The Power of Finding Your Niche as a Creative
Okay my photographer friends, this one is for YOU! If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a lot of time trying to find your niche. It seems impossible sometimes; how are you supposed to go about finding your niche if you feel like you love. . . everything?!
And I’ve been thereeee let me tell you. So today I’m going to walk you through the POWER of finding your niche and, well, how exactly to do that!
A quick note – this can all actually be applied to any kind of business! But I’m going to apply it specifically to photography, since that’s what I’m most experienced in. Ya ready?!
First of all, what does “niche” even mean?
Let’s start off with the basic, dictionary definition of “niche:”
“A specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.”
Makes sense, right? So basically, instead of doing every single type of photography that exists, you’re narrowing your specialty down to one or a few types. There are ENDLESS things you could focus your photography biz on, right?
Families. Newborns. Children. Maternity. Weddings. Couples. Elopements. Nature. Landscapes. Seniors. Indoor/outdoor. In-studio. The options are ENDLESSSS.
Which is really cool, if you think about it! You’ve got so many opportunities with photography that it can be exciting to test them all out.
Niching down simply means to narrow down what you specialize in: e.g. maybe you niche down to only weddings & elopements, or just families. Now that you understand what “niche” actually means, let’s get into why it’s so dang important!
Why Niching Down is KEY
I personally have been shooting for the last 8-ish years in one form or another – seniors, families, friends, couples. . . again the list can go on and on. But weddings changed the game for me!! They took my photography from a fun creative hobby to a full blown thriving business!
I LOVE creating an experience for my couples and capturing the intimate, joyful and special moments of their biggest day. Shooting weddings changed my photo biz and opened me up to a new passion of running my own business! ⠀
And THAT is why niching down is so important.
For the same reason we love going to specialized taco restaurants for an amazing, perfect taco, versus a restaurant that serves every food on the planet in a mediocre way: we want to put our money toward something we KNOW will give us exactly what we want/need!
When a restaurant specializes in tacos, it builds trust with its customers because they KNOW that, since they only make tacos, their tacos have to be the bomb.com if they want to make any money. You TRUST the taco restaurant more than you would a hamburger restaurant that also serves tacos, right? That hamburger place probablyyyy doesn’t put as much focus on their tacos as the specialized taco place was.
Okay okay, enough with the food metaphors!
Basically, niching down is an incredible way to propel your business FORWARD. If you niche down and really dive deep into one or a small number of subjects/skills/types of photography, you will become the EXPERT in that area/those areas.
If you photograph everything on the planet, you really can’t take as much time to LEARN about each of those areas; therefore, you’ll only be okay at each.
But if you focus solely on weddings & elopements, you’ll be able to put all your effort into improving your skills AS a wedding and elopement photographer. Your clients will SEE that this is your speciality and that you are theeee best in the biz at what you do.
Plus, niching down to ONLY what you really enjoy doing will allow you to shoot what you LOVE!! Doesn’t that sound like a dream?!
A Common Misconception about Finding Your Niche
There’s a common misconception out there around niching down: “But if I only specialize in one thing, won’t I lose out on a ton of clients and income?”
The simple answer: NO!!
Yes, if you’re a wedding photographer, you may lose out on clients who want family photos. You’ll lose that potential income. But that is TOTALLY okay!!
Because instead of taking on family clients that you’ll serve mediocre-ly (is that a word?), you’ll have the time and space for the wedding clients that you can go ABOVE and beyond for.
Being the expert at what you do means people will also be more willing and EXCITED to pay you more for your work!! Yup, awesome right?!
If they can put their trust in you to deliver an incredible experience for them because you KNOW what you’re doing, you’ll be able to sell your services at higher prices.
BAM – myth bustedddd.
How to Niche Down Your Business
Now, how exactly DO you niche down?!
In my opinion, it’s important to explore within your first couple years in biz. This is the time you’ll likely be figuring out what you love most. And the only way to do that is to, well, try everything!
Do you like the slower pace of newborns? The joy of young families? Or do you thrive off the energy of a wedding day?!
Gaining as MUCH experience as possible is super powerful because you may not know you love a certain type of photography until you try it!
So basically –
- Explore EVERYTHING.
- Figure out what you do like, and stop shooting what you don’t like.
- Make your marketing super clear so that you attract the clients you WANT to work with, and you REPEL who you don’t. (e.g. if you want to shoot weddings, market specifically toward weddings and make it clear that you are nottt a newborn photog.) Do this through only showing wedding photos, only talking about weddings, only speaking toward engaged couples – not new parents!
How to Lean Into Your Specialty
Now that you know your initial LOVES and dislikes, you can start to lean into that specialty! Like I mentioned before: post only what you want to shoot!
When I began ONLY sharing weddings and couples on my social media & website, my business really took off because I established myself as a trusted WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER. I got muchhh less inquiries for the things I didn’t want to shoot – extended families, perfectly posed newborn pics, etc.
Your speciality should also be reflected in your branding and all throughout your website! Gear your blog posts, your website pages, your photos, your logos, everything toward your niche.
Why You Should Still Explore New Things
I’m gonna contradict myself a little bit here!
You don’t only have to do ONE thing.
I myself mainly shoot weddings, branding, and couples – those are my niches. But my niche LOVE of capturing pure joy and emotion flows through it all – families included. So sometimes I will take on family sessions that excite me and feel like something I want to capture!
Or if I’m feeling a little burnt out by weddings, maybe I’ll do more branding sessions or take on a newborn session.
Just because the goal is to be an EXPERT at what you do (finding your niche), doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to keep exploring!
Whenever you’re feeling bored, burnt out, or in need of a creative boost, do something different. COMPLETELY different. You may find that it helps get your creativity flowing, or you may find that you still hate it (e.g. if you take on a family session during your off-season) – that just confirms that you’re in the right niche!
Don’t feel trapped once you choose your niche – you’re allowed to grow and pivot as the years go by!
Whew, that was a lotttt of good info!! Finding your niche can be such a difficult thing to do as a business owner, especially if you really do love a bunch of different types of work! But it will be sooo beneficial in the long run, to your biz, your clients, AND you.
You’ve got this!