Finding a niche is hard — here are 5 questions to help

I’m sure when I tell you that you need to focus your business on a niche, this is not the first time you’ve heard that. It’s likely not even the third, or the fifth time you’ve heard it. If you’ve been at the business game for more than a few weeks you’ve heard it possibly hundreds of times.

The thing that’s often missing is…how on earth do you even get to finding that niche everyone says is the magical secret to making more money?

I’m convinced that simply picking a niche at random from NAICS will help you make more money – Philip Morgan

Today we’re going to walk through 5 questions to help you find your niche.

1. What type of projects have you liked in the past?

You’ve got a few projects under your belt so it’s time to sit back and look at which ones you really loved. Which ones were just plain fun?

Think back to projects where talks with the client(s) were effortless and you enjoyed the tasks in the project.

Write down 5 projects you really enjoyed.

2. What are you good at?

Is there part of your work that feels effortless? Something that when you start to do it time flies? You look up and it’s been hours and you’ve been productive. Facebook and Instagram don’t count.

Even if it’s something you’ve only done a few times, try and recall those few times you did the work you loved every second of it.

Write down 5 tasks you really enjoyed. 

3. Have any projects scared you?

Sometimes there is a part of a project that feels downright scary. You go in with sweaty palms wondering how it’s going to go. Far too often we underestimate what we’re capable of, so what scared you in a project? What turned out okay after you dug in and started the work?

Write down 5 things that scared you but turned out okay.

4. Who are your top 10 clients?

There are clients we love to work with and those…we love less. Despite having a great client vetting process some clients turn into duds. They smelled like a decent fit and looked like a decent fit, but they weren’t.

Having clients you love means you look forward to your check-in phone calls. You laugh with them about life and the project. When tough times come up in the middle of a project you both come together and find a solution that leaves everyone happy.

Write down 10 clients you loved.

5. Out of the things you can do and loved what will people pay for?

Now that we’ve got a large list of things you love and clients you enjoyed it’s time to ask the question: what will people actually pay well for? Not just pay okay for, but what do they view as high value in their business and thus will pay appropriately?

One bonus question you need to ask yourself is where you want to be in five years in your 4 Quadrants. Asking yourself this helps ensure the niche you’re starting to focus on today is in line with your long-term dreams.

Just because a niche doesn’t align with those 4 Quadrants doesn’t mean you bypass it immediately. But by being conscious that it doesn’t quite fit, you ensure that every time you narrow down your niche you’re working to build a life that’s closer to the ideal life you want to live.

Now that you’ve got these 5 (6) questions answered you should start to have a good idea of what niche you can start to focus your marketing on. This doesn’t have to be a forever choice though. You should revisit these questions every year and refine your niche or take it in a different direction.

This was based off my upcoming book Finding and Marketing to your Niche. Get on the email list to hear about it first.

photo credit: mattridings cc

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