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You might be surprised to find out that most entrepreneurs struggle with truly understanding their niche. Join the Captivate coaches, Danielle, Amy, and Adam for this roundtable discussion about a topic they get asked about over and over and over — do I really need to niche down? What is my niche?
Here’s what they will discuss…
— Why do you need clarity of self first?
— What is a niche and why do we need it?
— What does this mean to your sales?
PLUS so much more.
If you’ve been struggling to sell, to really find that core audience, you’ll want to pay attention to this discussion today.
Get more training at changecreator.com/gobig
We also recommend:
- Trudi Lebron: Creating an Anti-Racist Business
- Brendan Kane: Getting Your Customers Attention in 3 Seconds or Less
- Adam & Danielle: What is the Backbone of a Great Marketing Strategy?
Transcription of Interview
(Transcribed by Otter.ai, there may be errors)
Danielle Sutton 00:03
Welcome to the Change Creator podcast where entrepreneurs come to learn how to live their truth, get rich and make a massive difference in the world. I’m your host Adam Force co founder, Change Creator and co creator of the captivate method. Each week we talk to experts about leadership, digital marketing and sales strategies that you can implement in your business and life. To go big, visit us at Change Creator comm forward slash go big to grab awesome resources that will help drive your business forward. Hey, what’s going on everybody? Welcome back to the Change Creator podcast happy to have you here for another episode. If you missed the last episode, it was with Trudy lebrun. And we talked about creating an anti racist business spin a big topic, obviously, with everything that has happened in 2020. And she has a lot of experience in supporting companies to kind of see where changes can be made. And I think you’re gonna get a lot out of this conversation. So if you missed it, it’s really powerful stuff. And it’s very important. So hopefully, you get a chance to circle back check it out. So for this next episode, I have myself, Danielle and Amy. So Danielle and Amy are both co creators of the captivate method, we are coaches, they’re one of our programs, and we’re getting together to talk about your niche. You know, it’s funny how so many people, you know, we start our businesses or we’re a few years in whatever your case may be. But we’re not really clear on what our niche is. Many times we think we are until we start digging a little deeper until we start realizing that we’re not getting the sales, or we’re not attracting the right people that we had in mind as our ideal customer, right? So we’re going to talk about why you need clarity itself. What a niche is, and you know why it’s important? And what does it mean to your sales, right. So if you’ve been struggling to sell and really, you know, attract your perfect customer, this is going to be a really important conversation for you to check in on. So we’re going to dive into that in just a minute. If you guys haven’t had a chance, stop by Change Creator, calm forward slash go big. We have a new training up there, you could check it out all about authentic brand storytelling. This is one that I took on myself, and I’m going to walk you through all kinds of really good insights that will be very valuable for you. All right. This is been my wheelhouse for the past 20 years in business, branding, brand, identity, storytelling, all these types of things. And when there’s some really powerful insights that I share about the industry, what’s going on the market, so I think you’ll get a lot out of that there’s just a lot of it. So just carve out, it’s about an hour, so it’s an hour within a QA, like some frequently asked questions at the end that we go through. And I kind of walked through all kinds of stuff. So check it out. It’s Change Creator comm forward slash go big, you’ll find it there. Alright, guys, we’re gonna jump into this conversation and talk about your niche. Okay, show me the heat. What’s up, everybody? So what are we even talking about? Today, we’re gonna talk about the infamous power of niche is something that we continue to talk about a lot internally here at Change Creator and with the captivate method, because a lot of students and people that we mentor and coach, they struggle with finding that niche, or a lot of times, they don’t realize they don’t have the niche. And that’s why they’re, they’re having a hard time with their messaging and having a hard time with connecting with their actual audience. So there’s a good example that I think Danielle has. So Danielle, maybe just a quick intro for yourself, and you could share that great story that you have
Amy Aitman 04:04
So much fun to have you here today, Danielle.
Danielle Sutton 04:07
Yeah. Thanks for having me. It’s super fun to hop on these lives with you guys. Always a blast. So, yeah, my name is Danielle Sutton. I’m one of the CO creators of the captivate method along with Adam and Amy. And yeah, niching is something we talk about a lot with our calculators, something I have a lot of personal experience with. And all of the people that I’ve coached over the years, it always comes up, right because as Adam said, it you get it’s something that you can really get tripped up on. If you’re feeling like you’re unclear about what to say or you feel like, you know, you’re being vague or wishy washy. It’s a nice problem, right? So, and it can go miles miles in terms of helping if you if you kind of talk it through and get clear and clear. So for my example, my personal example is when I started my company about seven years ago now, I really started with this idea. I want to Work with nonprofits. I had I ever worked for a nonprofit? No. Had I ever started my own nonprofit? No. But this was, you know, I was really passionate about social entrepreneurship, and using the power of business for good. And I saw, from my own perspective, like, wow, the nonprofit industry is, you know, ready to take this by storm, and like, I’m the one to help them.
Amy Aitman 05:27
I love that enthusiasm.
Danielle Sutton 05:31
Right. I mean, I was, you know, young and naive and hadn’t had seven years under my belt yet. So I thought this would be a no brainer, like no problem. And just because you see an opportunity of how you can help, if it’s not aligned, which is what we’re going to talk about, it’s not necessarily going to be the best fit. So what I learned through trial and error is that I was, you know, speaking about nonprofits integrating more entrepreneurial strategies, and it just kind of like, it was felt though, it just kind of didn’t land as well as I wanted, I wasn’t getting people, you know, coming to me excited, necessarily, I was just kind of like, roaming around talking about this. And, and it wasn’t until I started to talk more about my own experience as an individual entrepreneur, who, you know, didn’t set up a nonprofit, but was still using the same strategies and principles. I was a solo entrepreneur, once I started speaking more about my own experience, I was attracting those types of people. And we had really great conversations, I was able to create a lot more impact and connect with them a lot better, because I was also that person, right? And it just felt so much better. And they got a lot more value out of it. And I felt way more aligned. And I knew exactly what to share. And because I knew what their struggles were. So that’s kind of the first thing we wanted to talk about today is that that clarity of self goes a long way in in aligning and landing on a niche that’s going to really work for you. And so I you know, I still was doing the same type of work, but very specific for solo entrepreneurs, who were starting potentially for profit businesses and not not in the nonprofit bucket doesn’t mean the work they were doing was that different. But the messaging was totally different. And the path was quite different to get there. That’s a good story that gives a great example and it actually reminded me of the same exact thing you know, before Change Creator guys, I was trying to create hemp water bottles, and I tried to start a media page for like a Facebook page for like rain forest protection. And as I was right I was literally writing articles on rainforest like biodiversity, all these things and trying to become like really become an expert in that space. And it felt like something I was passionate about, because I hate seeing the rainforest destroyed. But it also like you said it didn’t feel like it aligned, right. So it’s something I chose, right? Something that I uncovered that was in line with who I was that that Kyra L. and I literally still have my old notebook. It’s like one of these small ones. I was writing so many notes traveling on the trains. And when I was working back in the day, trying to figure this all out. And I would have all these notes about going in, I didn’t even know what I was doing at the time, besides figuring myself out. And I called it self inventory. At the time, I was taking an inventory of my my skills, my passions, my gifts, like my values, like all these different things and trying to figure out how to like connect these dots. And then finally I came to this conclusion that I was leaning into the wrong niche based on who I was. And then it led me to Change Creator and it’s a complete reflection of who I am.
Amy Aitman 08:05
That sounds like a lot of coaching that we do in the captivate method is like, let’s get you really clear on who you are, and who you can serve the best because all of us social good leaders and social impact people guess what we want to help everyone, right? We want many people as we want. Yeah, so many people that come to us have big ideas, they want to create movements, they want to create serious change in the world. And we love that we want you guys to go viral. We want you to guys to have your big ideas. We want everyone to know who you are. But it can’t it doesn’t start that way. A movement starts with you know, you helping the right two people.
Adam G. Force 09:24
Danielle Sutton 09:26
That reminds me of a client that I worked with who is an urban farmer. So he’s really passionate about climate change and soil health and healthy food and would you know, do spin farming in the city. So take over people’s lawns that they weren’t using and grow food and like, do the whole thing. And he wouldn’t we would do our sessions, like he had so much passion about soil and all these like really big, big issues. But he just needed to get his hands in the dirt. But there was always this confusion of like, I want to do speaking, I want to do a course I want to, you know, start, do more activism around this. But at the end of the day, his business was spin farming and he had to go get his hands in the dirt. And so there was this always this tension around it. And you know, we did a lot of talking about how can you be part of that bigger thing, but do your one piece and niche gives you that power to really make a difference in that in that one piece.
Amy Aitman 10:25
That’s a really good point is that a niche can give you so much more power in the bigger scheme in the bigger picture. It’s like a superpower
Danielle Sutton 10:36
It is. A superpower that that you dial into, right? And I think a good example actually is an amazing human being who’s in the captivate method that we worked with closely, Rubin. Because what is it? What does niching actually mean? To your sales? Right? That’s one of the things we want to talk about today. And it made me Just think of this, you know, Ruben is a rock star. And he had all kinds of experience of training, like Olympians as a coach, and all these other high performing pro athletes and stuff like that. But when he decided to go online, he kind of wanted to scale as big as he could. That was the objective of going online is reaching as many people as possible. And he had this big heart that he put out on the internet, which was, I want to transform your life I want I believe in collaboration, I believe in it. And it got so diluted from what he did like offline, right? And so we looked at everything, and he had no clarity on anything. So what does it actually mean to your sales? Well, after we worked with him very closely, we went through all these crazy processes, we found his theme, his niche, right. And within just two months, he started selling a 1500 dollar program. And instead of feeling like I don’t really want to sell, I just want to help people. Now he feels like I can’t wait to sell because I’m selling something that I know is transforming someone’s life. And it’s so in line with who he wants to be and how he wants to contribute back. Right? Yeah. And what is it into sales, that means you actually get sales. Yeah. And the transformation.
Adam G. Force 12:04
And the transformation
Danielle Sutton 12:05
Because if you are purpose, building your solution for a very specific person, you can purpose build it so that you know, A, B, C, D, they are going to take the right steps and get the results. If you’re kind of building a general solution, the steps are going to be general and you can’t guarantee the results like you can when you’re very specific.
Amy Aitman 12:27
And it’s really hard to get up that hill when you’re talking when you’re thinking in general terms and you’re thinking reaching everyone. When you really narrow your focus and narrow your niche, it becomes really easy to create a new product to create a new offer to create some new marketing things. Because Yeah, everything is so specific and niche. I mean, I like to think of my friend, a local friend who has who’s a baker and she had really a lot of success in the Kate in the Cato space. Like she lost weight and she was feeling great. And she started just to have a little candle bakery. So this was like no sugar. Cato I like I don’t know everything about the keto diet, but it’s, you know, higher fats and whatever. But she wasn’t just she didn’t just start a bakery and start a small business. She started a Cato bakery locally. And her facebook group within I’d say a year got to like 22,000 people, because he was so nice. She was like anyone know, anyone in the Kitchener Waterloo area that I live that wants to do Cato, or wants sugar free baked goods that are that don’t use gluten knows that knows to go to her. And her business just expands, expands, expands, expands all the time. I was like, every time I talked to her, she’s like, Yeah, I got another 5000 people, a group, like so crazy, because it’s just so narrow. But she could have just been like, I love to bake and I want to bake and I want to help everyone with my baking and she would have really gotten stuck in that area. Right? Because…
Danielle Sutton 13:59
Yeah, I mean, that’s a good example of, we were just talking before we came on about how do you actually know if your niche down enough? Right? Are the signs? Yeah, are you because, again, it can be hard to see yourself. And that’s why it’s so beautiful being in coaching and in group programs because you have people to reflect things back to you and ask you questions. And sometimes you get some big lightbulb moments there. But how do you guys like to, like how do you know if someone’s niche down enough?
Adam G. Force 14:30
Are you asking us?
Danielle Sutton 14:31
I was going to keep talking but I’d rather shoot it back to you guys. Yeah, I mean, you’re gonna know because you’re gonna attract the right people to your business. So for example, I’m Amy’s friend who has a bakery, I would not be buying keto. It filters it both ways, right? You’re gonna get people who say, Oh, I need gluten free. I need keto. And I’m gonna say well, that’s not for me. So now you’re not gonna have people who are going This is interesting. It might work for me, but I’m not sure. So you don’t have that anymore. When you have a niche you have I know that’s for me, like specifically, right? People say raise their hand. There’s no there’s no vague like, maybe I could use the right. They’re like, no, that’s me. I need that. Thank you very much. Please help me.
Adam G. Force 15:19
Exactly. Go ahead
Amy Aitman 15:22
Another good sign is when people can introduce you, and they know exactly what they do when someone else can tell your story or tell your little one line, what you do. You’re pretty, you’re pretty clear. It’s like when we have that wishy washy vagueness like Danielle was talking about before, that’s when you know that you’re not nice enough. It’s like if someone else can say Daniella, I want to introduce you to so and so. Who does this? Because I know you do this, then.
Danielle Sutton 15:47
Yeah. And that’s exactly what happened to me. Amy. Right. So with that, my first story. And people were always very confused at the beginning, like Danielle does is weird online stuff with entrepreneurs, I don’t really know. And over time, as I got, as I got more clear about myself, and how I wanted to work with people and who I wanted to work with, then people started sending other people my way, because they knew that I could help them. And so then I was receiving input and receiving inquiries and not going after inquiries. And that’s also a good sign is when your referral. And yeah, people send their friends to you for a certain thing, a membership person, that nonprofit person, like you know, very specifically, and it’s easy to to point people in that direction. I love that. And then I will, I will tell my little Rachel Miller story. We mentioned her because she’s a rock star in the face, rock star in the Facebook space. And people might think that if I go niche, I won’t make as much money, right. So that’s like a, that’s like a limiting belief that people have, and they get FOMO fear of missing out. So I want to reach everybody, and I want to get more, but actually marketing to more people is very expensive, and you get less return for your money. So the quick example, as she was telling me, we had a phone call one time, she’s again, I have this woman who’s one of my students, and she has a Facebook page for like, accountants who are women in their 40s, or something like that, like really dialed in, you know, and it’s like, she was telling her like, how many people do you think really, you’re going to get here? And she said, Well, and so she had a page of just like, I think it was like 165 or 200 people on the page. And that’s it. And she was making $10,000 a month of reoccurring revenue, which blew my mind, just from those people. So when Rachel was like, Hey, can I share your success story and a link to your page for people to see like how you have it all set up and everything? She’s like, No, no, no, no, because I don’t want anybody that is not my audience to come in. Right. So she really drew a line in the sand there. But the power of the niches, you know, very specific group of people who are going to be very passionate and loyal to what you’re offering. And small numbers can have a lot of value, if they’re all engaged, and they’re paying customers, you know,
Amy Aitman 18:02
Danielle Sutton 18:04
Well, that’s a good segue into our little analogy that we like to share about niching in terms of if you think of all the resources available to you to get your message out and find the ideal people to work with. You can think of a little drop of food coloring, a little blue dropper, right? So imagine one little drop of blue food coloring has all of your time, your money, your energy, and that you have available in 24, seven amount of time in your life to to connect with the right people. So if you take that one little drop, and you drop it into a Tupperware of water, is anybody like, is the water gonna turn blue? No, it’s just gonna be clear, it’s gonna stay exactly the same, that little drop disappears, that all that energy and effort just goes poof, right? Yeah, if you take that same drop of energy, and you drop it into a small little glass of water, it’s gonna be blue. And you are making a difference. It’s visible. And it’s contained. It’s, it’s a smaller audience, but it’s way more impactful. So that’s how we like to think about niching rather than great visual.
Adam G. Force 19:12
There’s a book on a similar topic, the Red ocean blue ocean. Yeah, yeah. It’s such a, it’s a good way to help think about that. And it makes a lot of sense because a lot of major categories, the top level, categories health, you know, well, like these things, like, they’re just so saturated, big players in there throwing lots of money, like, that’s the blue ocean, that’s the blue drop of water, like, you’re never gonna stand out there. You’re just gonna get crushed until you go another layer deep and then another layer deep and you start creating your own red ocean, right? That’s like unique into its own self. So part of it is like, how are you going to stand out if you’re in an ocean of saturation that’s just going to crush you with big players.
Amy Aitman 19:56
Thats where that clarity of self comes back in to play again, because it becomes your differentiator, if you figure out what your story is what you do, how you can help. So specifically, that’s where your marketing has so much power. That’s where your business has so much power because it becomes your differentiator, and you get more and more niche. And you’re like, we put that tiny little glass, so that you are so brainy.
Danielle Sutton 20:21
Yeah, I was literally talking about this with one of our captivators last week. And when you’re in an industry where it’s a little bit generic or more of like a commodity, like, like web design, or fitness training, like some of these things, there’s just in every neighborhood, there’s somebody with a business offering the service, and it’s great, like people need all that. But you need a way to stand out from the crowd, you need a way to differentiate yourself with your own stories. And with the niche, the layers, like Adam was saying, and it makes the world of difference.
Amy Aitman 20:53
And I remember back in my agents that when i when i was really focused on my agency, and they first started, figuring out this niche for yourself is a process. And it’s not easy, like it does help to have coaching and mentors and people that are helping you clarify that because most of us just think that like if I just promoted myself as a content strategist, that’s enough. Like I do content strategy. And as you dig as you dig in, I mean, personally, for me, I was very to way too broad, did not figure out what I did not figure out what I could do. And like we do help a lot of people in like in the kaktovik method with this, because people come and say, oh, I’ve got my target audience, I’ve got my niche down. And then we ask questions, and then we say it becomes, it’s something that you can’t just I feel like nobody can just do perfectly by themselves. It’s not you don’t create your niche in a bubble.
Adam G. Force 21:49
Its tough when you’re so close to something, and you have your own, because you have your own beliefs around it, and your own limiting beliefs, like we talked about the FOMO, right. So you may not acknowledge those about yourself, but they will be holding you back and keeping you at this niche that you think you have. So when we ask questions, and this becomes such, it became such a topic of discussion in our coaching calls, that we created additional lessons in the program to go really deep on the topic, because if you’re not nailing this, you’re going to struggle to get results and obviously want everyone to get results. So that was an area that came up so much that we actually put in that extra content there to talk about it. So now it’s important, and it’s tough. When you’re when you’re doing it, as I said, I struggle to like I struggled for a long time trying to figure out niches for different businesses and stuff. And it can be really tough if you don’t have someone to bounce it off of, because you have your own blocks.
Danielle Sutton 22:52
And you know what the funny thing is, is because it’s so aligned to your clarity of self. And when we are thinking about ourselves, sometimes we miss the most obvious things. And so oftentimes when we go through this process, you come full circle, and then you’re like, of course like that, of course that makes sense. Yeah, did I not see that? It’s because it was so close to you so obvious. And so that having that opportunity for reflection and conversation is so valuable
Amy Aitman 23:18
Adam G. Force 23:19
I know we’re gonna wrap up here. But one other thing I want to say is like… Have you ever have those moments where it’s like, You’re like, okay, someone says something, they teach something to do something and you’re like, Oh, I get it, I get it. And you like having your head like, okay, that’s cool, whatever, I got it. And then like a couple months go by and someone else like, teaches a different way different perspective. And all of a sudden, like this light bulb goes off, like you just said, Danielle, and you’re like, Oh, now I really do get that. Yeah, like clear. I mean, I’ve had that happen to me on the most basic concepts where it’s like, you get these newfound layers of clarity. It’s like, and then you say it to you like oh my god, I had an epiphany. And then you say it out loud to yourself or to like your partner, I would tell me and I’m like, this is like the same thing we’ve heard a million times over. Why did I never see it the way I’m seeing it right now. It’s crazy.
Danielle Sutton 24:11
Every day and you’re a new person, right? New experiences and it adds up. But yeah, I’ve totally done that too.
Adam G. Force 24:19
Alright everybody thanks so much for joining today. We will see you on the next episode.
Amy Aitman 24:27
Danielle Sutton 24:27
Adam G. Force 24:27
Thanks for tuning in to the Change Creator podcast. Visit us at Change creator.com forward slash go big to get access to free downloads and other great resources that will drive your business forward.