! Why? Because when you try to appeal to everyone, you confuse people. Are you a wedding photographer... or a landscape photographer?
Think about it this way: if you were told you had cancer, would you want to go see your GP for treatment, or a specialist in the exact type of cancer that you've got? (sorry for the morbid example, but I hope that puts it into context).
You Need to Attract and Repel:
There is a saying within marketing about "attracting and repelling" our clients. I know what you're thinking: "Why would I want to turn anyone away?!" Because you don't want to work with them! I know that it must feel strange to want to turn potential business away, but in repelling the people you don't want to work with, you'll be attracting the people that you DO want to work with.
Here's a little exercise you can do:
Imagine who your ideal client is. Get super specific about them. I have a free downloadable worksheet all about this if you'd like to download it! All you need to do is sign up here.
Once you've spent some time figuring out who your ideal client is, start to think about what your WORST possible client would look like. Someone you'd really hate to work with, who you'd get frustrated by and annoyed with. Get clear on both of these people. I find that once you know exactly who you want to attract,and who you want to repel, it becomes far easier to hone in on our niche.
Niche is Easier to Market:
When you've got a clear niche, and ideal client profile, it becomes far easier to market yourself to them. You know what they like, you know who you're trying to speak to, so creating content for them, whether it's social media content, blog content, video content, email marketing... whatever it is, it's suddenly obvious. You'll no longer find yourself questioning what you're doing!
why im going niche with my coaching business:
So, there is a reason behind this post! A few months ago I announced that I was considering opening myself up for some 1 on 1 coaching with creative business owners. I did some free sessions, and really enjoyed them. These sessions have been amazing for many reasons: I got to practice, try things out, help a few people, but more importantly, get clear on who it is that I want to help in the future. As my coaching sessions went on, I enjoyed them all, but I really found myself connecting deeply with the photographers. It was quickly obvious that rather than staying broad and keeping my coaching open to "creatives" as whole, niching down into coaching for photographers felt right.
So that's what I'm doing! As of July, I will be offering 1 to 1 coaching sessions for photographers. I can help with marketing, content creation, getting clear on clients, business plans, and just general accountability. We could talk about anything you need help with.
I will only be offering coaching to a very, very small amount of people at a time, as this is only going to be a small part of my business as a whole. If you're a photographer, and you're interested in starting your coaching journey with me, make sure you're signed up to my newsletter here so that you don't miss out!
I hope this post has been helpful! If you have any further questions about niche marketing, then feel free to reach out over on Instagram, or leave a comment below.
Kayte Ferris is a marketing expert, coach, and slow living advocate based in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. I discovered Kayte a couple of months ago, and swiftly became completely addicted to everything that she does! Kayte is one of the most talented people I've come across when it comes to content creation. Absolutely everything she does from Instagram posts, to Live videos, to email newsletters, to blog posts, are highly engaging and valuable to her audience.
She only got started with her business last year, and went from a total newbie, to fully booked out in a matter of months! She's such an inspiring woman - I had to get her on my podcast!
In this episode of "You're Not The Boss Of Me," Kayte and I chat about the things we can all market ourselves better, how she created and launched her first course, why you don't want to go viral, how to create engaging content, and how to grow your Instagram account. We also spend some time chatting about slow living - something that Kayte is very passionate about!
Listen to the episode on iTunes here
Listen go the episode on Stitcher here
Whenever most businesses launch, they will at some point, inevitably, want to produce a photoshoot to showcase their product or service. I know how much of a daunting task that can be! But let me tell you, it really doesn't need to be that complicated at all.
I've produced hundreds of photoshoots in my time, and I know the process pretty much inside out. So with that in mind, I thought it was about time that I created a little step by step guide for you all on how to plan your very own photoshoot.
This guide is perfect for everyone, whether you're just starting out in business, or whether you've been going for years. It's also perfect for someone who wants to their their own photos, or someone who's looking to hire a professional for the very first time.
And the best part? The guide is totally free! All you have to do is sign up below and you'll be able to download it :)
If you have any further questions about planning a brand photoshoot, please feel free to email me. I'd love to work with you anyway that I can!
Did you realise that you could lose your entire Instagram following overnight?
Let that sink in.
Whether you have 100 followers, or 100,000 followers, I know how much effort goes into acquiring each and every one of those people. Gathering a following for our businesses, no matter what we do, takes time and effort. For many businesses, it's also what we tend to spend an awful lot of time doing! (I'm guilty of it, too).
But then again, we don't own any of those followers. Mark Zuckerburg does! (Well, he owns Facebook and Instagram). So, hypothetically, if Facebook or Instagram were to shut down at any time (which lets be honest, they probably won't... but you never know!), or if they were to delete your account (I've seen it happen), all of that hard work would be lost.
It scares the living daylight out of me! How would we communicate with our audience? How would we get clients? How would we sell our products?
There's a solution though: a mailing list!
When this first occurred to me, it felt really old school. I didn't get it. Email can sometimes feel quite out dated to me... But then I began to analyse my own inbox. Yes, there's a lot of junk in there, but there were also a few emails that I really liked receiving. They tended to be newsletters, or updates from people who I followed on Instagram already... and getting an email from them felt a lot more personal. It was like being able to speak to them one on one.
How Do You Start A Mailing List?
There are loads of platforms out there that you can use, but I use one called MailChimp. I haven't tested any of the others, so by all means go out and do some research, test them out, and see what you like best, but I can only recommend MailChimp.
I love this service! It's easy to use, it's free up to 2000 subscribers, and after that point you'll need to pay. I don't have anywhere near that many subscribers *yet* so I don't pay a penny for it right now. Bargain! *This isn't sponsored, I just genuinely love Mailchimp!*
How Do You Get Subscribers?
1. Pop your link to your mailing list in your Instagram bio. Post the link on your Facebook page!
2. Email the people you've worked with in the past, and invite them to subscribe. I did this, and made sure to personalise each email to each person. Yes, it took a bit longer, but by the end of the week, most of my past clients were now on my mailing list, and sure to be hearing from me (and therefore, reminded of me) each time I sent out a newsletter!
3. Create a freebie. This is a very popular way of getting people to sign up to a newsletter, and it really does work. You create any sort of freebie (a PDF template, a short ebook, an audio download, anything!) and in order for people to receive it, they need to sign up to your mailing list.
4. Offer an incentive. You'll have signed up to mailing lists using this tactic hundreds of times! Online shops use this tactic particularly well by offering something like 10% off your first order when you join their mailing list.
5. Add a sign up box to your website. If you use Squarespace, this is super easy. They link up to Mailchimp for you, and you can add a signup box anywhere on your website!
6. Use a pop up: *Use with caution* I personally don't like pop up boxes, they annoy me. However, a lot of online business owners swear by this tactic. Give it a go if it calls to you, and see how it goes!
What Should You Say To Them?
For some reason, this is always the hardest part of the "mailing list." I find it incredible difficult as well! I have no problem writing a blog post, but when I need to write an email which will be guaranteed to go into someone's inbox, I freeze. However, I've found a few things that work quite well.
1. Write an update email. Just let your subscribers know what you've been up to.
2. Share your latest blog posts. Don't let people miss out on what you've been writing!
3. Share links to things you've loved. I do this in my newsletter, and I always love receiving newsletters like this as well.
4. Share useful information. What could you send your subscribers that will make their life easier?
EXERCISE TO DO:
Spend some time in your inbox, and pick out the emails your love to receive. Read a few of them, and make notes on what it is that you like about them. How many times do they email you? Is it too often, or too little? What tone are they using? How long are their emails? The more you study what you like, the easier it will be for you to format your own newsletter!
Like everything, consistency is key. Decide on how often you're going to send out a newsletter and stick to it. I've committed myself to emailing my subscribers once a month, on the first Saturday of every month.
So there you go! I hope this inspires you to create a mailing list of your own :) Of course, it wouldn't be right if I didn't suggest you sign up to my own... so sign up below!
With 2018 approaching fast, I can see business owners scrambling left, right and centre to plan and prep for the new year. Lists of goals are being created, and ambitions are high. Marketing is always a big topic of discussion, and with the Internet shifting and changing all the time, it's hard to know what to focus on in the New Year!
I've put together a list of all the areas of marketing that I believe are going to be important in 2018, and I hope they help you to find areas that you want to focus on, too!
Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories has been around for over a year now, and it's not going anywhere. In fact, I use Instagram Stories almost more than actually scrolling through Instagram now! I love it's reliability, it can be funny, and lets everyone be a bit more candid. Using it though, is quite important. People are engaging with stories more than ever, so if you want to be seen, you better be on there. I use Instagram Stories to share more about my personal life, my travels, announce blog posts, and share extra images that might not fit the theme of my grid! I've seen massive engagement from Instagram Stories (far more than from just posting images), so I'm going to continue to make big efforts on Stories in 2018.
You probably know that I'm really loving Pinterest at the moment thanks to these two blog posts I wrote a few weeks ago. Well, that love is going to continue well into 2018! Use Pinterest to share any work you do, any blog posts you write, your Instagram images, images which lead to your website, but also to gather a tribe of people who are interested in what you do. Pinterest is still one of the number one ways to direct people to your website, so don't give up on it for 2018.
Do Live Video
Oh my goodness, live video scares the living daylight out of me. I ventured into making vlogs in 2017 with quite a lot of success (however I did stop towards the end of the year - I'm getting back to it in 2018, don't worry!). I've never done any live video yet, but I know it is one of the most engaging ways to market yourself. I'm going to make an effort to go live a few times a month in 2018, sharing the behind the scenes during photoshoots, answer questions, showing my day to day. I'm scared, but I'm going to try. Who's going to try with me?!
Network In Person
Of course, we can market ourselves online till we're blue in the face, but you know what we all still need to do in 2018? Face to face marketing. SCARY! Yes, I hate it, and find meeting new people really hard. If I walk into a networking breakfast/lunch/dinner on my own, I want to hide in a corner. The trick: go in with the aim of meeting only one new person. It's hard, but I know from experience that whenever I do it, I'll always leave having met one person who I believe is a good new connection.
Post Less to Instagram, but More Consciously
Instagram and it's algorithm are and (I think) forever will be a big topic of conversation. I flutter in and out of caring about the algorithm, to not bothering about it at all. In 2018, I'm going to be experimenting with posting less, but posting better. It seems that the days of posting everyday to get you noticed are gone. Posting less frequently, but having those posts be really amazing and engaging is the way forward.
Don’t Give Up On Facebook
Oh Facebook, I can see business owners fleeing you. And I understand, my Facebook Business Page hasn't grown by more than 50 followers in 3 years! Thats AWFUL! However, the people who do follow me on Facebook are still very engaged, and I don't believe we should abandon them if we have them. So continue to post on Facebook, share your news, post images, do a Facebook Live, and make the most of it.
Join in Twitter Conversation
I'll admit that I'm not the best user of Twitter for professional purposes, however I definitely think it's still important that we engage with Twitter in 2018. I'll be using Twitter to join in on chats, engaging with people who interest me, and brands and business that I want to work with.
Build Your Mailing Lists
Newsletters are popping up left right and centre at the end of 2017, and for good reason: we're realising more and more that the followers we have on social media are not ours, they belong to Instagram, or Facebook, or Twitter. If those platforms decide to shut down tomorrow, we would all lose them! So the solution is to build mailing lists. I had a go at this in 2017, with little success, however I'm going to be approaching 2018 with a new strategy, and giving growing my mailing list a much better shot! I think you should too.
I hate to break it to you, but most of the old ways of marketing don’t work anymore. Or at least, not as well as they used to! The way that we used to grow our customer base, or get attention from our markets can now actually do the opposite: they can turn them away. Everyday, we’re bombarded with adverts. They’re in the TV show you watch, on banners in the town you live in, spread out all over your Facebook feed: they’re everywhere. But I’m here to tell you that it’s ok, there is still a way to reach your audience! *panic over*
It’s all about connection. You need to take the time to create a real connection with your audience. Human beings crave connection of all kinds. We want someone who gets us, who hears us, who sees us. Old fashioned marketing tactics tend to forget that you’re marketing to a real person who thinks, feels, wants, needs and dreams.
I don’t know about you, but if you’re anything like me, you hate promoting yourself. You hate sounding like a sales person, or coming across like you want to get something from your clients. It makes me feel icky, and weird! I’ve never been able to do it, but that doesn’t mean that I’m doomed as a business owner, and neither are you!
So this is where connection comes in. It’s focusing on whispering to your customers that you hear them, you see them, you understand them. You know what they want.
But… how do you even do that?!
No worries, I’ve got you ;) It starts with one simple step: knowing your customer. I mean, really knowing them. Figuring out who they are, how old they are, what kind of books they like to read, who they love to follow on Instagram, what they do for a living, what food they like to eat.
If you’re more of a visual person, I’d love to point you towards a Youtube video created by someone I truly admire, Jasmine Star. Jasmine discusses everything you could ever want to know about creating an “ideal client profile” in this video, and it comes with a brilliant exercise that I’ve done myself to help me figure out who my ideal client is!
Once you figure out who you’re wanting to target, and why, you’ll be able to start to SERVE them.
Why would you want to serve them? Because that’s how you get people to trust you, to connect with you. Think about it; instead of always asking someone to do something for you, if you give them something, they’re more likely to trust you, respect you, and connect with you… right?
My challenge to you is to think about what your ideal client would most like to receive from you. It could be in the form of blog posts, videos, podcasts, social media posts, letters… whatever it is, how can you serve them? What can you do to make them connect with your business on a deeper level?
I hope that this is helping you see that connection is the way forward for marketing your business, no matter how big or small! It has certainly worked for me, and I can’t wait to see how it works for you :)
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