How to choose your niche. What to do when you know you want to pivot but not sure where to?
The riches lie in the niches.
You may have heard this saying before. It means that the key is to specialise rather than to generalise in an area of expertise, for various reasons:
💡easier for people to remember you for a particular expertise
💡more sustainable because you focus your time, energy and efforts on one (or 2) rather than a gazillion different areas and topics
💡saves time and money due to leveraging efficiencies
💡it is quicker to build your authority
💡it is easier for others to refer you
The reasons speak for themselves to rather specialise in an area and hone in on one area of expertise rather than trying to be everything to everyone.
Which is why this blog is all about how you go about choosing your niche and start your career journey/pivot/creation ... wherever you are in your life!
Step 1 - Write down all potential areas of expertise
Where do you have a deep enough knowledge to position yourself as expert?
Some questions to help you answer this:
📝Where do you have several years experience and/or skill sets that can be transferred?
📝What do you speak most often on? Where do you consider yourself to be an expert in?
📝What do you love doing at work?
📝Where did you have the most success when working with clients?
📝What do others most often come to you for?
📝What is it that gets you the most compliments?
📝Which area do you educate yourself on the most (podcast, newsletters, blogs, conferences, books, ...)
📝Where did you have a lot of success yourself (doesn't have to be commercial experience for you to be an expert in it - think about parties you have organised, websites you have developed for friends, ...)
Try to list at least 7 potential niches before making a decision and try a combination of tasks, industries and topics, like Digital Transformation for FMCG Industry or Social Media for Youth Brands.
Step 2 - The talk test
All of the topics listed should have the potential for you to do a key note, run a half or even full-day workshop on it?
If you wouldn't feel comfortable and ready to do that straight away, you probably lack the depth of knowledge and experience at this point and it is not quite the right time to position yourself as an expert in it.
That doesn't mean it couldn't become your speciality down the track - it just means you need to invest more time in mastering the craft which you can do and in the meantime, position yourself the step before that. As long as you know where you are at, you can map out next steps.
Step 3 - Map the competition
Write down any household names that you already know is an established leader in your industry. It might be names like Neil Patel, Amy Porterfield, Pat Flynn ...
The aim of this step is to see who is doing well, how experts in the field deliver their expertise (video, audio, speeches ..) and what are the specific areas/ industries/audiences they cover/target.
It will give you an idea where your approach and focus could come in that's aligned with your personality, your strength and your preferred industry. Even delivering the same message than others already do but through a different medium and to a different audience already means it's a different niche.
It's about tweaking your positioning to make it personal to your story and experience so you can claim it and do it authentically - and is exactly what makes even crowded topics already unique.
Step 4 - Rank the topics
Rank your top 5 favourite options from 1-5
(5 being 'I could do it 24/7 without being paid), 1 being meh)
The aim here is to eliminate any options you are not passionate about and when you rank, do it with a combination of your level of expertise, and your enjoyment of the work.
Write down any areas that overlap with each other and see if that may have potential to be your (new) niche) and/or how you can create one.
Step 5 - Get to work
Make an action plan
Knowing what you want to do is great!
Not putting it to work though doesn't make any difference to where you are now.
Getting started is always a hard slog, so grab the low hanging fruit and easy to access support until momentum kicks in:
📌Who do you know who could help you getting to your goal (friend, mentor, person of influence)?
📌How can you get started with what you want to do (eg you want to become a paid speaker - check out local MeetUp groups and introduce yourself as speaker for their next event, contact conference and event hosts, get a coach to fast track your goals and tap into their network ...)
📌What have you got already that you can (re)use (like a previous presentation from a keynote you gave, a step-by-step guide that you can send to potential clients, a video about who you are and what you do ... )
The quick wins help you get started and make the tasks less overwhelming.
It also serves as starting point to take it to the next level - it usually is easier to make something bigger and better from something existing rather than starting from scratch.
Where from here?
Now you have a rough idea how you want to be positioned and what your area(s) of expertise is.
Hop over to the blog where you will find more useful insights and resources to build your Personal Brand and Career!