Action Plan: Choose Your Niche
In my hometown of New Orleans, we have a saying, ‘Do Whatcha Wanna’. It was made famous (and maybe even coined) by Rebirth Brass Band in their 1997 hit song with the title. Essentially, the song is celebrating the freedom to do whatever you want. And, at CoupDose, we think you should be able to do what you want and earn a living. In order to find that sweet spot where doing whatcha wanna meets being compensated for it, you will need to get clear and define your niche.
Now, I don’t want you to get caught up in semantics. The word niche has several definitions, but you really only need to be concerned with two of them right now. The first definition, ‘a place or position suitable for a person or thing’. The second definition, ‘a distinct segment of a market’. (Thanks, Dictionary.com.) Now, regardless of how you feel about the word niche or the marketing concept of niching, I want to show you how niching can be a good thing if the overarching goal is always to do what you love and offer value to other people. And, after reading this post, you will have a clear action plan on how to finally decide on a niche and move forward with your business goals.
Step 1: Know What You Want
You love it. It doesn’t feel like work when you’re doing it. You can talk about it ad nauseam. You read tons of books about it. Actually, with all of your knowledge about it, you could write books about it. You are amazing at it. This thing is YOUR THING! Your niche is the place you belong doing what you love with an audience that you love, and excelling in business.
To help streamline your marketing efforts, your job is to focus on a specific thing for now that you can specialize in. It’s better to start with a small niche and expand later. Why? Well, if you know your niche inside and out and people like and trust you, they’ll be interested in more of what you have to say on broader topics or other products.
Start with the thing you love now, it does not mean that you are stuck doing it forever. You will be able to evolve and expand to other areas when you prove to yourself that you can excel in a smaller niche.
- Sit for at least 20 minutes and make a list of all of your interests. What do you talk about at parties? In what field do you want to be known as an expert in? What do you think you could write a book about with no research?
- Ask your parents, close friends, and family to name a few things that you’re good at or what they think your interests are. You don’t have to ask in person, send an email and/or post it on Facebook and tag your peeps.
- Look at your list. If you had to talk about any of them for at least an hour a day for the next year, write about every day for the next year, or work on creating something for every day, which would remain? If you could wake up and be on the cover of Forbes for your business success, which of these interests would you want to be highlighted?
Once you’ve really narrowed down your interests, you should have more clarity to move on to the next step.
Step 2: Release Fear
We are all here for a reason. I know, I know. You’ve heard that a million times before, but if you’re still confused about what your niche is, what your purpose is, and what you should be doing, let’s get clear about it today.
We all have a special gift and talent that can offer tremendous value to the world and if we are truly honest with ourselves, we already know what that thing is. We have been getting clues about it since we were born.
Many of us don’t accept “our thing” out of fear. There’s fear of failure, fear of success, fear of rejection, fear of acceptance, fear of being broke, fear of being rich—so many fears. And that’s not all. There are these other things called cognitive biases: things that cause us to think in certain ways and can often be obstacles that block us from having the life that we want. There are tons of those that are blocking people from living their dreams. Make a decision today to overcome these obstacles, aggressively push through to finally having the life and lifestyle that you want by doing what you love and not later—now!
- Make a decision to figure out a way to use your interests in building and growing your business. Decide that you want to be successful and dance with your fear. Action defeats fear. Start creating! If you want to start a blog, decide on how many posts you’ll write in the next year and start writing or hire a freelance writer. If you want to start a podcast, decide on how many you will do this year, and start recording!
Step 3: Define Your Ideal Audience
Right now, I’m talking about finding your thing, seizing your bliss, and utilizing your talents to help other people. By doing the aforementioned things, you are finding your niche in life and in business.
You get to live in that dream space where what you love and what you are good at merges with offering value to other people. And, yeah, it’s going to be a lot easier to find success if your niche can offer value to others.
- Make a list of your ideal BUYERS and get really specific. What kind of people do you want to serve? Is it moms, single women, dreamers, college students, graphic designers, creative solopreneurs, dog owners, makeup lovers, artists, people who want to lose weight, musicians, etc.?
- Once you know who you want to serve, it’s easier to have conversations with them to find out how you can help them solve a problem with your product or service, entertain them, or provide them with valuable information. Now, go have a conversation with them. Join forums and Facebook groups, follow group boards on Pinterest, read content from other websites in the niche or complimentary niches.
Step 4: Find Examples of Success
Do not doubt your niche! You might start thinking yourself out of why you can’t do the thing you love and be successful. Stop thinking that! Find examples of people who are kind of doing what you’re doing, and use them for inspiration.
You just need to find examples of people/businesses who are killing it in your niche. There are very successful coaches, consultants, 6-7+ figure chefs, makeup artists, painters, writers, YouTubers, bloggers, brow artists, retailers, online boutique owners, and fitness trainers in our world.
If you’re ready to seize your bliss and work smart, you can have that life and that business that you love too. Study your niche’s heroes and figure out what they are doing. You might have to dig to find those people, but once you do—jackpot!
Let’s say you think you’ve found a niche, but you can’t find evidence of it anywhere. You can follow that path, but know that it could be more of a challenge just because you don’t have a proven market or any stars in your niche. Find someone or some business as close to what you’re doing as possible and really study the niche.
- Create a list of 20 people or businesses in your niche or in a complimentary niche.
- List all of the things you admire about those people or businesses. What are they doing right?
- Is your niche or specialty complimentary to another niche? Get to know the people in that field and begin a dialog through forums and on social media.
Step 5: Be Unique
Be inspired by what leaders are doing right, but do your own thing. Don’t copy! You want to take the very best of what they are doing right and make it exponentially better by imbuing it with a very special ingredient—you! Take great ideas, add a whole lot of you, let it marinate, and make it as unique as possible.
- Find a gap in the market or something that you can offer that’s different and focus on creating a spin that’s all you. Do a Google search, look on LinkedIn, go to events where you might find your niche’s stars. You are going to study those people in your niche, interview them, subscribe to their e-mail lists. If they are accessible to you, take them to lunch, and ask them to mentor you. You’ll learn to avoid their mistakes and get to your dreams faster.
Step 6: Test The Market/Validate Your Idea
You can do anything you put your mind to with focused strategic action; however, it’s going to be easier and more profitable to choose a niche where people are already looking for value. You want to solve a problem, teach valuable information, or entertain your audience. Other people responding to your products and/or services is what’s going to make it easier for you to excel. You need confirmation from other people that you are headed in the right directions and yes, in fact, your dream place does exist.
Want to find out quickly if your niche will be profitable or not? Test the market.
A few years ago, I had an idea for a product. Rather than spending a small fortune getting it manufactured, I paid an Illustrator to make highly detailed digital prototypes of the product. I talked about it on social media, posted it to my blog, and sent emails to my audience to see if it’s something they would like. I got a lot of great feedback on the product, but soon discovered there was something on the market that was very cheap and was sufficient enough for the problem that my product also solved. So, I dropped that idea, and moved on to something else.
You only need to create a really basic version of your idea and get it out there to see if people bite. If people do respond favorably, you might consider moving forward with polishing up your product. If people do not respond favorably, you could keep going, but it might be a bit of an uphill climb.
- Think of a customer you’d like to serve and ask them for their feedback on what you want to do. I suggest conducting these conversations in person, on forums, niche communities, via social media and basically wherever your customers reside. Don’t ask your friends and your family if they are not your audience. Try to have a conversation with at least 10-20 people that would be your potential buyers. Obviously, the more people you talk to, the better, but you should have a pretty good idea of if your product will work by deep diving with about 10-20 potential buyers.
- Look on Amazon, are there any books about your niche? Does the book have many reviews, this is a hint of a profitable niche.
- Search Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for your words unique to your niche. Are thousands of people actively talking about this niche and using hashtags related to the niche? This could be the green light you need to move forward with your chosen niche.
- Start small. Create you first product or prototype of a product as quickly and as affordably as you can, promote it like crazy with your friends, family, and networks for the next couple of weeks. Get some great photos/graphics and invest $50-100 in social ads and really focus on targeting your ideal buyers. If you have a low priced offer, you might consider just include a “Buy Now” sort of call-to-action, if your offer is pricey, you might offer a freebie or lower-priced offer and set up a landing page to capture email addresses. Are people responding, are people interested?
Decide and Take Action!
Think that you don’t have a niche or can’t think of one today? Just decide on one and be all about that life, be about action.
Decisiveness is a cornerstone of success. If you want a quicker route to your dream life and dream business, stop vacillating and decide!
Living a life without knowing your passion, but knowing the end result (your dream life) is kind of like driving to a place you’ve never been to with no directions or a place that you’re not sure truly exists. You can drive around your whole life like that, but don’t you want to get out of the car and finally get to that place, live in your bliss, and offer value to other people? Perhaps the thing that you decide on today is not what leads you to your ultimate bliss, but it will get you on the right path.
So, you have spent your precious time reading this. Now what? You are going to act on it! You are going to find your place in the world and people you can offer value to. You are going to find real world examples of people killing it in your field. You are going to start that blog in your niche, start that business in your niche, start writing those books, make a prototype for your product, and just make moves (big or small every day) to reach your goal.
What’s your niche? Who is your ideal audience? Did this post help clarify things for you or give you ideas?