Sunday, 21 April 2013

How To Choose A Niche (Quick Exercise)

I've often said there are 3 good ways to choose a niche for an online business.
But in this post I'm going to give you another idea - a 4th way, that will get you past your niche-discovery hurdle for good!

The most popular advice is to "do what you love", or go with a niche you are passionate about. This most likely includes a hobby or lifestyle choice.

This is a great idea because you are already knowledgeable and experienced on the topic. You're also less likely to get bored with it than niches where you don't have a personal interest.

The second suggestion is to choose a niche where you have professional experience or expertise. Another great approach, except that most people are already burned out on their chosen profession, or still doing it as a day job, and can't get excited about spending their nights and weekends at it as well...

The third way to select a niche, and one that I recommend a lot, is to choose something you'd like to start doing. A new hobby or lifestyle, or something you'd like to collect or get into.
Since you are just getting started at it yourself, you actually are your target market. This puts you in an ideal position, and gives you insight and empathy with your market - you can easily connect with them on their level.

You're in research phase, finding resources and discovering what works and what doesn't - or the best way to do this or that. Sharing all of that information becomes your "content". And it's very easy to generate since you're already actively collecting information on the topic.

Of those top 3 ways to choose a niche, the last one would be my favorite. I have often started a new online business based on new personal interests. I find that it makes work fun, and that fresh enthusiasm for a topic will take you a long way.

With all 3 of these viable niche-selection methods, you are limited to choosing from what you already know or feel comfortable with...

4: What would you do if there were no limits?

Life is full of limits: physical, financial, situations & circumstances, you name it. Often we'll dream big only to remind ourselves of all the reasons those dreams can never become a reality.

But just for a moment, let's imagine that there are no limits. Maybe you've always dreamed of spending your winters in New Zealand, owning a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes, going on an Alaskan Cruise, or backpacking across Europe.

This is what they mean when they say "think outside the box".

They are talking about your box.

Your box is your current frame of reference. It includes your personal experience, things you've experienced by association, and all of the elements you draw from to make choices and decisions.
Your box is not the same as mine, or anyone else. It's also not real. We are all drawing from a unique combination of circumstances and experiences. So it's basically just perception. And perception is not reality.

Let's do a quick exercise...

Step outside of your frame of reference for a second, and consider everything that the world has to offer. What appeals to you most?
Dismiss any negative thoughts that appear, and allow yourself to just imagine your ideal life. How would you spend your time? How would you spend money if you had an unlimited amount at your disposal? Jot down everything that comes to mind.
(don't think or hesitate, just jot it down)
Your next step is keyword and market research. Find out if there is interest in that niche, and whether it is a buying market.

This exercise will open up a lot of new options for you, new niches you may not have considered before. And just imagine getting to wake up every day to work on something you can really get excited about!

You may just be amazed at the things that present themselves along the way when you start thinking and working outside of your current frame of reference. Things that were once outside your reach may quickly become real possibilities - and even options.

We'll go back to the example of New Zealand vacations. You may be a single mother that lives in a small town in Tennessee. You have a work schedule, your children have a school schedule, and New Zealand is just a fantasy place in your mind that you realize you'll probably only ever see on tv or on the internet...

You do this exercise, your market research, and you start an online business around New Zealand Travel and Vacations (over 57,000 combined searches each month). You see that it's sort of competitive, hesitate for a second, and then decide to just go for it. This is what you want, and you're willing to put in the work to grow this business into an online authority.

And you do.

Now you're in a position to take that trip to New Zealand, and it's no longer a personal expense. It's a tax deductible business trip. You meet people, take photos and videos, blog about your experiences. And before you know it, you're getting VIP invites from airlines, hotels, restaurants etc that would love to be reviewed and featured on your popular travel & vacation website...

See how that works? 

Dream big. Choose your niche... and make it happen!

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