By: Keisha Shields
With a basic understanding of what a niche is (contrary to what you may have been taught, your niche is not your audience; your niche is your specialty), you can make some progress with identifying how to profitize it. However, what many branding pros, coaches, or programs don’t teach you are some of the critical differences between developing a niche and developing a luxury market niche. When first identifying a luxury niche, many people make the mistake of thinking that raising prices is what will make their brand a luxury brand. Be forewarned that this is a mistake that can be easily avoided by being aware of the items below:
Make your brand real! As a consumer, I can’t relate to a brand or to a business. I can relate to a story. I can relate to people. I can relate to a feeling. So, where possible, personify your brand.
As an entrepreneur, a way that I personify my brand is to think about ‘her’ as a woman. Before I explain more about this, I want to set the record straight on one thing: You must focus on her. Her truth. The healing she needs. The setbacks she’s had. The successes that she desires. It’s important that although you must think about her in a simplified way when you are personifying her, that you do not forego the emotional and deeply spiritual complexities that make her who she is. That is what will separate you from so many other business women who she may be vetting.
There’s Riches in Niches
The key element to having riches in niches is to start out laser-focused. Solve a very specific marketplace problem in a very specific way. When you have a brand that is lifestyle-related (as an example), it can seem very limiting to start out focused solely on one specific element. On one hand, however, that is exactly what you want to do -- limit your audience. The aim is to begin profitizing your areas of expertise, to build loyalty, and to cultivate brand ambassadors who will sing your praises and who by their very nature will share YOU (and your brand and your business) with their friends, their fans, and their followers. You can always expand from there.
Start focused. Build influence. Then expand into other niches.
To help guide you in personifying your dream client or customer, here are the specific actions I take to help me nail down what it is that she needs to hear:
- I think about what she would look like (that helps to drive the graphics that I ultimately use).
- I think about her being fashionable and stylish (this also helps me to think about my brand visually, and is also a source for me to think about the word choices that I use to communicate with her).
- I think about how eloquently she would speak, and how classy and fun of a person she would be (these things come through in the words I use, the way that I use them, it reminds me to use my humor and sarcasm to inject her personality into what I do).
- I think about the types of events that she’d love to go to, and I visualize what the people with whom she’d be most likely to regularly associate with look like.
When you personify, you are essentially injecting who you are and who you were meant to become in this lifetime into your brand story and your brand presence. It is much easier for clients to relate to a personable brand (or as I like to think of it, a person who runs a brand — keeping in mind that the person comes before the brand).
With over a decade of experience, Keisha has expertise and insight into how stigmas & stereotypes can keep high-achieving women (career girls, entrepreneurs, and those in the C-Suite) from playing bigger and truly becoming who they were created to become in this lifetime. Keisha is a good girl expert, smart girl coach, and CEO of her own smart girl consortium, Beauty and Her Brains, where she works deeply with her +ONEs to help them leverage their gifted and unique brains to go for those huge game-changing opportunities they’ve really been wanting to pursue.
Ellevate Network is a global women’s network: the essential resource for professional women who create, inspire and lead. Together, we #InvestInWomen.