Many new professional organizers want to be known as experts in a specific area of organizing or productivity. Are you new to the organizing industry? Are you interested in finding a niche as a professional organizer? If so, keep reading!
There is no shame in being a generalist and organizing anything and everything. However, there’s something to be said for doing something you love, something you’re really good at, and something that not everyone else is capable of doing or wants to do. In the organizing industry, being a specialist is a good thing.
When consulting with new professional organizers or teaching NAPO classes, I typically explain that most people who start an organizing business are probably good at organizing. However, as we develop our organizing methodologies, hone our client management skills, we often observe that certain types of clients or environments are a better fit for our individual work styles, energy levels, and areas of interest. This is often the perfect time to ask ourselves if this is an area of expertise or a type of specialty on which to focus our organizing business.
1. Determine Who You Enjoy Working With
Think about the types of clients you want to work with: Children, Families, Students, Executives, Single Parents, Empty Nesters, Small Business Owners, Post-Op Patients, Attorneys, College Faculty, Newlyweds, etc.
2. Contemplate the Various Types of Organizing Projects You Enjoy Most
Consider which areas of a home or business you are most comfortable with: Home Offices, Garages, Attics, Basements, Digital Data Management, Filing Systems, Closets, Kitchens and Pantries, Photos and Memorabilia.
3. Identify and Explore
Once you identify an area of the industry that you want to specialize in, explore books, classes, webinars, and conferences related to that topic. Learn who the most respected names in that particular niche are. You can then familiarize yourself with their bodies of work. In addition, investigate other professionals in related fields who can help you achieve your goal of being a polished professional with a specialty. Speak to coaches, psychologists, Feng Shui practitioners, interior designers, accountants, lawyers, stylists, and social media experts, because they can all provide valuable information. When you start to build a client base, your specialty may slowly start to reveal itself.
Find specialists in the organizing industry by visiting the NAPO website’s Professional Organizer Directory. Once there, search for a professional organizer by type of service, distance from a desired location, or both. Explore their websites, learn as much as you can about their background, their training, and their resources. (Check if their website has a resource page). Inquire as to whether they have either a sub-contractor or an apprentice program as this is an excellent way to learn more about an area you want to specialize in.
Remember to perform online searches for specialized organizers as there are numerous areas to specialize in. Becoming a specialist means you are focusing on a particular type of client with specific needs in a residential, small business, or corporate setting. An organizer can focus on:
- the types of projects (office, business, commercial, legal, medical, dental, real estate, digital data, time management);
- populations of people/clients (adults with ADHD, seniors downsizing, those grieving, families relocating, self-employed, disabled, executives).
There are even organizers who assist clients virtually by phone or internet instead of on-site. In other words, the possibilities are endless when it comes to specializing.
Have you considered becoming a specialist? If you already have an area of expertise, I’d like to hear how you wandered down that particular path. Which resources would you recommend for new organizers. Who are your most trusted experts and gurus? Which conferences do you attend? What books have you read? Which blogs are on your “must read” list? Book a 1 + 1 Ask Me Anything call and we can discuss how to move forward into your niche market.