Tune in as I am joined by Rachael Cumberland-Dodd, an ex-corporate marketer turned niche-whisperer. She loves helping do-good business owners get to the heart of what they do, why they do it, and for whom, so they can market their mission with more ease, and less urgh!

I’ve invited Rachael to share a conversation with me on a topic that sits right in the intersection of brand strategy and business strategy, and one that many people have strong opinions about how it “should” be done. Defining your niche. You know me, I don’t like “shoulds” — so I’m thrilled that we get to dive into a different, less rigid, way of doing things today, as Rachael shares her approach with us. And to quote Rachael:

There’s so much pressure to nail your niche, but what if your niche didn’t need to be nailed — it just needed uncovering?

Hit the play button to hear Rachael’s take on niching from within.

TL;DR — episode links:


Disclaimer: The following transcript has been auto-generated and then cleaned up – and while the general flow of the conversation is there, it’s probably not 100% accurate.

Petchy: Welcome, Rachel. I’m so happy that you’re here with me today to talk about your approach to niching. Or actually, maybe I should say welcome back.

Rachael: Indeed. I think this is our fourth go. Is it? Or third go or second go?

Petchy: Something like that. Going to be an interesting thing to try and replicate a conversation that we’ve had before. So for anyone listening, what happened is we had some tech issues last time we tried to record this conversation, and it kind of swallowed up the whole recording. So this is a retake. But, you know, who knows? It might even turn out to be better.

Rachael: I’m hoping so.

Petchy: We’ll see. Fingers crossed. And before we get to the main part of the episode, I would love to invite you to tell us a little bit more about you, the work that you do and anything else, really, that you feel it’s good for our listeners to know.

Rachael: Okay, well, I call myself a niche whisperer and a messaging guide, and that’s my joy and my love, is to help conscious business owners, like all you guys listening, get very clear on your who, your why and your how. So you can then express yourself more confidently and then market yourself more confidently. Because I think we know when you’re not clear on who it is you want to work with or what the things you do or how you are different, it’s very hard for you to feel that you can say your piece in a way that, you know, other people listen. So that’s my thing. I help people give confidence by getting them clear on their niche and their message.

Petchy: I love that. So let’s dive straight in. Niching, right? That’s a word that brings up a lot of different opinions in the business world. And I feel like almost everywhere I turn, there’s this common belief that you have to niche down and then niche down even further, and to be really, really specific about your niche or else your business is just going to burn to the ground. And, yeah, I’m not saying it’s a good idea to do everything for everyone, but I do feel like the mainstream approach to niching is maybe just a little rigid.

Rachael: Exactly. Now, I mean, let me lay out that I am a niche fan. I am a fan of people getting super clear on what they’re all about and super clear on why they do what they do and super clear on who they think is going to be most attracted to them. And that really is my sort of definition of Niching. But I think we go about it… all of the standard kind of advice out there is to do it straight away when you’ve just set up your business, which is incredibly hard to do because most of those questions you need to explore, you need to experiment and find the answers to. So I think it puts too much pressure on business owners when they’ve just sort of started out. But also the other thing is that sometimes we sort of go about it the wrong way. The advice there is to pick your who. And whilst I firmly believe it’s very important to have a very clear sense of the person or the people, the groups of people you want to work with, that’s also very different, difficult to do. So I kind of like to come at it in a way that sort of feels very, I guess, natural and organic, if that makes sense. And I just kind of believe that Niching starts from within. And really the first step is you just to kind of reflect on yourself, perhaps your own values similar to the work you do petchy where you start with the sort of value stuff, but start with your own experiences, start with your own kind of big. Why? What is it you’re trying to do in the world or give to the community and start very much there as opposed to kind of looking outside yourself for the right niche. So, yeah, that’s my philosophy.

Petchy: I love that philosophy. I think it ties in very nicely with my own philosophy of branding, of starting from within and not just sort of chipping away at things and trying to replicate what other people have succeeded with, because that’s just not a great approach. And what I find with niching especially, is that there’s a lot of focus on demographics and there’s a lot of focus on finding a gap in the market. But I’m like, well, that’s all well and good, but if I find a gap in the market and that’s not going to give me any joy in my business to serve the people who are in that gap, then what’s the point, really? My way of niching, to share a bit of a personal anecdote, is… when I started this company, Petchy, I started out doing a lot of general design work for a lot of different companies. And rather than sort of niching down on specific demographics, like specific types of businesses I serve, sorting them by industry almost, I decided that I was going to look at what I want to do and I was going to niche down into the area of expertise that I offer, but also the kind of people and the values that the businesses have that I want to work with. So it’s more like a psychographic way of Niching down perfect rather than just looking at the I don’t know what looks good on paper, because what looks good on paper doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be good for me.

Rachael: Yeah, absolutely. And I want to talk a little bit about this kind of sense of finding a gap in the market versus finding the joy within. And it’s this difference between being an artist or an entrepreneur, and an entrepreneur goes out and finds a gap in the market. Their mission is to find a target market, create the product and sell it for big bucks and make a lot of money. And that’s absolutely fine, that suits a lot of people. And then on the other hand, you’ve got the artist that kind of, well, I just want to create, I want to paint, I want to make, I just want to do this for my own satisfaction. And if people buy it, great, but I’m not out to make money and that’s also fabulous. Thank God we’ve got artists, thank God we’ve got entrepreneurs. It solves a lot of problems for us. But I think what we need to be as sort of conscious entrepreneurs and people who want to sort of do business in a different way is find the middle ground between that. Because obviously, yes, we want to find our joy and our sweet spot and work with people we like. We also wouldn’t want to and need to make an impact and an income so we can make the impact. So for me, it’s about finding that kind of balance between the two and making sure and my kind of starting point is always making sure that you are like you starting with what are the things that light me up? What are the things that I like to do that light me up, and then kind of find the market for it a little bit. So it’s this blend. If I had to do a Venn diagram, it’s one circle is the things that I do, my experience, what I love, and then the other overlapping circle is what do the market want? What do people want? And in the middle, the sweet spot in the middle, that’s your niche.

Petchy: Yeah, because we run businesses, it’s not our hobby. For some of us, we might sort of have an overlap there between business and hobby, but for a large group of entrepreneurs, it’s not a hobby. I mean, it started off as a hobby. For me, design was like something I really, truly enjoyed doing in my spare time as well. But now it’s not my hobby anymore because it’s what I do for a living. So that doesn’t give me the break anymore that I need. I definitely think that we need to approach this from a business perspective and not just from, oh, I just want to have fun all day. I think that’s not realistic. We have to be realistic, but we also don’t need to conform to this very corporate mindset that we live to work and not the other way around.

Rachael: Yeah, absolutely. There is that middle ground, and we’ve got people in our circle, in our community that are doing what they love and doing very well out of it. And it’s encouraging to see that it’s not one way or the other. So, yeah, let’s celebrate that.

Petchy: So how would you suggest people go about it when they start to define their niche in a slightly gentler way, I think we can call it.

Rachael: Yeah, gentler way and more relaxed way. I think it’s kind of like I said, that it starts from within. And I think the questions that really make up a niche are your who, your what, your why, and your how, and perhaps your where maybe. So it’s really by thinking about what is most what’s clearest to you out of those four w’s. So for you, it was a bit of your what and a bit of your why, really. Wasn’t it like what you wanted to create design, find design websites, et cetera? And the why was actually, I want to put values back into that. I want to work with people who have the same philosophy or a similar approach to me. So that’s really what I yeah.

Petchy: Actually, yeah, I did actually niche down a little bit in terms of what I do, because I used to do all kinds of graphic design work for pretty much anyone who sort of dropped in my door. I used to do web design. I used to do, like, just general collateral design, anything, really, design. And I figured that that’s not what I want to do. So what I did was I kind of took out the bits that I didn’t enjoy quite so much. And also the bits that I’m not really that good at, and I focused more on what I’m really good at and that I enjoy as well. And that’s how I landed on focusing on identity design and strategic identity design and branding. So, yeah, I guess you could say I followed your kind of method without even knowing it.

Rachael: It works, though, and I think that’s an interesting point. It’s about the evolution of it. And yes, you can start with what’s clearest today, as in you could be right at the ground floor of your business, or a year or 18 months or two years in, but it will evolve in a change. And I think one of the problems and the concerns I hear is, what if I pick the wrong one? And it sort of not pains me to hear it, but I kind of think there’s no such thing as a wrong niche. Every kind of path we go down is giving us clarity on either, yay, this is brilliant, this is what I want to do, or, you know what, this bit is good, but actually, maybe it’s something else. And I think so many people get sort of tied up by the, oh, if it is wrong, then I’ve wasted all that time and no, you haven’t. You’re just getting clearer and clearer. And that’s really that’s the job of us as business owners. And the clearest way to do that is just to get out there and take some action, find some people that you perhaps like to work with and approach them or talk about what piece I want to, I don’t know, build, I don’t know, forts. I don’t know where that came from. I want to build dry stone walls. That’s my thing. And yeah, so I’m going to do that and I will talk about that and find the people that need a dry stone wall.

Petchy: Yeah. And also, you are allowed to change your mind. It’s not like you’re tied to it forever. And much like with branding as a whole, it’s an evolution and it’s not necessarily a revolution. And one way that I’ve found has worked really well for me is to sit down after I’ve finished working with a client, to sit down and think, okay, so how was it working with that client? What was good, what wasn’t good? And then when I have those, oh, my God, yes, clients, that’s when I will really want to sit down and think, okay, so what was it about them that made it such an amazing experience for me as well to work with them and not just the other way around? Because we’re always so caught up in we need to provide a great customer experience and yes, we do, but also it kind of goes the other way around. What was it about that particular client that made it such a fantastic experience to work with them?

Rachael: Yeah, I absolutely love this approach. This is the Ro, I call it the ROI, which is a return on investment, but also the return of joy as well.

Petchy: Return of joy.

Rachael: Yeah, I love that. Yeah, I think Rois, obviously, in the business world, is a major thing. And yes, we need investment, but the return and Joy, someone you really enjoyed working with, that you got on well with, or they took the learnings and completely ran with it, they had great results. That brings you joy as well as brings them Joy and also return on investment. Investment for them as well. Do they feel like the money invested in you, are they super happy with the results? Are they going to go off and tell all their friends and bring you lots of referrals? So the criteria is, did I like them? Did they get a lot from me? Did I get a lot from them? And are they kind of connected to a group of people that I also want to reach out to? So, yeah, definitely. I love that kind of when you stop working with someone, just reflect on, did it bring you joy? Did it bring you? ROI and ROJ.

Petchy: Yes. And also what I think is when you experience Joy working with a client, when you have fun, when you’re on the same page, when you can have a laugh with your client, when you just get on and things just work, it kind of sets you up to produce your best work. It gives you the best possible circumstances to do your work, which means that you are likely to produce a better outcome for the client as well. So it’s kind of a win-win situation in my mind because, like, okay, so you’re happy because you’re happy. You’re putting in your best work that makes your client happy. The client will then hopefully rave about your fantastic work that you did to their friends, who will probably, hopefully at least be somewhere sort of close to that client in terms of their worldview and personality, because they’re their friend, and then maybe more of those people will come into your orbit that way as well. The way I see it is, it really is a win-win situation when you find those people.

Rachael: And that’s the thing about niche, and I think people think that, oh, it’s going to restrict me, it’s going to narrow me down, et cetera. But imagine just working with those clients you really like, the ones that score massively on your ROI and Roj criteria.

Petchy: Yeah, to me, that looks like I work with so many different types of businesses, like from big industrial companies that have been around for like 50, 60 years, that have close to 100 employees and upwards. But also I work with solo entrepreneurs. Solo business owners have clients who are craft cider makers whose big vision and mission is to save the Norwegian crab apple from extinction. My clients are very, very different in terms of industry and product, and I work with product based and service based clients. But the one thing that really kind of pulls them in together and makes it a viable niche for me is that they all have I don’t know, they care about something other than just making a profit. And that’s part of my niche, I think.

Rachael: Yeah, absolutely. And I think this is almost getting to some other kind of the meat of the bones when I talk to people about niching and where do we start? And I actually do start with that question, really. I call it a mission. And I know mission is a big old scary word, but it doesn’t have to be. It basically just means if you’ve got a goal or a purpose that you’re very kind of wedded to, that you’ve got conviction behind it. And I ask them, what mission are you going on? And this could be anything like Gosh. So my own experience is that I left corporate marketing and very burnt out, very kind of disillusioned by the marketing world. And I thought, it doesn’t have to be like this. Marketing can be thinking about the person at the other end of the marketing strategy or the action, how do we get closer to the people that we really want to help? So that was my mission, really is like, how do I do marketing in a way that is kind and empathetic and compassionate and a conversation as opposed to being marketed at? So I couldn’t probably articulate it in a way I’m doing now because obviously I’ve got a couple of years on me, but I just knew that the problem I saw was that marketing felt bad and I didn’t think it should be. So that’s the sort of question I ask myself and I ask my clients is, what mission are you going on? And then the next sort of approach is really what sort of types of people would most resonate with that mission? So this is how I really like starting Niching, as I said, from within, because there’s always something that drives your goal for your business. There’s a problem in the world that you see or there’s an issue that yourself has struggled with. So it’s really about just delving into that and figuring out, well, who else is who else would kind of get on board with this mission? Who else would kind of want to sign up to the idea, yeah, marketing feels like shit and doesn’t need to feel like shit. And that’s then how you start kind of defining almost the kind of the what and the who, certainly. And then through that you can then it’s much easier to kind of go, well, maybe, what is it that they need my help with, these people? And what kind of people don’t want to hear this sort of message and how can I help these people? What’s my flavour? What’s my approach? So this is my, I’m giving my secrets away, but that’s fine because that’s what business is. But this is kind of how I started, actually. So what’s within you? What’s that sort of burning need, that desire that itch that you’ve got to scratch?

Petchy: I’m really happy that we touched on this. Like how a mission doesn’t necessarily have to be this huge world saving thing because that’s something I also see with my clients the minute I start mentioning their vision and mission and their why, they feel like it has to be this monumental thing that is so much bigger than them. And yes, your vision should be something. It should be a stretch because otherwise it’s not a vision. But your mission doesn’t need to be huge. Like, you can break it down. We’re not going to save the world on our own. But if everybody does their little thing, then together, that becomes a powerful movement. And I think that makes it easier for people and less scary to think about their mission.

Rachael: Yeah, exactly. I mean, you’re crab everything.

Petchy: You don’t have to save the world on your own.

Rachael: No. God, no. I know mission is a big old word, but yeah, like your cider client saving the crab apple. Or there’s obviously a bigger thing there about actually probably sort of more making sure that native fruits and vegetables and plants are kept alive. That’s not the right word, you know what I mean? Basically something about saving them, the native flora and fauna and that’s great. And I have clients, they are very much about growing your own. So their mission is to encourage people to have better soil. I’ve got a client who is a soil farmer so the local community can grow their own. Because living in this climate conscious climate, danger is that we need to be a bit more reflective of our kind of food, our food security.

Petchy: Yeah, I guess what we’re trying to say is your mission doesn’t need to be something like end world poverty or something like that because you can’t do that on your own. It’s okay to choose something smaller. It’s good to choose something smaller because you’re more likely to stick with it because it’s something that’s more personal to you as well. Likely.

Rachael: And a good way to look at it is a book. So every book, certainly business book or self help book, has a mission around it. So like Simon Sinek, start with why? So that was obviously quite a meta example, but he was about, well, businesses focusing too much on the what and the how. Well, why don’t we start with why they’re doing what they’re doing? So that was his mission. The four hour work week. That’s a mission. How can we do more productively in less time? And I’m just looking around at all the kind of work self help books and business books that I’ve got, and each one of them actually is a mission within 200, 300 pages. So just think about it in that when you’re next kind of wandering around a local bookstore on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or something, each of those little books are their own little mission. So think about it. In what book would you write?

Petchy: And then it’s just a part of the bigger picture, and you can write another book later. Absolutely. To carry on that analogy, doesn’t that don’t necessarily mean write a book?

Rachael: No, definitely not.

Petchy: You can start with one thing and then carry on with the next thing. And yeah, you don’t have to do it all on your own and don’t have to do it all in one go. I think that’s what we’re trying to get at.

Rachael: Yeah, it’s not about go and write a book, but I think it’s just like everything you see on a bookshelf in the kind of nonfiction section is its own little mission. And some of them are big and grandiose, some of them are not so much. Some of them about I don’t know, what am I looking at? The one page marketing plan is the book that I’m looking at at the moment. That’s a mission contained within a book. Effectively, it’s about how can we make planning marketing more straightforward, simple, and easy for the small business owner as opposed to the big corporate.

Petchy: I think that’s a really nice analogy, actually. So, yeah. So bringing this back into Niching and that sort of specific realm, what are some really concrete action steps, would you say, that people can take? I know that my listeners are people who like to take action. They like to have bite sized little action steps. So where do we start? Like, how can we break it down for them? If there was to be a recipe for how to niche, what would your recipe look like? Okay, secret spice and all.

Rachael: Okay. Little flavour. So I think firstly, it takes time. I’d say that this is not something you can just do. Yes, you could make progress in a couple of hours or an afternoon, but you’re not suddenly kind of going to go, aha! there’s my niche, fully formed. It takes some thinking about it. But the thing I want to start with, and I tell everyone, is that your niche is already there. You’re already doing your niche by dint of the work that you’re doing or the people that are naturally coming to you, or the conversations that you’re having with your clients or business buddies about the state of this and the state of that. And I agree with that. I don’t agree with that. All those conversations, all that activity that’s happening is already the clues to your niche and your job, really, is to take notice of it. So that’s the first thing. So what can you take notice of, then, firstly, maybe the who. That’s an easy way to start. So again, it’s looking back at the clients that you’ve had, the ones that you really like and enjoyed working with, both from a personal and a professional point of view, and what did you do for them? What was it that they came to you for and what was it that you achieved together? So that’s perhaps your who and your what already tied up in your niche, and also the sort of how, I think when a client comes to you or someone comes to you, what are the kind of go-to exercises? What are the things that you always say to them or ask them to do? That could be a clue to the how part of your niche, how you do the thing in the way that you do it. You didn’t really know that you wanted to do a value led way, but perhaps that was naturally the first kind of conversations you were having with clients, like, well, what do you stand for? What do you believe? What are your values?

Petchy: Absolutely.

Rachael: Yeah. So that, again, can evolve into your niche. So I would definitely suggest you doing this with someone. So it doesn’t have to be a professional. Of course not. It can be a friend, someone who’s willing to call you out on your bullshit as well, because I think we all need someone like that in our lives. Maybe a business buddy.

Petchy: Oh, we do, yeah.

Rachael: Someone in a mastermind, et cetera. Just someone who can help you go through that well. Why did you like that client? What was it about that client you appreciated? And how did you take them from the problem they had to the solution that you came up with? What was that all about? Just someone to kind of pull out these little bits of things, because it’s very hard. My favourite phrase is you can’t read the label inside the jar, and it’s so true. It’s very hard for you to kind of bring out your niche fully formed without perhaps some external external probing support. So I’d start with that.

Petchy: Yeah. That reminds me, actually, of what’s called like the double diamond in service design, where you start really sort of broad and wide to look at the bigger picture, get the sort of bird’s eye view, and then you go in and narrow things down. And then you can open it up again just to bring in fresh ideas and then narrow it down again to find. So I think that approach could probably work with Niching as well. It’s not like, oh, we just have to go in to this really narrow little segment straight away. It’s more like, yeah.

Rachael: Can I give you an example, just broad of you. Can I give you an example just to bring this to life? A. Little bit. And this is fresh in my mind because it was a conversation I had with someone last week, and she’s an illustrator, and she was kind of doing all sorts for everyone. Like most people that come to me, they’re doing everything for everyone. They’re a bit of a generalist, and they no longer want to be because they’re losing ground or they’re finding it exhausting or yeah, the clients just aren’t coming with them. So that was her kind of situation. I’m doing everything for everyone. I’m doing all these bits and pieces. And I started with that question that I just posed was, well, who recently you worked with, you were just like, oh, my God, I want more of you. And that started it started that. She actually worked with a book, an author who’d written a book, and it was a fantasy book. And that was perfect for her because she loved absolute fantasy. She’s a huge dungeon and Dragons fan. A lot of her work is inspired by that. And it turned out that this author, what she could help him with was not just the illustration, but also connect him with editors and other copywriters and publishers because she’s quite networked in that way. And she said, I really like that. I really like not just doing the kind of, well, here’s your design, good luck, but actually helping him plan the whole kind of launch of his book. Who does he need to speak to? What publishers would be really good for him? How will he actually kind of even down to how will he bind it? Certain things like this. And she’s like, actually not only fantasy book authors, but fancy book authors that just want a designer to be a designer, plus a designer who can also help you find the right people to then go off and launch your book in a really successful way. And this happened in literally a half an hour conversation. I was like, Right, there you go. You’ve found your niche. And it was amazingly brilliant. It was beautiful. And the best thing about it is then we could go on to go, right, if these are the people that you want to really work with, where will you find them? And this is thing where niching is obviously totally linked with your effective marketing, because if you’ve got a sense of your who, then you’ll know where you’ll know where they’re hanging out, you’ll know where you can find them. So we spoke to that. He’s an author, a sort of fantasy author. He’s going to be in discord groups or something, talking about this sort of stuff. There’s Facebook groups dedicated to this. Well, he’s going to work with maybe he’s going to work with a book coach. And, oh, look, there’s a fantasy book coaches. Who knew there’s a niche for everything. So this is where she can then go and start to create relationships with these people who also are connected to her book author. Her author. So this is where I love the power of Niching from an effective marketing point of view that just dials in, focuses your marketing, realise you don’t have to be everywhere. You can just make connections with the people that are already connected with your ideal client.

Petchy: Yeah, I love that you made this sound so easy because it’s something that so many people think is really complicated, really hard, and it looks like it really doesn’t have to be. But also I wanted to just normalise something because I think it fits in nicely with this. And that is the sort of doing everything for everyone. It’s very, very common to be afraid of Niching down because what if you leave money on the table, you’re not doing everything for everyone. And that is a completely, completely normal way to think. And it’s something that I’ve experienced myself many times. It’s like, what happens if like, will they like, what happens if I piss someone off because I say I don’t do this or I don’t work with this type of company, or I don’t want to do this type of work. It’s not going to be very popular with everybody. What if I ruin my reputation? What if I burn my business down and that’s not happened yet? No, I just want to point out that that’s completely normal to think that way. And it’s normal to be a bit scared to start limiting who you work with and what you do, because it’s a bit of a scary process.

Rachael: But I think can I talk to that? Can I kind of give my point of view on it?

Petchy: Yes, I would love for you to do that.

Rachael: Okay. So I absolutely hear you. And it’s natural. I felt it. You felt it. Everyone I speak to feels it. Well, what about if I leave all the people out? Am I kind of leaving them out of my… if I say no, if I niche down, then who am I saying no to? And does that mean I won’t be able to grow? And we’re very much driven by a scarcity mindset, of course. And firstly, I believe there’s enough work for everyone. And actually when you’re very clear on what it is you do for that person, then my gosh, the world does really open up for you. And just taking the example of the client I spoke about before, this is exactly her favourite. We had a long conversation about that. And she came to me as a generalist, and she was running out of work as a generalist. So she could do any illustration, do animation, she could do graphics, all sorts of stuff. But she wasn’t getting clients. And the problem was that she wasn’t getting clients because she was a generalist, because she could be something for everyone. And she was spreading her net so thin from a sort of marketing perspective and not being very clear on what she could sort of offer. That was the problem. So, firstly, people are already self-selecting you based on what you’re talking about. So for her, they were going, oh, well, she can’t do fantasy illustration for a book because she does everything else. That’s not the person I want. I want the person who’s very much dedicated to that. So, yeah, that’s what she had.

Petchy: I like to compare that with if you need to have open heart surgery, would you rather go to your GP and have them do it in their sort of GP surgery, or would you want to go to a cardiologist? I would pick. And I think that’s also transferable to pretty much any other area of expertise out there. The more you do something, the better you become at it. And there are so many people offering so many different services and so many different specialties that it’s much better to be a specialist rather than a generalist, because that way people will find you because they need exactly what you can deliver. That actually feels quite good, being on the receiving end of that. Like when you have a client come to you and say, I come to you because I know that you’re the best at what you do, that’s an ego boost.

Rachael: Absolutely. And I think the other thing is, it’s about choice. So when you’re very clear, when you’re a generalist, you don’t get to choose who you’re working with, they’re choosing you. When you niche down and you’re very clear, you get to choose. And the power of that is wonderful. So the thing I always say is that you can leave them out of your messaging, but you don’t need to leave them out of your business. So, Petchy, if a client came to you that perhaps didn’t share the same values as you, they might be attracted to you anyway because of your work and because of you’ve got great recommendations, but you don’t have to say yes to them, but you can if you want, they’ll still come to you. And it’s absolutely your choice to say, you know what, yeah, I do want to work with you, or actually, you know what, I don’t think you do, because we’re not on the same page from a kind of value point of view. So that’s it, you don’t have to leave them out.

Petchy: Yeah, that’s a good point.

Rachael: Yeah.

Petchy: And also that’s a nice way of approaching this in a careful sort of baby steps way, is to do what I did when I decided that, you know what, from now on I’m just going to be focusing on delivering brand strategy and strategic brand identity design. I didn’t stop doing every little design or job that came my way. I couldn’t because I needed to make money, but I stopped talking about it. I took everything out of my portfolio that wasn’t within sort of what I had then determined to be my niche moving forward. But I still had clients coming to me, so this wasn’t an overnight shift for me. It was more like okay. Over time, it shifted because I stopped talking about the kind of work I didn’t want to do anymore. And that didn’t happen overnight, but it felt like a nice sort of way of easing myself into that niche. So that’s an option too, I think.

Rachael: Yeah, exactly. You don’t just have to make a shift straight away as well. You’re very much guided by your own decisions and your own instincts. So, yeah, it’s not about burning everything down and starting anew without any support, any clients. It’s just about a slow turn, a slow pivot. It’s about making decisions. And I think that’s really what I want to kind of encourage everyone to think about. It’s just about making decisions. And when you say no to someone, you’re saying yes to so much more.

Petchy: I love that. I think that’s a lovely sort of way to round off the episode as well. But of course, I can’t let you go without asking you the question that I ask every single guest that I have on, and that is where can people find you if they want to connect with you, learn more from you, maybe even work with you. If there are any resources that you have that you’d like to point people in the right direction of, I would love for you to share that.

Rachael: Lovely. Well, my company name is Feedmarketing.gg and I really like hanging out on LinkedIn, so I’m @Rachel_Feedmarketing there and I do have a freebie that actually I’ve just kind of signed off, actually, and it’s a free freebie. I don’t believe freebies should be attached to an email address. I think this is a portal part of my philosophy who’s giving away lots of information and help. So I have a free freebie that I’ve just kind of put the finishing touches to, which is pretty much based on what we’ve discussed. It’s helping you guys get really clear on your niche and the next steps about how to find these people and how to make better connections. So that can be downloaded from my website, feedmarketing.gg. And I am always available for a free clarity chat. So it’s 45 minutes with me. No hard sell, no strings, just talking about your business and answering any questions, giving some advice. And it’s my joy to do that because I think either when you’re just starting out or whether you’re years in, it’s a lonely old business doing this, being a sort of solopreneur or a founder, and you need people just to bounce ideas off and talk about them and maybe you shouldn’t always have to pay for that. So for the moment, my offer is free and I’d love anyone to take me up on that. I love to talk.

Petchy: That sounds like an offer that’s too good to pass. So, yeah, make sure you check that out, people, if you’re listening. Rachel, before I let you go, just one final thing. If there was one golden nugget of wisdom, one key takeaway that you want our listeners to sort of be left with and that’s spinning in their brain as they go about their day, what would that be?

Rachael: Oh, gosh, there’s so many. Where can I start? I think, firstly, it’s pretty much your niche is within you already. It’s not something that someone can give you or say, hey, you should work with these people. I would be very wary of listening to anyone that says, I can find your niche for you and just start with finding out, exploring a little bit more about who’s already coming to you. What are the things you love doing, how you approach the work that you do. And just don’t sweat it. It evolves as you do and it’s tweak and learn. Take the pressure off.

Petchy: Take the pressure off. I love that. Thank you so much for joining me again today for this wonderful conversation. It’s been a joy. 

PS! Before you go, I have something for you.

If you’re a regular around here, you already know that I’m an advocate for values driven branding, which is why I have created a five day email course to help you step away from the generic and define heartfelt and bold brand values that truly resonate with your people.

Your brand values are an excellent opportunity to stand out because now more than ever, people want to buy from brands that stand for something beyond just their own success. And that gives you an opportunity to stand out by wearing those values on your sleeve. But if your brand values are not distinct enough, you may as well not bother. The more generic your values are, the less value they hold. That’s why I have created this email course, where, in five bite sized exercises, I’m going to gently challenge you to step away from the safe, step away from the generic, and into your truth. 

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Until next time,

Petchy xx

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