I believe that every online platform and business owner will benefit from aligning their work with their purpose or calling. You may be very clear on your life or, like most people (myself included) when I began my first online business, you may not have a clue. Perhaps you are becoming more conscious and can see that the world is dramatically shifting in this new economy. More and more leaders and influential people are talking about having a mission or movement.
One of the most exciting things about becoming a niche expert as is that you can create your own mission or movement very easily these days due to the new rules and tools of the internet. A message that used to take years to spread in a big way can now go viral overnight with a blog post, a video or a tweet.
Whether your goals are modest or huge, your key to success is in communicating your message effectively. If you do not, you risk being trampled. It has been predicted that more and more traditional stores will go out of business and even the large, successful chains are being forced to compete with hugely profitable online portals such as Amazon. It looks as though this will cause many stores to scale down their high street operations because the overhead may become too high to allow them to compete on price with the likes of Amazon. I viewed statistics that claimed only 23 percent of businesses was online in 2010; however, the prediction for 2020 is that 68 percent will have already joined in. This amounts to an estimated 3 billion new people looking for products and services online.
Can you and your business afford to miss out?
To take advantage of this wave of new customers/clients, you must create an unforgettable marketing message to stand out in your niche. I am talking about teaching and giving value. I have never enjoyed chasing people. I prefer to set things up so that people come to me. Your big idea does not have to be a complex one–there is beauty in simplicity. The quickest way to pinpoint your mission is to find your niche. There are three parts of your niche:
- Your what
- Your who
- Your why
Your Niche Topic
Your what is your niche topic you create content around and it is directly related to your products or service. You must create content of some type or have someone create content for you if you want to build a profitable online platform. Your topic could be anything from life coaching to real estate to weight loss to art to financial or legal. Any topic that can benefit from an online platform in some way. It is about finding your point of connection and creating solutions.
Three questions to ask yourself to help find your topic if you are new to business or want to switch your niche:
- What do you have skills and knowledge in? List everything.
- What would you love to talk or write about all day and/or every day? This usually narrows your options down.
- What do people say about you? Ask for feedback from employers, employees, clients, customers, friends and family etc. Others can often see your gifts and strengths much more clearly than you because you take them for granted. Your niche often finds you; however, you need to get started with the best information you have now and refine and develop your niche as you go.
Perfectionism is a killer so keep moving forward with what you have now.
Your Perfect Who
This is about attracting your audience of perfect prospects. The easiest way to connect with your perfect prospects is have them seek you out. In order to do that you must plant your niche flag and first know who your perfect prospect is. Loads of people think that they are out to serve EVERYONE and they have an awful fear of loss when they consider niching their business. If you target everyone, how can you have an unforgettable marketing message? It will be so diluted that NO ONE will hear you and no matter how excellent your product or service, your voice will be drowned out online.
You might start by knowing WHO you want to work with and not knowing your topic OR you might be clear on your topic but not know who your perfect prospect is. This is the tricky bit you must focus on now to get as clear as possible.
I like to start with the WHO because if you want to create a business that you love, it is essential that you attract the clients or customers you enjoy connecting with. Use your intuition and think about who you would like to be of value to. Often it is someone similar to you because you can relate to each other.
The simplest way to create a new online business is to think about the struggles you have had, how you have overcome them and who else might be looking for a solution.
If this is something you feel passionate about, then all the better because it will motivate you when you encounter unpleasant obstacles.
Once you have a rough idea of your possible topics and your perfect prospect, it is time to do some keyword research. If you want to do this yourself, you can use the Google tools to look at the numbers of people searching for information on your topic. If no one is searching, it is unlikely that will be a profitable niche for you so. If tons of people are searching, you need to find some ‘long tail keywords’ that are less competitive so that you can stand a good chance of ranking on the first page of Google.
If you are in a very competitive niche and do not have a unique angle, you will struggle to be found through organic searches. You can, of course, use paid advertising and/or use social media to drive traffic; however, why not target a niche you can be found in so you can attract people to your website and platform with more ease? People who seek you out after experiencing some of your content online are the most qualified and hot prospects you will ever attract. You cannot actually buy leads like that even with a big advertising budget.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a core part of creating your profitable platform and I recommend you target at least five profitable keywords so that you can optimize your website when it is ready.
Think about why your perfect prospect would choose you or your business, why you are unique (trust me, you are because there is only one you) and why you do what you do. When you go deeper and combine your prospect’s why with your why, you form the foundation. I know my audience and I do not attract people who are just after a quick sale so I know that it is probably important to you that you have purpose and not just profit in your work.
When identifying your niche, reach for a much bigger vision than you feel capable of now. It is amazing how quickly you can develop your skills when you are inspired, supported and have a step-by-step blueprint to follow.
Wherever you are now begin because there will never be the perfect moment.
As Goethe said,
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!