Today’s market is extremely demanding, competitive, and saturated. Finding a niche is challenging. But think about business ideas as buses: there’s always one coming. Hence, people look for personalized services and products that suit their needs and solve their problems.
Think traveling in an airplane: business class aims for premium service and privacy, first-class provides a luxurious experience and makes you feel like you own that aircraft, while the economy is comfortable, affordable, and practical. The commercial airlines also have “niches”.
What is a Niche?
1. A position or activity that particularly suits somebody’s talents and personality or that somebody can make his or her own.
2. An area of the market specializing in one type of product or service.by Urban Dictionary
Finding a niche is the primary task of any “solopreneur”: narrow down target markets, create products and services, provide solutions, bring benefits to “the people”, and get paid from it. Big companies now try to get smaller to reach their consumers. You have the advantage of starting scarce.
Here is a quick list of 9 simple steps that you can follow to identify your niche.
List Down Your Credentials
#1 Analyze your educational background.
- What degrees or certifications have you earned so far.
- Will you be able to continue the path that you chose or you feel like a new start?
#2 Check out your work history.
- Do they all link to something that you want to focus on at the moment?
- The brand and the companies that you have worked for. Are they reputable?
#3 Consider the industries you have worked in.
- Which roles have you held?
- Did you manage to get to seniors or top executives?
#4 Link all of the experience (work history, positions, degree, certifications, passions, etc.) and find the meeting point.
- What sticks around the most?
#5 Review your current educational scheme or interests.
- Are you taking any classes?
- What do you want to study?
- What type of industry attracts you?
Write Down Your Commitments
#1 Reflect on your hobbies or how you spend your time.
- Do you volunteer in any work?
- What books do you read?
- Do you want to pick up a new hobby?
- What seminars or learning trips are you taking?
- Do you listen to any certain type of podcast?
#2 Check the topic that involves in your daily conversation. Reflect how you read the news, share information, engage with your friends on social media.
- What can you speak at length about?
- What topic are you drawn to?
#3 Figure out the problems you’d like to solve.
- What is that one thing that triggers your thought?
- Do you want to improve any certain area in life or in public?
#4 Think about the challenge you want to take on.
- Is there a group of people that you stand for and with?
Think about Your Expertise
#1 What came to you naturally and easily compared to your peers.
- Think about the talents and skills that you have.
- Is there a topic/arena where you’ve become known?
#2 Your friends and others tend to seek advice from you around certain topics.
- If you build expertise from the schools of hard knocks, things that formal education can’t provide you, that counts too. Never underestimate real-life experience.
#3 Studies have shown that the hours we spend doing one thing make us the expert.
- Is there one thing you’ve done/studied for hundreds of hours? Or even, just 20 hours?
Consume Quality Niche Content
Thanks to the abundant internet resources, you can now gather all the necessary information just by search engines. Use Google, Bing, Yandex, etc. for the term “How to niche”.
Watch videos on Youtube, read articles from reliable resources.
Scan through, note, and try out all the techniques to find out what suits you most. Many blogs and websites already mentioned how to identify a niche.
- Within The Flow aims for eCommerce, drop shipping, and social media marketing.
- Chris Ducker has amazing tips on personal branding.
- NicheHacks provides dozens of tips to find online niche ideas.
- Here are 30 examples of personal and niche blogs you can take a look at to find inspiration.
If you find this task is a little stressful, take a break and come back later on. But never stop experimenting. It could take days and months until you find the one you are passionate about the most.
#1 Make sure you can monetize your niche in the long run. Constant researching, even though it costs time and energy. It guides your ship to a happy island, not just floating at sea.
#2 Be specific about the niche. Generic, over popular and broad keywords, make it harder for new ventures and difficult to rank.
#3 Use Word Stream to seek a profitable keyword that generates high search volume, pay-per-click, and competitiveness (high, medium to low) on Google or Bing.
#4 Google Trends provides keyword relevance based on different regions or worldwide. You can also check the time range from 2004 up to now to see if that keyword is relevant still.
Spend time researching before you jump into a niche that is no longer “high volume” or dying out.
Understand Your People
Begin with the end in mind: who will consume your product or service and willing to pay for it?
#1 Create a personal brand that is motivating, relevant, attractive, and personal. Research their profile by following these traditional categories: geographics, demographics, and behavioral patterns.
This answers three basic questions: where to reach, who to reach, and how to reach.
The traditional demographics:
- Age, Location, and gender/Sex
- Race/Ethnicity and Income.
#2 The world is changing at the light of speed. As you explore different possibilities on the road to freedom and value, think clearly about “the people” you plan to serve.
The new demographics:
- Interests, Passions, and Skills
- Beliefs and Values.
- What do they have in common?
#3 Find out what motivates people to use your service. Reasons they should choose you instead of other competitors. Build a personal brand where people can’t find elsewhere but have to reach to you.
#4 Strong personalities, authenticity, aspirations, and passions empower your personal brand. Market research helps to filter for the right niche in the noise of a crowded marketplace.
Does your service improve and add value to people’s lives?
Figure Out What Sets You Apart
#1 Define a unique selling proposition (USP) that makes you better than the competitors. People are overwhelmed with options nowadays.
- What do you bring to the market that sets you apart, and just not another generic one?
#2 Brainstorm to find out all the traits that make you unique. Research your competitors to figure out what they don’t offer to the market yet and their missing gaps. Your mission is to solve people’s problems and show them how you do it. Say no to copy-cats.
Does your niche bring any significance, difference, and yet, solve an issue and improve?
Identify Problems and Provide Solutions
#1 Spot inefficiency in the marketplace. Things that don’t run the way it should be, don’t exist, or get you frustrated. It’s possible that people also look for a solution to solve that problem, like you.
#2 Act like a buyer. If you want to buy or use that service yourself, other people probably want it too.
#3 Analyze the big picture. Reflect on your skills, expertise, ideas, talents, or abilities to find out how you can give an answer. Opportunities are usually in front of us but we are surrounded by fog and hard to see.
#4 Be different and do it better. Check if the marketplace is already satisfied with the solution. Don’t introduce the same thing if the market already has something great. Significance brings excellent and distinctiveness. Therefore, create a market.
#1 Always think about how to monetize your niche. Get in the habit of associating “money stuff” with ideas. When brainstorm or evaluate different projects, money isn’t the sole consideration but it’s an important one.
Ask three questions for every idea (Chris Guillebeau):
- How would I get paid with this niche idea?
- How much would I get paid from this niche idea?
- Is there a way I could get paid more than once?
#2 Make sure that this niche brings value to your target audience and also benefits you. Be realistic and honest about your expectations. No one would ever want to do things for free and get nothing back. It’s giving to get.
Plus, people tend to think free stuff means less quality. People love the idea of paying to own something that belongs to them for personal use.
#3 Make your people wait, crave, and desperately want to be a part of it. Have a niche, make a product or service, have the target audience that would pay you, find a way how to get paid. Invite people to purchase your service or product, not just old-school persuasion.
When building your niche, relax but keep these points in mind: the people that you’re going to serve, niche value, how to provide solutions, benefits, and solve problems, and profitability. Test the ideas by researching the market. Take action.
Make sure you do your homework. Be honest to yourself whether you can consistently work on it in the long term, bring qualities. It’s not that you can’t change your niche later on, but to reposition an established one could come with a cost.
Chiaravalle, B., & Schenck, B. F. (2014). Branding For Dummies (2nd, illustrated ed. ed.). Retrieved from https://books.google.nl/books?id=wdu6BQAAQBAJ
Smale, T. (2016, March 23). 5 Steps You Can Use to Find Your Niche. Retrieved April 25, 2020, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/272808
Gonzalez, L. (2019, August 16). How to Find Your Unique Selling Proposition in 7 Steps. Retrieved April 26, 2020, from https://www.copper.com/blog/unique-selling-proposition
Chris Guillebeau. (n.d.). The 100 Startup. Retrieved April 28, 2020, from https://100startup.com
Power Up Your Digital Impact • Copywriting, Digital Branding & Engagement, Personal Branding • Contact me for guest posts and collaboration.