Struggling with your niche?
I’d like to share four steps to figuring out a niche that feels ‘just right’. The steps are simple, pressure-free, common sense and can sustain you financially by helping you attract more of the kinds of clients you most want.
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“I’ve paid a lot this year for marketing programs and yours, by far, has provided the most value.”
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Your approach was structured and encouraged creativity at the same time. You provided a wealth of material, and both you and your guest presenters provided creative perspectives on ‘typical’ marketing issues, framing them differently and providing new ways of looking at business and purpose that caused me to expand or clarify my thinking.
I’ve seen other marketing programs that specialize in identifying your niche or ‘ideal client’, and think you provided unique takes on standard marketing concepts. The personal attention and supportive frame you provided throughout the course also made it a safe, fun, positive experience for everyone. I’m confident many of the participants will stay in touch and create opportunities together as a result.” - Bob Ogilvy, Los Angeles, CA, www.whatbobknowsnow.com
If you’re struggling with this whole ‘niche’ question in your business – I’m hoping that this letter will be of some use to you.
The first thing I want to say is that it’s very normal to struggle on this issue.
You’re not stupid. You’re not the exception. You’re the norm. Most clients I meet struggle with this. It’s rare I meet anyone who’s got this entirely sorted out (including many of the marketing gurus out there).
My guess is that you’ve been told so many times that you need to ‘pick your niche’.
At an intellectual level this makes total sense to you. You’ve seen other businesses that are examples of thriving niche businesses. And it kind of makes you a bit jealous. ‘Why was it so easy for them? Why am I still stuck?’
But emotionally it might just make you cringe.
And there are some good reasons to cringe. Six of”em.
Perhaps you can relate.
“Having been through the Xerox School of Sales and Dale Carnegie Sales Training, I know the HARD CORE selling techniques, but it never resonated with me. The more I work from my own past wounds, experiences and things I’ve overcome, giving from my heart, the more confident I feel. I’m changing my approach and holding my head higher. The way that you have SHARED so much of yourself with us is a blessing. You set a shining example.” – Colleen Lowe
So, you know you need to start looking at this niche question
but you really have no idea where to start with this.
Regardless, the bottom line is that you need more clients and you’ve tried to market yourself the ways you already know how . . . and it’s just. not. working.
Niching is tricky to address. Again, you’re not stupid. It’s genuinely tricky. It can take time to sort it out. It’s not the kind of thing you can always figure out on your own. But sometimes a weekend workshop is too short a period of time to sort it out.
Thus I came up with a seven week course where you could take a tiny step each week to figuring it all out.
Though not really figuring it ‘all’ out because the goal (and this might surprise you) is not about you finding ‘your niche’ by the end of the seven weeks.
So, what is the goal?
I’ll tell you about that in a bit, but first let me tell you . . .
Who am I and why am I leading this?
My name is Tad Hargrave
and I run a little business called Marketing for Hippies.
For the past decade or so, I’ve been traipsing around North America (and now the UK!) leading workshops on marketing for holistic practitioners, life coaches, green, local and permaculturey businesses.
And I would say that . . .
90% of all the marketing struggles I’ve seen
come down to a lack of clarity around this question of
‘who’ they’re trying to reach – the niche.
So creating a program laser focused on this felt important to me. And, I need to finish my new Niching for Hippies homestudy course.
During the Summer of 2012, I led my first ever six week Niching for Hippies virtual coaching program. It went incredibly well. I made some major progress on finishing my homestudy version . . . but it’s not done yet.
I think that working with you all is going to give me the ‘oopmh’ I need to really focus on this. Because when I tried to do it on my own it sort of sat there on the shelf for like two years. I’m hoping to have it done shortly after we finish the seven week program together. Fingers crossed.
Plus, in working with you all, I’ll be getting some great real-life examples and case studies for my homestudy course. So I have a vested interest in seeing you find something solid that could really work for you. The more you succeed, the better I look and the more examples I have to share with people (which will make my workbook much more valuable – and who knows? maybe being featured there will even get you some business).
This vested interest is going to have you getting a bit more support in the group from me than you normally might.
Let’s recap why having a niche matters so much.
It’s the basis of . . .
Knowing where to find your ideal clients
Knowing what to offer them
Knowing how to articulate what you do
Whether you get word of mouth or not
In fact, this next video might help clarify why it matters more than anything I could write.
But do you need help? Is niching a problem for you? To help you figure it out, here are . . .
Sixteen ways to know if your niche is
the root cause of your marketing woes
As I said, so many entrepreneurs struggle because they don’t have this whole ‘niche’ thing figured out. But they don’t realize that’s what it’s about (like having a stomach ache caused by stress but that you actually don’t understand that the root cause is about stress).
Give the following sixteen symptoms a read to see if your marketing challenges are rooted in a fuzzy niche.
1. Your marketing strategy consists of “just getting your name out there”. Out there to whom? Anyone and everyone.
2. You couldn’t describe a typical day or your client. You couldn’t tell me what they think about when they wake up, what their mornings are like, what kinds of things they typically do that the love or hate and what keeps them up at night when they’re trying to fall asleep.
3. Your Unique Selling Proposition is a burned out platitude such as, “I work to truly understand my client’s needs.” There’s nothing that separates you and makes you special from everyone else who does the same kind of thing. You wish you didn’t look just like the competition. Or, perhaps worse, you can’t name many others who do what you do – you’ve never done much research on potential joint venture partners, hubs, niche-mates or competition/collaborators. Any research you’ve done has felt fuzzy and yielded few results.
4. You define your niche only by external, demographic factors like age, income and geography. Your target is, “People who can afford me.” or “Women, ages 45-55 in Toronto.” This only tells you about their outsides – but not about their values, their worldview, their core beliefs – all of which are vital to understand in your marketing.
5. Your word-of-mouth strategy is based on lines like, “The highest compliment you can pay us is the referral of a friend.” What kind of friend? Anyone! Do you see how hard it is for your clients to think of someone when it’s so vague and broad?
6. You don’t love your clients. When you think of them it’s a ‘meh’ feeling at best and a clenched stomach at worst. Too many of your current clients just aren’t a good fit for you. You say yes to a lot of clients that aren’t in your “ideal” description, or even close, just because you’re afraid you’ll be broke if you don’t. And saying yes to work that’s fuzzy or not niched confuses that client into thinking they ARE the ideal client, and confuses the ideal clients into thinking they are not.
7. You can’t easily give five specific answers to this question, “Where do your clients already spend their time, money and attention?” or “Where can you find your perfect clients?” You have no idea how to answer the question, “Where does your niche hang out? Who do they already trust? What groups are they a part of?” or “What do they tend to search for online to solve their problems? What terms and phrases do they most use?” You can’t answer these questions because you haven’t narrowed to any groups in particular.
8. You are having trouble crafting an irresistible offer that your clients and prospects go crazy for. Your offers seem ‘good’ but not ‘irresistible.’ When you sit down to write your marketing materials it all feels bland, stale or over-hyped.
9. Or, you’ve run plumb out of fresh marketing ideas (despite feeling like you’ve already ‘tried everything’).
10. You use extremely vague descriptors for your niche like, “people who are stressed”, or “people who go through transition” or “people who are fundamentally open to change.” (these are code language for ‘everyone who has ever lived’).
11. You’re not having fun in your business. You don’t light up when you talk about what you do and the people you work with/for anymore. I can often tell the niche is off in conversations with entrepreneurs when they talk about why it will work or how much money they can make instead of how excited they are or how they want to help, when they say, “I am going to do this, so that later I can this” which is their real dream or passion, when they talks about who they are helping and it is flat or the excitement feels pushed, when they talk about some other idea or group and lights up in a way they didn’t sharing what they do do.
12. You can’t articulate what you do in 10 words at the least and 30 seconds at the very most.
13. You can’t really articulate what it is you do for your clients. You mumble, ‘well . . . I do a lot of things for them . . .’ but there’s no clearly definable result that you offer them (because there’s no clearly definable group of people you’re offering it to).
14. When you describe what you do people can’t even think of a single person who could use it. You rarely ever hear anyone saying, ‘oh! he should talk to larry!’ or ‘wow. i need that!’. Instead you get people yawning, getting glassy eyed or clearly only asking you questions out of polite interest. When you say what you do, I should immediately get a picture of the ideal kind of client in my mind and instantly know if I (or anyone I know) fit into that group or not.
15. Your current target market just doesn’t ‘feel right’ to you. There are emotional ‘red flags’ coming up that you can’t place. You can convince yourself it’s a good niche intellectually but deep down something feels ‘off’. Maybe you picked a target market because you thought you had to. Maybe you picked the one you thought you should pick or the one your marketing coach suggested. Maybe you picked lawyers as a target market because you were once a lawyer – and you can relate to lawyers . . . but there’s no spark in it for you.
16. Bottom Line: You don’t have enough clients. You’re putting in a lot of market effort and getting very little reward. You blew your marketing budget on advertising that did nothing for you.
My Four Step, Common Sense, Pressure-Free Process to Figuring Out Your Niche . . .
Ironically, the most important secret here is to relax.
Most entrepreneurs put so much pressure on themselves to ‘figure out their niche.’ Part of the challenge here is that it’s always ‘niche’ (singluar) not ‘niches’ (plural). There’s a sense that you have to pick a single target market for your whole business. And that this decision is binding forever. It’s like being asked to marry someone who, at best, you’ve known socially for years and, at worst, have never met. That’s a stressful proposition. I’d actually be more concerned if you weren’t stressed about that kind of proposition.
Because it’s a crazy way to do things. And yet, I’ve had so many clients go to workshops and be berated and exhorted to ‘pick their niche’. But consider going to a relationship workshop where you were told to, ‘pick your husband’. Holy shit. Pressure.
Or what if you went to a health workshop and they said, ‘pick the diet you’re going to eat for the rest of your life! Vegan? Raw vegan? Macrobiotic? Ayurvedic? Traditional? You must choose today!’ Gah! How could you know without some exploring?
One of my colleagues Bill Baren gives the very useful metaphor or ‘dating your niche’. Stop thinking about marriage if it’s stressing you out. You might just meet a niche and fall in love and get married in Vegas (let’s stay open to this!) but, in the meantime, let’s just be social and meet some interesting niches. After all, isn’t it a truism that it’s only when you give up that you finally end up meeting someone?
Let’s first let go of any pressure to ever even figure out a niche at all. You don’t need a niche. You’re not a bad person for not having one. It can take time. That’s okay. Many businesses have made it without ever sitting down and formally thinking about their ‘niche’. Sometimes you just stumble upon one and only really see it in retrospect or when others point it out to you.
See? Doesn’t that feel like less pressure already?
Here’s another reason to relax about it: you’re not in control of it, so you might as well relax. Meeting the right partner, artistic inspiration, finding the best niche for your business . . . you just can’t ‘make it happen’ (as much as we all might wish we could). It will happen when it happens. All you can do is create space for these things and be as ready as you can be.
Once, we’ve taken some of the pressure out of this situation then, it seems to me, there are four main steps we need to take in order to maximize our chances of arriving at the right place.
Step #1: Clarify Your Big Circle
The Big Circle is where we start with all of the things you already know about who you want to work with. This part is pretty easy. It’s the low hanging fruit of the process. I think this is the best place to start because it also helps build up our confidence a bit and reminds us that we aren’t as clueless about our niche as we might have initially thought.
The easiest place to start is to think of the qualities you most want in an ideal client.
Want clients who show up on time? Put it in the Big Circle.
Want clients who refer you business? Put it in the Big Circle.
Want clients who do their homework? Put it in the Big Circle.
Want clients who are ready to take responsibility for their own lives? Put it in the Big Circle.
Want to have all of your clients be women? Big Circle. Men? Big circle? Entrepreneurs? Big Circle.
Don’t like clients who whine all the time? . . . Well then, what do you want instead of that? Clients who are grateful in their lives? Put it in the Big Circle.
The Big Circle is a filter you’ll use on any client who ever wants to work with you.
The Big Circle is relatively useless as a marketing tool but it’s vital as a filtering tool.
Here’s the logic: the best marketing is word of mouth. You get the best world of mouth when you provide the best results for your clients. You provide the best results when you’re working with people you like and who are a fit for what you have to offer. The Big Circle ensures that – it’s like a personal assistant who makes sure you only ever see the right clients.
Step #2: The Seed
This is the most important step and, if you address it honestly, it may take the longest. It can also be the scariest part. But, of course, it’s the most rewarding.
This step is where we get to the heart of what your niches might be. The seed. The core of it. At this stage it might feel a bit fuzzy but it will also feel really good. Liberating. Powerful. Authentic. Unleashing.
After all, what’s to stop your business life from being a long and drawn out process of endless dating of potential niches only to find out that none of them really fit? What if you want a short cut on this?
Here’s the short course: your niche is probably people just like you.
Stated differently: your niche is likely a younger version of you. If growing up (consciously) is the process of becoming the adult whose support you were needing when you were younger . . . then . . . haven’t you naturally grown into that adult? And might you not have something to offer the ‘younger versions of you’? Don’t you have some expertise to offer people who are struggling in ways you used to?
Stated another way still: your deepest wounds are likely the doorway into your truest niche.
The things you’ve most struggled with your entire life are likely the brightest gifts you have to give the world.
In fact, you can usually get to the heart of someone niche with one simple question,
“What are all the things you’ve overcome in your life to be here today?”
Tiina Veer is a client of mine who is an amazing example of the power of proper niching in action. Instead of trying to make her yoga class appeal to everyone – she chose a very particular niche.
People who don’t look like Barbie Dolls. And she created ‘Yoga for Round Bodies’.
There are a whole community of people with round bodies who might feel intimidated to go to a typical yoga class. But, with Tiina, they find an incredibly safe and supportive space.
Lisa Mitchell saw how burdened therapists like her were with holding other people’s secrets. So she created an entirely anonymous online forum where therapists could share what they were experiencing and get anonymous support from other therapists around the world.
If you went through depression you might be the perfect person to help others through that. Or through similar struggles.
I spent my early years in business learning a high pressure and manipulative approach to selling. Now I teach hippies how to market and sell in a way that applies no pressure. I’m the perfect person to do this. I went through it and got out. I understand the terrain better than people I know.
The same is almost certainly true for you. And you’ll get some support in exploring the wound/niche connection for yourself.
Step #3: Choose Your Top Three Little Circles
Here’s where things start to get practical.
If I ask you to pick one niche – you’ll probably freak out. Who wants to say no to people? Give up on that kind of variety! But if you try to pick 12 niches (nichi?) then you’ll be overwhelmed. So, what to do?
Here’s my take (and what you’ll be doing if you sign up): Pick your top three niches (knowing they’re likely to change over time).
Here’s how you do it . . .
First of all, you get really clear about the Big Circle’ – the qualities and traits you most want in a client. You are already surprisingly clear about this (much more so than you think). As you get clear about the big picture of this, we go through a little process of helping you identify your top three sub-niche ideas (isn’t three easier to hone down to than one? or twenty?). And then we simply pick one of those to fiddle with.
My Big Circle: Conscious Entrepreneurs.
My Little Circles: Holistic Practitioners, Life Coaches and Permaculture Practitioners.
Again, you’ll be getting a lot of support on this in the program.
You’ll be looking at your past clients and clients you’ve been drawn to work with. You’ll be led through helpful visualizations. You’ll get interviewed by a buddy on this.
Again, these may change over time. That’s okay. Because each change will be a refinement for the better.
Step #4: Choose a Niche Project
This might be the most refreshing and liberating idea ever in the niching world – it was for me when I stumbled across it.
Think ‘niche projects’ not a niched business.
Read that again: Think ‘niche projects‘ not a niched business.
So, it may be true that you don’t need a niche and that, even if you go for it that there’s no need to rush it, but the fact remains that clarifying who you are trying to reach makes everything easier. And if you’re needing to get clients and money fast – then focus becomes vital.
The idea of ‘niche projects’ is probably the most important notion around niching I’ve ever had.
In fact, it’s the entire goal of our seven weeks.
At the end of the seven weeks you may or may not have a niche for your whole business and gotten married to it, but that’s not the goal.
Our entire goal for the seven week program is something much simpler – it’s to help you come up with a niche project (like going on a date).
Instead of trying to build your ultimate dream home, we’re thinking about building a bird house. Starting small. Giving yourself an easy win and something that will let you see if that niche is really a fit.
Instead of rebranding your whole business (scary!) you’ll be encouraged to instead maybe try leading a workshop or a webinar on the topic. Maybe creating a simple inline product or some other cool idea. Something small and doable (and hopefully something that can generate income for you immediately too).
Start small, it let’s you move quickly and without fear.
Let me distinguish:
A niched business is like Mountain Equipment Coop. They’re an outdoors store for outdoorsy people. They’re a counselor who works exclusively on phobias. Another example might be a life coach who works with people around the transition of retirement. Their whole website, their business cards, their speeches etc. are all wrapped around that theme. A niched business is exclusive. If you can get to this point your business will grow faster than you can imagine.
A niche project is like a creating a workshop on a theme, a webinar on a particular problem, creating a series of web videos addressing a particular issue. A niched project is explicit but not exclusive (your project may only focus on one group but the rest of your business can focus on others). A niched project is you going on a big date with someone, but you’re not married yet.
You can only have ONE niche in a niched business but if you’re dating around a bit you can have plenty of niche projects on the go (you dog).
In essence, it’s about creating a few niche projects before you consider creating a niche business.
5 reasons to consider
REASON #1: Niche projects take less work than niching a whole business (but can open the doors to a niche business)
REASON #2: Niche projects can give you real world experience with the niches you’re considering. It’s easy to theorize that a niche would be great but you can’t actually know til you’ve interacted with them.
REASON #3: Niche projects can allow you to explore new landscapes without having to move there. You can work with a niche group without having to become trapped in a reputation of only working with that group. You can still have your general business too.
REASON #4: Doing a niche project might just open the doors for you into new ventures and connections you could never have imagined.
REASON #5: Your niche project might just turn into your main thing.
Let me tell you a story . . .
Years ago, I worked with an organization in California that did summer camps around environmental and social justice issues. We did these camps all around the States and Canada. And one day, as many people do with their niches, I got tired of doing the camps. I still loved them. Still thought they were important. But I wasn’t on fire about them anymore. So I moved back to Canada.
And then the directors of the organization tried to recruit me back. But I told them I didn’t want to go back to the camps.
‘Well,’ they asked. ‘If you were going to design a project what would it be?’
I told them my dream project. It would be to bring together leading young change makers from around the world for a week. I’d been to so many conferences where the whole damn thing was just plenary speaker after plenary speaker talking to thousands of people in the room and meanwhile there were only thirty people I most wanted to meet. ‘If I could just get them together for a week with no big schedule and no big name speakers it could be amazing.’
‘No.’ They said.
‘No?’ I asked.
‘It’s too much work. We did something like that three years ago and it cost a fortune and took way too much time.’
‘ . . . okay. Well, I’ll see you down the road I guess.’ And hung up the phone.
A week later they contacted me saying, ‘Okay. You can do it but it’s yours. If this falls apart it’s yours to clean up.’
‘Cool.’ I said. And spent the next four months pulling the event together. It was, surprisingly to them (and much to my relief) a huge success.
‘We have to do this again next year!’ they said.
And so we did. They next year was even better. The year after that we did two of them (one of which was a total disaster but that’s another story). Now this program (the events are called ‘Jams’) is the core program of the organization I worked with. It’s basically all they do. Their are local and regional Jams held all around the world.
What started off as a niche project ended up becoming the niche of the organization.
Let me state this another way: the ‘Jams’ project has become the core source of all funding that this organization gets. It’s now the thing their funders are most excited about and the biggest thing that makes them unique. What was once a project has become the core of their livelihood. Not a bad result for a simple little experiment. This kind of thing happens all the time. But it can never happen without being willing to take a risk and try something new.
By the end of the seven weeks
I’m hoping you’re going to have:
- a sweet niche project idea that you can act on immediately to make money and reach new people.
- a bunch of ideas for other niche projects you can work on down the road
- an incredibly clear grasp of this whole niching business that feels really good to you.
A breakdown of your seven weeks:
Week #1: Core Niche Theory & Your Big Circle
You’ll get a thorough grounding in the basics of niche marketing theory, the difference between niching your business (hard and risky) and creating niche projects (fun and easy!), get dozens of examples of niched businesses to inspire you, understand why your past efforts in niching may have failed, learn the difference between ‘big circle’ niches and ‘little circle’ niches and begin work on defining your ‘big circle’ niche.
Homework for this call: After this call, you’ll be expected to do some reading on niche theory and to delve deep into clarifying your ‘big circle’ niche – the general qualities and prerequisites of your ideal clients.
Week #2: Identifying Your Seed
In this call, you’ll be exploring the deeper questions of where your life has brought you and what you’ve had to overcome in order to be where you are today. You’ll be discovering where you carry an inherent and natural credibility in your life. For many people, it’s the most powerful part of the course and can feel immensely healing.
Homework for this call: After this call you’ll be invited to use some worksheets to explore some of your life’s most challenging experience in depth to explore what they might have to show you in terms of your niche. This process is often eye opening.
Week #3: Identifying Your Three Small Circles
In this call, you’ll be getting some guidance in choosing three particular target markets to experiment with and criteria on how to choose ones that will actually work. You’ll learnthe three core elements of a workable niche, the six must have criteria of a solid niche and the difference between an explicit niche and an implicit one (and why sometimes an implicit niche is more powerful)
Homework for this call: After this call, you’ll be expected to identify three smaller circles and then pick a favourite one for the next call, write up a 250 word summary of your niche (not 251 words. 250. I’m a hardass). Your peers in the course will grade this from 1-10. And then to begin having conversations with people within that niche to explore what your niche project might be.
Week #4: Niche Project Theory & Case Studies
In this call, you’re going to learn 29 examples of what niche projects can be. And have a chance to get some feedback on what yours might be.
Homework for this call: After this call, you’ll be expected to create a 250 word write up summarizing your niche project. Your peers in the course will grade this from 1-10. You’ll also be expected to continue having conversation with people in this niche to get honest feedback on your niche project idea.
Week #5: Feedback on Your Niche Projects
Much of this call will be focused on us giving each other candid (but supportive) feedback on your niche projects via the private facebook group. And you’ll have a chance to ask any questions you need to.
Homework for this call: After this call, you’ll be expected to hone and refine your write up of the niche project and to continue your conversations with people in your niche.
Week #6: Refining Your Niche Projects
In this call, you’ll be putting the finishing touches on your projects and you’ll be learning a bit about some of the core principles on how to make these projects fly, including a mini lesson on the importance of identifying your hubs.
Homework for this call: After this call, you’ll schedule your niche project and create a ‘hubs database’ (don’t worry. It’ll make sense when we get there).
Week #7: Finishing Touches on Your Niche Projects
A bit more time to refining and polish your idea and get feedback from others.
A few words about the price . . .
The cost for this course is $599.
You’re getting 10.5 hours of virtual workshop. At least three hours of that will be Q & A to make sure you’re taken care of. If you divide the $599 by 10.5 hours you’re looking at paying $57 per hour. I think that’s fair.
Especially since this $600 could help you make much more than $600 in the future. That’s more than you can say about many investments —>
Seven Things You’ll Get When You Sign Up
(For Only $57 per hour):
THING #1: A Free, Generous Niching Library The Second You Sign Up.
The second you sign up, you get all recordings, transcripts and bonuses from my summer Niching for Hippies coaching program.
To be clear, that’s nine hours of downloadable audio content.
And 639 pages of grounding materials. You get this the second you’ve enrolled.
Of course, you could take this free content, ask for a refund and I’d be none the wiser – but I’m trusting you won’t do that.
Here’s what’s in it for me to give you all this in advance: the sooner you get all this material, the sooner you can start working on it and the further along you’ll be by the time we actually start the program. You’ll have more insights to offer the other participants. You’ll be able to ask ‘higher level’ questions of me and the group while you have our focused attention.
And that means you’ll get better results from the program. Which means you’re more likely to rave about the program to your friends and colleagues (which is obviously good news for me).
THING #2: Immediate access to the Facebook Group.
Within 24 hours of enrolling, you’ll get access to our private facebook group where myself and other participants will be hanging out.
This group is only for members where you will get direct and honest feedback from the other participants during the course (and after if you like as we’ll be keeping it up).
THING #3: You get one of only 30 spaces available.
Once they’re gone, they’re gone.
THING #4: Seven 90 minute calls (one a week) where you will get a lot of your questions answered.
You’ll be . . .
- led in profound and useful ‘backdoor’ visualizations that can help you skip the ‘over-thinking’ process that can often have people feel ‘trapped’ in niching.
- get useful workbooks and forms to make the process as easy and fun as possible
- get real time, honest and encouraging feedback from your cohort
- hearing dozens and dozens of examples of real life Niche Businesses and Niche Projects to inspire you
THING #5: The downloadable recordings and transcripts of all the calls.
If you miss any of the calls, you can make it up at your convenience and review them as many times as you like. You’ll get the downloadable audio from the calls and edited (and often augmented) transcripts.
THING #6: Access to me.
You get some access to me for the entire 7 weeks outside of class time. In addition to leading all of the classes, I’ll be checking in on the private facebook group a lot and giving my feedback on the work and questions of everyone who’s participating fully. I’ll be spending about four hours per week in the group, giving feedback to your work outside of the classes.
But it’s more than that.
When I work closely with clients, I think about them in the background. I’ll be having dinner and then an idea will come for them. This tends not to happen for my more casual clients.
THING #7: The completed ‘Niching for Hippies’ Homestudy course.
(I bet you it’s well over 200 tightly packed, content rich pages when we’re done and I’ll be selling it for $299 or so).
IN SUMMARY, YOU’LL BE GETTING . . .
At least 840 pages of Niche Related content (well organized so that, hopefully, it will be there as a helpful resource library and not an overwhelming binder you never touch).
18 hours of core classes (recordings from the last one + those from this class)
Seven weeks of my (and the other participants) focus, encouragement and feedback on your niching progress
Plus more bonuses that I’m very excited about but am going to save as ‘surprise delights’ for the 30 participants
Why to consider signing up now:
I charge $300 per hour. You’ll be getting some solid access to me for the seven weeks. You’ll get a lot of support from the group but there’s a very good chance you’ll be getting some personalized support from me too. Support that would cost you much more if you got it one on one. If you could tie me down. Quite frankly, I feel sorry for my clients who want to hire me for one on one work because my turn around time is appalling.
I’m doing this course to create an info product that I can sell. I don’t like going over the same material again and again unless it’s a live workshop.
I might do a different version of this. I’m not sure. If I do, it won’t be for a while. But it might be the only time I do it.
While I’m doing this program, I’m not really doing anything else for work. This becomes my entire focus. You will get access to my brain at a level most of my clients never do.
So, that’s it.
Five things that must be true
for this course to be a fit for you . . .
Now the big question is, is this a fit for you right now. It could be if you . . .
Resonate with this letter
Suffer from a few of the sixteen symptoms above and really want to get a handle on your niching
Are on facebook or are willing to get on it (so you can join the facebook group)
Feel like $599 is a bargain to get some hands on help on your niche
Are excited to spend 90 minutes per week on the calls (and are free on those dates)
and another three hours per week on homework.
IMPORTANT: If all five of those aren’t true for you – I wouldn’t sign up.
But, if that all sounds like a fit for you, please feel free to sign up buy clicking the ‘add to cart’ button below.
My Very Fair (for both of us) Guarantee:
Why You’ll Make At Least a 10% Return on This Program
If you do your part and feel like the course wasn’t worth it then I will refund every penny you’ve paid + 10% from my own pocket.
So, what do I mean by doing ‘your part’?
This program can’t guarantee that you find your niche or life calling. Realistically, that’s out of our control. No one can guarantee that.
But my strong intention in this program is that you get much clearer and savvier about niche marketing and that you become much, much clearer about who your ideal clients are. I will do my very best in guiding you to create a niche project that will help you take next steps (and maybe even generate you some good money right away).
I can, however, only guarantee this program if you do the work. Because I’m going to be committing a lot of time and energy, providing all of this support, I can only guarantee this course if you participate at least 85%. That means being on the calls (or listening to the recordings), doing your homework, participating in our private facebook group and doing the readings and really investing yourself. If you’re not committed to do the work, please don’t sign up.
If you do that and you speak up and let me know if you need help or are struggling with something during the seven weeks, then, if you’re not happy with the program, I will happily refund you any tuition you paid for this course plus 10% more than you paid (so you are guaranteed to make money on this program – either through what you learn or I will pay you from my own pocket). No hassles, no hard feelings.
If you wish to withdraw from the course partway through the course, we’ll have a conversation first and see what feels real, reasonable and fair given the nature of the situation.
We’ll find some solution that leaves us both feeling wonderful.
Here’s why that’s beyond my contol:
As extensive as this sales letter is, I can’t know . . .
If we’re a fit or not. I can’t know where you are in your life right now
If this is a fit right timing
If what you come up with will be a niche that last for years or just a ‘transitionary niche’ that leads you to bigger and better things.
If i’m the right person to help you find your niche (sometimes people need to hear the same thing from so many different people in different ways before it sinks in).
If my process will work for you.
If it’s the right timing for you. Sometimes you’ll be in the shower months after and BAM! on a walk . . . BAM! often times your niche finds you. Or you’re chatting with a friend and they say, ‘It sounds like you work with ____________.’ and they nail it for you. Who can say when these things show up.
In ancient Greece the notion of ‘genius’ wasn’t about someone being smart. A ‘genius’ was a spirit – like a muse, that gave them good ideas. If you got a good idea, you weren’t proud . . . you were grateful.
All I can do is give you the framework, some love and encouragement and ways to judge if any niche you come up with is a good idea from a business stand point but i can’t pick the niche for you. I can help you refine a good idea. I might even give you a few, but none of us can control whether or not you’ll have an ‘AHA!’ moment.
I’m offering you 110% back on your money
Because if you don’t feel like you got value then i’d rather assume that it’s my fault and that I can learn from it to make my program better (and I hope you’ll help me learn how to improve it with your honest feedback).
p.s. If you have any questions, just email me at tad (at) marketingforhippies (dot) com
p.p.s. SOMETHING FREE! If $599 feels like a lot to spend right now you might want to try out my free 90 minute webinars coming up over the next few weeks you’ll get a healthy overview of my take on ‘niching’ – http://nichingforhippies101.eventbrite.com/
What Participants from the Past Program Had to Say:
This summer, I wrapped up my first ever, six week long, Niching for Hippies coaching program.
It went really well and I learned a lot from it about niching and how to best support people in finding their niche.
One fellow learned that, at this point, he doesn’t want to be an entrepreneur – he’s happier with a job. Others really began to get the deeper connection between their wounds and their work. Others really honed in on the power of clarifying the journey their clients are on by picking a particular kind of person struggling with a particular kind of problem. One woman really got the importance of going deep, deep beyond demographics.
These stories and lessons and incredibly confirming to read. You’ll notice that some folks here don’t ever have a website yet – they’re just beginning. Others have been working hard for years and years. Some are incredibly marketing savvy and some are just starting to explore that world. Some folks took really big steps and some people took small ones. Perhaps you’ll find someone like you in these lessons below. And maybe you’ll feel a little bit less alone.
And some of them said some very nice things about me too.
“I am so energized by settling into niches that really echo my values”
Name: Loni Gray
Lessons: “How amazingly empowering it feels to find “my people.” Who ever thought I’d be speaking that way about those I offer my gifts to? They’re not strangers. What a surprise that by requiring that my business fit into my life and meet my needs, I have found my people, allowing me to make my message clearer, and my products so much more personal for them. That tickles me.
I’ve helped people start businesses for years, and made a career of shaping, and often managing many of those businesses. Mostly, I grew companies around the gaps my husband and I saw in the marketplace in particular industries. I chose them based upon what I happen to catch sight of that interested him.
“Hey did you realize that if they had a trade newspaper telling them the stuff we’re finding, they could….” I’d devise a solution. A product. A price. I’d get into the customer needs and an authentic marketing strategy, benefits and all that, and off we’d be running.
I was an honest player – it was never a frivolous product – I just won’t do that. It was easy for me to find language because it had real value to the folks for whom it was intended, and I was totally focused on what they needed. But personally it just was a grind for me, cause I wasn’t being fed.
It had nothing to do with me.
Well after his accidental death, I wanted to do what I loved again – designing residential space. The straight architecture credential was too costly and too long a process – out of reach. So to keep the wolf from my door, I helped more folks chase their business dreams while mine lay dormant. Two years ago, I did it though- a Recession statistic and 59, I assembled the knowledge I needed to update my old design skills using 3 programs – a University Interior Architecture & Design program, a professional certificate program in Sustainable Design, and some engineering and history classes at a community college.
During my retraining I came to realize that what I was doing was bigger; I could actually empower people’s lives with space design. But I had to find the folks who wanted that empowerment. Tad showed me how.
Now it’s all coming together- even if I’m just “dating” a few of them to start.” I am so energized by settling into niches that really echo my value set, or parts of it! From a biz perspective, I KNOW I can speak to it, passionately and specifically. There is this comfort that people will really get me, and I them. It’s like finding one’s tribes! And in my business, how cool is that? It can make me cry to just feel that.”
“I used to give way too much, now I give less but get more clients”
Name: Peter Hagerty
Lessons: That our greatest gifts and rewards lie in exploring our wounds. This lesson is one I have learned many times at deepening levels however the Niching for Hippies course took it quite a bit deeper than I expected.
It is now much easier to identify who I want to work with. Already having an established business I was burnt out from working with people who were not right for me, now it is easy to say no to people who are not a good fit, telling them why in a way that adds value and helps them move in a direction where they can get assistance more easily. I love working with people who feel emotionally trapped and want to become leaders in their career while enhancing their intimate relationship.
I am still going through the course in my own way and more slowly than I guess anyone else but the benefits are showing up in less stress for me and better boundaries with clients. I used to give way too much, now I give less but get more clients experiencing the freedom of knowing what they want to commit to, why and how to go about it.
“The value of being clear, succinct and a hard-ass when it came to thinking and talking about what it is we are offering to others was invaluable”
Name: Kathy Bibby
Lessons: I had many struggles during the course of the workshop … and, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thank you for fostering an environment that preserved a direct but loving forum for feedback. Looking back, I felt this forum allowed the blocks to an awareness of my life’s purpose to come to the surface! (Once they’re on the surface, then you really know what’s been running you!)
The value of being clear, succinct and a hard-ass when it came to thinking and talking about what it is we are offering to others was invaluable … because what we give is what we receive and we each have a unique, special and needed gift to give to the world. I also think you planted a seed for our future success with niches and projects.
The wounded healer piece was one of the most significant leaps in thinking for being a hippie marketer… it is what we are “seeded” with in this life that gets so covered up and covered over and hard to see. Yet, once discovered and supported, there’s a natural rhythm with life and it feels good to us and to others, things come with ease and grace. Success is not a mystery or painful.
Your heart, resourcefulness, humor and your wisdom coupled with your mind in service to the Heart made for an excellent lesson in leadership. I am so grateful that our paths have crossed in this lifetime! Onward!
“And when my niche hit me, I felt like I had found my very own Ark of the Covenant, which had been hiding in plain sight the whole time!”
Website: Liandrah Psychic Guidance
Lessons: The niching lesson I have learned so far is that the search for my niche has been like the search for a signature scent. I am married to a man who really enjoys the scent of certain expensive perfumes – and I have serious scent allergies. Finding a scent that I can wear that pleases him and doesn’t give me a headache, has taken dedication. When I finally found one that fills the bill, I was thrilled and felt that I had uncovered something that would add an element to my life that had been woefully lacking. This particular scent is an essential oil blend that had been marketed on a small wooden display rack that I had walked past for years, never even thinking to try.
Searching for my niche, uncovering that particularly important wound that allows me to be uniquely qualified to help others in a unique way has been difficult – I felt like Indiana Jones on a mission to discover a world changing treasure. And when my niche hit me, I felt like I had found my very own Ark of the Covenant, which had been hiding in plain sight the whole time!
The great work has only just begun – there are the little circle and big circle details that do need to be tended to, but for right now, I am loving the feeling of having discovered the treasure of the niche itself. I am allowing myself to go slow, to savour looking at my friends and community through this unique lens. When I finally found the essential oil, it was such a delight to be able to wear a scent and it was also a delight to hear people comment when they hugged me “Oh! You smell delicious! What is that? Fresh cut roses? Lemons? Lichee Nuts?”
Allowing myself to savour this glorious re-discovery of my niche and the people who have been waiting for me to “get it” is a gift that I will enjoy slowly unwrapping. I loved this course, Tad, and while I know that I am not going through the motions as quickly as the others, it is not because I am dragging my feet but rather because that I’m liking the sound of each footstep. Yay!
“I had constant lightbulb moments about my work, who I love working with, how I like to work”
Name: Kay Wesley
Lessons: What I learned from Tad’s amazingly thorough and caring course was so beneficial. I had constant lightbulb moments about my work, who I love working with, how I like to work… and, of course, as a result my practice is going through a much needed regeneration and resurgence (it’s a work in progress). The process was so timely, I had a busy practice but was feeling scattered and without the course I probably would have burnt out and stopped doing what I love which would have been such a shame!
That we all have the experiences and skills within us to create a successful practice, to target the people we are born to work with, the people we are meant to help. All we need is a little help with some soul searching and it becomes ever so clear, and then so much easier!
That not only is it OK to be very specific with the clients we would like to work with, it’s essential. I’ve moved from a space of being very broad with my target and (and being frustrated that I wasn’t reaching as many of the people I wanted to reach) to beings very specific and I feel somewhat freed. I can really focus now and as a result be more efficient and effective with my work and have more free time… yay!!!
We can then be as creative as we like with our methods, as long as they speak to those people directly then the world is our oyster. We can be completely true to ourselves by using the methods which suit us and our potential clients, rather than using ‘Marketing 101′ techniques.
“There comes a point where the safety of remaining general and vague turns into the freedom of being specific and clear. Instead of trying to be something for everybody you can finally relax into being your true self.”
Name: Lorraine Watson
Lessons: Reflecting on the past six weeks of deep immersion in niching, the words I would use to describe the process are “liberating” or “freeing”. Reaching the end of the process is stepping into a new opening or the next beginning. The muck in the middle is a much different story. Who would purposefully sign up for something as frustrating and patience stretching as picking burs from your socks or slivers from your hand? Who purposefully creates chaos when things appeared under control?
Defining your niche is the adventure taken of ever deepening clarity towards greater possibility. To connect with the people you are truly meant to help means you have to risk revealing your innermost self and what you so long to share. Stopping short is stopping you once again. Most difficult of all, the niching process requires you to make a decision, to step off the fence, to prefer one over another. There comes a point where the safety of remaining general and vague turns into the freedom of being specific and clear. Instead of trying to be something for everybody you can finally relax into being your true self.
“I received so much support and hand holding during the course. I really felt that I couldn’t fail.”
Name: John F. Weiss
Lessons: “Well for me it was all about TRULY looking at my life, warts and all, to see where I have move to along life’s journey. I have gone through more than I thought I had. It wasn’t all rosy like I remembered it. AND THAT IS OKAY! I have grown into a pretty good, respectable man and I am sure that I will continue to learn, improve and grow into something even more authentic in the future. It was quite a look at my life and doing with today’s eye allowed me to see the magic. I now know what I am here to do and it is time to let it evolve into its own way organically with me at driving the bus in the right direction this time.
I had the pleasure of working in person with Tad before, it was probably about 5-6 years ago now. Somehow, I didn’t apply his words of wisdom, though I never forgot them. I continued to try to market to EVERYONE – a surefire way to kill your biz and I was going nowhere.
So when this came to me in an email from Tad I knew I had to do it. A major reason for this is that I was ready for the work and I didn’t want to waste anymore time being confused about what I was doing. I received so much support and hand holding during the course. I really felt that I couldn’t fail. Best of all, I had a level of focus this time, which was supported by the way the course was laid out. I took all the steps at my own pace and found my way to a final niche project, which I feel so geeked about.
The work on my wounds was so amazingly powerful (and profound). I was able to see with NEW eyes these experiences as such blessings. I didn’t have to be a victim or a wounded soul anymore, I could be a healed teacher with a history of knowledge, which could be tools for helping others. I remember so many things that I had forgotten and all this really helped me focus on the direction that I could offer as my future work.
I also love the idea of niche projects. I can “date” my intended niche without feeling the need to marry it FOREVER. I love the dating idea as a way for my creative “never like to exclude or make a hard choice’” mind to be at ease. I am going for it and feel so empower and authentic in my ideas. Thanks Tad!!
“The process of niching is a deep inner engagement, and can even heal your soul.”
Name: Tomar Levine
Lessons: The process of niching is a deep inner engagement, and can even heal your soul. There’s a process I have observed, as my business has evolved over time. It seems to have a life of its own and every so often it sheds a skin. And the new skin that’s revealed underneath is always a revelation of greater truth, greater authenticity, greater personal meaning. I have heard myself exclaim more than once, “You mean I can have a business doing THAT? Doing what I really LOVE?”
I had that same experience with Tad’s Niching for Hippies class. In diving ever deeper into the “who” of my ideal clients, I allowed myself to welcome into my vision the people I REALLY care about, REALLY want to help and support, and really want to surround myself with. Because they’re the people who want, more than anything, to help the world transform. And I care about them because that’s what I care about more than anything, too.
Why is this healing? For many reasons. First, it allows me to “come out of the closet” with what really matters most to me, my “Big Why.” It’s like finally being ready to risk everything by putting all my chips on this one vision. Does it make good business sense? I hope so, because it’s what I’m called to do. But in the past I’ve kept it hidden, because it’s vulnerable to be seen for what I deeply care about.
It’s healing because I’m finally taking my direction from my inner self, my higher self. This is scary because I feel exposed and I don’t know if it’s “safe.” I’m newish to the entrepreneurial world, and there are a lot of influences out there, who have been shouting their confident messages at me for a while. I’ve stopped listening to most of them.
Finally, it’s healing because all my life I’ve felt insecure and afraid of rejection. When I’ve contemplated putting myself out there, promoting my business and programs, it’s been easy for me to conjure images of people judging me. What I realize now, more than ever (besides the obvious fact that those images are a projection of my own psyche), is that those people I imagine feeling superior and critical ARE NOT MY NICHE. My niche are the people who recognize themselves in me, as I do in them, and are grateful to hear my message.
So in claiming my personal niche, my true “heart” niche, I’m opening a space for myself of self-acceptance, and finding my rightful place in the world. I can’t think of anything more healing than that.
Thank you, Tad, for the sensitivity, compassion, and genuine love with which you have held this tender process for all of us. And for not letting us quit too soon.
“A true whirlwind of exploration, and a work that brought me to a richer, more articulate understanding of: where my calling is, who I wish to serve, and how the ingredients of “my” medicine are of specific value to those who are traveling through misfortune I’m acquainted with.”
Name: Mary Grogan
Lessons: What a fabulous experience this has been, Tad. A long … long … time ago … when I was feeling broken and sad about the Mess Of My Life, I went into deep meditation around the subject of feeling very bad. “I must have been a very bad soul,” I thought, “to have attracted such unfortunate karma.” I sat and I stewed. I wondered and questioned. Finally, the noise in my mind sifted into that quiet place, and I began to feel more expansive and at peace. I posed the question one more time, like a child turning a toy over for a closer look at something they hadn’t examined before, and then I heard this response:
“Mary, how could you understand the brokenhearted, if your own heart had not been broken?”
Wow! That was all I needed to embark on my journey to wholeness, wellness, and acceptance. I hadn’t really thought too much about “wounding” as that place where our “medicine takes shape,” until our work this summer. Your Niching for Hippies program was a rich and valuable opportunity to revisit those ideas.
The work in this class took me on journeys of new depths, some activities taking me to places I hadn’t been in a long time, and many, to places I’d never visited. It was deep, fast-paced, and arduous work, Tad. A true whirlwind of exploration, and a work that brought me to a richer, more articulate understanding of: where my calling is, who I wish to serve, and how the ingredients of “my” medicine are of specific value to those who are traveling through misfortune I’m acquainted with.
Plain and simple: I did not have the words for such things before this class, and can’t begin to thank you for how much it’s meant to me. (I’ve tried, but I know you’ll be too modest to post those words in a public forum. In any event, distilled into a nutshell, this is what I’ve learned.)
(1) When we take responsibility for our “wounding,” in the sense of recognizing — good or bad — events come our way (but beneath it all, we are still “well and fine”),
(2) There comes the opportunity to examine, beyond the “story” of our wounding (ruminating in endless detail about all the ways we’ve been wronged), powerful opportunity for growth.
I saw this note on my FB news feed today: “Here’s the white-hot truth. If you go bankrupt, you’ll still be okay. If you lose the gig, the lover, the house, you’ll still be okay. If you sing off-key, get beat up by the competition, have your heart shattered, get fired, it’s not going to kill you. Ask anyone who’s been through it.”
In our injuries, in a sense, is a model (mystic Christian here) for our Heavenly Father, and for the Son (the Christos) which lives within each of us as Creator Sons/Daughters), as well as our model above of sun and earth in this planetary existence. The rains may come and the storms may rage, terrible things may happen, and indeed sometimes they do – but each day the sun comes up. We all have that still-point of radiance at our center. Can we let go of the misfortune as transitory, and grab hold of that “one” thing that is constant and true?
There is another model in looking at nature, as an example of how we might give and share of our gifts. In a tree, for example, that one down by the river “that shall not be moved,” we could argue against it (or about it), throw sticks and stones at it all the day long (and call it any number of terrible names), but it would still willingly give of its fruit.
That’s an ideal I aspire to – while also honoring the directions in which I feel called to serve.
Opening to “niche as wound,” requires a deep listening. When answers arise that come from that place of “the deep,” I believe we also have a responsibility to adhere to the directions they suggest. And if not? Beware. That “voice,” or the wisdom, or “the deep” might stop talking if no one’s listening. In any case:
Things don’t always go as we wish. Disappointments occur. Can we peer through the hurt to find that essence of radiance at our core? Our place of true Self? When events unfold in ways that go against what we’d hoped for, and we get lost in stories of blame (“Look at what you (or life) has done to me”), when we resist taking responsibility as to how our reactions to such events and what we’re making such things mean, etc., and invest long moments of emotion in labeling such things (this was good, this was bad, this was crummy, this was rotten, this was unfair, and so on), it perpetuates the wounding. So again (nutshell!):
(1) When we take responsibility for our wounding, in the sense of turning inward and examining our hurts, and
(2) Reach up (or in) to find that place of stillness and truth in the center of our own radiance?
Powerful healing surges forth, and in that? The unveiling of tender, and powerful medicine including understanding, and beyond understanding to wisdom, and beyond wisdom to a clear-minded acceptance that gives birth to a compassion that is so without limits, I’ve had to stop here to look up the definition of the word in my battered Webster’s.
It appears that the word “compassion” has origins in the Latin “com’ [with] and “pati” [to suffer]. My dictionary goes on to note that “compassion is a sympathetic consciousness of others distress, accompanied by the desire to alleviate.” Yeah. That’s what it is, and that’s what it does. That’s what looking at “niche as wound” brings us. Sympathy. Consciousness. Vision. Understanding. An increased desire to serve. It gives birth to compassion.
Looking at our wounding brings healing in the challenge “wounding” requires (or the opportunities such things present) to turn inward to uncover our essence … resolution, healing, understanding, growth, wisdom, and the potential to share wakening compassion for others who are going through the same.
That’s it, my friend. Again, there aren’t adequate words for my thanks. It has been wonderful beyond further description to share this work with you and the others in the community this course brought together.
“The amazing magnetizing power of marketing for services that are oriented towards specific people with specific challenges.”
Name: Margit Bantowsky
Lessons: The amazing magnetizing power of marketing for services that are oriented towards specific people with specific challenges. This allows people to recognize themselves in the offering, and say ‘yes, that’s me, and yes, you understand what I’m struggling with, and yes, it looks like you can help me.”
And when the service emerges from a real challenge that I myself have overcome, then it connects from my heart to the client’s heart… There’s a natural, authentic longing to help ‘my people’ deal with the same thing that I overcame. A palpable resonance is created when the connection between my offering and my niche’s needs is articulated clearly.
Specifically? a) the recognition that I do have something FROM THE HEART to offer, and b) the recognition that there are people I long to serve and who would benefit.
“I so want the right-fit people to come see me . . . Now it feels like I really can build toward this.”
Name: Deborah Epstein
Lessons: What I learned is that niching is so incredibly much more powerful than mere demographics.
It builds the next layer onto the important concept of clearly identifying and articulating a particular pain point, and offering a particular solution to, your chosen demographic.
Specifically, where it gets juicy is adding the psychographics: what do the people in my demographic, experiencing my particularly identified pain point, care about, love, get annoyed by.
And then better, there’s an opportunity to get even more specific, by making a list of the personality traits of the kind of people I think I do my best work with, and thus really love to work with. Combining these, I’m learning from your wisdom and your examples, that I can just come right out and say, “you and I might be a great fit if you’re something like XYZ.”
Coming at the question from these much-deeper layers of psychographics and personality traits really feels liberating.
First, it allows me to think about and identify the “hubs” that are already connected to my people, so that I can connect with them.
This feels like a win-win-win.
Second, it’s helped me really develop some clarity around who my ideal patients are – the ones who really energize me, and with whom, when we work together, we just make so much progress. When I’ve focused in the past just on the demographic, or even on the demographic and the particular problem I help them solve, I still was stuck noticing that there are a) some patients in that demographic who really resonate with my style, and others who. not so much, and b) that there are some patients who don’t match my demographic who do!
This was confusing, before working at this deeper level of sophistication.
I so want the right-fit people to come see me, and so want for the latter people that they find their own right naturopathic doctor, so they can make great progress too. Now it feels like I really can build toward this.
“I’ve paid a lot this year for marketing programs and yours by far has provided the most value.”
Name: Bob Ogilvy
Lessons: I appreciate the opportunity to express the learnings from your Niching course this summer. While the lessons are still settling and there are multiple bonus readings and materials to study and assimilate, there are a couple of ‘aha’ moments that stick for me.
The first is the idea of looking for your niche by asking “Who” do I want to work with. That idea may seem simple and obvious on the surface (and is a core principle of the work I’ve developed with my clients over the years); however, the way it was presented and expounded upon by you and Alex Baisley during the course took that realization to a much deeper, more significant level.
As helping professionals, we often get caught up on “what” we do – we’re so focused on being content experts and knowing whatever there is to know about our subject (guilty as charged), that we fail to connect strongly enough with the specific population we serve.
The clearer we (I) get on those people and their particular needs, issues, and way of seeing and expressing their concern, the better able I am to meet them where they’re at and communicate with them in a way that uniquely relieves their legitimate fear – “Does this guy really ‘get’ me? Does he understand my problem and can I trust his remedy?” Which leads to the flip side of ‘who’ we serve – ultimately, what they’re buying is less about ‘what’ we offer than it is about ‘who’ we are when we offer it.
The second item that helped me understand and clarify (even justify) my niche was the idea of finding the ‘wound’ that I’m here to help heal. That wound, which for me ironically enough is about not being clear about who I am or what I offer the world, has a purpose, and once I gave myself permission to be about that, and not about all the popular programs or accepted ‘topics’ available on the market, it allowed me to (re)find my voice.
I’m excited about taking these learnings to heart, expanding on them, and increasing the impact I have on my audience and those I work with as a result. Thanks for the time, attention, and care you’ve put into this work. It’s clearly a labor of love for you, and that passion and commitment rubs off on your ‘students and fellow marketing sojourners’.
Tad, the key for me has simply been focus – the ability to eliminate so many considerations (many of them valid and positive) and just concentrate on the population that needs help right now by placing them at the center of my attention. It allows me to clearly understand their priorities, their wants, their needs, helps to create a product/service line specifically dealing with their issues, and points me toward where to find them. All good steps. I spoke to a mentor today and he said “you’re much clearer on who you’re serving and what you’re offering. This is a big step for you.”
Many thanks to you for the structure you created. I’ve paid a lot this year for marketing programs and yours by far has provided the most value.
“Eventually you get in focus and your heart opens up and you KNOW… these are the people I really want to help because I’ve been there.”
Name: Colleen Lowe
Lessons: You have to dig deeply into your wounds to come up with what you really want to do with your project/business/product and who you really want to help. Pare it down time and time again. Eventually you get in focus and your heart opens up and you KNOW… these are the people I really want to help because I’ve been there. However, just having been there isn’t enough, you have to be authentic and paint a picture that is so compelling that it ends up being a body, soul, and spirit vision for them and when they have that, they’re with you!
“The biggest thing I learned about niching is that it should naturally come to us, we should not force it, it flows naturally to us”
Name: Carolina Lopez
Lessons: The lesson learned is very deep and goes beyond the fact of understanding the niche concept and how to apply it in your business.
What you gave us is a complete insight of the meaning of what we do and the gift we want to share with the world. You really took us to the roots of understanding the reason why we do what we do and the reality we want to be surrounded by. The importance of sharing our energy with the right people. The biggest thing I learned about niching is that it should naturally come to us, we should not force it, it flows naturally to us because it should click and connect with our energy and that will make our business to work. Smoothly.
I learned a whole other bunch of things but I guess you wish to have the highlight instead of a long email letting you know all the good things you gave and generated in our lives during the program. I know I’m not the first person to tell you that you are awesome and I totally agree with the way you see the marketing world. I was subscribed to a lot of marketing info, newsletters and people (twitter etc), and decided to unsubscribed from most of them, just kept 2 after the niching program with you.
“I got it. I saw.”
Name: Tim Emerson
Lessons: Clarity around Niching is about Asking and Listening
When I first joined Tad’s “Marketing 101 for Holistic Practitioners” in January 2012, I knew I needed help. I had built businesses before—and then hated them. This time, I would build a business I loved. But how to do that? I had watched many healers hang out shingles and hope. I knew better—but I didn’t know what. Before, I had simply served existing needs. Now I had to go find the needs and the clients.
At the same time, I had begun drafting my book, “Getting Unstuck,” pulling together what I had learned and preached about getting results even in seemingly difficult circumstances. As I recorded my thoughts systematically, I also found the process clarifying those thoughts, then sparking new thoughts, and then pushing me into completely new areas of growth, building the book into something much more than it was when I sat down to write it.
That’s what happened with Tad’s course too. The paths would lead people to my container (a new website), where they would encounter my platform: What was the journey I would take them on? Whom was this journey for? What was the bigger “why” underlying my work? And just who are these people? What are they like? What do they want? Where do they hang out? And are we all feeling the love?
That’s the hard part, isn’t it—finding these strangers whom I love and who love me and what I offer. That’s how I saw the job of niching, and that’s why I welcomed Tad’s “Niching for Hippies”—again, I needed help. I understood the principles—I wasn’t going to serve everyone, and within that circle of clients I’d focus on subsets as niches—but for my healing work, that just seemed arbitrary, not authentic.
So we looked at our deepest wounds. What had I been through? A few things came up that I had long pushed aside. Some old hurts from my early days as a musician. Some struggles emotionally. A lot of things I’d already laid out in “Getting Unstuck,” the things that brought me to the life I enjoy today. But not yet that passion, that drive, that “Yes! That’s who I serve! I love this!” And from my own book—I wasn’t going to do less. But how?
For a while, people from Alex Baisley to my own Master Mind group had been telling me I should focus on healing for healers. My clients, many of them healers, were telling me this. Other clients came referred from other healers. And I certainly could relate to many of the struggles they faced. The other people in Tad’s course were telling me the same thing now. But. I just wasn’t seeing it. How was what I did for these people any different than if they were spiritually conscious lumberjacks? I struggled. I reworded. I started over. Healing for Musicians. Healing for Hikers. Healing for ????? Every attempt to nail it down seemed to slip back out to serving the people in my large circle.
Until one of the people in the course, watching me go through my open and vulnerable process, spoke up, sharing her own vulnerability. A healer herself, she shared what she sometimes felt inside, how she struggled, and how she looked at other healers and wished she felt more intuitive, more connected, more confident. How could she do this? I realized I knew how, and could help. Then other healers in the group added their thoughts. I was seeing it finally. This was something I couldn’t offer spiritually conscious lumberjacks. This was something specifically energy healers needed. And I could help. I wanted to help. I was excited about helping. Healing for healers. I got it. I saw.
And this solved exactly an earlier problem—how can I have a conversation with people I don’t know and don’t know where to find? But now I was having that conversation. Now they were telling me what they needed. I knew where to find them. And they loved being able to talk about these needs. Presto. So simple. My niche project was born—a discussion forum for healers. A safe, honest, open, compelling discussion with like-minded practitioners sharing a common set of needs. Healing for Healers was born.
From that discussion, oh the possibilities! Specific help for specific needs can be added as these bubble up, embodied in various products as needed. And there’s still my main work, reconnecting their energy to source, a reconnection every healer needs and should experience. That surety, that knowing, that gift—it’s all here, it’s all ready to be experienced. But first, we can build a relationship. That’s worth all of it right there. People who love each other, hanging out together and helping each other. That’s the heart of Healing for Healers. And that’s the heart of a Niche.
“what I’ve most realized is that my niche does not involve being self-employed”
Name: Ryan Wiley
Lessons: It’s funny, through this whole process, what I’ve most realized is that my niche does not involve being self-employed.
I never wanted to be self employed in massage, at this time in my life, working for someone else sounded like the best idea so I could focus on my family and not GET all burnt out on business ideas and ownership, but there weren’t any worthwhile jobs up here; they all treat you like an employee but have all the responsibility of an independent contractor, and our thought was, if Ive got to attract all my own clients anyway, rent on an office is way cheaper than a 50% pay split and no real freedom to work my own way right?
So opening an office this year was always a measure of convenience and the best available situation, not what I really wanted as my core work.
Putting so much effort into this and then burning out on it made me realize, among other things, that one thing Tad Hargrave, George Huang, and most if not all of you fine folk have that I don’t is 10+ years in the field, WORKING…
This work and this time spent has honed my marketing sense so sharp that I realize I don’t want to do it right now.
I like massage. I don’t need to own a business right now, at least not a main cashflow business; all this marketing coaching and energy work and other kuso that I do at my office could be a really profitable side project, and I wouldn’t have to worry about paying the rent with it.
And I think my niche is working with other people… I’m not good at being the head of anything, or cranking out ideas on my own. I need exterior structure, and a group around me. So my great take-away from this is…get a job, hippy. :)
“I found this process to be gentle, beautiful, vulnerable, powerful, & healing.”
Name: Leslie Singer
Lessons: This journey to date-a-niche has been cathartic and revealing. Starting with broad brush strokes and then selecting only one element- one pixel of color to explore…who knew that one dot represents a gateway to connectivity.
I thought I did my wound exploration enough times, having explored my wounds through various programs. Then came Tad and the Hippie Way. The broad strokes felt very familiar, the same sort of victim to victory story I have told before.
It was the exploration of the smaller piece that had me look at what I had overlooked all this time – the obvious. There are wounds that I have endured and continue to overcome from early childhood well into adult life that they have been taken for granted.
So to be able to sit with these experiences, giving them the full attention they have for so long deserved is healing, is powerful, is heart-opening.
Since their discovery, I have been holding space for these wounds and they have kindly shown up to remind the power of their expression. Yes, I have more self healing to do, and that I can still help others heal from similar wounds is profound. I found this process to be gentle, beautiful, vulnerable, powerful, & healing.
I am all for the Hippie Way, dating a Niche (cause it sure is easier than finding a man to date!) and Tad – what a tremendously beautiful soul you have! – thank you.
“Clarity, clarity, and clarity.”
Name: Rachel Donen
Lessons: Clarity, clarity, and clarity. Through Tad’s 6-week Niching for Hippies course, I pinpointed a group of people who I truly want to help and how to market effectively and authentically to them. Before I marketed mainly my services “Alignment Yoga” and “First Class Free”. Now I am marketing mainly to people’s symptoms and results sought (and my unique approach) “Tired of Back Pain? Feel relief, Re-gain Stability, Experience Freedom. Alignment Yoga & Rehab Private Sessions with Rachel Donen, Kinesiologist and Alignment Yoga Teacher” Thanks, Tad:) for guiding me through a process of self-reflection, knowledge acquiring, and coaching that has given me confidence to market my business for growth.
“This course has allowed me to look at my real, genuine, sometimes painful authentic self.”
Name: Carmen Daigle
Lessons: This course has allowed me to look at my real, genuine, sometimes painful authentic self. Is that just 3 different ways to say ME? I have been mulling over the choice I have to show my authentic self in my business, and risk being vulnerable… but a very good friend always asks me “what’s the alternative?”. And the alternative is to hide inside myself, live a less than vibrant life, stay stuck in areas I’ve decided to move out of… like the victim place, the scared place, the I-don’t-have-enough-skills place.
So I’ve decided I want to find the balance of showing the real me (flaws and all), and to be strong in the places that I know I’ve healed, and have the skills to show for it. To believe in my talents, until I realize that they are one and the same with believing in me.
In thinking about, writing about, and discussing my possible niches, I can really start to see where my wounds are instrumental. When I’m paralyzed by fear – it’s usually around something I’m not ready to do – such as take on a niche that I haven’t fully explored myself. And on the flipside, I am re-discovering what I’m really good at, what I’ve already healed and what feels natural for me to work with. This is so incredibly valuable, since it makes the first (and next) step so much more clear. And it reminds me of the solidness I do have inside me about many things.
I have learned that taking a small step is as big as a giant leap if that small step has blocked my path.
Tad, I want to thank you for putting so much time and love into this course. It’s truly appreciated…. even if it appears I’m not around much, I peek in quite often.
“I now feel so inspired to share and make a bigger difference”
Name: Amelie St-Pierre
Lessons: “It helped me see that I can help so much more than with just the bodywork I do. I can offer even more value to the people I want to help. Not only does it makes me feel better about my work, but it helps me focus and generates ideas for newsletter, blog post, ect. Where i used to stare at a white screen not knowing what to say, I now feel so inspired to share and make a bigger difference and that for me has a lot of healing!
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