Niche. Is there a more terrible word in the English language? I really hate that word. I can never tell if it’s pronounced NIT-ch as in “knitting”, NEE-sh as in “neeshing” or NISH as is well “nish”. And you know what, I’ll argue with anybody that says they’re 100% positive one way or the other.
But I was thinking about that last week (niches, not liars that is) while I was going through some research for a sample small business marketing plan idea that I had.
I’d spent hours scouring the world wide web and had come up with little more than “similar” search results that included “big idea” type posts full of: gantt graphs, business charts, infographics, and people talking in circles and vague ideas. I was annoyed and irritated and all around having a no good, very bad searching day. I just wanted a sample that I could base my own yearly marketing plan off of.
Then it hit me: what if somebody had targeted small business marketing plans as their niche?
What if when I typed in “Sample Small Business Marketing Plans”, a website had come up that specifically focused on plans for small business, how to plan your small business marketing plan, easy-to-follow steps to determine what I needed to do and how to do it. I would have happy-danced and then signed up for their newsletter, their social media, maybe even enrolled in their courses or purchased their ebook. I’d have spent money for somebody to show me the ropes, and I’d have spent all that time sifting through their archives and taking notes instead of getting a kinked neck and fighting the urge to throw my MacBook out the window.
I’d have been their Number 1 supporter and shared my hard earned cash with them. I’d have spread the good news of my find with all my social media followers, and talked them up like a fanatic when my plan was done and it was working just like they’d described!
And THAT is why, regardless of how your tongue forms that little word up there, you should have a niche. Because there is somebody out there that wants EXACTLY what you’re doing. Somebody out there has spent many frustrating hours searching for YOUR site, wanting to send you money, and you haven’t even pushed publish yet.
So stop saying that you don’t know who would even want to know what you know. Stop trying to find your football stadium-sized audience before you put the pen to paper. Because I guarantee they are out there. They’re waiting for you to publish and they’re searching for you already! Find that niche, dig deep into it, and start spreading out into every corner that you can find to expose it. Become the Master of it! You can!
How to define your niche?
It’s really not as hard as you might think. Here are a few tips and examples to help you discover YOUR niche:
ONE: PINPOINT YOUR PURPOSE
Make sure that whatever you decide to focus on, it’s clear. If you choose to blog about recipes, that’s great! But go further and focus down to a certain type: slow cooker, paleo, vegetarian, etc… Very few people are looking for an “everything” blog. And even fewer of those blogs actually work out and see a lot of traffic. There’s nothing to draw audience in and keep them reading. People search the Internet in search of answers to questions – so make sure whatever you’re talking about is focused down enough to provide those answers more than just one time.
For Example: My pinpointed focus is sharing information with entrepreneurs that are just starting out or are looking to restart their businesses.
TWO: FIND YOUR PASSION
Knowing your niche, and being able to pinpoint it down far enough to answer questions is a HUGE step, but if you’re not passionate about what you’re saying, you’ll burn out faster than your followers will show up. Passion is so important when it comes to niche hunting. If you’re not into what you’re doing and if you don’t feel alive and excited about it, then your audience won’t either, and again, they won’t be buying from you or even coming back.
For Example: My passion is helping others. I love to share the knowledge that I’ve gained in my 13 years of experience. I want to help SAHM (Stay At Home Moms) create the creative businesses that they’ve put of because they we’re too busy “being mom”. I want to help students that have just graduated start their dreams without having to go through all the mud and junk that I did. I want to show 9-5er’s how to slowly escape their day jobs without the worry of falling on their faces, while still maintaining their full-time gigs until they’re able to quit… Why? Cause I’ve been there, through all of that, I’ve done it and I can speak from experience.
THREE: WHAT CAN YOU VENT ABOUT? WHAT IS YOUR RANT?
Now, I know that this may just sound crazy, but hear me out: if you care about something so much that it just drives you up the wall when it’s done wrong or misunderstood, then you’ll be able to do BOTH of the steps above without even a second thought! Sit down, and write out your rant.
For Example: I hate how entrepreneurs that have made it to the “success circle” either use super complicated words and these bigger-than-life stories or write out tutorials in a 1-3 step process… Cause that’s not real life. I can’t make a blog, create social media accounts, and then magically make 6 figures. There are so many more steps in there, and I’m only on step .5 and have a headache from not having my second cup of coffee today. I want to help others, like really help others, achieve their goals and work through the process. I want to use simple language and have constant one-on-one contact because they are going to have questions throughout the process.
So now it’s your turn. Time to sit down and write it all out. Put it on paper, and get that NEESH – NITCH…whichever, down!