Finding your niche in business is fundamental to making a profit, but it is also fundamental in connecting with possible partners for joint ventures and other collaborations. Unfortunately, finding your niche is filled with pitfalls.
One of the first challenges is finding help with the task. You should know that some consultants have a specific process by which they will help you, and it may or may not be suited to your situation. Here are just three types of home business owners, and I believe that the process for finding your niche will vary depending on the business model you have in mind: coach or other solo professional, affiliate marketer, and network marketer.
A Balanced Approach to Finding Your Niche
I believe that you must consider two main things when clarifying your business niche; it’s not one versus the other.
1. What You Bring to the Marketplace. This means you should take inventory of yourself: What are you passionate about? What do you really love to do? Who do you really care about? What are your hobbies and special interests? What kind of people would you prefer to spend your time with? What are your values?
Also, what is your genius? What do you know a lot about? What are your skills and talents? What special training have you had? What have you figured out on your own? What experiences have you had?
2. What the Marketplace Needs and is Buying. This means you must research what is profitable. “Follow the money.” And you do this with niche keyword research. The goal is to find a niche covered by one or more long-tail search phrases. There is more, but niche research is another topic.
My real reason in mentioning this is that some consultants will focus on one of the two aspects and will downgrade the importance of the other. If you are seeking counsel, avoid someone who says that passion alone – or that the market alone – is the key to finding your niche.
The 5 Pitfalls – Avoid These Niche Mistakes
- Limited monetization. You have a niche for which you have great passion as well as expertise. But you cannot locate any relevant products (beyond a few Amazon books which a have a very low commission rate and high competition) nor can you visualize creating a product. In that case you have a hobby, not a business.
- No passion. You believe you have a niche which could be profitable based on the keyword research. But the niche does not excite you. Will you have the required persistence to maintain traffic to the business if, for example, weekly blog posts must be written?
- No market. You like it, but keyword research demonstrates very few others search for this niche. The niche may be too small to be profitable.
- Backwards reasoning. You already have products; for example, you joined a network marketing –MLM– opportunity. You remain focused on the array of products offered by your company which prevents you from finding a laser-focused niche. Instead, you may need to focus on either one of the products or a smaller target group that could use the product. Keep in mind: if you are a network marketer, finding your niche will have an inherent contradiction you must overcome. Your niche is not your company or even your company’s niche, necessarily.
- Great niche, then ignore it. In this pitfall, you actually have done your work and established a great foundation, but then ignore it as you work on your business funnel. The niche serves as a gardening screen helping you sift out the roots, weeds, and rocks from the good dirt in your business. So do that! Don’t confuse people by jumping out of your niche. Stay congruent. Remember, for example, why people signed up for your list.
Resources for Finding Your Niche
Again, the importance of all of this for collaboration with other entrepreneurs is that you must have a good and ready answer to the question: What is your niche? Or, What do you do? Clear answers to such questions help other entrepreneurs determine whether you could be a potential partner, whether you bring something worthwhile to a potential collaboration.
My favorite resources that provide help in finding your niche include:
My video called, “My Biggest Niche Mistake.” Watch it here.
I love these two resources from Kevin Riley- they are best for affiliate marketers:
- Video on Niche Research
- Step by Step Guide to Researching a Niche for Affiliate Marketing. Works well for beginner and the more advanced marketer will benefit as well. Includes keyword research, product research and it is in great detail and well illustrated. You won’t feel lost.
The best niche clarification program for all other solo marketers was created by Cindy Schulson: Your Clear Path to Ideal Clients