FAQ – Why you should get niche

A lot of decorators are great all-rounders. It makes sense, it means you can turn your hand to most jobs. From exteriors, to interiors, delicate papering to new builds, for most decorating enquiries you can say that you can do the work.
  But what if you go the other way, and specialise in something? Surely that’ll mean you’ll get less work? Not necessarily. In fact you might get a lot more work by offering fewer services. You become the ‘go-to’ person, the trusted expert for a niche market.

Being a trusted expert

What prompted this article was a phone call asking me to go to Wales, to work on an old house and repair the historic cast iron guttering and downpipes.
  Why was I asked to do that? After all, I stopped decorating in 2017 when I fell off scaffolding and broke my back (I’ve since mostly recovered.)
  It’s because more than five years ago I wrote a couple of very specific and detailed blogs about repairing and painting cast iron guttering and cast iron Victorian windows… And I’m still getting enquiries from all over the country to ask if I can go and do this work, or to give advice. Five years on.
  The reason I’m still getting enquiries is that these are very specific subjects. There are very few other links on Google about them. Not only that, people interested in those subjects have spent a lot of time reading my detailed blogs, so Google has ranked them as being highly trusted.
  So how can that help you?

Should you do become niche?

The quick answer is yes, but be careful, you may get what you wish for.
  If you do something particularly well, and enjoy doing it, then make videos or write blogs about it in detail. Convince potential customers you are the expert. It could be how you installed a particular wall hanging, or how you sprayed a high end kitchen.
  The more specific you can be, the better for search rankings. Something like ‘How to hang wallpaper’ is a useful general blog, but it has nearly two billion results on Google so you’re unlikely to be in the top search results. But ‘how to repair cast iron guttering’ only has about a million results, and my blog is on the first page.
  Being a total nerd about a particular subject can not only help get customers to your website, but it can convince them that you’re an expert and care about what you do.
If you hate exterior timber repairs and want less of that work, then don’t tell people about it! If you want to be the local expert for fast and accurate feature wall papering, then write a different blog about how to do that with every single brand of paper you’ve hung.

How to make a success of being niche

Being known as an expert in a particular field can start by having popular, good quality specific blogs that do well on Google rankings, and you can also ask your customers to write specific reviews about the work you do.
  Spread the word about your expertise on social media, and write articles for local magazines or The Decorator. Make sure you really go into the details, with clear examples, using photos or video if you can.
  There are loads of copy and paste blogs out there, and they’ve become very obvious. Don’t go down that road.

Be you. Show your work. Show your expertise.

Like me, you could still get enquiries five or ten years on… If you’re helpful, you’re clear, and you’re niche.
  To build the business you want in five years, and to do the kind of work you want to do in five years, start promoting that work now. Build that reputation. Build that gallery of work, that portfolio. Then you can be in demand as the go-to person, and that also means you can charge more.
  So what kind of work do you want more of? What blogs could you write or what videos could you make about that kind of work? Spending just one hour writing a really good blog with photos could have brought me thousands of pounds of work, if I was still doing it. Why not do the same?