The fact of the matter is parents want the absolute best lessons that they can get for their kids within their budget and their means. And the best way for them to know that you’re the perfect teacher for their kids is with niching and positioning.
Before we get to that, as always I want to invite you to a quick call with me http://callwithjaime.com 🙂
Let’s start off with a definition: a niche is the particular segment of the population that you are building your programs for. Your niche can really be anything… the narrower that you go, the more defined you can be seen as an expert in the industry.
Every business that is sitting on Main Street in your hometown, that is a niche business because they chose to set up shop on Main Street and by default, offline businesses niche by geography. In the online space we get to niche by other factors.
We can niche by:
- the age of our students,
- the specialty that we teach
- the other things that our students might do.
- anything really!
A niche is a way to separate yourself and define yourself.
What about you? Do you think that you could go narrower? The nice thing is, we don’t have to stay in our niche forever. Say you choose to work with one particular instrument or you work with one particular age group, once you’re established in your niche, then you can add another niche and you can grow that way. Essentially, you’re adding verticals to your space.
It’s a lot easier to market yourself as the person, the go-to-person online when you have carved out a niche.
Now, for positioning.
This is all about the language we use to express what it is that we do and how we can move a student through the process of where they are now to where they want to go. Positioning is all about making it really clear to someone that you are the educator for their child (or themselves.) Positioning is designed to help them say yes, this is exactly what I’m looking for! We want that feeling… we want someone to have an overwhelming sense of ease and confidence in us before they’ve ever had any opportunity to engage with us.
Statements like “I focus on this particular niche.” and “I provide this particular program which allows someone who’s at this particular level to get to this particular goal.” are ideal positioning statements.
Exercise for you: Map out your positioning statement
I provide ___________________ (fill in the blank program) which allows ________________ (fill in the blank student/persona) who’s at _____________________ (fill in the blank ability/level) to get ________________ (fill in the blank goal).
This can also be called an “I help statement.”
I help (fill in the blank – person), do (fill in the blank – a thing) so that they can achieve (fill in the blank – something else.)
In my case, this is: I help music teachers build online group programs so that they can leverage their time and experience for greater profit and impact.
If you’re a saxophone teacher and you are creating a group program helping saxophone players do more things in the band or getting ready for college or whatever it is, then you could have an I help statement that sounds something like this: I help saxophone players nail the band auditions so that they can win a solo or so that they can win a scholarship or so that they can fill in the blank!
If you are a piano teacher for young kids, you may have something like I help young children play their first tunes on the piano so that they want to take more piano lessons.
Once we have our “I help” statement, then we can create the language on our website that positions us as the expert we are. The I help statement is the precursor to what goes on to the website.
Because on the website, we’re talking about taking action and putting ourselves in the shoes of the visitor. They want to know how we help them… and it’s a perfect way to transition the “I help” into a program headline! Get ready for that solo, an eight week program for high school saxophone players to nail the audition and impress the band director.
That is so powerful and it really goes back to that “I help” statement. Since audition season isn’t all year long, we will likely develop more than one “I help” statement within our niche. And the programs we create will be around nailing the auditions at first. And then maybe you move on to creating your portfolio and then you move on to something else. Everything is helping those saxophone players go from being part of the band to being someone who stands out. That’s that positioning.
We’re positioning ourselves as the expert, but we are also positioning our programs as having a specific result.
Positioning is so important.
With private lessons (which I know a lot of you have been doing and you’re looking to get into offering group programs) we are taking a student along their journey. They are starting at a certain point (with us) and we’re just taking them along the journey. We know that the end point of the journey is down the road and we know the road that they need to walk on is this one and we are taking them down.
With a group program, of any kind, instead of us taking them down the road, we are taking them to a specific rest stop or restaurant or milemarker — a specific destination. Everybody who’s in our program starts in one place and we get them to that specific destination. Even though that destination is not the end of the road, it is a specific destination that we can position our program to get them to.
Nobody is saying that you have to take your program participants all the way to the end of the road in eight weeks! We want to position our programs so that they have specific tangible results. If you take someone through an eight week program and you get them to the point where they have success, they have accomplished their goal… guess what? They’re going to come back to you to get to that next goal, to get to that next route marker or rest stop or hotel or restaurant or however you want to describe this journey for them. They’re going to keep coming back.
As your students ask for more from you, it becomes a process for you that as you create these programs, you’re going to be able to layer them upon each other.
This is how we grow our studios from lessons into group programs. It starts by offering one program and mostly private lessons, and gradually shifts to more group and less private and so on.
All of this is to say when we niche down to become the expert in our domain and position ourselves so that it’s clear what our goal is, each and every program that we create becomes an easy yes for our perfect students!
They’re already 90% of the way there and ready to say yes because you’ve niche down and they know you’re speaking right to them. You have positioned yourself as the expert and you have positioned your program so that it’s a clear mile marker on their journey on that road.
Niching and positioning are two very important pieces in the online space. And if no matter when you’re listening or reading this, you are not too late to get started with narrowing your niche, working on that positioning statement nor creating your first group program.