Niching Down

Episode 26: Niching Down, with Erik Jensen

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Niching down, a podcast featuring Erik Jansen and Deb Zahn. In this episode, learn about why everything gets easier after niching down.

Niching down is something that we’re doing differently for this podcast episode.

As you know — Erik is one of the owners here at Predictive and has joined Stephen for several episodes on the podcast, which has been a fun opportunity to share Erik’s smarts with our community in new and deeper ways.

No doubt — Erik has a depth of expertise, and we’re looking forward to him joining Stephen as his guest on the show again soon.

That said — for today — we’re going to do something different and share the full-length interview where Erik was interviewed by Deb Zahn, the fabulous host of the “Craft of Consulting” podcast.

Deb did an exceptional job of orchestrating a deep and instructional conversation around a topic that, in our experience — agencies, business coaches, and strategic consultants — typically either run from — or — move toward in a somewhat committed way.

When the episode aired — we listened to every word because what Erik shared was so helpful and awesome.


You’ll hear Erik map out everything about niching down:

  • How and where to build your position of authority (we call that planting your flag)
  • Why niching down is important
  • How to monetize it
  • Overcoming your fear of opportunity costs
  • Recognizing that everything gets easier when you’re niching down
  • Our guess is — you’ll also love the food analogies Erik shared — so awesome.
  • The one about the French pastry chef is fantastic!
  • And much more, which is why we decided to share the full episode with you.



Niching Down: Full Episode Transcript


Welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI. And I am fully bananas. I am super excited to share with you that we’re doing something totally different for this episode of the show. As you know, Erik Jensen, my business partner here at Predictive, has joined me for several episodes, which has been a really fun way to share his smarts with you in new and deeper ways.


So awesome. Yay for that. No doubt, Erik has a depth of expertise and I’m looking forward to him. Joining me as my guest on this show again soon. That said, for today, this is a different piece. We’re going to do something different by sharing a full length interview where Deb Zion interviewed Erik, and she’s the fabulous host of a podcast called The Craft of Consulting.


So Deb did an excellent job of orchestrating a really deep and instructional conversation around a topic that candidly, in our experience, agencies, business coaches, and strategic consultants. In fact, you could even put Predictive in that bucket several years ago that we typically either run from or we move toward in a somewhat committed way. And that topic is niching down.


So when the episode first aired Holy Bananas, I literally listened to every single word because what Erik shared was so helpful and rock solid. Awesome. So you’re going to hear Erik map all of this out in full transparency how and where to build your position of authority. And you know, sort of I guess inside baseball language, we call that planting your flag.


Niching down? Why is that important? You will also hear Erik talk through how to monetize it in so much more, which is why I decided to share the full episode with you inside this episode of the Story. So you’re going to also love the food analogies that Erik shares which made me giggle and laugh when I heard them.


The one about the French pastry chef is fantastic, I promise you. Okay, so without further ado, here are Deb’s on and predictive zone. Erik Jensen Enjoy. I want to welcome you to this week’s episode of The Craft of Consulting podcast. So by the end of this episode, you’re going to be 100% convinced that niching down in your consulting business is going to make your life so much easier.


You’re going to get more clients, you’re going to be able to run your business so much easier. And I know it’s that thing that so many consultants are frightened to do or aren’t clear why they should do it. But I was brought on as a guest. He and I are mind-blowing on why this is such a great idea.


Learn more about niching down by listening to “Episode 44: How to Find Your Niche in Business, with Stephen Woessner.”


Niching Down: Erik Jensen’s Introduction


Erik Jensen from Predictive ROI. He works with consultants and other small businesses on exactly how to do this, and he’s going to convince you why this is such a great idea. Then we’ll talk about how much easier will make your life why it makes your life easier and why it will make your business stronger. So let’s get started.


I want to welcome you to my show today, Erik Jensen. Erik, welcome to the show. Thanks, Deb, I appreciate it being here. I’m looking forward to the conversation. Wonderful. Well, let’s start off by telling my listeners what you do. So we are a digital marketing firm, but we’re really in the thought leadership space. So we help agencies, coaches, and consultants build a position of authority and monetize it.


That’s what we do. Pretty straightforward, nice, simple way to say it. And by the way, everybody should copy that nice, simple way of saying what you do and what your value is. That’s, that’s key. If it was only that easy, it would just come to us. But it takes a lot of iterations and hard work to get that narrowed down.


Absolutely. But it’s worth it because when it’s that crisp and it’s not clear, people get it and now they know they’re excited to have a conversation with you. It pays dividends for sure. So we’re going to talk about one of the things that you do in a framework you have, and I love the way that you describe it, which is to plant your flag in and share.


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Niching Down: Making Your Agency Stand Out


What do you mean by that and why is that so important for consultants? So planting your flag is really about reclaiming a space within the minds of your consumers. So none of us as business owners can be everything to everybody. If I had to point to the single biggest mistake I see in consultants is their tendency to morph their products, services, and teaching focus to whatever the potential client wants.


While that may seem like a good idea at the time, it also keeps them firmly planted in the ranks of the mediocre. Yeah. So when we think about planting our flag, what we really need is what we stand for. How can you make sure that everyone knows who you help, how you help them, and what that outcome is going to look like?


Niching down is something you need to do to stand out as a business. Yeah. And what would you say to the consultant who just heard that? And you scared them because they think, I’m never going to get any clients if I narrowly, if I in any way narrowly define myself, what would you say? Okay.


So that’s a great question. And so this is something that we see all the time, the fear of nation down, the fear of opportunity cost. And I get it. It’s a real fear. I don’t blame any listener who hears that and goes, Well, that’s lovely for someone else, but it’s not the reality for me. Okay? It’s one of the scariest things that any business owner faces.


And I mean, this is whether or not you’re just starting a business or whether you’ve been in business successfully for 20 years. These are the same fears, the same conversations that we have all the time with our clients. So let me put in the flow to kind of maybe help anybody who’s trying to wrap your mind around that.


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Niching Down: Nurturing Your Business Right from The Very Start


Understand what I mean. Okay. So planting your flag in a narrow area is necessary to know who you help, why you help them, and how you help them, right? Because you’re trying to help everybody do everything. And without knowing who you help, how you help, and why you help possibly have a good value proposition. Yeah. I mean, the whole point of a value proposition is clarity of who I know how I help why I help them, and what that outcome is going to be, right?


And if you don’t have a clear value proposition, you’re bound to have sales copy that’s generic and sloppy and bad. And if you have bad marketing materials, then you’re always going to be trying to do hard sales to cold leads. So it sounds like at the outset what you’re doing is you’re saying, Erik, take this entire ecosystem of people I could potentially work with and I want you to get rid of them.


What that feels like is I’m asking you to cut your baby in half, right? That’s right. Because a lot of times business owners look at their business as their baby. I mean, it’s a ton of work. It’s a ton of effort. It’s always like blood, sweat, and tears go into this thing. There’s Erik. I’m not cutting my baby.


Okay, but your business is not a baby. Your business is a grapevine. Okay? Anybody who’s ever tried to grow grapes for wine or anything along those lines knows you do not let the vineyard grow wild if you do. It doesn’t work. You have to trim the vine down. So that’s producing the most that it can because it’s focusing all of its energy, all of its nutrients into one task.


Right. And that’s making those grapes. So I’m not asking you to cut your baby in half or I’m asking you to treat your business as what it really is. And that is something that can be cultivated to produce a very specific outcome. If you do it right, it’s not going to kill it. It’s going to make it more focused.


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Niching Down: Explaining The Situation Through Examples


I love that. And more delicious and more delicious, right? Easier to consume. Exactly. So your analogy was so much more refined than the one I had in my head, which was if I show up at, let’s say, like a Denny’s and I say, yeah, I can work in the kitchen, that means I could be a line staff, I could be a dishwasher, I could be all kinds of different things as opposed to my friend who can walk into a restaurant and say, not just I’m a pastry chef, I’m a French pastry chef, and therefore she’s going to command a much higher price.


She’s going to be more valued at the places where she most wants to do the work, doing the work that she loves as opposed to me. I could be slinging hash, I could be taking out the trash. I don’t know what I’m doing. Yeah. And I think that’s part of it. When we think about planting a flag, we also equate that to thought leadership.


Okay, so the reason we use the two different analogies is that sometimes fighting the flag resonates with someone. Sometimes, the idea of a thought leader is like another thought leader; the world doesn’t need more of those or whatever happens to be okay. But here’s the reality. In the example that you just gave, one of those two people is a thought leader in what they do.


If I need to know how to bake a pastry, which one of you am I going to go to? Dough? Don’t go to me. Right. They’ll go to me either. I love to eat baked goods, but you don’t want to ask me, Baker. I’m going to use this as an example, right? Yeah. Thought leaders don’t create content that anyone else can easily create.


That’s right. Okay, so your cook, the genetic cook, is just going to be cooking meals and anybody else with a basic understanding of cooking could probably do it. That’s right. Right. Okay. Thought leaders also don’t create content about everything. Right. So that line chef is creating everything right from from hash browns to pancakes to toast salads, whatever it is needed and thought leaders don’t compete on price.


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Niching Down: Being Competitive with Your Rates


That’s right. So if you’re competing on all of these generic aspects, what’s the only level you have left to make? Price right, if you like. Well, I sound like everybody else. I do the same things as everybody else. I help everybody, so I don’t even have a specialty. I don’t understand your industry, or your problem better than anybody else.


The only thing I can say is, that I’m cheaper than them. That’s right. And you’d never hear a French pastry chef say I’m the cheapest French pastry chef that you’ll ever meet. They’ll say, if they did, if they did, you’re going to be like, If I want to hire you. You know exactly when your last job is at Costco.


What? Yeah, right, Right. It’s like nobody wants half-price sushi. There’s just something suspicious about that. Right. Well, let’s continue with these food analogies. No, I love the food analogies. So let’s say you’re going to set your fear aside and you say, okay, wait, they’re on to something. I kind of get it. I get the food analogy, and I’m going to define very clearly who I am, who I serve, and what value I provide to them.


Yeah, what do I do with that? How does that translate into how I actually get business? Great. I’ll break it down at the beginning because I think that this is where most people struggle, and that is how you actually play with food. So the first thing is, how do you actually do it?


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Niching Down: Having A Deep Understanding About Your Business and What You Can Offer


Niching down can be challenging, okay? Just the same way as we talked about that opening statement you guys do, right? That takes iterations. It is not a silver bowl. Okay. But there’s three elements to being able to plant the flag for. Number one, what is your true expertise and experience? Okay. Where do you truly excel? So let’s use a typical example of what I see consultancies do a lot.


So we don’t have any one industry we focus on. We don’t really have any. We don’t work exclusively with C-suite versus teams versus leadership teams. So across the board there and the problems that we solve for people are for it. You know, it really depends on the problems facing the business itself. So we dig in and we try to understand those problems so that we can create solutions for them, right?


Yeah, and so all of that is great. You’ve told me that you’re good at making stuff up on the fly. Yeah, you’re good at making sure that you’re smart enough to come up with solutions to problems. They probably love solving problems. There’s nothing wrong with any of that stuff. Yeah, so what are the problems that someone presents to you that you’re like, yeah, trying to knock that one out of the park?


Like I don’t have to create new material for it. I’ve got all sorts of worksheets and tools built around this. My success whenever it comes, is people always tell me like, my goodness, this is one of the most impactful things that it has done. Like, that’s your true expertise. What’s your genius? Okay, so that’s the first thing that you’ve got to understand about yourself.


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Niching Down: Know Your Niche and Attract the Right Customers


Do not go overboard. Narrow is better, and that’s going to be true at all levels. The next one is what’s your unique point of view about that piece? Okay. What do you think is different or what do you believe that is different than what is typically believed about that? Okay. So for instance, there is a wide-held belief, and has been for a little while, though it’s starting to get debunked now that millennials are just terrible employees right now of course, that happens every generation, everything along those lines, but they’re just the worst.


Okay. And so what some people did when it came to hiring and training and things like that is they decided to say, well, my unique point of view is it’s not the generation’s person type. Millennials don’t suck, okay? And they did research on it. They actually did peer-reviewed research, and they double checked, and they said, look, okay, what are the personality traits that are the problem?


You know, they found this multi-generational. Every generation has the same sort of mindset and every generation also has a mindset and great people. So their point of view is you’re wrong. It’s not millennials; it’s this other thing, right? That’s right. Another great point of view is we believe that mom is the primary decision maker for all health care decisions.


So she must be the primary audience for all marketing, whether or not she’s the patient. Right. That’s a very strong point of view as we believe this. Okay. And then the third thing you need to have is why do you actually give a report? Now, I know that that might sound like no big deal, but it actually does matter because your reason for doing it is part of what you’re going to drive.


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Niching Down: Show Your Clients That You Know Your Niche


Yeah. Your generosity will drive your interest in and curiosity, and it will drive how you show up to do the work that you do every day. That’s right. So, if you can imagine a Venn diagram, that centerpiece right there, that’s your flag. Love it.


This is what I’m good at. This is my point of view on that, and this is why I care to do that work. I love that and I love that last. I love all of them, but I love that last one in particular because prospective clients can tell if you don’t have a way. If you don’t really have a stake in what it is that you’re offering them.


And it is a bit repelling. And I’ve had clients tell me that when somebody shows up and they might say very similar things to you, they might say, I’ve achieved X, Y, and Z, but whatever it is that convinces them that they have the basic goods to make it happen. I have heard from clients that they often make the decision based on who they think actually gives a crap about what they care about.


Yeah, and I would too. We want someone to care about our business as much as we do. Yeah, this is a big decision for us to have someone come in to consult and say you need to make big changes, and this is. This is what you need to do and why. And I got to trust that you got your best and their best interests at heart, and then you actually care about the work that you do.


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Niching Down: Challenge Yourself to Learn New Things


That’s right. Or you’re either indifferent to the pain or a cause of concern, said pain, which is the other problem. Now, one of the other things that, you know, consultants get afraid about is so they say they’re with us. They’re like, All right, I’m ready to plant my flag. What if I want a different flag later? So am I going to get that?


I also hear quite often from consultants. If they can be convinced to niche down, they fear being put in a box. What would you say to them? Yeah, I understand that mentality, and it comes from two places in my experience generally. The first reason that someone fears kneeling down and feeling like they’re being put in a cage is that they want to keep continually exploring new things.


They just love to work. Yeah, okay. If that’s what’s driving you, I would challenge you with this. And that is if you’re narrowed down on something and you’re actually narrowed down on something, there’s plenty to learn. People spend their entire lifetimes learning about a teeny tiny little section of something. So it’s okay to learn really deeply an inch wide and a mile deeper.


Okay. You’re not going to run out of things to learn. And then the other reason that people do it is because they think that if I narrow down this one day, I’m going to lose or walk away from business. That’s right. And that opportunity cost fear prevents them from really understanding the possibilities of reaching down. When you niche down everything that you do as a business gets faster, easier, and more profitable. Everything you do okay: your sales, your marketing, your onboarding process for new employees, your onboarding for your clients, your accounting, your bookkeeping.


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Niching Down: Finding The Right People to Work with You


Everything gets easier if you niche down. So many times business owners are overwhelmed with all the things that they have to do, right? I mean, so Drew McClellan that the Agency Management Institute, he’s really one of my favorite things that he talks about all the time is many agency owners are accidental business owners. Right? They were really good at something and they were wanting to do this.


And then the house all starts a business and it’ll be great. And then lo and behold, they’re like, Wait, I don’t actually understand how to run a business. I understand how to do the thing, but I don’t understand how to run a business. And very quickly, it’s over. Well, yeah, and the same thing is true with a lot of consultants and coaches and things along those lines.


So if you’re an accidental business owner and you’re listening to this, it will make the process of becoming a savvy business owner much, much faster and easier than trying to be good at everything. That’s right. Okay. Because you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for every client you find to get. And you can actually train people to take stuff off of your plate because every time you’re going into a new client or a new situation, you’re making stuff up and it’s all coming out of your head.


Yeah. And I say, Can you find someone to be able to take that over from you? Can you hire someone to be able to help you? They help you with that. You’re going to go, No, man, this is just tough work. They have to be able to think strategically. They’ve got to have this experience. It’s just no one can take this stuff over.


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Niching Down: Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Leap of Faith


For me. It’s like, okay, fair enough. Now I go talk to the same person who has a really tried and true system, and they’re very specific people with very specific problems. And I say, Hey, could you train someone to be able to do this piece of your work? And they go, well, yeah. Basically they just follow this process, this outline, and do this tool and ask these five questions and do this sort of stuff.


And I mean, yeah, they’re going to need a little bit of experience. But if they did a ride along with me for like three months, yeah, absolutely. Sally could totally take over that piece for me. Vastly different in your ability to grow as a business. That’s right. Now you can scale because it’s not dependent on how many hours you have in your day, right?


So, niching down—I get it—is scary. It’s one of the scariest things you do. I said it before, and I’ll say it again because you’re not alone if this is a fear that you have. But I have yet to talk to a single business owner who has reached down and regretted it. That’s right. I would agree.


I’ve seen so many people resist, resist, resist, resist. And then almost out of desperation, because nothing else is working, they grab on to the, you know, lifesaver, which is niching down. And they’re like, fine, I guess I’ll do it. Yeah. And then everything gets more accessible and it gets clearer and you start to get business. It’s almost like that magical switch.


Yeah, that happens. And now you actually get to enjoy what you do and you get to do it because now people are going to pay you to do it well and you get to spend your time actually working in the business. Yeah, you can actually do excellent work instead of frantically working on the next presentation or tool or workshop you’ve got to put together because you’ve never done it.


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Niching Down: Your Clients Will Eventually Start Trusting You


Just like this, you’re customizing it for this client. And here’s a lot of the things that I hear, too. A lot of people say, Well, that’s one of my value propositions, is I customize everything for my clients. Okay? That’s what makes me stand apart now, doesn’t it? Makes you sound like everybody else. And I will tell you that the savvy business owners that purchase that stuff know you’re making crap up.


That’s right. Okay. And they know you just cut and paste, right? And they’re not going to call you on it if they believe that you can do it because they’re trusting in your ability to make stuff up in a way that is going to be helpful to them. Still, they’re not going to look at you as less than if you come to them and say, This is what I do and exactly how I do it.


Yeah. So, let’s imagine you’re going in for heart surgery. Do you trust the heart surgeon, or do you trust the general practitioner who goes, You know, I read some books, and I think I can figure this out. I know where the heart is. Yeah, sure. Yours is going to be custom. You. Yeah. That’s not terrifying at all. Well, it doesn’t mean rote repetition.


That bores a lot of people. And I think that’s what you’re saying, but I don’t think that’s what you’re saying. I think it’s important to point out. So one of my niches is I get groups of people to come to an agreement on things, particularly if they’re mad at each other. I’m good with the people who are mad at each other and come to an agreement.


So the joke is I care about decision-making disorders in groups. And now, every time I show up in my special way or from my point of view, people don’t make rational decisions; they make emotional decisions. And so part of when I come in is understanding that the feelings matter as much as the actual words that are coming out of folks’ mouths.


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Niching Down: Know What Works and What Doesn’t


Every group is a little bit different. I get this version, I get that version, it’s a little bit different. However, the tools that I use are in my toolbox. I might pull out three different tools and a little bit different with that group and a little bit different with that group. But essentially my process is the same, so it’s not boring, but I’m not coming up with an approach from scratch.


Every single time I walk in, I get tools that I know work. They work in different circumstances. I pull out the tool I need when I need it, right? I mean, again, just going back to that, that French baker as that pastry chef, as an example, there’s probably about 20 ingredients that person ever uses. That’s right. But they create a myriad of different options for someone to be able to consume.


So what you’re looking for when we talk about niching down are the core elements and truths that you know are accurate. So, for instance, like when we do our work on a story, we know that there are ten truths in the story. I’m not going to list them all right now because listening to me talk through a list is not going to be super, super interesting.


If someone is actually interested in becoming an authority, we’ll send them a book for free, No Strings Attached, or anything like that. And we know that because someone follows these ten truths, they’re going to be able to take that with them no matter what permutation there is in their business. It’s just accurate. Okay, So there are truths. And again, this gets back to your point of view.


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Niching Down: Do Something Regularly and Make It as Your Trademark


There are deep truths about the work that you do as a consultant that remain true no matter how the business is doing. Because you see the problems, all of them, because we all do, right? We all have the lenses to think that through life, through you see the problems through your lens; you’re filtering through some stuff. My suggestion is to know your filters and just make them clear rather than letting them be subconscious.


That’s right. Okay. Let me touch upon one other thing that I know relates to this and is also part of what you folks talk about: creating your cornerstone content. Presumably, you have to know who the heck you are before you know what your cornerstone should be. What does that do for a consultant that not having that doesn’t let them do?


Awesome. Okay. This kind of gets into your previous question, which I answered part of but never fully answered the rest of. How does planting your flag really take you from this is what I’m talking about, who I’m serving, all the way through closing a sale? Okay. So, the process and we use Cornerstone content in a really specific way.


So Cornerstone content is regular, so you’re doing it on a regular basis. This podcast example, okay, it can be sliced and diced into smaller content. Again, this podcast is an example of that, right? You can take in smaller bits, you can write blog posts off, even write emails off social media, and things like that.


And it is not a one trick pony. So meaning that if, let’s say, the world exploded and all this stuff happened and I don’t know your podcast hosting platform right now and closed doors, right? You just move your podcast to someplace else. That’s right. Let’s say iTunes decided, you know what, we’re done; we’re not doing anything else.


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Niching Down: Claim Your Niche Through Cornerstone Content


The podcasts, okay, the more you’ve got lives, the more you guys play. You got Stitcher, and you got all these other problems. So it’s not a one trick pony. There are plenty of places to do that if you’re building a business or cornerstone content and, let’s say, doing Facebook lives; that’s tricky because if you built your platform on Facebook and Facebook decides that they don’t want to support that anymore, you got a one trick pony in your house.


That’s right. Okay. So what you do is you take the cornerstone content, and every time you do that cornerstone content, it should be about hammering your flag deeper into the dirt in the area that you’re claiming. So every time you do this podcast, I know we’re having to talk a lot about food in this particular episode are there analogies for your olives and getting out and saying like, Hey, who wants to hear about recipes?


That’s right. Right. That would be weird. And it doesn’t serve the cornerstone content. That’s every time the cornerstone content helps you dive deeper into your authority within this particular space, who you’re speaking to, what you’re speaking to them about, and how it’s going to be helpful to them. And your point of view around how that helps them right.


And throughout all of that weaving through, why do you care? That’s right. So if I were to ask you, why do you care about your audience? Because I want to reduce suffering. That’s my short answer. Right? But you know it. I know it. I know why I started this. I saw too much suffering. I did what I could to alleviate it.


And I thought I needed to take that to scale. Right and right. People listening to this will hear that message, Deb, and they’re going to go, I love that she doesn’t want me to suffer. Yeah, I don’t want to suffer. Right. Suffering sucks. I’m glad we’re aligned. I don’t want to suffer. Right? Yeah. So for us, when I think about myself and my business partner, Stephen, we care because small business is in our bones.


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Niching Down: Don’t Create Confusion


It’s who we are. It’s who our families are. It’s. We’re friends. We love small business. It’s just what we do. We’re passionate about it. Like we would nerd out on it even if we didn’t have a business around. That’s right. You talk about it. Even when your friends hope that you don’t, which is dinner parties. Right. And that’s what a good story is, right?


You are the kind of person who the right people are like, and I want to hear more because the wrong people are like my God, this is so boring. How can you still be talking about this? And you’re like, let me tell you more, right? I love it. What I like about it, and I want to hammer this in with the flag, is I’ve seen a lot of consultants who are like, I should do marketing, I should do social media, I should do whatever, and it doesn’t match what they actually do as a consultant.


So they’re now sending a signal often to a different audience, different message, different flag, or lots of little flags, and I can’t tell who they are and what they’re doing, so it’s not going to serve their purpose. Yeah. So what we usually do’s amazing. Apparently, we use way too much food in our analogies and predictions so we usually call that throwing spaghetti at the wall.


Right. If you’re hoping something is going to stick. You don’t know what’s going to work. So you just like chucking it and hoping something is going to stick, and then you’ll immediately go, that thing works. It got me a client, or it got me to clients. I must now instantly dive deep into that one thing. That’s right.


And unfortunately, what that does is, again, it means that you’re jerking back and forth. And not only are you giving yourself with, gosh, if you have a team, you’re giving them whiplash too, and your audience is trying to consume your information is also getting whiplash. They need to learn how or how you help them. Right. It feels like you’re throwing darts at the board, and you don’t see it as much as a business owner when you’re doing it yourself.


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Niching Down: Know Your Competition and Get Ahead of the Game


I promise you your audience sees it. Yeah, they experience it every time. And clients have said to me about other consultants that they just seem all over the place like they can’t tell if they’re really for them or not. And so they watch and they’re like, well, when they settle down, it’ll make sense to me.


Or they don’t—they don’t even take the time and effort to say that because there are plenty of consultants who already know what they want. Right. And that’s the thing is: You’re not competing on that particular piece as an expert in that field. And they know that you can do that thing. Somebody else is going to be pointing that way.


Somebody else is going to be consistent about that message. That’s who you’re competing against. Yeah, right. You’re competing against that heart surgeon. And there will still be clients who decide to go with you. But you know why they’re going to go with you as friends. That’s right. And they may only go to you once they realize he didn’t know where my heart was.


You’re talking about my invert surgery. And I came up missing the leg. It was weird. I think I’m going to pass. I’m going to that. That surgeon, pretty much. I promise you there’s no way plenty of flies will hurt you as a business. So when you take that cornerstone content, and you create this regular stuff and you’re diving deeper into it all the time before you think about it all the time, putting out consistent content all the time about this specific thing with a specific set of people and using this particular point of view and framework to be able to talk about it, there is comfort in knowing what you’re talking about. 


That’s right. And then you’re slicing and dicing that onto these cobblestone pieces so that you’re able to disseminate across all these platforms to your point, without having a bunch of randomness, without throwing spaghetti at the wall, without putting all these tiny little flags out there. Okay, There’s a consistency. It all draws back to you, to what you’re doing.


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Niching Down: Understand Your Client’s Problem and Find the Right Solution


Now. Let’s think about what that does to the rest of your business. I know who I’m helping, how I’m helping, and what problems are facing one industry there. In my point of view, the framework that I use all those pieces and it’s consistent. I don’t I’m not remaking that for every client that I have, but I bet my value-added is a whole lot clearer because I know which products and services I need to have in my daily work because I saw these six problems.


So maybe I have six products, or maybe I have a better one. Yes, that’s right. Where it’s good solves two problems that are best solves all six. Right. When you articulate any of your marketing, your sales conversations are really very clear. So what do you do to solve this problem? Right. And in fact, they’re going to be asking you that stuff because you’re going to have consumed your information.


They’re going to come in, they’re going to go, my gosh, that’s right. I’ve been so looking forward to this conversation. So here’s the problem. And there is going to lay it on you. That’s right. And you’re going to get to be there as someone who’s asking questions, absorbing information, not prescribing. Right. Because if you’re trying to do everything differently for every person, all you can do is prescribe how you like. Well, I think you should do this or maybe you should consider this or could you try that or things along those lines.


More spaghetti, right? More spaghetti. Where are they coming to you, and they know what you do? You don’t have to convince them that you know what you’re talking about. That’s right. And when they say what problem you solve, you can actually then answer yours because you pre-qualified them. You don’t. I just got off a call with a previous client who just showed back up with six figures in hand and said You, and there wasn’t anybody else.


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Niching Down: Be An Expert and Show Your Genius


They are not talking to anybody else about this. And it’s because they know I solved the problem they have in front of them. And I’m fun to work with. And I talk about food. There you go. All of those things. And that sales process just got easier. I didn’t have to do anything because I had that clarity, and that’s all they’ve ever experienced for me.


Right? And when you think about the transitional moments in your business from someone going from, they don’t know you to maybe they’re on your mailing list to now they’re showing up to webinars or Q&A as to maybe they bought a single product or service from you that have a limited time to now. It’s every month, monthly recurring revenue.


Again, each one of those stages is easier because, you know, this is your problem, this is what it is. This is how to solve it. This is my framework. This is my point of view. Let’s keep going down this path. Yeah. All your sales materials, all your sales conversations, you name it, everything gets easier. And I know I said that earlier, but everything gets easier.


It truly does. I feel like there’s a T-shirt that needs to happen, she says. You know everything gets easier, right? Yeah. Like if I could go back in time and whack my younger self upside the head. Yeah, there are only two lessons I would pass on. One is don’t do it all yourself. Hiring people who are smarter than you is the thing that you’re bad at, right?


Because they need to shut down, and they’re really good at that. You and I sit down yourself so you can focus on your area of genius. Yeah. So, will the people hire you for the exact same reason as you would hire someone else? Absolutely. Yes. I refer to my first six months of consulting as my pre-niche years. After six months of pain nothing was working.


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Niching Down: Free Resources from Predictive ROI


Niching down is not that challenging if you’re a quick learner. Yeah, it took about six months, and I finally knocked myself up in the head and went, Now somebody who said, ‘Do you need it? And I’m like, why would I do that? So, Erik, this has been so rich, and I feel like we could probably have a multi-hour podcast in Joe Rogan style, but it would be way better.


And where can folks find you? Yeah, absolutely. So we can be found at It’s pretty straightforward. And then I had mentioned earlier for anybody that is interested in the truths of authority and honestly, it’s really it’s about those two paragraphs in the book that are three paragraphs. But we do have a book called Sell with Authority, and you can just go to and it’s actually free.


So we care pretty deeply about authority and helping others achieve that for their businesses because we know business is hard. Yeah, this is really hard. And anything that we can do to help businesses be better about that, we’re thrilled to be able to do. We want to be able to help as many business owners as possible. I don’t care if someone ends up working with us.


I don’t care if they never speak to us again if they want to, but they can go there. We’ll send it to them, and hopefully, that will help them along in their journey as a business. That’s fabulous and we will have a link to that in the show notes, including to your website, but specifically to that. So, Erik, let me ask my very last question.


And you knew this was coming. I did, which is the other thing niching down can help with is bringing more balance to your life. So how do you bring balance to your life? However, it is you think about or define that. Yeah. So does niching down help bring balance? Yes, but how do I bring balance to my life?


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Niching Down: Finding The Life-Work Balance


The honest answer is I’m not great at it. Yeah, and I know very few business owners who would say that they have mastered it. If you asked them about it during a tough month, That’s right. There’s a lot to be said for looking at balance in a different way, in my opinion. And so recently, I have had an opportunity here, a presentation by a fellow named Timmy about a conference hosted by Elite Entrepreneurs, which is for seven-figure business owners.


While the whole presentation was awesome—really, really great—there was one line that really hit: All of you say family comes first. He’s talking to a room full of business homes, right? Very successful, things like that. And he goes, And all of you are liars. And that’s okay, right? Because all of us look at our truth, time and energy and resources, and things like that, like running a business takes a lot.


And sometimes, that means it’s going to be unbalanced. But what I took away from that was to give yourself some grace sometimes. Yes, right. Many days I don’t have the balance that I want, and I can’t be perfect at everything. No one can. I can’t be 100% focused on every aspect of your life at all times. We’re physically incapable of it.


So give yourself some grace. Try to be better and learn and try to build your business to support your goals. And I think that’s the other side of this that I would recommend. So I’d mentioned earlier Drew McLellan, he’s one of our mentors here at Predictive and he calls what work-life balance is unrealistic. It’s about work life for him.


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Niching Down: Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard at Work


How are you designing a business that supports each other? Yeah, right. So if I look at predictive, I never wanted to work in an office, and I don’t know, maybe some of your listeners are feeling the same way. They’re like, Yes. Or maybe some are like, Man, I wish to work in an office, but I never wanted to work at all.


So, Predictive is one hundred percent remote. Always has been, and always will be. I like working with small businesses, so not large corporations. So we work with small businesses. I like to travel with my family. So when we travel for business trips and things along those lines, I usually try to bring them with me. We take a couple of extra days and we explore the place that we’re in.


So balance is hard, Balance is really hard, and you’re going to screw it up as often as you get it right. But give yourself some grace, and don’t try to be superhuman because it’s unrealistic. Instead, try to find the small things that you can do to change your business that are going to help you support that work-life blend.


Love it, hope that it’s useful. I love that actual approach, particularly give yourself grace parties. I think sometimes we people beat ourselves with the balance stick, which doesn’t help, and it actually just creates, you know, hard feelings that make everything else harder. Yeah, I think I think we give unrealistic expectations as people are really good about seeing everybody else’s front stage and judging their back end stage versus everybody else’s on stage.


That’s right. You don’t see this stuff that’s going on. We’ve got a beautiful house and a beautiful family and a nice car and they’re doing all these adventures and all that sort of stuff. And then, you know, the back of the stage, and it’s like, yeah, they never get to spend time in that house. They never drive that car.


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Niching Down: Closing Remarks


That’s right. Their laundry is insane. Right. Because, you know, they’re working 16 hours. That’s right. So find out what’s right for you as far as what that balance looks like or that blend looks like and try to improve a little bit every day. I love it. Well, Erik, I want to thank you so much for being on the show.


There were so many I know you use the term Golden nugget and I would say there are many in here. So thank you so much. I think this can be really helpful for folks. Awesome. Yeah, I hope so. Obviously, if anybody has any questions about this stuff, they can reach out. To me, it’s just a prediction. Alright, I come to yeah, we’re happy to answer any questions and we’ll get to Q&A as well so that folks can come in and just drop in and ask questions as well.


So we try to be as helpful as possible, just like you, because we believe deeply in this sort of work. Fabulous. Thank you. All right. Thank you, Deb. Okay. I hope you found what Erik and Deb talked through and shared super helpful. But no matter how many notes you took or how often you go back and listen to Erik’s words of wisdom, which I sure hope you do, the key is you have to take what he so generously shared with you, take it, and apply it because if you do, you’ll be in a great spot to move onward to the next level.


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Niching Down: Step-by-Step Instructional Guides


As a reminder, be sure to visit our newly rebuilt resources section. Actually, Erik talked about this, how we give away our Sell with Authority book 100% free. You can find it at in addition, which is why I’m taking you to the resource library because we just rebuilt the library so you can find the book there.


You can also find a series of new what we’ll call step-by-step instructional guides so you can download or order all of it from there. And again, I promise you, it’s 100% free. There are no hoops to jump through or strings attached. Just go to, and you’ll find everything there. Okay. I look forward to being back with you next week when we begin a special series of three solo casts.


That’s just you and me—no guest covering some topics in a really deep way. Full transparency, I promise you, is going to help you kick off the fourth quarter with some rock-solid, awesome momentum. Okay, until then, onward with gusto.


Learn more about niching down by listening to “Episode 44: How to Find Your Niche in Business, with Stephen Woessner.”


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Sell with Authority Podcast

The Sell with Authority Podcast is for agency owners, business coaches, and strategic consultants who are looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality.

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