Maybe you’ve heard the saying the riches are in the niches floating about. And if you’re team nitch when it comes to pronouncing niche, this spunky little truth even rhymes.
I first heard the phrase from educator and conversion copywriter extraordinaire Ashlyn Carter of Copywriting for Creatives, which is btw hands down the best investment I’ve made in my business journey to date. (I know you didn’t exactly ask me, but creative entrepreneurs, if you can invest in ONE course, pick this one. And nope this isn’t an affiliate link. Just a good old-fashioned shout-out.)
Sure. I’m niched down I thought to myself, back when my business description ready like a young-adult fiction trilogy in length.
It’s taken 2 years, but I think it finally sank in. I know, I can be SUCH a slow learner sometimes. My mama might have called it stubborn.
Enter 2020 and a global pandemic that has upended everything. Maybe you are trying to find your place in this brave new business world none of us exactly saw coming in our new year planning sessions. Or maybe you are trying to figure out how to reframe your strategy to keep business growing in the middle of economic shutdowns and epic uncertainty.
Friends, I give you Elle Woods. Remember Legally Blonde and her signature bend and snap? It’s 83% sure to get you a dinner invitation. It might also help you build a business in times that are way crazier than trying to snag a date with the hot UPS guy delivering your online quarantimes purchases.
Welcome to the Pivot and Niche, the Bend and Snap’s more entrepreneurial cousin.
Want to build a business that thrives even in the middle of not knowing what comes next? Perfect your Pivot and Niche.
(Someone puh-lease create a Pivot & Niche dance on TikTok. And remember me when you are instafamous.)
So what does this even look like?
In 2018, my former business imploded because of a car accident. I started over with oh-so-many good ideas. I was a brand and web designer, business coach, + educator for creatives & I did high-end custom watercolor wedding stationery. I tried to cram all that mad-lib style into my shiny new ShowIt website I built from scratch. And yes, it was absolutely as confusing as it sounds.
But all things mean more options, which means more income, which means greater success, right? I’m so there with you. I thought so too.
(Enter Ashlyn stage right. So grateful for her and her entire team. I found them online after writing this post on the power of story stewardship.)
- ➡️ Nichedown 1.0: I dropped the major brand design emphasis and decided to focus on coaching, education and wedding invitations circa Fall 2018
- ➡️ Nichedown 2.0: Summer 2019 comes and I pivot into a creativity educator for creatives. Despite having about 2 people interested at that time. My mom was one of them. My graduate advisor the other. I drop doing wedding stationery (due to permanent wrist damage in the accident that also rearranged my brain with a TBI).
- ➡️ Nichedown 3.0: Fall 2019 rolls in and I enter into 9 months of caregiving full time for both my parents, and losing them both in about 6 months. I niched down to offer strategy for creatives.
- ➡️ Nichedown 4.0: Winter 2020 comes in and my days are spent focused on squeezing every moment I can as my mom fights the bravest battle with stage 4 cancer I have ever seen. I barely have the energy to keep going, and so I drill down to the only interest I was getting based on my email marketing tutorials with Flodesk.
- ➡️ Nichedown 5.0: Spring 2020 brings shutdowns, pandemic pandemonium, and the loss of my Mom. I step back and realize, finally, listen to the interest and the need that keeps landing on my cyber front porch. I drill allllllllllllllll the way down to where I am now.
Hi, have we met? The girl who once had 10 websites to cover her varied ventures has now settled into just one. I’m Michele, a Flodesk (which is one of the most exciting breakthroughs in email marketing in decades) and communications expert (I did get my BA/MA in it after all), creative director, & content strategist for creatives.
Here’s how to build a brand that thrives even in the middle of shutdowns and uncertainty. We have to embrace pivoting. Maybe even more than once. Right now, business strategy is more like a fluid interpretive dance.
The hard truth is that some sectors may not bounce back. We don’t know what the business landscape looks like ahead. It’s heartbreaking to see doors closing. But even in the hardest moments, other doors are opening.
The keys to thriving in this kind of economy… say it with me, “Pivot and Niche.”
Nice Michele, so how do I DO that?
Find a need or set of needs not being met in a specific community (on or offline), drill down, and create a solution.
Seek out the GAPS™️ (Game-changing Approaches , Products, or Services), and fill them.
I went from a suuuuuper broad signature creative business education program to creating an educational membership focused on email marketing for creatives using Flodesk. And I’ve had the best response I’ve ever seen.
When we niche way down, we actually broaden our capacity to provide value.
We pivot because of necessity & we niche because of strategy. We bend and snap, flexible enough to pivot, savvy enough to snap into the gaps of the niches waiting for us to fill them.
Come on now, let’s go make Elle proud.
PS: Cue the confetti— 🎉🎉🎉 —my signature program, Email Essentials, is in beta and you get full access for FREE while I build it out. Link’s hanging out right here.