A really fun chat with Clarissa Rayward the Happy Family Lawyer about being different in a very traditional industry. We also find out how she managed to expand her market by narrowing her focus and going niche.
5 Questions You Can Answer After Listening To This Episode On Being Different & Niche-ing to Expand Your Market With Clarissa Rayward:
1. How can my business stand out from the crowd, even in a more “traditional” industry?
2. How can I narrow my focus to expand my market?
3. Why did Facebook ban one of Clarissa’s ads?
4. How can I tell if “niche-ing” will work for my business?
5. What’s Dave Eddy’s definition of a fashionista?
Clarissa, a.k.a. The Happy Family Lawyer is (as we’ve established) a lawyer, who runs a family law firm and a mediation firm in QLD. To ensure there’s never a dull moment, Clarissa is also an author, blogger, podcaster and a mum!
In today’s episode we have a really fun chat with Clarissa about the benefits of being different in quite a traditional industry. We also discuss how by narrowing her focus and becoming more niche, she actually managed to expand her market.
INTERLUDE! If you’ve just discovered Redback Solutions, below is a short video about who we are and what we do. If you just came for the article, you can simply skip past the video and keep reading 🙂
Standing Out in a Traditional Industry
A creative person at heart, Clarissa really enjoys the marketing and brand-growing side of her business, more than the couples-fighting-over-who-gets-the-cat side. The idea of branching out and defining her brand a bit differently came to Clarissa as all epiphanies come: in the aftermath of a really wild party.
To celebrate her brand new business, Clarissa threw a fancy-dress party where all of her lawyer friends came dressed as famous divorced couples. What she found most interesting was the amount of follow-up attention her business received as a result of this PR stunt/excuse for lawyers to let their wigs down.
This made Clarissa realise that perhaps there actually was room in her “stale” industry for a splash of hot pink. Of course, there was more to creating a successful niche brand than slapping florals on a website and calling yourself The Happy Family Lawyer.
“In an industry where there’ll be 50 thousand versions of you, it’s very helpful if you can at least be known as the person who does ‘this thing’ that’s a bit different to everyone else.”
Clarissa isn’t what you’d call a typical lawyer type and doesn’t enjoy fighting with people—especially in court. So she decided to turn her aversion to court proceedings into a positive, creating a niche practice and distinctive brand marketing to go along with it.
The Brisbane Family Law Centre and Brisbane Family Mediation Centre both focus on helping separating couples who want to stay out of the family courts, by finding respectful ways to solve the challenges of a divorce. The Happy Family Lawyer part of Clarissa’s brand also includes coaching other lawyers on becoming as happy as she is in her career.
On that note: listen to the podcast for the full story on how Facebook rejected Clarissa’s request to boost an ad for her Happy Family Lawyer podcast, on the grounds that it was “unrealistic and unlikely” — apparently the idea of a lawyer being really happy is just too unbelievable to fathom!
Regardless of the industry you’re in, it simply comes down to thinking outside the box; to creating a unique, authentic brand personality, which can be expressed and shared through content marketing.
Think about your business’s website, your social media pages, your blog (if you have one) and ask yourself: Am I being different? Can people tell me apart from my competitors?
How Narrowing Your Focus Can Expand Your Market
By narrowing your brand’s focus and becoming an niche authority in your marketplace, your target audience are going to think of you before your watered-down competitors.
“Niche-ing closes doors and windows, and opens roofs.”
Depending on your particular business and how niche you’re planning to go, there are two main ways to expand your market by narrowing focus:
1. Big fish, little pond
If your local market is already large but you want a bigger bite of the apple, then being known as an authority in your space is essential.
2. Little fish, big pond
Thinking outside the box can transform your local business into a national or even multinational business, by narrowing the market in an expanded area.
Before going fishing of course, you need to know where to cast. Thorough market research can help you decide where, how and who to target. You may decide not to limit your products or services at all! Like Clarissa, you could simply segment your market, producing content and advertising to attract each segment.
The key to successfully segmenting is to not neglect certain aspects of your business, in terms of marketing and content, particularly your website’s landing pages. As a professional in digital marketing, Dave has seen first-hand the benefits of having rich, content-packed landing pages for each different product or service.
How Do I Know If Niche-ing Will Work For My Business?
If you look at all the great game-changing businesses of the last couple of decades like Uber or Airbnb, they didn’t succeed because they followed the status quo. They didn’t make decisions based on their peers or what was in their own best interests, nor were they being different just for the sake of being different.
Great innovative brands let the market speak for itself and while they may buck the trend, always have the customer and their user experience in mind.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to waste a bit of time and energy and just try.”
In terms of marketing content and social media for your new segmented market/s, there’s only so much research you can do before you have to simply test the waters.
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