Are you their ONLY choice or one of thousands?

How Raj found his profitable niche and how you can too

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I never wanted to niche down until I finally tried it in March.

Couple months ago, I announced on Twitter that I wanted to help journalist entrepreneurs get more paying subscribers.

At the time, I had 60 followers, half of which were bots.

Then, I got an inbound DM from one of the owners of a super cool publication pretty much right away. We started working together in April.

Since then, I’ve booked more than 20 intro calls.

Testimonials aren’t doing you any favors buried deep on your website. You’ve got to activate them in your marketing! Senja has taught me how to put reviews into action and just this week, they launched a feature to get your clients sharing reviews on social media.

When you are THE choice, your clients choose you.

That’s what photographer Raj Bandyopadhyay found with his Icon Experience.

I’ve been following Raj’s market positioning for 9 months and the online buzz is real—more of his current clients are talking about his work and more potential clients are coming in the door ready to buy.

Read below for how Raj niched into a “must have” offer for professional speakers and why it’s making him more money.

Plus, I share my favorite way to test a new market.

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Steal Raj’s strategy and find your profitable niche

The story

Raj is now THE go to photographer for professional speakers. But he didn’t start out that way.

Like many of us, Raj started with a broad target audience. He positioned his company, Series A Photography, as a personal brand photography studio for coaches and consultants.

His clients raved about his work (truly some of the best testimonials I’ve seen), but differentiation was tough. Raj had to do a lot more selling on calls because his marketing was bringing in a wide variety of people.

That all changed when Raj booked his first pro speaker client in 2021.

It was a perfect match. They immediately clicked because she saw Raj’s value and fully took advantage of his process. ←🚦First signal

That client went on to connect Raj with other speakers and he loved working with them so much, he joined a public speaking program himself.

He realized “they understood the value of branding” because they were “already investing in not only speaker training, but hiring web designers and other adjacent providers too.” ←🚦Second signal

But Raj kept hearing about a specific gap these pro speakers had—they never had good stage photos from their gigs. ←🚦Third signal

That’s what led him to create The Icon Experience which provides real stage photos and showcase videos. He ran the first one in Phoenix in January and he’s planning the next one for September.

Raj shared that it’s made marketing and sales a whole lot easier:
“I'm not used to having a brand that people talk about, but I'm also starting to get people outside of my immediate communities who are interested in working with me. I'm getting a reputation as the photographer for speakers.” 🚦Fourth signal

The strategy

Three things Raj did to nail this niche strategy:

🎯 Look for a client type that needed his exact expertise
Speakers emerged as an ideal client for Raj because they valued his approach uniquely. Going back to his first professional speaker client, he said “What I enjoyed about [working with her] was that she had a speech which meant that she was very clear about what she wanted to showcase in her brand.”

🎯 Figure out why that client type was a better buyer
Buyer is the operative word here. Signals that Raj looked for that these would be paying clients include the fact that their brand drives revenue for them and clear evidence they were already hiring adjacent pros like web designers and copywriters. In other words, they were problem aware and solution shopping.

🎯 Recognize and solve a problem voiced by his clients
Raj immersed himself in the speaker community and started having lots of conversations. He paid attention to what speakers said and plucked an unmet need out in the “no good stage photos” gap. Then, he solved it. He continues to co-create and collaborate with his clients, not at them.

The action

Craving your own profitable niche? Try this!

I took my approach to this niching business from Ash Maurya whose book Running Lean has been the most fundamental read of my career.

Ash recommends having lots of conversations with the people you think are your ideal customers. But not just any conversations, a problem interview and a solution interview.

  1. Start with the problem interview (as Raj did). You are not pitching your solution in this chat. You are asking questions about the problem you think they have or the reason they would need to pay you. You’re listening.

  2. Pitch them if there’s a reason to (if you have a solution they need) or ask if they want to talk again (if you’re working on the solution). Both give you good signal on how buy ready they are.

  3. Continue with a solution interview. If you didn’t pitch them, you’ll follow up to meet again. This becomes a sales meeting when it needs to become a sales meeting. It’s research that, if you’re right about your audience/offer match, becomes sales.

The above approach is why Raj landed the plane on his offer so smoothly and it’s why I’m getting a 50% reply rate on cold outreach right now. Lead with your buyer’s current mindset and they’ll pay attention!

🍱 Stuff you’ll find helpful if you’re niching in

  • Pitch yourself better: Josh Spector is offering a new skill session on powerful sentences that say a lot fast.

  • Cut to the chase: I love Hemingway editor (HT Tarzan Kay) for chopping up my client outreach notes.

  • Everyone’s lying until they give you money: Get a clear read that you’re onto something with The Mom Test.

🎸 Stay tuned for…

  • Quests! We’re halfway through a LinkedIn Quest right now and two participants already booked clients! Weigh in on the next Quest in the poll below.

  • Referrals! Want to drive referrals? I’m planning to host a live session or two for people who’ve purchased my Rev Your Referrals System.

  • Reviews! Using your reviews is shaping up to be a series this summer because I’ve become a believer. Shout out to Bryony Angell for this sparkling review on the Low Energy Leads Show!

  • Shirts! I custom designed Low Energy Leads shirts and you’ll be able to buy them OR earn them by referring people to this newsletter very soon.

What should our next Quest topic be?

A quest is a one time challenge, usually one month long, with live sessions and prizes.

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