What’s Your Creative Niche?

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S7979When people ask, “What’s your niche?” do you have a good answer?

Or do you hate to be pigeonholed and therefore mumble something about being able to do everything?

Why not be creative about your niche? There are so many different — and creative — ways to think about it. (And I outline 10 of them in my new Pick a Niche Kit — available now in MyDesignShop.)

Here’s just one of many ideas: What if your “niche” is your “special gift” or talent?

You, like everyone else, offers design services, right?

But what is it about you, personally or professionally, that sets you apart from other designers?

This is what marketers call your “USP” — unique selling proposition.

What is it about you — a talent or experience or perspective — that enables you to do it differently — maybe even better — than the others? And how can you express this without bragging?

For example, are you a designer who also does web development? You may think this is common, but in fact, it is so unusual these people are sometimes called “unicorns.” If you do, that’s your niche.

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I’ve also seen web designers carve a niche for themselves as the “reliable” ones, and this is effective because many people have nightmare experiences with flaky designers. This strategy wouldn’t work if all web designers had the reputation of being reliable, but they don’t!

One of my clients, copywriter, Lori Ferguson, positions herself as a writer who doesn’t do drama – that’s her special gift and that is what she emphasized in her inaugural newsletter. (This generated some excellent leads from prospects who don’t want drama!)

Here’s another example I came across: Leigh Peterson, a freelance graphic designer in Vancouver, Canada. Her tagline is Where left and right brain meet. And then make out inappropriately.

Here’s her positioning message:

I’m what happens when an artistically inclined biologist can’t decide what she wants to be when she grows up.

My first career was in Wildlife Biology. “Who cares!” you yell (stop yelling!) Well, here’s why you should care—a background in both arts and sciences has given me a unique approach to design—it has honed my analytical thinking, and encouraged practical real-world solutions to design problems. Also I can tell you about mitosis. Kidding, I don’t remember anything about mitosis anymore.

Not only does she explain how where her “unique approach to design” comes from, there is so much personality coming through the writing, you feel like you know her or would like to know her! And anyone who values the right brain/left brain gift, will want to connect with her. (See more on her web site: JustaFrog.com)

So what’s your special gift or talent? What could you highlight as the quality that sets you apart from your competition?

If you don’t know, check out these resources to help figure it out:

  • Listen to this recent podcast with Ed Gandia, in which I describe many more niches (Ed spoke on warm email prospecting at HOW Design Live 2015 in Chicago – check out his session.)
  • Read my blog post series featuring 10 Niches with lots of examples (from the Pick a Niche Kit).
  • Download the new product in MyDesignShop: the Pick a Niche Kit –AND you’ll get the BONUS eBook from flauntmydesign.com. To Specialize or Not to Specialize: How 5 Happy Freelancers Found Their Niche.

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