Turn Setbacks into Setups
Finding Your Professional Niche
November 18, 2018
Choosing a path in life is essential. In today’s world, specialization is key. Honing in on that one thing that you want to specialize in, however, is not always easy. Whatever you want to establish your authority in – be it a coach, a consultant, or entrepreneur – identifying and focusing on your niche is a great way to attract like minded-clients and advance your reputation. Here is my 10-step process to finding your niche.
1. List off your skills, passions, and interests.
What makes you tick? What gets you excited? What do you find yourself randomly researching on Google for fun? It’s important to note that you don’t have to necessarily already be an expert on any of these things….yet. That all can come later. The important thing is that whatever’s on this list is something you can see yourself immersing yourself in. Is singing your thing? Are you great at giving job or relationship advice?
2. Narrow down your list
Out of all the items that came out of your brainstorm in step 1….I now want you to narrow them down to the 3 or 4 topics you enjoy the most and know the most about and/or are most willing to learn more about.
3. Brainstorm problems
Here you’re going to play problem solver. From those 3 or 4 topics you chose, begin brainstorming potential problems related to those items to solve or needs of people in that area. What do you think could be improved/enhanced/etc.? If you like to sing, and think you have a knack for teaching, for example, are others offering voice lessons, in your area?
With your idea starting to shape up, it’s time to do some research. What are other people asking about this topic? Do similar services exist? Is there any competition? If so, do you have any ideas on how you might stand out from the competition?
5. Build off your research
Building off of point 4, if the answer to any of the questions is no, why is that? If yes, do you see a possibility for you to do it differently or better? Maybe no one’s offering voice lessons for kids in your area, or you’re not seeing anyone coaching those who are changing career paths later in life.
6. Test the waters.
Begin casually discussing your thoughts (in general terms, don’t want to give away too much) to others who you might think would benefit from your niche or be interested in it. Going back to our examples, ask a few parent friends if their child has ever taken or shown an interest in voice lessons, or talk to friends who are interested in changing jobs and ask if they’ve considered a job coach or what they would look for in a job coach.
7. Further fine-tune your idea
If others can quickly and positively identify with your basic concept, it’s time to get serious, you might be onto something! What aspect of your idea do you imagine to be the most desirable and/or profitable? Your interviewing from point 6 should help.
8. Time to look at the numbers
Draft a basic business plan and see if the numbers works. Don’t be discouraged if it’s not cash flow positive right away. Instead, ask yourself if it can it become profitable and sustainable after a few months or a year. After all, you’re not looking for some get rich quick scheme, but rather a fulfilling, long term job.
9. Enter the development phase
Finally, if the numbers look good and you’re feeling confident. It’s time to develop your brand/image and/or market your idea. Here is where the rubber hits the road, and when you start seeing the payoffs.
10. Be willing to accept feedback along the way
Lastly, be very, very open to feedback and be willing to adapt and adjust quickly as you establish yourself. Sometimes someone on the outside looking in can see things you’re not seeing. It’s nothing personal!
Follow these 10 steps to decide on a niche for your career path…one that fulfills you. One that gets you waking up (most!) mornings looking forward to work. Check us out on Hundred Life Design, where we can help you brainstorm your niche or work on whatever phase of the ideation process you’re working on.