New Year’s resolutions? No, thank you. Radically rethink the way you set goals:

EP 194: Finding A Niche In A Crowded Market With Photographer Janeris Marte

The Nitty-Gritty

  • How Janeris Marte transformed her photography business when she went from a jack of all trades to specializing in adoptive families
  • The simple strategy Janeris uses to connect with prospects
  • How she designed photography packages that perfectly align with her clients’ unique needs
  • Why finding her niche not only made it easier to market herself but made it more efficient to run her business, too

Could your target market use a clean up?

There’s a reason that every marketing class you’ve ever taken or any business coach you’ve ever worked with has asked you to start by defining who your customer is.

And that reason is simply that most beginner business owners—and even plenty who should know better—end up trying to be everything to everybody.

And, of course they do! It seems like it would be so much easier to make a product that everybody wants to buy. It seems like it would be so much more effective to create marketing that resonates with everyone.

But… in the end, when you’re speaking to everyone, you’re speaking to no one.

When you’re creating for everyone, you’re creating for no one.

We’ve been talking about decluttering your business this month.

So far, we’ve tackled streamlining your business model, limiting your working hours, and focusing only on the work that truly lights you up. Plus, you’ve heard how members of The What Works Network have created more results with less work in a variety of ways.

This week, we’re going to look at decluttering your customers.

Now, a serious note: I’m not at all suggesting anyone you work with or create for is clutter!

But… I am suggesting that there’s a good chance you’re not as clear on who you serve and why you serve them as you could be.

Case in point: Janeris Marte had been a photographer for 18 years with limited success. She was a self-described jack of all trades.

Then, she realized she had an opportunity.

She could specialize in photography for adoptive families.

Instead of creating portraits of anyone who popped into her inbox, she could focus on connecting with a community of people she knew well with a service that could transform their families.

In this interview, you’ll hear how Janeris decided to focus on adoptive families, how she connects with new clients, and the specialized packages she’s able to offer because of her niche.

But I also really want you to pay attention to how Janeris describes the impact this focus has had on her business operations and client experience, too. She wasn’t only able to clean up the way she markets herself as a photographer, she was able to become much more efficient at the way she communicates with clients and delivers her services, too.

Has your business gone from a jack of all trades to a highly specialized venture?

I’d love to hear your story. Share what works for you on Instagram using the hashtag #explorewhatworks and tag me, @tara_mcmullin. We just might feature your story!

Now, let’s find out what works for Janeris Marte!

What Works Is Brought To You By

Mighty Networks powers brands and businesses – like yours! – that bring people together.
With a Mighty Network, online business owners just like you can bring together in one place:

  • Your website
  • Your content
  • Your courses
  • Your community
  • Your events online and in real life
  • And charge for them…all while building YOUR brand.

Visit mightynetworks.com to see more examples of brands bringing people together and taking their businesses to the next level.

It’s tax season… and that means you’re thinking about whether your books are in order.

If you’re ready to stop stressing about cleaning up your business finances yourself, it’s time to get Bench.

Bench combines easy to use software with real human beings who do your bookkeeping for you.

Not only does your money stay neat & tidy, you get valuable monthly financial statements and expenses reports—plus access to your personal bookkeeping team whenever you have a question.

Even better? What Works listeners get 20% off their first 6 months of bookkeeping AND you can try it out free of charge before you commit. To get started, go to explorewhatworks.com/bench.

By Tara McMullin

Writer, Podcaster, Producer. Founder of What Works.

Mar 26, 2019

Read More

EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

This week, I’ve got 4 more stories to share with you from small business owners who have intentionally done things their own way when it comes to sales and selling. They’ve found what truly works for them–even if it bucks the prevailing wisdom or would make a bro marketing expert role his or her eyes.

These stories come from business coach Ashley Gartland, marketing expert Amy Lippmann, designer Mel Richards, and work reinvention coach Lydia Lee.

Listen for how they incorporated these same considerations into finding their own unique sales systems. They designed their systems with personal values, strong relationships, reduced anxiety, and agency in mind.

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

This show is called What Works for a reason.

Sometimes it’s a declaration: this is what worked for this small business. And often, it’s a question, “What works?”

Today’s episode is very much a question, many questions, really:

What works when it comes to selling when you want to avoid manipulative or exploitative practices?

What works when your values conflict with many of the best practices of selling online but you still want people to buy your stuff?

What works when it comes to sales in a business that is actively anti-racist and anti-capitalist?

And even more bluntly: Can you even sell things without causing harm or perpetuating harmful systems?

My friend Kate Strathmann is the founder of Wanderwell, a bookkeeping and consulting firm that grows thriving businesses while investigating new models for being in business.

Recently, Kate took a bit of a detour from how she’s used to building her business, which is 90% referral based and fueled by deep relationship- and community-building. She decided to offer a small group program called the Equitable Business Incubator as a way of exploring anti-capitalist business practices and how they apply to the small businesses we’re building.

To fill the program, Kate need to sell differently.

Which led her to asking the question: Can you even sell things as a anti-capitalist?

While that might not be your specific question, I have a feeling that you too have wondering how you can effectively sell your offers without causing harm, perpetuating harmful systems, or damaging relationships. And that’s why I knew Kate and I needed to explore this topic on the show.

This is a conversation about what a kinder, less harmful sales process could look like—and it probably contains more questions than answers. But I’m confident those questions can help you find the answers that are right for you and the sales system that you want to build to make your business stronger.

We start out by defining what we’re really talking about when we talk about capitalism and anti-capitalism. Then, Kate shares how the Equitable Business Incubator came to be and how she ended up selling it. And then we dig into what makes many of the sales formulas and best practices being taught today problematic—and how to think differently to create your own alternative practices.

Now, let’s take a look at what works for creating less harmful sales systems!

EP 297: Selling A New Program With Proof To Product Founder Katie Hunt

EP 297: Selling A New Program With Proof To Product Founder Katie Hunt

Today’s guest is Katie Hunt—who is a member of the former group and serves the latter group.

Katie is the founder of Proof To Product, which helps creative entrepreneurs run and grow thriving product-based businesses. She works with designers, illustrators, and artists to help them develop in-demand product lines and get them sold in stores all over the world.

Not long after the pandemic threw her business and the industry she serves for a major loop, Katie and her team launched Proof To Product Labs to provide a completely digital, ongoing support opportunity for business owners when they needed it most.

And that launch was a smash.

Katie and I get into all of the nuts and bolts of how she adjusted the offer to meet the moment and how she warmed up her audience before the campaign, as well as the exact mix of emails, podcast ads, and social media content she used to sell the offer when it went live. We also talk about how she sees the sales system evolving in the future and how the offer has been received now that people are using it!

What Works offers in-depth, well-researched content that strips away the hype of the 21st-century economy. Whether you love the podcast, the articles, or the Instagram content, we’d love your support