Recently I sent a Whatsapp message to my good friend crying ‘what’s my niche? Help! What am I doing’? I felt so overwhelmed with the thought of having to narrow down my niche(again), that it sent me crackers.
As a wholistic health enthusiast one thing I struggle with is finding a niche. I actually get frustrated over the topic to the point that it makes me want to give up altogether.
But do I really need a niche? Who came up with this niche agenda? I’m a rebel (with a cause people), how dare anyone tell me to compromise!
What is a niche? (which I pronounce n-ee-sh, because I’m a rebel duh!)
A niche is a specific problem that you help solve, for a specific group of people. The idea is that if you narrow down the scope to a very small demographic (like 50 year olds who live abroad with a boat and two sharks) then your marketing will be more targeted. Hmm. Sounds simple right?
Well not quite. When I first started blogging, I went from Islamic homeschooling, to natural beauty remedies to nutrition. And now I’m interested in all things motherhood (which is why I started my blog in the first place).
I have had this baby (my blog) for around 4 years. It’s been stagnant for a year or so because I was obsessing so much over my niche, that it actually gave me stage fright (or writing fright). I just couldn’t get my head around my ideal audience. Where do I start? How do people do this niche thing?
The fear was valid too. Choosing a niche at the beginning of my blogging adventure would have been like playing piñata; it was hit or miss.
And that’s why my website just accumulated dust (or no views to say so the least), because I wasn’t looking at the bigger picture.
Why you don’t need to panic over your niche
I’ll tell you a little secret; a lot of the famous blogs out there didn’t pick a niche before starting up (even if they say they did). Over time as they worked on their project, they found their topic and continued with it. Don’t believe me check out Jeff Goin’s on why picking a niche is bad advice. He makes a living from writing and thoroughly enjoys it.
The same is true for passion and purpose. A lot of people have many passions (ahem like me!) so sticking to one passion can feel so restricted. I know this feeling too well. I’ve lost precious sleep over whether I should stick to just talking about motherhood or make skin creams.
However I am not saying that you need to be everything for everyone. You’ll just end up feeling exhausted and unmotivated. There are plenty of other businesses for that purpose. So here are my tips to stand out from the crowd.
1. Tell your story
If you look at my About me page, you’ll see that my journey started from childhood. I’ve always been interested in health/nature/wellness. My mother (May Allah be pleased with her), was also a health guru. So if you’re struggling with your niche then chances are, that all you have to do is tell people why you do what you do. That way, you’ll attract people who can relate to your story. People are more likely to invest in something that they can relate to with themselves. So don’t be afraid, tell the world who you are.
2. Inspiration is key
If you’re doing what you do, for money or fame then chances are you’re not really feeling your brand. It’s just another get rich quick scheme because your goal is to gain something tangible. Of course, money has some influence over what you do but it shouldn’t be the main reason. Whatever inspires you should be the reason why you put in the work.
But don’t go for everything, don’t say yes to something that you’re not inspired by. Once you start checking yourself you’ll know where your focus lies. For me, my main goal is to get Muslimahs from around the world, eating healthy and feeling good, so that they can worship Allah properly. And this doesn’t have a monetary connotation to it.
So whenever I find something that inspires me to do that, I share it over here and my social media and with friends and family.
3. Know Thyself (niche gets in the way of this)
You can’t start a business/brand/blog if your don’t know why you started. Otherwise it’s just going to go left and you’ll find the next project that excites you and keep jumping from project to project until you feel completely burned out. Having a niche kind of stops this too. If you don’t know your strengths, passions and the problems you can solve, your ideas will dwindle and you’ll be back at the drawing board, working on your next niche.
So get to know yourself. Maybe ask your friends/family to describe you in one word. One thing I like to do is ask my clients to describe what I do. And I’m always surprised with each answer. The best answer I ever got was ‘you help me believe in myself; something I had never done before’. Alhamdulillah (All Praises Due to Allah).
4. Perfection Belongs to Allah Swt
If you’re a perfectionist (guilty!) then you’ve probably had moments when you can’t do something because it’s not perfect. A simple way to get over this; perfection belongs to Allah ONLY. You can never have the perfect brand, the perfect business, the perfect idea; because all of these things fluctuate over time and most importantly are in the Hands of Allah Swt. So if you have that blog post that needs publishing, click publish. Have a YouTube channel?Get started with your first video. Got some products to advertise; go do it. It doesn’t need to be perfect. If anything it shows that your real and raw, and your journey will inspire others to start somewhere too.
5. Stop Trying to Label Yourself
You’re not on this earth to fit a specific label. Neither are you here to sell to everyone you meet. Sometimes we are so caught up in our business/brand that we forget who we really are. We forget what we truly represent. A friend once described me as ‘someone who lends a sympathetic ear; because that’s what we all need’. Alhamdulillah (All Praises Be to Allah).
Be you. Be real. Be raw.
And above all else, rely on Allah Swt, ask Him Swt to guide you and place barakaah (blessings) in all that you do. Aameen.
I hope this post benefitted you. Feel to comment below on your startup fears. And don’t forget to subscribe for weekly updates.