Do you really need to niche down?
As always, there are different, often polarised, opinions out there.
Here's my take...
The internet is a busy and crowded place. There are people everywhere. And there are lots of people out there doing what you want to do. (I wrote about this in another post here.)
So, yes, in order to stand out, you do need to niche down.
You don't have to niche down so much that there's nobody else doing what you do. In fact, if no-one has done it before, there's probably a good reason for it.
But you do want to niche down so that you're in a smaller pool. That way you'll have fewer competitors, and it'll be easier for people to notice you.
Let's say you really love cats. You've been a cat owner all your life. And you want to share your cat-related wisdom with others. So you decide to enter the cat niche.
But the cat niche is super broad and diverse. There's cat food, cat toys, cat behaviour, cat litter, cat health, cat treats, cat beds, cat toilet training, cat collars, rescued cats...
So you have to ask yourself, "Do I have a deep understanding of all these topics?"
If the answer is no, then you'll risk being a Jack of all trades and not being perceived as an authority in any specific topic.
But what if you know a lot about vegan cat food?
Bingo! Not only do you have expertise in this area, there's also a unique need out there that you can fill. This is something that many people feel passionate about and may struggle to find advice on how to feed their cats vegan food without compromising their health.
"I don't want to be put in a box!"
Choosing a niche can feel scary and overwhelming. You may worry that by niching down, people are going to put you in a box. But guess what? People are going to put you in a box anyway. It's our natural tendency as humans. Our brains are hard-wired to sort and categorise. So you may as well choose your own box, and make it a box that you love.
"What if I choose the wrong niche?"
You can't really choose a wrong niche.
If you choose a niche and you discover that you don't like it and would rather do something else, great! You're getting somewhere.
You can't go anywhere in a parked car.
Sometimes you have to go in the wrong direction first before knowing where you really want to go.
It's not forever
Choosing a niche doesn't mean you have to do it for the rest of your life. In fact, I don't know anyone who has done the same thing all their lives. We all change and evolve. But in order to evolve, you need to have something to evolve from.
And, speaking from personal experience, a surprisingly large portion of your audience will follow you to whatever the next thing you want to do.
Not starting is the enemy of progress
If you're new to business, don't expect a perfect niche to appear from nowhere. You have to try things out and see where they take you.
Getting started is what will move you towards your zone of genius. One day, you'll look back and see how the dots have been connected and glad that you took that first step.
So, pick something, and go!