Can I be honest for a second?
When I was figuring out my target audience I was super scared. I felt like if I focused on a specific group of women I’d be losing money or leaving money on the table. I felt like I had to be everything to everybody. It was exhausting. One day the statement “Jack of All Trades but master of None” hit me like a ton of bricks.
I was so focused on being everything to everybody, I was offering services I didn’t enjoy doing.
At one point in my career I offered crochet styles, locs and twists. I wanted to have a big net to catch enough clients to create my ideal income. I had to get real with myself and ask “What do you love doing?” and the answer was that I love doing locs.
At that moment, I gave my permission to solely focus on locs and be the best at doing just locs. How SCARY!!!! BUT truth is when I don’t enjoy doing a service I won’t do it well. I know you feel me.
Yes, I’d lose clients but guess what, I would a ton of other clients who wanted to be serviced by a stylist who had a certain speciality. I became known for creating beautiful locs. Because this is my speciality I charge my worth and get paid a premium price. I eventually started to teach my speciality because choosing a niche allowed me to be known for being great at a very specific thing. And eventually I created the amazing opportunity to go on tour.
Do you see the connection? I stopped doing what I didnt enjoy doing, flourished in doingwhat I love and created a recognizable brand, all because I focused on my niche and target audience.
There is a limiting mindset in our industry and the belief is that “If I don’t offer everything, I wont have as many clients or customers.” But even if you offered everything it doesn’t mean that everyone will book you. Yes, you could do everything, but you shouldn’t. Focus on what you specialize in and what you want to be known for.
For example; imagine a bride looking for a wedding photographer. As she searched on instagram she came across tons of photographers with no niche (specialized services), each one had an instagram filled with parties, weddings, school events etc. Suddenly, she finds a photographer who clearly states his niche in his bio ” I am a wedding photographer. My Joy is to capture your beautiful moments.” She is elated as she goes through his content and sees all the beautiful wedding photos he captured.
Do you think she’s going to book the wedding photographer or one of the (take any and every job) photographers?
Like that bride, most clients want to hire a specialist – someone who is highly skilled in a specific subject in their field.
Let’s define what a niche and target audience is:
A niche is the specialized product or service you offer to your ideal customer.
A target market (or target audience) is the ideal client or customer looking for what you have to offer.
To sum it up, your niche is your very specific “what” while your target market is your very specific “who”. It is important to have a clear understanding of both in order to build a profitable business. To start, think about your what; “what” would you like to offer, “what” do you like doing. Then define who would like to book this service or buy this product.
Just because you’re a hairstylist doesn’t mean you do sew-ins or braids well and even if you do it well maybe you don’t enjoy doing it. If you offer services you don’t excel in you will be offering mediocrity which will lead to a bad reputation and low client retention. You become that stylist that does half-good work instead of the best. If you offer services you don’t enjoy, it will lead to burnout and hating your job. You deserve a job you love.
When you go from trying to be a “Jack of all trades” to Queen of your very specific specialty, that’s when you put yourself in a position to charge your worth and attract clients who would love to pay it.
Also let’s be clear, I’m all for stepping out of your comfort zone and evolving as a stylist, but when you do so, make sure it aligns with your brand and what you enjoy. And be sure your target market be interested in the new product/service.Being uncomfortable in the name if growth is great, being uncomfortable in the process of trying to be someone else is not.
Here are some practical steps to finding your niche and target audience:
Look over your list of services.
List what services you enjoy doing? What services do you dread doing?
Think about the type of clients you attract.
List who do you love working with? Who do you hate working with?
The type of client you love to work with is your target audience, the services you love to do is your niche. Don’t compare yourself to other stylists and restricting yourself to what everyone else is doing.
You will be unhappy and you will burn out trying to be the type of stylist you’re not. Your talents and gifts are unique and bomb. You created this business to get paid doing what you love to do!