Let’s talk about niching down. We know as a designer you may be struggling with niching down. This could be for a number of reasons including:
You don’t want to cut off potential client work.
You don’t want to stick with only one industry
You’re worried you’ll change your mind later down the line
A lot of these problems aren’t actually issues surrounding Niching down. Developing more of a understanding of what a niche is and what niching down can do for your business is could put your business at an advantage, not a disadvantage.
Niching down isn’t about forcing your business into a box that it can’t escape from. Instead, its your chance to open your design business up to more opportunities. Having a niche forces your business to stand out and showcases your unique skills and approaches. Remember, if you’re for everyone, you’re for no-one.
You don’t have to niche down by a specific industry or even design style. You can niche down by the solutions you provide, the skills you have, your unique approach to branding, your unique client experience… the list goes on
A lot of designers say finding your unique design style is crucial and for a lot of designers, especially those who are just starting out, this can feel overwhelming. If you haven’t quite figured out what your design style is yet, or if you like working with a range of different styles, this post is for you.
Niching down is supposed to help you. In our Design Biz Academy University, we see a lot of students come in with a lack of direction on their niche. And that’s okay! However, by the time they have completed DBA, they are more clear on their specific target audience, their strengths and their confidence for owning these strengths.
Finding your niche can look different for everyone, but it’s an important thing to consider when working on your business.
Think about it this way:
If you decided you wanted facial plastic surgery, and you had the choice between the Plastic Surgeon or the General Surgeon, who would you choose to do your surgery?
It’s the plastic surgeon, right?
What if the plastic surgeon charged more. What if the general surgeon has performed plastic surgery before and is confident in this surgery? The majority of people would still choose the plastic surgeon.
Why? Because the plastic surgeon has dedicated their career to this specialty.
People are willing to pay premium prices to have their specific problem solved. If you can identify the one thing that you’re really good at, own that thing. Practice those skills, do more research and learn more about it. Because when a potential client comes looking for a designer who can solve their specific problem, they’re looking for a designer with a specialty, not a Jack of all trades.
DBA University Semester 5 Graduate Robin decided to niche down and get more clear on her target audience. She used to receive over 100 inquiries a month. However, she shared that these inquiries were people looking for one time logo designs, merch designs or just smaller projects that didn’t align with her skills. Only a couple inquiries out of the 100 were brand identity projects.
She soon realised why this happened. It was because she didn’t open talk about how she only provided full brand identity design projects in her marketing.
Once she became more clear on her ideal audience and figuring out what she specialised in, she began making content for those people and those people only.
Now she receives less than 20 inquiries a month, sometimes even less than 10. Again, sounds like a limitation, right?
However, the majority of these projects are full brand identity design project inquiries, which in the end, leaves her with more opportunities for work.
More inquiries does not always mean more work.
You’re allowed to. That’s okay.
Imagine this: 6 months after niching down, and you get a inquiry that’s a little outside your ideal project, but you’re excited to do something different. The client who is inquiring may be 100% okay with investing in your services, because they can see what you’ve done in your niche already.
You can always expand your niche.
You get to decide who you take and who you don’t. But again, if you’re for everyone, you’re for no one.
We cover Niching down in DBA University by helping our students identify their ideal client and tailoring their business to speak to those people only. You can find more about DBA University here!