Today's topic is picking a niche for your business.
Before we get started, here's a quick warning: This article is going to be very unlike most tutorials about "getting started" on the internet. Unlike most of those which are filled with "do this" and "do not do that," in this article, I'm addressing you, the complete person, not just you, the aspiring internet entrepreneur.
There's a big difference. Because to me, internet business is about more than just business. It's about using the tools we have to help us live life on our terms.
And what that means is that I do not really suggest making your business decisions in a vacuum. Your business is not this isolated world that you come and play in. You have to view the decisions you make about it in the context of your whole life.
The quality of your life is what matters.
So if something does not feel right to you, then do not do it. I do not care what the experts say.
My goal for you is not to just be successful online, it's also to help you enjoy every step of building that success.
You have to be happy now. Because if you are not, you're not going to be happy down the road. And that happiness is what's going to carry you through when things get tough.
And unless you're extremely fortunate, things will get tough.
Ok … time to jump in.
3 WAYS TO PICK A NICHE FOR YOUR INTERNET BUSINESS
Wow … this is a big topic. And at the same time, it is not.
Because, unlike what it might seem like at the beginning, your options are not unlimited for choosing a niche for your internet business.
What you're looking for is the intersection between something you actually care about and commercial potential.
The caring part is important, but do not forget to realize that caring and passion can be defined a lot of ways. Maybe you care about your product, or maybe you care about seeing your product change lives. Or maybe you have a passion for building the systems required to run a business.
In the end, to have a business, people have to buy things.
So if you care about making warm little jackets for three legged puppies in Tibet, there might not be a huge commercial potential for that.
But let's be clear about this: There are no paint by number systems out there for success on the internet.
If there was such a thing, everyone would own it already.
You have to find / build your own internet success system. Getting advice is one thing, because learning is a big part of this. But blindly following someone else's system for success is not going to get you where you want to go. Just understand that from the beginning.
There is no one coming to save and deliver you to success. That's your job.
So here are three (of many) ways to pick a niche for your business online.
METHOD 1: START WITH WHERE YOU ARE AND WITH WHAT YOU'VE GOT
In my experience, there's nothing easier than selling your experience or selling something that you would buy yourself. So if you're a CPA, you could sell your experience about how you built your business. Or if you are a bird lover, you could sell your tested tested ways of caring for your pets.
You start with a built-in insider's understanding of the product and / or service and the market that demands it. That's huge. That understanding and conviction come through in your sales copy. And that experience resonates with people who are looking to accomplish the same things you have.
Niches that you have experience in or like to buy things from might not be niches with the largest potential, but you have to ask yourself, "Why do I want a successful business online?"
Forget about approaching millions … forget about sipping drinks on the beach. For a minute, just forget about the money. Because unless you are a rare, rare bird, once you "get" to one money goal, you're just going to set a new one. No amount will ever be enough unless what you have now is enough.
So why are you building a business online?
I doubted it's for the money. I'd bet it's more like for what you think the money will bring to your life. More time? More freedom? The ability to stay home with your kids? Proof to yourself or others that you can be successful?
At times, I've had what many people in this world would consider a nice amount of "money." At other times, I've never had that money … I've even had no money … or less than no money. Once you experience the taste of "having" money, you realize that money does not change a whole lot.
By picking your niche based on something you enjoy (and something you feel or have some evidence will have commercial potential), you give yourself an extra asset that will help you forward when times get tough.
METHOD 2: DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND EVENTUALLY THE MONEY WILL COME
Of course, the money may not come till you're 90 years old, so this is not necessarily the smartest route to go.
But there are plenty of examples of people following this path and succeeding. They just get an idea and decide they are going to see it through even if it takes them the rest of their lives.
There is nothing wrong with this, just understand that your business may become more of a mission than a business. And that means that money may not be the primary product that is generated.
Maybe it will be change. Or maybe it will be something else. Maybe you're OK with that.
METHOD 3: BUSINESS BY NUMBERS
On the other end of the spectrum, you can sit down with a bunch of keyword and number crunching tools to figure out which niche to pursue. You look for demand … you look for competition. And ever, you walk away with some cold hard "proof" that you know what the market wants. Of course, there's no guarantee that the numbers mean people will actually buy what you're going to offer.
When something does not work out, you just go back to the numbers and try again.
One quarter, you might be marketing socks … the next, guinea pig cages.
I think numbers have their place in business. But I've never been one to live by them.
I think that the biggest challenge to pursuing this route is that we think the numbers will give us a greater chance of success. Then, when it does not work, we get a bit discouraged. After all, the "numbers said …"
Bottom line: No one knows what is going to work. No one.
The only way you find out if a business will work is to try it. Period.
If you're not willing to take that risk, then maybe this business thing is not for you.
THE END IS JUST THE BEGINNING
Now that we're at the end of this article, you might be a bit confused. After all, I did not just sit down and "tell you what to do."
That's the point. And that's because I do not know what you should do.
You are not a lemming. Part of being successful online is realizing that you need to learn to make your own decisions.
Learn what you can from the advice and experience of others. In the end, make your own decisions and follow no one but yourself. Take responsibility for your own choices and keep moving forward.
And understand that success does not come from a "master plan" or blueprint. That's what the gurus sell, but give me a break. Do you really think it's that easy? Com on now, you're way smarter than that.
Success comes from moving forward, bumping into things, learning, readingjusting and moving forward some more.
There's a reason that most people do not succeed online. And that's because it's not easy.
If you want easy, do something else.
If you want easy, work for someone else.
If you see a recurring theme through this article, it's this:
There are no guarantees.
But if you stick it out and refuse to give up on your ultimate goal, then I have to offer you my congratulations. You are doing what few dare to do.
Welcome to the greatest business in the world …