I had coffee the other day with a good friend of mine who is an immensely talented woman with an incredible breadth of knowledge about health, fitness, and wellbeing.
I asked her what direction she wanted to take her business in 2020, and she admitted that she was scared to choose a direction.
If she focused just on nutrition, she would be setting herself up to be compared to other nutrition coaches; if she focused on yoga, she would be competing for attention with other amazing yoga instructors in town.
I found myself relating so profoundly to what she was saying. I had just recently decided to niche down to business strategy and copywriting for female entrepreneurs. And the day I made this announcement, a copywriter that I greatly admired joined my email list.
This was absolutely terrifying.
When it came time, later that week, for me to sit down at my computer to write my next email, I couldn’t get the fact that this woman would be reading and judging that copy out of my head.
I want you to get really honest with yourself for a minute:
Are you scared to be specific about what you want to be known for in 2020?
One of my favorite authors, Tim Keller wrote this: “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear.”
While he was talking about marriage here, I think that this quote relates so well to our fears over developing a niche audience.
To draw a line in the sand and say: “this is what I want to be know for,” is an extremely vulnerable act.
There’s no way to hide. It strips us down to the core of how we want to serve others. It can open us up to scrutiny, criticism, and it turns people away.
Before I dive too deep into this concept, I want to make a quick disclaimer: being multi-passionate can be an end in and of itself. If you want to try to serve everyone in 47 different ways, you have every right to do so.
BUT, and this is a big but, you won’t be able to grow a following, position yourself as a subject matter expert, or appear on podcasts and guest blogs unless you can define a specific and unique platform.
One of my favorite quotes lately is one by Brandon Bruchard, who said: “your randomness is stealing from you greatness.”
If you want to be an “influencer” or make a deep impact, you do have to get very specific about how you serve others.
And this brings us to another objection about positioning yourself as a “subject matter expert:” it doesn’t feel very humble.
Most women chafe against the idea of positioning ourselves as experts.
But let’s take a second to define humility. C.S. Lewis did so best when he wrote, “humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.”
By that definition, insecurity, self-doubt, and self-consciousness are the opposite of humility.
If you are hiding and shying away from positioning yourself as an expert in your subject matter, you’re actually being selfish, because you’re denying someone who you could be serving right now of your expert help.
So as we move forward into this new year, I want us both to answer these 4 questions:
1.) What do you want to be known for in 2020?
2.) Who do you want to serve?
3.) What is your 3-5 step process?
4.) How does it relate to your unique story?
I’ll go first. In 2020, I want to be know for email marketing, website copywriting, and automations. (Yes, that isn’t just one thing, but they all go together, so I’ll give myself a pass).
I want to serve female entrepreneurs who want to free up their time to do the work they love most.
My 3 step framework is to:
1.) Clarify your ideal customer & why you’re the ideal solution
2.) Attract dreamy customers with compelling email and website copy
3.) Automate your processes to free up your time to do the work you love.
This relates to my unique story because I’ve struggled my whole adult life with mental health. I have days when I feel like I swallowed a bottle of Adderall and days when I barely get out of bed.
While I have gotten much better at managing it, I still don’t know for sure when I’ll have “good days” and when I’ll have “bad days.”
That’s why finding the right words to attract my ideal clients and then putting those processes on autopilot with highly personalized, automated email marketing is so essential for me. That way when I do have bad days, I have the freedom to rest or to focus my energy on completing projects for my clients.
While I know that not everyone in my audience struggles with mental health, I do know that my ideal client wants to have rhythms to her life. She wants to be able to travel or spend time with her family without feeling like she has to always be handcuffed to her laptop.
And I can’t stress enough the importance of this last piece. Yes there are other people who do what you do. And yes, there are probably people out there who do it better than you. But they don’t have your story.
I have 2 action steps for you this week:
1.) Put the answers to these 4 questions down on paper and pin them up in
your office or on your fridge and commit to this direction for AT LEAST 3 months.
And if you feel that insecurity and self-doubt creeping back in remember: there is someone out there that needs to hear what you have to say. You aren’t in business for your competitors or for the naysayers: you’re in business to serve that one person.
2.) Starting Monday, January 13th, I’m hosting a 5-day challenge to help you get your next 500 email list subscribers. If you sign up today, before the start date, I’ll send you an exclusive coaching video where I’ll show you how to create a lead generating pdf in under 10 minutes.
Just head to ashleyvogler.com/challenge to sign up for the challenge and snag that free training today!
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