When I first started freelancing, I had no idea what any of this stuff was. Niches, copywriting, lead magnets, content marketing. It was all very confusing. The hardest part was figuring out what was most important.
Where do I start?
If that’s you, let me bring you some clarity. You start by identifying, researching and getting to know really, really, really well… your niche. In fact, you want to know them better than they know themselves. THAT is the guaranteed route to success with all this.
So, what IS a niche?
Google will tell you it’s:
“denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.”
That’s a good start, but let’s add to it.
A niche, in marketing terms, is a small, specialized subset of a larger market or industry. Let’s look at an example: Fitness.
Fitness is a large, broad concept and industry. Within that concept, you have things like running, body-building, yoga, diet, Keto, and on and on. All these little subsets that fall under the general idea of “fitness”.
Fitness is the market.
Keto is the niche.
Now, you can have niches within niches.
For example, within yoga, you have Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga… in fact, 11 different major types of Yoga. Each one of those is considered a niche, as well.
One more example…
Let’s take the concept: Make Money.
Broad and general.
Within that, you could have make money gambling, make money on Craigslist, make money as a freelancer, make money playing the lottery and on and on. Each one of those subsets is considered a niche.
Now, here’s the point of all this…
Your natural tendency will be to cater to large, broad niches because they have lots of members. The more potential clients, the better right? Not exactly. It’s as the sold saying goes:
“When you try to appeal to everybody, you wind up appealing to nobody.”
When you start to think about the actual people in a market, you quickly realize that they’re all very different, with very different goals and situations.
So, you have single moms who want to lose excess weight from their kids and see running as their way to do that. You have men who want to be more attractive to women who see body-building as their way to do that.
The more closely you can speak to a person’s actual situation and goals, the more influence you’ll have with them… making it easier for you to get hired and the more you can charge for your services.
On top of that, big firms tend to cater to the larger groups and care less about the small niches. So, you outcompete them by “niching down” and focusing on the smaller subsets that tend to get neglected.
This is the big “secret” to freelancing success.
The missing ingredient I see in so many freelancers that causes them to continually struggle to get clients and build their business. They get star-struck by the big numbers and have a hard time accepting that there’s actually more work and money for a single-member or smaller firm in the smaller niches VS the larger ones.
You DO have to give some thought to the size of the niche (and we’ll cover that) in the upcoming lessons, but you can get more work than you can handle inside relatively tiny niches… as hard as that may be to accept.
I’ll finish up with an example.
My niche is “Membership sites built using WordPress and a plugin called WishList Member”. That’s a pretty tight niche. A particular kind of site using two very specific pieces of software. On Upwork, which gets 100s of new projects added to it every day, There may have been 5-10 new projects added in any given month.
That’s not a lot.
But, each one of those projects was a 2-4 week project and I charged $3,000 – $5,000 for them. That’s a low-end of $15,000 and high-end of $30,000 per month in potential revenue… in about as small a niche as you’ll find out there.
It was way more work than I could even handle.
And, because I marketed solely to those people… in all the years I was on Upwork, I had one of those projects I bid on that I didn’t get. So, I could literally decide each month how much work I wanted and how much money I wanted to make.
THAT is the value of a niche.
So, take some time to think about this and get yourself to the point where you’re ready to dig in on a small but profitable niche and in the next lesson, we’ll start digging into HOW to figure out what YOUR niche should be.