Branding & Niching: are they just a waste of time?
Ever been in a situation where you’ve read and/or heard something that made your blood boil? So much so that you had to come forward and make a stand for what you truly believed was fundamentally important?
This happened to me last week, where on three separate instances other business professionals were advising their clients (coaches) with (what I believed was) incorrect information and therefore were setting their clients’ businesses up for disappointment and ongoing struggle.
Following these approaches in your business can seriously jeopardize your ability to build a solid reputation as a go-to-person in your industry and building a loyal clientele who love your work and would happily refer you – or not.
Hopefully you won’t recognise any of them. And if someone suggests these things to you – you’ll know better.
Business Branding & Niching Mistake Number 1: It’s not important
The first situation was when I was speaking to a Health & Wellness Coach. She had been struggling to get more clients for quite some time and was at her wits end.
A few years prior she had invested thousands of dollars with a business coach and internet marketer and had worked closely with them to implement a number of things within her business.
- She now has a website, which looks quite impressive
- She continues to write regular articles
- She has her social media profiles set up and is actively sharing information with a growing community
- She has a range of programs she can offer to suit prospects’ needs
- She has been involved in a number of JV opportunities, and through partnering with others,
- She has built a sizable list of subscribers that many coaches would envy
But (and it’s a BIG but)… she still isn’t getting any new clients.
In my opinion it’s because the business coach and internet marketing guru forgot two MAJOR elements in their work with her, which was now negatively impacting everything she had put into place. They were:
- Understanding her niche market and getting totally clear about her ideal client (including demographics and psychographics)
- Unearthing her ‘Inner Brilliance’ (her unique attributes, characteristics, core values) and other vital aspects that would help her create a powerful and magnetic Signature Brand
Unfortunately, never once were these two key elements considered as she continued to build her website, her articles and programs/packages etc.
Business Branding & Niching Mistake Number 2: Service Businesses Don’t Need to Build a Brand
The second situation was an article titled “Forget Branding” that went on to say that service-based businesses (i.e. coaches. consultants and solopreneurs who were selling their services and expertise) shouldn’t bother with building a brand.
The author (a Marketing Specialist) posed the question:
“Can Services Business be Branded?” to which he responded, “In my view services and brands are not related, altho’ many practitioners would have you think they are.”
Hmm, what can I say other than “what a load of *&^%.”
Does he honestly believe that service-based businesses can’t and shouldn’t build a strong brand? Which planet is he on?
Your ‘brand’ is your reputation. It’s what other people think about when your name is mentioned.
Everything you do and say, how you show up can impact your reputation (i.e. brand), positively and negatively if you’re not careful.
Business Branding & Niching Mistake Number 3: Go out and get clients and worry about niching and branding later
The third situation was a business coach who believed it was important to ‘build value’ and to work with as many clients as possible and then go back and think about niching and branding later.
Sounds wonderful. Unfortunately though, this is often what keeps coaches and consultants stuck.
Let’s take a Life Coach for example.
She follows this business coach’s advice and offers her coaching services to a diverse clientele with numerous issues. When you read through her website you see that she can help you if you are struggling with your relationships. Oh, you have a problem in your career? She can help you out there, too? Did you say you have a phobia of spiders? The steps she follows in her coaching program can help you get over your arachnophobia too – in just one session. Smoking a problem – guess what, this Life Coach can help you give up smoking in 3 simple steps! She can do it all!
I wonder if her business coach has heard of the saying: “Jack of all Trades and a Master of None?”
Personally, if I were struggling with my marriage, I’d want to see a relationship counsellor or an expert who specialised in that area. My marriage is far too important to me.
If I were unhappy in my career, I’d rather go and see a Career Coach who was specifically trained in the area of careers to help me find a job I love. After all, I spend so much of my life at work, I’d want to seek the help of a specialist – not a generalist.
Trying to be all things to all people can often lead to disappointment, exhaustion and frustration. And if your goal is to be build your credibility as a specialist in your field so that you can boost your hireability and get paid what you’re worth, being seen as a generalist and a ‘jack of all trades’ will certainly stop you.
Business Branding & Niching: Are they important and relevant?
Yes, Yes YES!!!
I believe these two things are paramount if your goal is to build a reputation as a specialist in your field to get noticed, booked and paid what you’re worth. This is why I spend time working on these two elements with my clients in all of my programs.
Understanding and defining your niche will allow you to create programs and packages you know your ideal client will want to invest in. This is because you’ve spent time listening and observing your ideal client to see what he/she is struggling with.
This information will allow you to better tailor your message to speak directly to their needs. Your brand voice and your message will connect with your ideal client. And, you can tailor your services and programs as a solution to help them overcome their problems.
Identifying and defining core elements of your brand will ensure you build your credibility and will distinguish yourself in the market place by incorporating your Signature Brand in everything you do. Including:
- Your Brand Voice: the words you use in your articles, flyers and sales pages
- Your Brand Design: the look and feel of brochures, images and fonts
- Your Brand Persona: your mannerisms and your body language
- Your Brand Style: the clothes and accessories you wear
Once you have these key elements in place, not only will you start to attract the attention of your ideal client, you’ll also quickly boost your credibility and reputation as a specialist in your field, which in turn will boost your hireability.
Prospects will want to invest in you because of the reputation you’ve been building and because of the value you offer to your ideal client.
Do you think niching and building a strong brand is important? Or do you believe you can build a successful business by providing a diverse range of services to anyone and everyone? Let me know in the comments below. I’m interested in your thoughts…