How to use Moxie's "Goosebump Method" for finding your niche and your tribe
A lot of clients come to me having struggled mightily to identify the right niche and audience to target. Here's an neuroscience-based exercise I use to get a different part of your brain into the mix and unleash your brilliance! For this exercise, you want to be ready to jot down ideas. Don't overthink, just loosen up and write down what comes to mind, that's part of the magic of this. So shake it out, get loose, and get ready to let a different part of your brain -- the default mode network, the dreamy, creative part, versus the task positive network -- give you some answers.
The only rule is you have to write SOMETHING down, no skipping a question and telling yourself you'll figure it out later. ;)
1. Think of a time when you were doing "what you do" and it was a true goosebump moment -- write down enough to remind you what that was.
This could be a moment while working with a client, and suddenly they "got it" in a way that they never had before. It could be a moment when you got a grateful email thanking you for what you provided. Doesn't matter what it was, what matters is that it was a moment where your cup was full, you were flooded with fulfillment and the awareness that you had provided great value to another human being, and you were both bigger as a result.
2. What was it that you provided that caused that?
There's no right answer here, either -- it could be something about how you interacted with the person, it could be some technical expertise you were able to offer, it could be something more intangible, such as the safety they felt with you. Just take a stab at distinguishing what it was that you provided that made it possible for The Goosebump Moment to happen.
3. Now that you've said from your perspective what made the difference...I want you to put yourself in the other person's shoes and write down what you think THEY would say you provided that caused The Goosebump Moment.
You'd be surprised how this simple shift in perspective will have you see something new. In fact, I find clients are often quite surprised by what they are able to see (or "hear" the client tell them) when they immerse themselves in this exercise and get to this question. It might sound a little woo-woo, but it's a bit like a fiction writer who is surprised by what a character of her own creation says or does. Neuroscience has an explanation for how this phenomenon happens, and for those who like to geek out on these things as I do (little known fact: I'm a Certified Neurotransformational Coach, or CNTC), I'll provide a note below with a bit more detail.* Anyway, one of the reasons the answer to this trigger is so important is that as you refine your messaging, you want to be sure to USE THE LANGUAGE YOUR IDEAL CLIENT USES! That helps people immediately identify themselves as a potential client of yours -- and of course identify YOU as the solution!
4. Let your mind wander and explore how you would describe YOUR best candidates for producing more of these Goosebump Moments.
Don't worry about "getting it right," you're just going to see what bubbles up here. There may be something that comes to you that will dramatically support your refinement of your positioning. Just let your mind wander and drift and write down some ideas for how you would describe to someone else the sort of person whom you could likely help in that goosebump-producing way! (A bonus metaphor if you're stuck: You know how a top horse trainer knows how to assess horses and pick the ones to work with who have the potential to win races? You're looking to describe the kinds of people with whom you can produce big wins as well.) Because here's the deal: These people are your tribe. You get them, they get you, you vibe well together, and beautiful results come out of it. BOOYAH!
5. Jot down some names of people you know -- who aren't clients -- who fit the description of the kinds of people you produce Goosebump Moments with.
See if you can list at least 5 names here. If you stall out with specific names, write down groups or organizations or LinkedIn groupos where you might find your peeps, those people you vibe with. Another useful thing to capture on this list: people you could contact and ask THEM where they think you could find more of these people -- which is something I highly recommend you do even if you have a long list of individuals to contact. I can tell you from personal experience: You have no idea what brilliant tips you'll get from asking lots of people what they'd suggest along those lines!
6. Here's where we INTEGRATE the two neural networks in your brain to move this from an exercise to RESULTS. By making it real with ACTION: Go to your calendar and SCHEDULE times to reach out to the people you listed and have conversations.
And then, of course, you'll want to schedule times for following up on the leads that come out of those conversations. While finding your niche and your tribe is a journey, a process, you can't take that journey sitting at your desk and stewing, you have to take at least baby steps, yes? This is how that happens. (Warning: Some of those people you call may wind up wanting to work with you, so prepare yourself for new clients before you're fully "ready." Can you handle it? Hell YES, you can!)
*For those interested in the neuroscience of WHY this works
The Default Mode Network (DMN) and the Task Positive Network (TPN) are two distinct neural networks in the brain -- unlike the right and left hemisphere operations, these networks actually include both. The DMN is what's firing when we're daydreaming, imagining the future, taking on someone else's perspective, that sort of thing. The TPN, not surprisingly given its name, is all about getting stuff done! That's the network that's in gear when you're focused on DOING things, figuring things out, making plans to achieve goals, focusing on accomplishing a task.
The thing that's really useful to be aware of, is that only one of these networks can be activated at one time. And they're both important -- you want to be able to get to the juicy, unpredictable insights and ideas and inspiration, but you also want to get things done! The trick is to be integrated, to dance between the two. The magic of The Goosebump Method (picture the Wizard of Oz pulling back the curtain to show you what's REALLY going on!) is in having you activate the Default Mode Network when you may have been spinning your wheels a bit in the Task Positive Network.
Whenever you're ready...here are some ways I can help you with your creative confidence, hot thought leadership, and consciously creating how you show up in the world:
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Deb Beroset, founder of Moxie Creative + Consulting, Inc., is The Influence Stylist and specializes in helping people consciously create how they show up in the world. She is an award-winning international journalist, the former head of Hallmark’s innovation think tank, a certified Neurotransformational Coach, and has relationships with the media worldwide.