The number one stumbling block for entrepreneurs is choosing a niche for their business.
A niche is a specific area or position with an industry. Business gurus dictate that you should “niche down” or hone in on an ultra-specific niche so that you can more easily dominate it.
So, if you are a copywriter you should be the “auto-responder guy”; or if you are a designer you could be the “logo designer guy”; or if are a developer you could be the “membership site guy”.
As with all business advice, “niching down” is right only some of the time. And this advice is actually stopping a lot of people from getting started.
But I’m going to show you that it’s OK not have a niche. All you have to do is follow a very easy-to-follow path. It’s called: your own way.
1. You are your niche
Who am I? I’m the “freelance-artworker-turned-graphic-designer-turned-web-designer-turned-best-selling-author-turned-online-course-creator-who-now-sometimes-blogs-about-personal-development guy” – it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.
Has it caused mass confusion amongst my audience? No. Has it caused my customers to turn away in their droves? No.
This works for me and it could work for you, for the following reasons:
- It’s enabled me to do different things instead of concentrating on one thing
- I don’t get bored doing the same thing all the time
- Online business moves at a great pace – it’s a good thing that I’ve moved on to more interesting, more lucrative areas (for example, online course creation)
You can build a business around being a jack of all trades rather than being a master of one (that could be redundant next year).
2. It should be obvious
For some people niche selection will be obvious. These are the lucky ones. The people who love SEO (for example, Neil Patel), or who love outsourcing (for example, Chris Ducker) or who love writing books (for example, Jeff Goins).
The niche selection was obvious for them. It’s what they are. It’s what they do. But it should be obvious for you too.
It’s what you are. It’s what you do. It may not seem cool or sexy to you now but that’s because you haven’t made it cool and sexy yet.
3. It will distract you from getting started
Many people postpone getting a website, postpone content creation, postpone product launches or postpone starting a business because they’re thinking, thinking, thinking about the niche decision.
This is a huge mistake.
You will find your niche more easily by getting a website, creating content, launching products and starting a business. You will find yourself inside the act of creation.
4. It will change anyway
All existence is change.
My business looks completely different today to three years ago. I used to get most of my income from graphic and web design clients, now it mostly comes from the sale of video courses.
In five years time our businesses and lives will be going in completely different directions. Guaranteed.
In the beginning of the year 2000, WordPress, Facebook, Google Adwords, Twitter, Kindles, iTunes didn’t exist. In five years’ time there will be several life-changing apps we’ll all be going crazy about – and there’ll be niche businesses springing up around them. You could dominate one of them. What’s the point of worrying about a niche now when there could be a more obvious one just around the corner?
5. The world is not made out of niches
Some people have listened to the gurus’ advice and have needed to artificially carve out a niche that they’re not totally happy with. If you’ve found this process difficult and painful suggests that you may make a lousy decision. You are never satisfied with your choice if the decision has been hard. Easy decisions are the right ones.
If the decision is too difficult don’t make it. It’s much better to forget about the decision entirely and forge your niche from the areas of business you most enjoy.
In reality the world is not black and white but includes billions of gray areas.
6. You have more than one defining factor
Ultimately there are many, many areas you excel at:
- You probably are creative in certain areas but not others.
- You probably have a certain types of people skills but not others.
- You probably have affinities for particular business models but balk at others.
You can craft your niche or niches out of your many areas of excellence. This will happen naturally if you follow your interests. Don’t force it.
7. People are different – customers are different
And then there’s the customer. All customers are created differently. I have customers from every part of the world, of every age group, social background and gender. They all have different needs. Some of them will be more drawn to my entrepreneurial products, some will like the passive income products, others will be interested in the WordPress development stuff. And, if they are interested in more than one area, so much the better.
“Niching down” could cut you away from certain audiences as they’ll think, ‘he’s the “something-something guy” he won’t be able to help me with such-and-such’.
People change in their interests as well, so they are more likely to buy other products and will cross-sell more easily.
You can do it
You can build that website, you can create that content, you can launch that product, you can start a business. But you’re going to make mistakes while you do it. So you should start.
Don’t let anything distract you from taking action, least of all niche selection. Don’t waste one more second on niche selection, it’s wasted energy. Put that energy towards taking action in your business and your “niche” will grow out of this action.