Episode 45: Expanding your niche – with Christina Rebuffet

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You’ve done your research, you’ve narrowed down your niche, and you’ve created your product… but no one’s buying. Today’s guest is an English teacher named Christina who faced this frustrating situation.

In this interview, she tells the story of how she expanded her niche and adjusted her product packaging and branding. Christina also shares great tips for organizing your time when you have private clients, but you also want to create longer-term products.

Highlights:

  • Why nobody in Christina’s original target audience would buy her courses (4:00)
  • How Christina changed her mindset and strategy around her niche – and the results (10:10)
  • Finding out the most effective and appealing way to package your products to meet customer needs (14:58)
  • Balancing your schedule between one-on-one clients and creating products, courses, and group programs (21:05)

Links:

  • Great episode, and very interesting for a fellow online language teacher! I loved the thoughts on niche in languages vs other fields. Also, good point on choosing the people to approach based on not only what they want, but also what they’re ready to purchase (if we want to remain in business!). Thanks both of you for your time and generosity.

  • Cara Leopold

    I was just thinking that I needed to catch up with Shayna’s podcast. I spot this episode with Christina and lo and behold – she mentions me! Lol! I can’t remember what I advice I gave Christina, but I also abandoned only marketing to French people. And not just because of the administrative headaches here in France.
    Shared language/culture seems like a good way in initially, but it can quickly become a dead-end as far as brand building is concerned.
    One of my business mentors is a big fan of Simon Sinek’s TED talk, Start with Why, which is about the fact that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it (totally worth watching).
    If the ‘why’ is more important that the ‘what’ then I think we have to dig a bit deeper than just ‘nationality’ as a category. We have to get into the core of our brand and connect with who we want to serve based on shared values and interests.
    My ideal client comes from a country I know very little about and whose language I don’t speak. But we connect on other levels, and not just because we have English as a shared language.
    Anyway, it was great to hear about your experiences Christina- thanks for sharing.

    • Great comment, Cara!

      I think more and more nowadays, it’s less about “demographics” (ex. my target customer is a 35-year-old Brazilian woman with 2 kids) and more about “tribes” (ex. my target customer is someone who wants their English learning to be fun – regardless of age, gender, nationality).

      There’s still a place for the demographic categories, of course, but we shouldn’t get stuck in them. Cultivating a strong brand message and personality will definitely attract those who benefit the most from that particular approach.

      Thanks for listening 🙂