Imagine being able to pick your clients. Entrepreneurs with service-based businesses often go through a period where they figure out exactly whom they want to work with.That’s an exciting place to be! Niching down can feel overwhelming, though. Conventional marketing advice starts with client avatars and “meeting your clients where they’re at.” To niche down, we’ve found it better to aim for more eyes and more rejection. Tia’s photography business is a case study in how this method can lead to more money, less work, and clients who align with your values.
Why Niche Down Your Business
There was a season early in Tia’s photography business when they didn’t turn down any clients. They were afraid they wouldn’t be able to pay their bills. Unfortunately, Tia, a trans non-binary person, sometimes ended up photographing weddings where people said transphobic things that made them feel unsafe. It was a difficult time to say the least.
If you’re reading this, you might be in a similar season. Maybe you want to niche down to attract clients who are better aligned with your work and values. It is possible to get enough work without exploiting yourself. Of course, there’s nuance to this. Our advice will be different for someone struggling to pay rent than it would for someone with some flexibility in refining their marketing and sales processes.
To make more money with less work and dreamier clients, Tia followed a controversial piece of advice: To niche down, you need more eyes, and you need more rejection. In earlier seasons of their business, Tia would get around 100 website visitors. 30 would inquire, and 20 would book with an average booking of $2,500. Now Tia gets 1,000+ monthly website views. Out of ten inquiries, nine will book with an average booking of $5,800.
The key? Tia strategically lowered their conversion rate. They book less work with higher price points and with all clients they adore working with. To make this possible, Tia developed a six-step process. Now they have a niche photography business with amazing clients. Nine times out of ten, the inquiries in their inbox are perfect for them.
Six Steps to Niche Down
Step 1: Figure out what is working.
First, Tia did a deep dive assessment into which clients they vibed with most and who valued their work the most. Who were their highest paying clients? Were they also the ones Tia liked working with the most?
Step 2: Get crystal clear on your “why.”
This step took Tia the longest. It was probably about 6 months of deep work and a few crying sessions. Figuring out their why (“I exist to celebrate and affirm marginalized love” and “My goal is to show the future generations that love doesn’t have one aesthetic.” ) was huge for Tia. It gave them a clear base on which to build their website and all marketing materials.
Step 3: Refine your client experience.
Tia mapped out the client experience from the moment someone lands on Tia’s page until the moment they complete a contract. This gave Tia a chance to figure out where in this experience they could take better care of their clients. After all, Tia’s clients are the ones taking care of them financially.
Step 4: Figure out what your offers are.
Tia figured out their pricing based on the salary they want to make. For example, in 2022 our family goal is to hit a quarter million.We built all of our 2022 offers, packages, and prices based on realistic ways to get to $250,000. (We’re working towards a down payment for a big cross-country move in 2023.)
Step 5: Communicate your value.
Here Tia did a deep dive into their website copy. Where was Tia losing people, and what were people resonating with the most? Tia turned their website into the perfect filter for converting the clients they wanted.
Step 6: Use marketing that fits your energy.
Some people can pre-plan content. Tia cannot. They’ve tried all kinds of things without success. Instead, they found a mix of marketing channels (one part Insta, one part TikTok, a big part Google), that matches their energy perfectly. We don’t have to do it all; we just need to do what works for us.
Disruptor – a Roadmap to Those Dreamy Clients
Curious to learn more about how your business can thrive with a human-centered approach? Tia built this exact six-step process into Disruptor, their three-month group program. The program includes six calls, each based on one of the steps. Learn more about Disruptor and Tia’s one-on-one business coaching here.