Have you heard the phrase “You have to find a niche to be successful online”?
Now some big businesses are successful online without a tight niche. But for the small business owner, finding your perfect niche does make it a lot easier to be successful. If you don’t know where to start in finding a niche, I can help. I’ve seen inspiring entrepreneurs wander the internet for weeks, waiting for that “ah-ha” moment. They end up feeling discouraged and overwhelmed.
Don’t use that dead-end strategy. Finding your perfect niche shouldn’t be something that causes frustration. It should be a process that’s enjoyable and exciting. Finding your niche is a creative journey and it all begins with you. Take some practical proactive steps towards discovering your business niche.
WHAT’S A NICHE?
A ‘niche” is a segment of the market who your business specifically serves. Your business doesn’t serve the entire population, or at least it shouldn’t. Gucci and Sketchers both produce shoes, but they target very different market segments. They have different niches.
Service industries also have niches. A law firm may specialize in bankruptcy law or worker’s compensation. Personal trainers may help young athletes get into optimal condition. Or they may help older retirees stay healthy and fit. What’s my niche at the Website Creation Workshop? I teach non-techie small business owners how to build beautiful WordPress websites that they can be proud of without having to rely on anyone else.
The number of niches is endless. When you identify your niche, it helps you define what your business is about. It tells your audience “this is my focus, and this is what I do best.”
THE PATH TO FINDING YOUR PERFECT NICHE
It’s tempting to cast a wide net with a broad niche like “I serve small business owners” or “I serve online entrepreneurs”. This is a mistake. When you establish a narrower niche, you’re viewed as an expert in that field. It becomes easier to turn prospects into paying customers.
The best way to start down the path of finding your perfect niche is to start with the things you love. Grab a pen and some paper and make a list of topics you’re passionate about. Get creative with this!
What are your interests? What do you enjoy doing or learning about? What are you skilled at or knowledgeable in? What are you passionate about? When you go to coffee with a friend, what do you get excited about sharing in conversation? What could you talk for hours about, because you know so much about the topic?
What kind of magazines and books do you read? That will give you a great clue about the subjects that interest you. Read my article about how to discover niches by looking at newsstands.
Now take that list (this is where it really gets creative and can be a lot of fun) and brainstorm niches. You can turn this into a three-step process.
Step 1: List your Interest
Example: Healthy Living Focused on Food
Step 2: Create a Few Sub-Categories Within This Topic:
Making Homemade Kombucha
Step 3: Use these Subcategories to Create Possible Niche Ideas:
Easy family friendly paleo recipes and resources
Specializing in organic gardening tools for small urban gardens
Teaching frugal health-conscious people how to brew delicious organic kombucha at home
Have fun with this process! Tap into your creative side and let the brainstorming flow freely. Don’t edit yourself and don’t wonder whether your ideas have any potential for profit. That’s a future step. Building a business on a topic you love is the best way to build your dream life. It’s worth the time and effort!
This type of brainstorming is easy when it’s on a topic you’re passionate about. And when you perform this step first, the niche research process suddenly becomes fun and much easier.
WHY CHOOSE A NICHE YOU LOVE?
You’ll be spending a lot of time on your business – it’s important to love your niche topic! Here are some other reasons that your niche should follow your passions:
- It will be easier to enter a market that you’re already familiar with
- You know what appeals to prospects in your specific audience
- You’ll be more motivated to work harder in your business
- Your enthusiasm for the topic will be contagious and help attract customers
- Your passion will translate through your personal brand
- It will be easier to understand your current and potential customer needs
- You’ll be better equipped to face the challenges that lie ahead
5 EASY WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE CHOSEN THE RIGHT NICHE
Remember, discovering your niche is a journey. It doesn’t happen overnight. It requires time, creative thinking, patience, and persistence. Sometimes it requires failing a few times. If you think you’ve found your perfect niche, here’s a quick test to see if it has a high likelihood of success.
#1 Are you passionate or excited about your niche?
(We’ve already covered why this is important)
#2 Is there some competition in the niche?
While we’re taught to think of competition in business as a bad thing, the truth is that a little competition is good. If there is no competition in your niche, that’s a red flag that it may not be a profitable business idea.
#3 Will you be able to differentiate yourself from the competition?
What is the competition like? Can you differentiate yourself? You should be able to differentiate yourself and your niche topic enough to offer a unique benefit. This is often called a Unique Selling Point or USP.
#4 Is there enough demand?
Demand is essential. If no one is searching for your product or service, then there’s no potential for profit. You can test demand for your topic by creating a survey or seeing what questions people are asking on community forums.
#5 Can you make money in this niche?
Finally, make sure you have a profitable business model to fit your niche. If you have a niche but cannot figure out how to make money in that niche, it’s not going to do you any good. Many niches make good informational websites. But if you don’t have the desire to create a lot of content, this business model is not the right niche for you. You need to feel excited about your niche AND your model.
Finding a niche is possible and it’s worth the effort. A good niche will make you feel excited about the possibilities and ready to move forward with your future. With the right time, patience, energy and effort you will find a niche that is perfect for you. Maybe you’ve found it already!