Find your niche. Now how many times have you heard the word “niche” in the past couple of years? Yeah – a lot.
Here are a few things that went through my mind when I first starting hearing the buzz about “finding your niche market” and “niching down” and all that good stuff:
- What is a niche?
- How do I find mine?
- Can I just buy one?
After some considerable research, a little bit of testing and forcing myself to answer the three questions above, I realized something: finding your niche is mandatory if you’re looking to start and grow a successful business.
Wiki says a niche market is:
“the subset of the market on which a specific product is focusing. So the market niche defines the specific product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs…”
Pretty solid definition.
Find YOUR niche
Before I started working for EntrepreneurOnFire I tried to start my own freelance writing business. I had no clue what I was doing in terms of starting a business – I just knew that I loved to write.
I figured that since there are a lot of businesses and people out there who are looking for writers to help them with website copy, marketing collateral and so on, it would be really easy to find clients if I could get my own website up and running.
Disclaimer: there was a lot wrong with the way I started my business, but the biggest failure I had was not identifying my niche market, which is what I’m going to focus on right now.
I put up a website that told “people” (aka anyone and everyone) I could write their website copy, create marketing collateral, craft articles and blog posts, be on social media for them…
I even offered up a service that would edit already-written copy if they wanted to simply “make it better”.
I loved doing all of these things, and so I wasn’t sure how to decide which one I should focus on. Plus, I didn’t want to offer one and have someone come to my website looking for the other, so I thought if I put them all up, then I’d be covering all the bases.
Stop trying to serve everyone
Do you see the problem here?
I was offering a portfolio of services that was way too big, and in trying to sell to anyone and everyone out there, I was selling to NO ONE.
My offerings were way too generic, and I lacked a certain focus that was sure to turn anyone away from my site in a heartbeat.
So, one day I cleared out my website copy, and instead of offering everything I listed above, I told people that I specialized in one thing: I would edit and format their eBook so that it would be ready for the Kindle Direct Publishing Platform.
Focus on a passion to find your niche
Why eBook editing?
About this time I had really started focusing on a passion of mine: helping small businesses and Entrepreneurs find out how to provide value to their audience and establish themselves as an authority in their industry.
I knew that if I could sell small businesses and Entrepreneurs on the idea that an eBook could do these two things for them (provide value to their audience and establish themselves as an authority in their industry), then the rest would follow.
All my services included was editing an already-written piece for grammar, sentence structure and consistency, and then formatting it for Kindle – that’s it.
I went from making $0/hour to over $75/hour within one week of finding my niche market, and then niching down again.
Some people know exactly what their niche is.
For others, it’s a little bit more work to discover exactly what space you’re trying to fill (what value you’re providing) with your product or service and who your target audience is.
Talking to everyone means you’re talking to no one
Why did I fail when I first tried starting that freelance writing business? Because I didn’t want to miss out on clients.
I thought that if I was offering one thing, then I would be missing out on the millions of people who didn’t need it. What I should have been focusing on were the millions of people who DID need it.
Once I started talking to them about how an eBook could help them in their business, and how I could help them get that eBook published on the Kindle Direct Platform, I started getting clients.
Finding your niche is an important step in building and growing a successful business. When you try to sell to everyone, you run the risk of selling to no one.
The more you niche, the easier it is to provide value to a specific audience.
Further reading: Ramit Sethi’s Case Study