Starting an online business involves many steps, but the first one should be finding your niche.
That said, a niche is not forever. You can re-focus it a bit down the road or you can pick an entirely new one if you feel you made the wrong decision in the first place.
But still you need to pick a well-defined niche when you decide to build your own business, else you’ll find it very difficult to get things going.
Below I’ll show you how you should go about finding your niche, but first, let’s start with the why.
Why you should pick a well-defined niche
The biggest advantage of starting an online business vs an offline one is that you have access to more than three billion people. THREE BILLION people who could potentially enjoy your content and buy your product regardless of whether they live next door from you or on the other side of the World.
However, this advantage makes things a little bit more difficult at the same time.
With so many online businesses and so many people online, it’s becoming more and more difficult to attract visitors to your website, let alone the right kind of visitors.
Don’t expect everybody will be interested in what you have to offer just because you think it is something everyone should be interested in.
And if you try to target everybody, it’s going to be difficult to decide what to do, how to do it and when to do it.
By picking a niche, you make a conscious decision to limit the size of your potential market, but at the same time, you make it much easier to reach your potential customers.
Start with something you like
The first step should be picking a broad niche you belong to which you like and one you have a good knowledge about.
It’s not difficult, you just need to list all the niches you belong to.
In my case, it would entrepreneur, developer, parent, traveler, foodie, etc.
Don’t limit yourself, just make a big list with all of the groups you belong to.
Once you have a list, find the three or four niches you know the most about, especially through your own experiences.
You’ll need to write lots of content for people in your chosen niche, so picking one you know a lot about is going to make things easier.
Now, among those few niches you just picked, which one excites you the most? which one has the people you are more likely to want to spend time with? in which one do you think you’ve got the most chances of becoming an authority?
That’s the broad niche you want to start with.
Now make it more focused
Once you know your broad niche, it’s time to focus it.
Your goal should be to become an authority in your chosen niche. When people think about your niche, they have to think about you.
But becoming an authority in a broad niche like the ones you identified above is going to be almost impossible: you can make it, but I doubt you will.
What is it about your niche that gets you more excited? and what it is that you’ve got more knowledge about?
Let’s say you’re a freelance designer and you picked design as your niche. It’s a good niche, no doubts about it, but what is it that you’re designing?
Maybe 90% of your work is designing mobile apps. Not bad, you could focus on designing mobile apps.
But even that would be a bit too broad if you ask me.
Now let’s say you’ve developed a way to create rapid prototypes so your clients can feel like they’re interacting with the finished app while you’re still designing it and so you can incorporate their feedback right from the beginning.
You could focus on prototyping mobile apps.
I don’t know if it would be a good niche or not, maybe it would as you could build an app which allows you to prototype mobile apps, or you could sell a course, or even do webinars about it. So maybe it’s a good one, maybe not, but you get the idea: start with the broad niche and focus it down.
And remember that if you try to sell to everyone, you’re setting yourself up for a huge delusion.
Everything you do should revolve around your focused niche
Now that you have gone from broad niche to focused niche, you should commit to only producing content around that.
Everything you do must be related to the niche you decided to focus on, otherwise, you’re going to waste energies and even worse, you’ll confuse your audience.
Whatever you put online on your official channels should relate to your focused niche. Twitter? Don’t share an article you just read if it’s not related to your niche, even if it’s the best article ever. Instagram? Everyone — or not — likes to see what you’re eating, but keep it for a personal account unless your niche is about food. And so on.
All the content you create, every piece that you share, every product that you sell, should be closely related to your chosen niche.
Remember you want to become an authority and the first step to becoming an authority is producing great content, while the second is to be associated with your niche.
So you need to teach your audience what you’re about. If you publish random content, they will know what you like, maybe, but they won’t know what you are about. They won’t have a way to associate you with a well-defined niche.
A niche isn’t forever
And remember, there’s no right or wrong here.
You’re just brainstorming and you might as well pick a wrong niche, but you won’t know it until you try it.
You could spend months or even years perfecting your choice of niche. But what would the benefits be?
You’d be much better off spending those months or years working on a wrong niche because at least you’d be left with lots of valuable lessons learned through trial and error which will make it easier to pick the right niche on your second try.
Don’t be a victim of analysis paralysis!
Have you got a niche? Is it focused enough? Are you only producing content targeted to that niche?
The 10 steps to picking the right niche
Picking the right niche seems like a daunting task which is why many people avoid it in the first place.
However, it's quite easy if you know the right steps to take, which is why I decided to put together a list of the 10 steps to picking the right niche.
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