You always hear us preaching about “finding a niche to dominate”, but you just can’t seem to get traction anywhere.
Why do some people naturally find a niche while others are stuck in a perpetual state of being a generalist?
In this episode, we dig into 6 common mistakes that hold people back from dominating their niche.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- Why you need to know where to put your fishing poles
- How you could hurt your business by choosing a niche at the wrong time
- How to use your skills to find the right niche for you
- How (and when) location matters for the niche you pick
- Why surrounding yourself with the right people is key to your success
- How your messaging can affect your entire business
- What effective messaging does for you
- Why listing too many services on your site can be detrimental
- Why every business needs a “movie trailer”
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“Everyone’s got 99 problems and a niche is usually one.” – Chris Graham
“You’re adding an unnecessary amount of friction to your life and to your business if you do not get your messaging right.” – Brian Hood
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Related Podcast Episodes
#13: How Social Skills Helped Billy Decker Dominate The Nashville Mixing Scene – https://www.thesixfigurehomestudio.com/social-skills-helped-billy-decker-dominate-nashville-mixing-scene/
#14: Social Skills: If You Don’t Get This Right, Your Home Studio May Pay The Price – https://www.thesixfigurehomestudio.com/social-skills-if-you-dont-get-this-right-your-home-studio-may-pay-the-price/
#17: The 5 Stages Of A Successful Recording Career – https://www.thesixfigurehomestudio.com/the-5-stages-of-a-successful-recording-career/
#59: How To Build An Audio Career 100% Online From Anywhere In The World: With Austin Hull – https://www.thesixfigurehomestudio.com/how-to-build-an-audio-career-100-online-from-anywhere-in-the-world-with-austin-hull/
#68: Using Instagram Marketing To Build Recurring Income As A Music Producer – With Mark Eckert – https://www.thesixfigurehomestudio.com/using-instagram-marketing-to-build-recurring-income-as-a-music-producer-with-mark-eckert/
#106: How To Level-Up From Small Gigs To Massive Projects – With Brandon Rike of TNSN DVSN – https://www.thesixfigurehomestudio.com/how-to-level-up-from-small-gigs-to-massive-projects-with-brandon-rike-of-tnsn-dvsn/
#119: From A Rap Career To A $500m Production Company – With Grammy Nominated Badass John Reuben – https://www.thesixfigurehomestudio.com/from-a-rap-career-to-a-500m-production-company-with-grammy-nominated-badass-john-reuben/
#129: How Mark Eckert Is Running A Thriving Pop Production Studio (Despite Being Stuck At Home) – https://www.thesixfigurehomestudio.com/how-mark-eckert-is-running-a-thriving-pop-production-studio-despite-being-stuck-at-home/
People and Companies
Neuralink – https://www.neuralink.com/
Elon Musk – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk
Lee Greenwood – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Greenwood
Andy J. Pizza – https://www.andyjpizza.com/
Mark Eckert – https://www.markeckert.com/
That Pitch – https://www.thatpitch.com/
Billy Decker – http://www.billydecker.com/
Austin Hull – https://www.austinhull.com/
Brandon Rike/TNSN DVSN – https://tensiondivision.com/
John Reuben – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Reuben
Muse 2 – https://choosemuse.com/muse-2/
Good to Great by Jim Collins – https://www.amazon.com/Good-Great-Some-Companies-Others/dp/0066620996/
Built To Last by Jim Collins and Jerry I Porras – https://www.amazon.com/Built-Last-Successful-Visionary-Essentials/dp/0060516402
Predators – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predators_(film)
Tenet – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenet_(film)
Brian: This is the six figure home studio podcast, episode 148.
[00:00:19] Welcome back to another episode of the six figure home studio podcast. I am your host Brian Hood, and I'm here with my bald. Beautiful, amazing purple shirted. Cohost Christopher J. Graham. Chris, how are you doing my friend?
[00:00:32] Chris: I'm doing all right, man. I'm ready for COVID-19 to be over. I'm ready for new chapters.
[00:00:39] Brian: You and everyone else in the world.
[00:00:41] Chris: I'm ready for the weather. Do not be so hot.
[00:00:44] Brian: Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Good talk, man.
[00:00:47] Chris: Good, Brian, how are you, buddy?
[00:00:50] Brian: I'm doing really well. Since our last conversation on this podcast, I have a house under contract right now.
[00:00:55] Chris: Ooh, that's exciting.
[00:00:59] Brian: The inspections already been done. No major issues there. And now we're just sorting out financing stuff. So here's the shitty part about this and anyone that's ever bought a house before knows this stuff. It sucks, especially if you're like super OCD about it. Things like this. Like I am, I just read through 67 pages of loan documents for one lender yesterday.
[00:01:17] And like, I literally had like red notes and stuff all throughout it and had to call the lender. And we talked for literally half an hour over every single detail that was off from what was discussed beforehand. And like I found things in there she didn't even know was in there. Like it was a train wreck of having to read these just boring documents.
[00:01:35] Chris: Was it so boring that you made noises of disgust?
[00:01:37] Brian: I do that if even if I'm not bored,
[00:01:40] Chris: Were they more of like loan groans or loan Mons?
[00:01:42] Brian: what are you? Are you doing a bit, what is this?
[00:01:47] Chris: No,
[00:01:47] Brian: This sound like weird, dr. Sue's shit.
[00:01:49] Chris: I don't even. I mean, it's kind of a dad joke, lone grown lone mountain.
[00:01:53] Brian: It sounds like a shitty dr. Seuss joke and I don't get it, but you know what? That's our Chris, so not a, what the hell you're talking about?
[00:02:02] Chris: I don't either.
[00:02:02] Brian: Anyways. So I'm sort of going all this stuff out and it's been super distracting just cause like I've never, I've built and sold before, but I've never actually bought a house for myself.
[00:02:11] I've been renting for like nine years now because my rent is so cheap. So this is all a new process for me. So I'm learning a bunch of stuff. So it's been a big distraction from business stuff, and I've learned that I am incapable. A hundred percent capable of juggling multiple things at once. I am like one track mind, a hundred percent of the time.
[00:02:28] And that's just, I think that's why I always say this. Chris is like, you can build one business, you can maintain another. And then all others wither and die. I think that may just be special to me because I literally cannot do more than one major thing at a time.
[00:02:39] Chris: Speaking of that. Did you see the Elon Musk announcement about Neurolink?
[00:02:45] Brian: Yeah. I saw the pick brain thing. I mean, I'm not that impressed and I'll tell you why. It's because I don't fully understand it. That's the only reason I feel like if I fully understood that I'd be more impressed.
[00:02:54] Chris: I feel like if you had a neuro link that would help you understand it more because it would enhance your brain. As you know, I'm super obsessed with all things, the human brain and my little meditation muse to measuring thingy.
[00:03:08] Brian: Oh yeah. That stupid. I use got a gear slowly, my friend. And that's because you mentioned a specific piece of gear.
[00:03:12] Chris: Hey, used it right before our call and I got 96 birds in 10 minutes, baby.
[00:03:17] Brian: Wait, were you counting the birds or does it tell you?
[00:03:20] Chris: Oh, no. Against for you.
[00:03:21] Brian: Oh, okay. I'm like, how does that keep you Zen? If you're counting, how many birds you get? If everyone's like confused as shit, it's just like headband thing he wears and it goes with an app. And if he meditates and is calm enough and his brain waves are inactive, little birds tweet, and then you get a score at the end.
[00:03:35] It's like a gamified meditation.
[00:03:36] Chris: Yeah, it's amazing. I'm obsessed with it. We're not sponsored by them.
[00:03:39] Brian: You want to be.
[00:03:40] Chris: Yeah. I love it. It's been so helpful in every area of my life. And I've been spending a lot of time with that thing. Should we shut up with the banter and talk about business stuff?
[00:03:50] Brian: Now I'm going extra hard with the banter today, actually. So I have this wart on my butt. I'm just joking. Let's get into the actual episode today. Just shin fall. I don't really have a word on my butt topic today. Chris, you want to tee this actually? You know what? You'll tee it up and like, it'll take you 30 minutes.
[00:04:07] I'm going to tee this up. Here we go. I know my cohost well enough we're on episode one 48 of this podcast. I know you well enough to know how to do this.
[00:04:14] Chris: This is true.
[00:04:14] Brian: So we talk about the power of a niche all the time on this podcast, we preach this constantly and yet one of the most common issues I come across from people on my coaching calls for the profitable producer course, the most common thing that I come across is people struggling with finding a niche or a niche.
[00:04:31] I don't want to get into the argument of whether it's niche or niche. I just call it a niche. Chris, what do you call it?
[00:04:38] Chris: I'll usually call it a niche, but if we're talking about a business, that's a bakery and they specialize in quiche. Then I'm going to have to go with niche.
[00:04:45] Brian: Okay. You know what? I I'll give you that one for that terrible dad joke, but I liked that one. Okay. Acacia niche. So we talk about this all the time. My students constantly struggle with this. And if you didn't tell by the episode today, we're going to talk about, about a lot of the reasons why that is. Why do people struggle so much with a niche or a niche?
[00:05:04] I'm just going to say niche. Cause I like it. Why does so many people struggle with. Finding a niche. There are some common issues that we see all across the board in my students. And then Chris's coaching students that these are the struggles we see that cause people to struggle with ever finding a niche.
[00:05:17] And if you match these, stop it and it'll make your life a lot easier when it comes to finding a niche.
[00:05:23] Chris: Yeah. I mean, everyone's got problems in their business and everyone's got 99 problems in a niche is usually one.
[00:05:28] Brian: Okay, I've got 99 problems and a niche sure. Is one that didn't quite flow well.
[00:05:34] Chris: It didn't, but music songs.
[00:05:36] Brian: That's a new little quote for the not I've got 99 problems, but a niche hate one. All right. So let's move away from what was just said. And let's talk about the reasons why you struggled with finding a niche. So, number one, this is probably the most common reason that I see people struggle with a niche, and that is you are not ready yet.
[00:05:53] We talked about this way back in episode 17, the five stages of a successful recording career in stage one. This is the part of your career where you are just simply casting lines out into the waters and seeing what bites most people, if they're in stage one of their careers right now, they're early on, they haven't really figured out what it is that they specialize in.
[00:06:13] Then it's not time to choose a niche or to niche down yet.
[00:06:15] Chris: I think that you're absolutely right. And you know, I've made so many mistakes in my life and in my business. And one of the things I made that was not a mistake was when I got into the music business, recording people, doing audio stuff, I decided, you know, I know I need to specialize. But to figure that out, I'm going to think of it like fishing.
[00:06:35] I'm going to go somewhere. And if anyone that's ever been fishing, the more fishing poles you bring, the better, you start to get an idea of where the fish are biting. Not that I have any clue about fishing. This is just my idea. So you bring a few fishing poles, you throw them all out there and you wait and you see, okay, well, this one's working over here that one's not working over here.
[00:06:52] And eventually you just start focusing all your efforts on one spot, we were catching fish. My dad and I used to do this when I was growing up, we'd take the boat out. We try one spot for didn't get any bites. We try another spot and so on and so forth. And I think when you're looking for your niche and you're looking for your specialty, you have to do that.
[00:07:08] You have to experiment. And I think what gets tricky is that people start to experiment and then they don't stop experimenting. They leave all the fishing poles in the water, they get FOMO and they're so afraid they might miss out this steadily.
[00:07:24] Brian: There's two dangers here. One is if you don't pass enough lines, so to speak. Just focused on like, you're just dead set. You've heard us talk about finding your niche on this podcast constantly. And you're like, I am going to niche down. I am going to be the premier blank that only does blank. That's like going to the same fishing spot and never catching a fish.
[00:07:44] But you are determined that that is your fishing spot. I specialize in this one spot and you never get any bites and you never go. So that's one danger. That's the danger of not casting enough lines. The other danger is casting too many lines here. And then you're focused on juggling between all of them.
[00:08:01] And he never really pick one and start to narrow in on it. So you've got to balance this only casting one line. There's a balance between that and casting a hundred lines and trying to figure out which one is right for you.
[00:08:12] Chris: I kind of wish that we had like background music in our podcast. Cause when you do something like that and start to say dope stuff, there needs to be like a Rocky theme in the background.
[00:08:20] Brian: Now, I want like an Epic or Castro, like God bless America kind of song where it's just like,
[00:08:25] Chris: Plus some Lee Greenwood, possibly.
[00:08:28] Brian: Sure man,
[00:08:29] Chris: And the Canterbury glad
[00:08:32] Brian: or somebody super sexy, like let's get it home kind of stuff. Going on the backgrounds,
[00:08:37] Chris: you apologized for that terrible impersonation.
[00:08:40] Brian: kid, make it creepier.
[00:08:43] Chris: so creepy.
[00:08:44] Brian: I'm going to edit all this out.
[00:08:46] Chris: Oh my goodness. But that's really, that's really smart. You're right. It's either people put too many lines in the water. They're focusing on too many niches or they're not focusing on enough. They went too early. They committed to early, and they're obsessed with this idea of dominating this one niche they're overly zealous.
[00:09:02] This is fascinating. I think this is a great conversation. And to be honest, it applies to really all creatives.
[00:09:07] Brian: Yeah. So that's the first and most common issue that I see is that you're just not ready for it yet. And so if you are dead set on being part of a niche, because there's so many benefits of it, you first need to check and make sure if you are ready for this yet, just like you talked about Chris, that book read a long time ago from good to great.
[00:09:23] That was the right book. At the wrong time and it actually hurt your business. So just because a move is best practices for a given industry, meaning like it's the best thing you can do for your business. If you do that best practice at the wrong time, it can actually be worst practice.
[00:09:40] Chris: Yeah, completely. It's totally true. You know, if you raised your rates every day,
[00:09:45] Brian: Yeah. Raising your rates is generally a good thing. But if you raised your rates every day for the rest of your life, that's probably not a good thing.
[00:09:53] Chris: Yeah. There's so many things where the timing is in many cases, more important than the thing that you're actually doing and doing this niche research. So, man, I love the idea. So some Andy and I have talked about before my friend, Andy,
[00:10:06] Brian: He's talking about Andy J pizza from the creative pep talk podcast.
[00:10:09] Chris: this is true and in the known universe, the most complex. Complex. Yes. The most complex thing that we are aware of the human brain, it is so ridiculously mysterious. So ridiculously complicated. There's a bunch of neurons in there. They're all connected by little wires. There's a trillion connections in your skull.
[00:10:31] I mean, just think about like, how does memory work way beyond the scope of humanity? At this point, we don't really know
[00:10:39] Brian: What is your point?
[00:10:40] Chris: my point. Is figuring out what your brain does better than other brains seems pretty important. In your skull, you have the most complicated thing in the known universe, and you should figure out what it does.
[00:10:53] I'm stealing all of this from mr. Pizza upstairs. You should figure that out. You should try to figure out what are you set up for? What is your true voice? What are your gifts? What are the things that you have an unfair advantage on? And so the searching for a niche thing is so important because you have to get out there in the marketplace.
[00:11:10] You have to interact with people, ideally strangers, not just your friend, Billy. And learn. Oh, wow. I'm good at this. Oh, wow. I'm not good at that. Oh, wow. If I do this in that context, I'm way better than most people. Interesting. And I think a lot of this comes down to you, ways that you're broken ways that your mind works differently than people.
[00:11:30] And I think a lot of times
[00:11:31] Brian: When you say broken, but I just say different.
[00:11:33] Chris: different, yeah. Different in school, the compliment, that was a compliment that was always written in red ink. On my grade card was he talks too much.
[00:11:42] Brian: Yeah. This is part of your career is talking.
[00:11:45] Chris: Yeah, I talk a lot. That's important. I'm glad I talked too much in school. I learned how to entertain a group of people by trying to disrupt the classroom. And I think that that's an important point of like, you might have gotten the tension a lot for something that now is a big part of your niche.
[00:12:01] Brian: Well, let me bring this back to the point we made here, which was, you're not ready yet. You're not ready to find a niche yet. Part of what Chris is talking about here is making sure you're casting the right lines early on. As you start to develop your own niche. Because if you're casting the wrong lines of the lines in the wrong places, you're doing yourself a disservice.
[00:12:20] So that's part of this whole conversation as if you're not quite ready yet. Make sure you are paying attention to what Chris is just talking about. You're paying attention to what makes you unique so that you have a good idea of where to cast those lines. So moving on here, that's the first one is you're not ready yet.
[00:12:37] The second reason you're struggling to find a niche is a skillset mismatch. When it comes to your skillset as an audio engineer or a mixing engineer or mashing engineer or whatever service or services you're trying to provide. Honestly, this is the one of the most important things. If you cannot provide side a good service for the customer, you're going after.
[00:12:56] So let's just say you're doing vocal tuning for the country music scene, which is a very specific niche thing. If you're not good at that, you will never be the go to person in that niche. If you're trying to be a mixing engineer in the heavy metal scene, which is what I do and your skill set, isn't complimentary to that niche, you don't have the right sounds.
[00:13:14] You don't, your drums don't sound right. Your guitars don't sound right. You will never have success in that niche. So this is a pretty obvious one, but one that people somehow look past as if they can. Somehow get around this. Do you see this, Chris, with your, with some of your students or people you talk to in the free coaching calls?
[00:13:29] Like how often do you see this? When people have a skill mismatch with the niche that they're trying to entrench themselves in.
[00:13:36] Chris: What I often find is that people have an enormous skill that they aren't using. That they've looked around at everybody else in the marketplace. And they said, well, this is. What everybody else is doing. So I'm just going to imitate them.
[00:13:48] Brian: Well, that's actually a really good point. It could be that they have okay. Skills in an area they're trying to make their niche, but they have extra ordinary skills in another place that they're absolutely ignoring. And they're not taking advantage of that kind of goes back to the first one. We talked about where you're.
[00:14:01] Try and make sure you're casting the lines in the right place. Some people choose the wrong line and they blatantly ignore the one that they should be going after when it comes to choosing their niche.
[00:14:08] Chris: Yeah. Well, case in point we talk about Mark Eckert. One of our favorite people.
[00:14:11] Brian: I think he's been mentioned probably more than anyone on this podcast.
[00:14:14] Chris: Probably, yeah, he's the best friend of the podcast. Mark Eckerd. I was talking to him the other day. We were talking about his business, that pitch, which specializes in connecting people, composers people that make music with people that licensed the music he's kicking butt. And we were talking about ways for him to market it.
[00:14:29] And I was like, Mark dude, content, you. You need to be the voice you need to be the Gary V of your business. You need to be the person the face because he's such a good talker. He's so entertaining and goofy and hilarious.
[00:14:44] Brian: And if you want to hear him, he was on episode 68, where we talked to him about using Instagram marketing to build his businesses or producer. He's actually building recurring revenue business. And then on episode one 29, he came back and talked about how his business was thriving. As a pop production studio, despite being stuck at home.
[00:15:01] And this was like right around the time that COVID hit hard in April two. Great interviews, though, if you want to go back and, and kind of hear a bit about historian, you get a gist of his personality while we talk about him so much.
[00:15:10] Chris: Totally. Mark's a perfect example of like Mark. Yes, the borough is just fun to listen to man.
[00:15:16] Brian: Well, Mark was actually the guy I was considering as the cohost for this podcast before I met you. So that makes sense.
[00:15:22] Chris: I know he was a great consideration there. Yeah. So I think when it comes to skillset mismatch, it's often that you've got somebody who, like you said, has okay. Skills in their niche, but they're not combining it with this special secret sauce that they provide. I think that's where stuff starts to get really interesting.
[00:15:39] Billy Decker that we had on the show is a perfect example of that as well. Billy Decker, amazing mix engineer, but a great. Conversationalist, just a fun dude to talk to. He's not dislike mixed more number on it. It's last night, everyone. Everyone sucks, but me.
[00:15:57] Brian: He's like the kind of guy you can up to him and just say one sentence to him and he'll talk to you for like an hour and you don't have to really say much not in an overbearing way where it's awkward. It's just that he's so entertaining that you don't want to interrupt him or talk at all. You just want to listen to him.
[00:16:11] So back on episode 13, how social skills help Billy Decker dominate the Nashville mixing scene. Awesome interview. And you'll get an idea of what we mean when we're talking about this, but the key to this, and what brings us back to this episode is that he took his skill set, which was both mixing and social skills and dominated a very lucrative niche and the Nashville country music scene.
[00:16:34] Chris: Yeah, I love this. I often find it's not that like someone doesn't know, they suck it's that they're not combining it in interesting ways with something else.
[00:16:43] Brian: So let's move on now to our next point of our reasons why you are failing at finding your niche. We've talked about so far, number one, you're not ready to niche down yet. Number two is you have a skill set mismatch with the niche you're trying to dominate. And now for the third reason you have a social or a relational mismatch with the niche that you are trying to dominate.
[00:17:04] So, what we mean here is if you're trying to dominate a niche and we'll just go back to Billy Decker for this example, if you do not have close ties in the Nashville mixing scene, it is going to be very difficult for you to ever dominate that niche. So part of Billy Decker success. Using him for this example as well is that he had great relationships and also continually builds great relationships in the Nashville country music scene.
[00:17:30] And that's why he's successful. Those who refuse or incapable of building relationships in that niche will not succeed in that niche. And that's the way the country music scene is. All other niches have some variation of this. I think the Nashville country music scene is probably an extreme example of having to have friends in low places for, I guess, kind of a pun with that song.
[00:17:51] You need to have friends in those places. I've got
[00:17:55] Chris: low
[00:17:56] Brian: I could hit that note shit. Anyways, when I see people struggling to entrench themselves into a niche that they want to get into. One of the common issues is because they have not put in the work to become part of that niche. So an easy way is to just be a musician in that niche.
[00:18:11] That's how I got my start in heavy metal. I taught in a band for years and years, and I played 44 States and eight countries and was signed and had a record out on a label. And so when I shifted from that into a recording studio and mixing engineer, it wasn't a very difficult transition because I was already.
[00:18:26] In that world. I already had friends and relationships and a little bit of clout in that world. Whereas someone who's just starting in their bedroom and has no relationships has put in none of the work and didn't do anything that I did. They're going to struggle a lot more than I struggled to get into that.
[00:18:40] So I just want to make sure people understand that if you want to get into a niche, you have to have the relationships with the right people in that niche. And you have to be entrenched in it's like putting roots down somewhere. You have to do it somewhere. And that is an important part of making sure you dominate a niche.
[00:18:56] Chris: It's tricky with that is you make a decision. You want to dominate a niche. And what a common thing in our industry is we are painfully lots and lots of dudes in our industry. Right. And what I see a lot of times is when someone wants to dominate a niche, what they really want is to dominate that niche.
[00:19:14] They want to be seen as the smartest person. The most talent, the special chosen one, and it's difficult to walk in and start building relationships. And you don't have a go giver mentality when your idea of owning a niche is coming in and kicking people's ass versus coming in and providing value and helping people.
[00:19:32] And I think that that that's a little bit of a social relational mindset issue of walking in with the intent to take, rather than intent to give.
[00:19:40] Brian: Go back to the episode that we did right after Billy Decker's interview, it was episode 14 and it's titled social skills. If you don't get that, right, your home studio may pay the price, not a great title, but you get the gist of it is how important social skills are to having a successful business.
[00:19:55] That's exactly what you just talked about, Chris. I mean, this is just part of, if you're trying to entrench yourself into. The social structure of a specific music scene or a specific niche. If you're trying to get into that, all the stuff that I just talked about comes down to social skills. And so it's just hand in hand with that sort of conversation is just going deeper into like the mindset behind making sure you're not a social pariah in a niche by just going in and trying to kick ass and take names and say, I will be the best that doesn't work in 2020.
[00:20:21] It might've worked for like, The industrial revolution where you had to like, do hostile takeovers and make sure that you crushed all your competitors, but in today's age, that does that, that approach doesn't work. And I think everyone knows it at this point. Anyone listen to this podcast, definitely knows it.
[00:20:35] So I don't think it needs to be really discussed any further, but that is definitely a component that is coming into play when it comes to making sure you don't have a social or relational mismatch when you're trying to find your niche.
[00:20:46] Chris: Yeah, I completely agree. And I've said this before on the show, it's been a pretty long time, but if I could trade in some of my technical skill to have. People skills. I think I do it every time.
[00:20:57] Brian: Trying to respect.
[00:20:58] Chris: What's that?
[00:20:58] Brian: That's a super nerdy gamey turn where you reset your skills and reattribution to yourself in a different way.
[00:21:03] Chris: Oh, interesting. Okay. Yeah.
[00:21:05] Brian: It's in RPGs and stuff.
[00:21:06] Chris: Okay. I would absolutely want to understand other people better. And when I look back at my regrets in my life, they all STEM from, gosh, I just wish I had understood people better.
[00:21:18] Brian: Three more points in my social skills tree,
[00:21:21] Chris: Yeah, totally.
[00:21:22] Brian: all the nerds are like, yeah, Brian gets it. And then like all the non-agile like what the F what is he talking about? All right. Let's move on here so far. We've talked about why you're struggling with finding a niche is one you're not ready yet. The second is you have a skillset mismatch.
[00:21:36] The third reason is you have a social or relational mismatch with that niche. The fourth is a little easier to understand, but it's the location mismatch. Going back to the Billy dagger example to use him for a third time. In this episode, you're trying to do country music, and you're trying to entrench yourself in that social scene.
[00:21:54] And you're trying to do this as a mixing engineer. You damn well better live in Nashville, Tennessee. So there is a major component to certain niches. That you are in the right location. If you want to be a part of that scene, and that's not the same everywhere, but that will give you the maximum chance to have success in a specific niche.
[00:22:12] Obviously we've seen outliers. We've seen examples of people that have had success in random cities. If you go back and listen to episode 59, where we interviewed Austin Hall, he built his career a hundred percent online. In like a small city, like Pensacola or something like relatively non-musical city and he crushed it and he's still crushing it.
[00:22:30] But that's typically the outlier. When you look at the success of most people, you look up to, they got their start and they usually continue to live in a pretty major city to that genre of music or that niche that they're a part of. So Chris, you'll probably push back because you're in the armpit of America, Ohio.
[00:22:47] And, and you, and you still have success. And I started, Hey, I started in the,
[00:22:52] Chris: It's between the baby toe and the second smallest toe of
[00:22:56] Brian: yeah. I started in the toe crack
[00:22:58] Chris: toe
[00:22:59] Brian: of America called Alabama and I still had success. So maybe there's less to this part, especially in today's age and especially in the coven era where everything's done online. But I still think for certain industries, certain niches. Location is a very important part of the formula.
[00:23:15] It's not the entire equation. And that doesn't mean you can't make it if you're not part of it. But I will say that so many people are hungry enough to where they're willing to relocate to be part of a scene or part of a niche they're willing to put in that work to do all of this, to relocate. And if you're not willing to do that, it's going to be that much harder for you to beat that person out because people always want to do business with people that they know like and trust.
[00:23:37] So when Billy Decker is making his like sixth cutting board for that label, that a and R guy at that one record label, he's going to get that mixing project. And you're not because his wife loves Billy Decker's cutting boards and
[00:23:48] Chris: That's his hobby. He makes like cutting boards that you'd chop vegetables on. Just to clarify.
[00:23:52] Brian: So he makes them like, bad-ass awesome custom cutting boards with like these rare, crazy woods.
[00:23:57] And he gives them out to like friends of the industry and it is a great marketing tactic. That's like a Go-Giver mindset. So anyways, all that to say, you're going to struggle if you're not in the city and can do that. Like Billy Decker can.
[00:24:07] Chris: Yeah, making those cutting boards and giving them away is brilliant because every once in a while you get it out chops and vegetables, and it reminds you of Billy Decker.
[00:24:15] Brian: Dilly Decker's cutting boards are not the ones you chop on. You literally just put those on a shelf and stare at them like you D you do not cut on a Billy Decker cutting board.
[00:24:23] Chris: You know, you gotta hand it to him. That's a sharp, uh, Oh, dang it.
[00:24:28] Brian: That was the weather was so bad. so bad. You even stopped yourself.
[00:24:33] Chris: man. He, uh, that's fine. I'll cut it out.
[00:24:37] Brian: No, we're not. I get the final edits here. I leave all your dumb
[00:24:40] Chris: Cut it. As in a cutting board. This is a dad joke.
[00:24:44] Brian: Oh, I didn't even get that one. That's how that's how bad that one was. Alright, so that's all I'm going to say about that. This is one that may not make sense right now, due to COVID to like relocate your entire life and business and studio, just to try to make it in a certain niche, but it is worth stating that some niches are more important than others for this location, mismatch situation.
[00:25:03] Chris: well, let's dig into that a little bit more.
[00:25:05] Brian: Okay, go for it. I'm all ears.
[00:25:07] Chris: There's a couple reasons location's important. One of them obviously is if you're in an area where you get to befriend lots of potential customers, that's a good thing. Another one of these reasons is if you're in an area that's got, say, I don't know the internet.
[00:25:22] That's also very useful to have fast internet and not be in the middle of nowhere with a satellite connection that drops out every time there's a cloud, that's going to make it difficult. I think one of the most important things though, is to live in an area that's not toxic to entrepreneurship. I think there's a lot of areas where people just look down their nose at someone that's trying to build a business, especially some of us trying to do with the music industry or the creative industry of any kind.
[00:25:49] Brian: And that's how I feel about Ohio. Yeah.
[00:25:51] Chris: Well, Ohio is a whole, yes. Columbus, not so much. Columbus is a pretty forward leaning as cities go. If you are the only entrepreneur that, you know, even if there's a ton of clients there, that's going to be hard.
[00:26:05] Brian: That is a really good point. So part of being in the right location is just being able to surround yourself to people who are going to help you succeed. And I don't think I put this in the outline, but that's not just success in a niche. What I talked about today was success in a niche. What Chris is, it's just success at all in your business.
[00:26:22] And that comes by setting yourself up to be around smart people. Like you share an office with Andy J pizza, who has one of the top podcasts in the entire design and creative field called creative pep-talk. So that is a great person to share an office with because you guys obviously share trajectories and you can obviously help each other out when it comes to picking up each other's Slack and shortcomings.
[00:26:46] Chris: And I get free pep talks,
[00:26:47] Brian: And you get free creative pep talks. That's amazing.
[00:26:49] Chris: but yeah, Columbus is amazing. So like, if I'm hanging out with Andy or Brandon Reich or John Rubin, that was on the show earlier, like these guys that kick my butt and challenge me. It's good man. And they are all building cool stuff. I'm not this like, Oh, you're trying to build a business instead of getting a job, like the judgmental thing.
[00:27:08] Brian: I haven't been around that in so long. I don't even know what that feels like anymore. Like I'm around nothing but business owners and entrepreneurs now.
[00:27:15] Chris: Yeah. So you have to live in a location where you are not like the only person at home on a Monday afternoon working and granted in COVID-19. That's not going to be so much of an issue, but hopefully that will all be fixed soon.
[00:27:27] Brian: Yeah. All right. So we've got a couple more to go through here. Reasons why you're struggling to find a niche. And that is number five now, and that is a passion mismatch. Here's an issue that I see with people when we've talked about niching down so much on this podcast. When we talk about specializing on a specific genre or a specific service that you're offering is that people hear that advice and they make a very tactical decision based on.
[00:27:52] Profitability and market size and skill set, and maybe social and relational. They've listened to this episode. And up to this point, they're like checking all the boxes, but then they get to this point and they realize they don't give a shit about that niche or that market or those customers. Or clients.
[00:28:09] So in this case you have a passion mismatch. Maybe you can have short term and maybe you can have medium term profits. If you are trying to niche down in a area that you're not passionate about, but it's going to be very, very difficult to have any sort of longterm profitability in a business that you don't care about the customers or the experience of the clients and that you don't have any general passion about.
[00:28:30] You're welcome to push back on this, Chris.
[00:28:32] Chris: So one of the things Jim Collins talks about, and I can't remember if it's good to great, which ironically we just crapped on earlier, but I think it might be built to last. I love Jim Collins books, but when I read it, I took it too. Literally it didn't apply to me at the time. One of the things he talks about is to build a great business.
[00:28:51] You have to have the overlap of passion being the best. And being able to make money where those three circles overlap. That's where your best businesses, if you don't have the passion circle in there, or if you only have the passion circle in there, things get weird because especially when things get hard, you have to be a nerd.
[00:29:10] You have to be willing to stay up late and build some crazy thing that you need for your business and be excited about it and not just be like, Oh, cause if you don't, what's the point, go get a job.
[00:29:20] Brian: Yeah. So the passion aspect is what's going to actually push you through those tough times that everyone hits in their business, where people give up is when they don't have the passion to push through that struggle. And the passion is what helps you get through the tough times, because everyone has tough times of the business.
[00:29:34] Everyone has these roadblocks, they hit that. They have to figure out how to get through it. They have to fit foe, figure it out. And if you don't have any passion in that, then when you hit those moments, you'll just. Either, let those things fester until it destroys your business or you'll just ultimately give up or you just won't treat someone the way you should, because you just ultimately, you don't care.
[00:29:52] So passion is a huge part of this. I think it's an area that people tend to ignore if they're overly analytical and just focused on the numbers of a business and not at all about how much they care about that niche or that genre.
[00:30:05] Chris: To take that one layer deeper. And we've talked about this in the podcast before, but what's really frustrating for me is when I see a business owner, that's like, Oh, I'm so passionate about this one thing that my business does, but I'm going to quit because I'm not passionate about every part of this business. It's like, dude, if you're passionate about it, you're willing to do this stuff that sucks to grow. The thing that you love.
[00:30:28] Brian: There was someone recently that he bought the profitable producer course and then requested a refund the next day. And it was because he got in and realized that there's actually work involved with building a business. And I think he realized that he doesn't have the passion to actually push through the amount of work he literally just said, I think I just want to keep a day job.
[00:30:45] He literally said that in the email. And so like, Some people are just not built to be entrepreneurs. They don't have the passion and the grit and determination to push through the hard stuff. And those who do have that passion are going to push through the hard stuff. Again, no one says that being an entrepreneur is the easiest thing in the world, but like, it's, it is genuinely harder than just simply showing up to a job and pulling out your hand and say, give me a paycheck.
[00:31:08] Thank you. Like, there is a lot of work that was into this. So if you don't have the passion for it, you're going to be the guy who buys the profitable producer course spends all that money. It's amped up and then refunds, one day later, when you realized that there's actually work involved and you would rather have a day job.
[00:31:23] Chris: Totally true, man. Yeah. That passion thing. It's interesting because I think a lot of people hear passion and they think about, I will do something that only involves my passion. Totally not true. Somebody who's passionate will do things they don't want to do in order to get something that they want.
[00:31:38] Brian: Alright. So our final point here, the sixth reason, and probably the final reason why you're struggling to find your niche is because of this. Your messaging is bad. Here's what we made. And then Chris is going to go on his whole rant about this. Cause this is something he's super passionate about, but let's just pretend for example, that you've listened to this episode, you've determined.
[00:31:58] Number one, that you are currently ready to niche down. You've found that thing that you want to go after you found number two, that your skill set is matched up to the niche that you're trying to dominate. Number three, you found that the relationships that you have, you are an integral part of that niche.
[00:32:13] You have the right location. You're in the right city for that niche that you're trying to be a part of. And then number five, you have the passion for it. Now we're on figuring out how you're going to message yourself so that your client understands exactly what you do. Basically your elevator pitch or your trailer.
[00:32:28] If you're a movie, if you mess this up. You're going to really struggle to have success. I'm not gonna say you're not going to have success because I do see people that have terrible messaging and they still dominate. And it's because they have great social skills or they can make up for it somewhere else.
[00:32:40] But you're adding an unnecessary amount of friction to your life, into your business. If you do not get your messaging right.
[00:32:47] Chris: Totally man. This is probably my favorite and I think the most powerful of tools that we have in our tool box here.
[00:32:54] Brian: Tool belt, it's a better analogy.
[00:32:55] Chris: Our tool belt, because here's the thing. Messaging is a multiplier and you know, you brought up movie trailers. Perfect example, when you see a great movie trailer, you know, we were talking about this beforehand.
[00:33:05] When I saw the movie trailer for the latest predator movie is predators. And it's basically like this summer, and then you see two predators fighting and you're like, Oh cool. It's a movie where two predators fight each other. I'm in, sign me up. It takes the whole experience and condenses it down to a bite size little piece.
[00:33:24] Brian: But they also, it was great at convincing you, this is what I want. And it would be just as good at my wife saying I don't ever want to see that movie.
[00:33:31] Chris: Exactly.
[00:33:32] Brian: And I don't think I'd ever want to see it. Cause I'm not that huge of a predator fan. It was never like a big part of my childhood.
[00:33:37] Chris: It's an excellent movie. Anyways. I brag about you all the time with our podcast on this.
[00:33:41] Brian: Oh, thanks buddy.
[00:33:42] Chris: We have great messaging on this podcast. I'm going to botch it. Cause I don't listen to our show cause that would ruin it for me, I think. But like,
[00:33:50] Brian: You heard it here folks. 140 748 episodes in Chris. Graham does not listen to his own podcast.
[00:33:56] Chris: my ego is big enough as it is. I don't need to listen to how good I sound after you mix
[00:34:00] Brian: Oh my God.
[00:34:01] Chris: But my point here is if you listen to this podcast at the very beginning, and this is funny, cause it's, it hasn't changed since episode one, you had the audacity to create a podcast intro and to hire a gigantic sounding man,
[00:34:13] Brian: He's got a great voice. Doesn't he?
[00:34:15] Chris: to say something like the number one business resource and the recording's Dodie Ohlins.
[00:34:21] Brian: The ed is the antithesis of what he sounds like.
[00:34:23] Chris: Yeah, you had the balls to say the number one blank and blank. And what's so amazing about this podcast to me is I'll meet people all the time who have no idea who I am. We're at a yoga class. This happened a couple weeks ago and a guy mentioned, yeah, my son's living in LA and he's trying to, you know, produce records.
[00:34:41] And I was like, Oh, you should tell him to check out the six figure home studio. It's a business podcast for people that are trying to make it the recording industry. It's the number one business resource in the recording industry. And he wrote it down and give it to a son. It's the easiest pitch in the world to somebody that is a perfect match and the messaging, it's like a great movie trailer.
[00:35:01] And this is the thing that I see people get wrong the most. It's the hardest thing. It's the thing that requires, I think the most skill and panache, if you will, to get figured out. Is to make something where somebody is just immediately grabbed. So perfect example. Body-mind Christian Guy. I've been coaching for awhile.
[00:35:18] He makes EDM music. When we first started hanging out and we were talking about the Nina podcast and I was like, dude, you should just like make the six figure I'm studio for EDM.
[00:35:28] Brian: He did that, didn't he? Cause I think I saw a podcast about that. Similar to that.
[00:35:31] Chris: He did. And I couldn't believe this. Like I came up with this idea. I was like, you should call it electronic dance money.
[00:35:36] Brian: That's right. I've seen that.
[00:35:38] Chris: EDM. And it's like, that's an even better pitch than we've got of like, Oh, you should listen to my podcast. It's got electronic dance money. It's about making money with EDM. Oh, that's such a good pitch.
[00:35:49] It's such a good pitch. So all you have to do, let's get that in front of the right people. That one want to make money in EDM. And two, there is no two. You've just get it in front of those people. And they're like, Oh, I'll check that out. Right on. Cool. So the messaging is so important. And for so many of us listening to this podcast, you're 140 billion episodes in, and your website still says editing, mixing, mastering, vocal tuning, tracking.
[00:36:14] Brian: Oh my God. You know, how many of those I see every damn week.
[00:36:18] Chris: Right. If you've still got your fishing poles in the water, you're still looking for your niche. That's fine. But at some point you have to make that transition and commit to a niche. It's hard, but if you don't grow, you die. If you're not growing, you're dying. It is such an important concept there that you eventually have to get over your FOMO.
[00:36:37] And focus on your calling. What are you amazing at? What do you bring to the table that nobody else does? What can you add value to and how can you add value in ways that nobody else can go do that thing? Niche down.
[00:36:52] Brian: I really liked the analogy with the movie trailer thing, because there's two types of movie trailers. There's the type where I'm. So in on this movie that I'm going to cut the trailer off before it even reaches the end of it, because I don't want to know anything else about the movie. And that's like the best trailer ever.
[00:37:08] That's the messaging you should have where you're like, you are so dialed in with your messaging it's you don't even have to finish a pitch. You're going to have to really finish explaining yourself. People just, you know, that you're the right one for them. That's really hard to do, but I'm just saying I come across those movie trailers.
[00:37:22] The second type is, I guess there's three types. The second type is you watch to the end and you're in, and that's like, Probably a more common one. The third type is it's such a confusing, convoluted train wreck of a trailer that I am just continually confused. And the deeper I get into the trailer, the more confused I am.
[00:37:39] And then by the end, I'm so confused that I know that I will never, ever watch that movie. They will never get my hard earned dollars because if the trailer is a train wreck, I can only imagine how annoying that movie is to watch.
[00:37:52] Chris: Yeah, man. I want to challenge us on this. If your business was a movie, what would the trailer look like? Yeah. I talk to people about this all the time. When I'm coaching, tell me what your business is. Sum it up. Elevator pitch me. And when it's one of these like budget, like shot in slow motion of an actor you've never seen before.
[00:38:10] Another shot of another actor you've never seen before punchable face something happens. There are tents. Something else happens.
[00:38:20] Brian: Or like every friggin check flight trailer you've ever seen where just dislike. Okay. It's another one of those spoiler alert. The guy gets the girl at the end and.
[00:38:28] Chris: Yeah, I think that's even people, you know, I look at a lot of people's websites and I almost just want to tell everybody, like, make a movie trailer for your business.
[00:38:37] Brian: I look at so many websites that if I were to make a trailer for their business as a movie, it would be that generic, like the guy and the girl leaning against each other back to back on the cover of a DVD. It's like, that's how generic their website is. It's like that just generic ass check flake, romcom.
[00:38:56] That is just like, You know it before you even see it, exactly what everything's going to happen in it. And I don't want that to be anyone's business. So there's that side of things where it's like, you know exactly what it is and you don't want it. And there's the opposite side where maybe you have something that people want, but your messaging is so convoluted that nobody gets it.
[00:39:13] And so no one will hire you. So that's two extremes. One is you have something, no one wants and it's. Crystal clear what you have. So we, maybe your messaging is perfect, but it's perfect messaging for something that no one wants. That's the generic romcom. And then the other side is you have this incredible experiences, incredible movie, but you've got the messaging so much that no one gets it.
[00:39:32] And that's the camp that I see a lot of people fall into is they have the full package. They are the real deal and they cannot figure out how to message it to people.
[00:39:39] Chris: And there's too many plot points. It's, you know, in the future, a boy and a girl and another boy and some dude. And the preacher was weird in a time machine.
[00:39:50] Brian: I just saw Christopher Nolan's new movie tenant the other night. And that's how I felt about watching that entire movie. I know it got great reviews, but it was the most confusing movie I've ever seen in my life. And when you see it, Chris you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. It was just like, What is happening for two hour street.
[00:40:09] Chris: I think the flip side of that coin for me, I'm getting nostalgic years. I remember the first time I saw a trailer for one of the Lord of the rings movies. It started in within like three seconds. I was like, yep. See that, that looks freaking awesome.
[00:40:23] Brian: Let's bring this back cause, okay. We're talking about movie trailers right now and I think people get this analogy. But our whole goal is for you to think through your business as if it were a movie and how you would explain it to people so that they have that instant. Aha. What's the thing that you can say someone in three seconds and they're hooked they're in, they know you're exactly what we need.
[00:40:40] Or I have a friend that needs that. Let me connect you to
[00:40:43] Chris: Bingo. And I think where this comes down to is when you watch a great movie trailer, you have no questions. You don't have any questions. No, wait a minute. So there's two predators and one of them is bigger than the other one. Like you don't have questions it's sold. And I think one of the ways that you know, that you have a good movie trailer is that nobody asks questions other than how much.
[00:41:02] And when.
[00:41:03] Brian: That is it how much? And when that's the answer, how much do you charge and when are you available? Those are the two questions you want after you have presented your messaging to someone.
[00:41:12] Chris: Yeah. So I think you could start to measure that it was wild as I grew Chris Graham mastering. This is especially in like 2014, 2015, 2016. I got my messaging. So clear with all my emails, with the website itself, that I would get the exact same email from clients who didn't know each other. They would use the same words.
[00:41:31] It was always like the word we're definitely going to work with you. What else? There were like specific phrases. It astounded me when I was like, wow, they're all. It's like, they're the same person. And they're just like, but they don't know each other. And it was wild. I didn't get a lot of extra questions about, Oh, do you do duty P or city authoring or livable?
[00:41:50] Like if you're getting questions, it's because your website's not good enough. It's because your messaging is not good enough. And I think that this is something we're thinking about, make a trailer for your business and the whole thing should match. The story should be consistent. If you're making high energy pop music.
[00:42:06] It shouldn't be like, hi, my name is a belly and, um, I make was like that doesn't match. Like the, whatever the crap of pop beat is, that was my first thing came to mind. The whole thing needs to tell the story, the background, the voice that you're using, your attitude, the quality of the video, the music, everything should tell the exact same story.
[00:42:32] And there shouldn't be a hole in it. I think this is something that we could really benefit from as an industry. I want to go on your website. And watch a, not 10 minute video, but like a one minute video and be like, ah, I know who you are and exactly what you're all about.
[00:42:49] Brian: So that is it for this episode of the six figure home studio podcast, just in case you've missed the algebra over the last couple episodes. We only have a couple episodes of the six figure home studio podcast. We are getting to episode one 50. And then things are changing in a very big way. So next week we'll have episode one 49.
[00:43:06] That'll just be regular episode, but episode one, Chris and I are going to actually go over all the changes we're going to be making in this podcast. So you'll get every single detail of what's going to happen. Instead of these vague, a little descriptions on the outro of this podcast that I've been doing for anyone who might be worried about what's happening all, I'm going to say apart from what I've said, the last couple of outros is that the changes are going to be for the better of not just our listeners.
[00:43:27] But also Chris and I just to keep us excited about what we're doing every single week to keep the content fresh and to bring in some really cool and unique perspectives into this community that we have not had before. So that is it for this week. We'll be back at your Brighton early next Tuesday morning at 6:00 AM until next time.
[00:43:44] Thank you so much for listening and happy hustling.