Hi there! Since you found this I'm assuming you know a little about niches and you're wondering how one goes about excelling at one. In other words, you want to know how to get the attention of and sell to a huge portion of people that have the same interest. That's really what it comes down to when anybody is talking about niches, although it could also mean just garnering a lot of attention, whatever floats your boat!
Well you've stopped on a great post for just that! I'm going to be going deep into the details of what makes someone great at their niche. This includes what they're doing right, why it's right, and what skills they have that are absolutely necessary to be successful. Oh, and the flip side too... Why so many people fail at taking a portion of the pie.
Before all of that, I want to make sure that you and I are on the same page as to what a niche really is. I've seen a lot of people over-complicate it or just keep tripping over the concept!
A niche is having a very specific audience and marketing a very specific product to them. Now you might be thinking this doesn't apply to you completely or maybe that your niche is too specific. Well... you'd be wrong! It's all about standing out.
There is no such thing as someone not having a niche audience or not having a niche product to sell. Everybody is selling something! Even a baby! Their audience is primarily their parents and their secondary audience is anyone nearby that likes babies. Their product? Love, laughs, and making people feel good! Sure they have their moments of just crying for the heck of it, but in the long term they offer a quality niche product to their parents in the form of deep relationships.
Okay, that was pretty simple, but easy to understand, yes? Good! Moving on, how does this look in more relevant ways?
If someone is looking to make money from their knowledge of, let's say, men's athletic shoes. That's a somewhat specific niche, but it could be better. It would be better to break it down into something smaller like a specific brand or a specific athletic sport. Well, guess what, there is a huge audience for that! Even if a product or topic seems too specific, it's almost always a niche that could be dominated!
By now you should get what a niche is, although for more clarification click here for a training video!
Let's start digging into the meat of cornering a niche market! To do that there is a specific, trainable skill set that is absolutely critical for any kind of success. These fall under 4 general categories: marketing, craft, critical thinking, and determination.
This is probably going to take the bulk of your time, believe it or not. This includes everything from word of mouth, writing blogs, making videos, making phone calls, and using photos on Instagram or Snapchat. All about sharing your message with people whether they're strangers, friends, or family. It's not good enough to be good at something or have immense knowledge of something and not share it... not if you want to make money doing what you love or if you want to leave any kind of legacy.
Now I don't mean to have such a harsh and condescending tone, but I feel like the warning needs to be there. It's totally fine for people to just want to work regular jobs and live what society would call "the norm." But since you are reading this I take it that you don't want that anyway!
So why is it that we need to find ways to share our passion with others? Well have you ever heard of Van Gogh or Claude Monet? Amazing artists with incredible talent that died penniless, partially due to being ahead of society in terms of thinking and partially due to the fact that they sucked at marketing their work. Because of it, they died without any recognition... until years after!
I don't know about you, but I would rather make an income so I can live a more fulfilling life AND do what I love! So the key here is to learn a few different forms of shareable content. Building a website and writing content, setting up an account on Instagram and consistently sharing new photos, building a YouTube channel and filling it with videos, marketing locally to people that fall within your audience, and using Facebook to setup a page are all awesome ways to market you, your product(s), and your craft! (If you want to start building an online business right now click here!)
Tying it back into the theme of this article: only by being able to share your craft with others, and being great at it, can you hope to excel within your niche.
Now comes the other side of work! Having a craft can be anything from being a professional at some kind of sport, to being a painter, a teacher, an actual craftsmith, or having any kind of unique set of skills like speaking multiple languages. This is where I feel most people are normally pretty comfortable because we do what we enjoy already! Well, you should, anyway.
By having this craft and working on it, again whatever it is, there is tremendous opportunity to turn it into a living. But the only way to do that, and thus dominate a niche, is to be an expert at that craft. Oh, and the word expert is kind of thrown around a lot these days and people don't really understand what it means.
An expert does not have to know everything about everything in their field. Or at least I used to think that they did, so I guess I'm kind of assuming everybody else has this assumption or bias. An expert can be identified by just two attributes:
Becoming an expert might take time, but based on just those two things it's possible to become an expert at a lot of things at the same time. Say someone decides to do painting but has a lot of responsibilities and needs to keep on expenses while squeezing in paying for supplies. That person will eventually become an expert at that type of painting, managing their time, and handling money (assuming they don't go under, of course :P).
Continuing mastery over a craft will allow you to, eventually, get a greater piece of the pie in your niche. Why? Because people will call on you for your unique skills and are willing to pay for it!
I've already covered what will take most of your time as a up and coming entrepreneur, artist, whatever. But how will you know if you're making the right decisions? Or if you're trying to re-invent the wheel and don't even realize it? Did you ever think about checking over your data (In whatever form, conversions, views, comments, shares, etc) to see how you can improve your workflow?
This is the third critical skills for anyone who wants to dominate within their niche. Notice that it's also another huge, huge topic that covers just about damn near everything when it comes to your work. The other issue with this is that, although there are methods and tools out there to do this, everyone will do it their own way.
For instance, what I like to do anytime I'm working on something is think about how I can do it better. Make it more efficient. Whether I'm working out, writing a blog, or I'm out doing photography, I tend to ignore what most people say to do. Someone suggests me to do something when I'm working out and then a different person disagrees! And they are both experts at it! I can't do both, so what do I do?
Experiment. I experiment and discover what works my way, then I keep refining the process. You can do this with anything and everything. Another example I'll use is in the realm of blogging. I've heard to do a lot of shorter articles in order to get more traffic, yet I've always personally enjoyed more thought out and thorough ones that act as guides. So I do that and am always finding ways to make the process easier like how I always write an outline for them and fill them out. That's helped a ton and it's one little thing I experimented with!
Build this skill of looking at advice from experts in your niche, but take it with a grain of salt! (Side note: I hate that expression but there's no better replacement haha!) Then, keep experimenting with different techniques or tricks and keep what works for you. Oh and watch your data! Any jumps in them are great indicators that something you're doing IS WORKING.
Really, this is a skill? Yes!!! Because it's trainable and it's something that you have to work at. Unless you had amazing, extremely knowledgeable parents and teachers that showed you this, there's a good chance that you don't have any of these attributes. That's not inherently a bad thing, it's just the reality of modern living... Most of us just don't know what we're fighting for and we give up easily. I blame part of it on our instant gratification society, but that's a topic for another day!
So, determination... A lot of people tend to interchange the word with motivation, but believe me there's a huge difference. Motivation is, honestly, bullshit. It's hollow. It can help you WANT to do something, but what about when things get hard? Really hard? That's when motivation is useless, when it counts. That's why you need to train having determination, so that no matter how rough it gets you keep fighting your way through.
I always struggled with determination, always gave up so easily. Anybody can start doing something when everything is going right in their life, but only champions show up on days when everything goes to hell. Slowly I built up my reservoir of fight by pushing a little bit further, a little bit longer. It's all about getting better at it, being able to see that in a couple months, a couple years you'll be able to get your work done no matter what gets thrown at you.
Next, showing up is in-between determination and motivation. Learning to say NO! to distractions, NO! to people trying to derail your work, NO! to procrastination. I would also say that training this skill allows you to see when your environment is going to, at some point, try to distract you. So, control it! Prepare so that you get to your work asap! Also means losing some sleep, missing a meal or two, or turning down events sometimes. I know, I know, nobody wants to do any of this, but those are the sacrifices we have to take when trying to become leaders in our niche. Just the way it is. (I have an article that goes in far more depth on this, click here to check it out!)
We have come now to perhaps the most important skill of all... finding your why and using it to fuel yourself. Sound like motivation? That's because it kind of is, but it goes much, much deeper than that. For me it's about remembering how my parents struggled with money and how I REFUSE to ever live that way, the people who shoot my ideas down and bully others, and how dark and colorless life used to feel to me. (Click here to hear more.)
I took all that pain and used it to push through and smash the barriers blocking my path. Now I have a much brighter why that involves helping others make an additional income, overcome their own personal issues, and beautify the world in every way that I can. That's just me though, find your own why and think about it often! The more you focus on it and think about it the stronger the push becomes and, before you know it, you can smash through your own goals and dominate your niche!
By this point we know what a niche is and what it takes to become an expert and a leader in one. Before we get into what it looks like done right, I want to outline what it does NOT look like. The main reason for me doing this is so that you can identify more easily what you might be doing wrong, as well as common pitfalls to avoid.
Put in a list form, I've summed up what I believe to be the main methods of failure as well as why they are wrong. This is by no means all of them that are out there, but the most common ones I've seen.
Now that you know most of the pitfalls people run into when trying to be great within their niche, let's get a couple awesome examples you can look at! These are a couple guys that completely changed the way that I think. They were the ones that pushed me to start this journey of entrepreneurship. Oh, and you can pretty safely say that they are monumental within their given niches.
This guy started out in the weightlifting niche, but over time he began to delve into deep personal development guru-type stuff with a spiritual twist. He also within the past couple years started an entrepreneur program where he teaches people how to hit the ground running and build up a business.
So what makes him great? Well for starters, he makes amazing YouTube videos. I haven't checked any of his stuff out in a long time but he would post a video just about every day. They targeted a specific topic or question that was asked of him, went into just enough detail, and genuinely cares about his tribe of followers. He also is fantastic at networking and building relationships with others in his niche. That leads to trust, and a whole lot of it!
He slays at his craft. He walks his talk, always. Although he cares deeply about his audience, he had a hiatus for about 6 months because he felt he was starting to lose sight of himself and where he was going. He spent the time meditating and plotting out the future. Although it's not like everybody needs to do this, it serves as a great example of being able to notice when you're slipping up and finding a way to fix it.
I found "Mr. Hustle" only a few months ago, but he's pretty nuts in terms of work ethic. He is a prime example of deciding what niche you want to be great in and then absolutely crush it. He took over his family's wine business at the age of 22 and turned it from a $3 million a year business into $60 million a year. In 2009 he started a business that teaches and handles social media for big businesses. He's obviously got feet in a couple different niches and excels in both of them.
For the most part, he focuses on social media. Out of anybody else I've seen or met, Gary probably cares the most about his tribe. He's constantly putting out videos on Facebook and YouTube, sending out Tweets, responding to comments and shoutouts, and he also puts effort into making a connection and speaking with every person that goes to his speaking events. The guy is the best at building relationships and trust, period.
Gary also busts his ass with work and improving on his craft. The dude does 18 hour work days and never stops working, always on his phone doing social media if he's not doing anything strictly business related. This includes commutes, working out, and eating.
Hopefully you learned a few things in this guide! This is not the end of this guide, by the way. I fully plan on adding to and further polishing it up to make a truly phenomenal piece, so don't forget to stop by sometime to check it out. Well, now you should be able to take this knowledge and apply it to whatever niche you're in and dominate it!
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Anything else? I would love to hear from you, whatever it is you have to say!