Select a Profitable Niche
Now’s the time to narrow down the destination on your journey that will benefit you the most. If you were planning a trip, you might choose a place you’re passionate about. And you might do the same thing when considering freelance tasks to pursue.
When selecting your niche, however, it’s important to remember that passions are important but not necessarily the driving force behind finding a profitable niche that you enjoy. Instead, be sure to try out new niches and learn new things. Passions take time to develop, so as you become a master at what you do, you may discover new passions you never expected.
As Steve Jobs said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
Now let’s explore a process that will lead you to your ideal niche.
Seven Steps to Launching a Profitable Niche That You Enjoy
Step One: Assess Your Current Interests
First of all, ask yourself the following questions:
- What tasks do I currently enjoy in my work?
- What tasks did I enjoy with previous clients or work opportunities?
- If you could craft your ideal work day, what types of tasks or projects would you love to include? Ideally, aim for work that offers autonomy, creativity, and control.
Step Two: Identify Top Skills
Here is where you’ll aim to leverage your skills and background wherever possible. Think about the following factors:
- What would your active clients say are your best skills and strengths?
- What do you think are some of your best skills that set you apart from others?
- What strengths have you cultivated with time and experience?
Step Three: Research Potential Niches
Now is the time to see where your interests and skills match up and research what niches are in demand right now.
First of all, keep in mind that there are three types of niches:
- A Client Niche provides a variety of services to a target client market (e.g. authors, coaches, speakers, trainers, real estate agents, women business entrepreneurs, information marketers, health professionals, hobby-based entrepreneurs, lawyers, and other service-based professionals).
- A Skill Niche offers specialized skills to clients in need of your services (e.g. social media, WordPress design, customer support, online business management, online events, digital marketing, copywriting and editing, technology support, email marketing, podcast production, and book marketing).
- A Hybrid Niche offers specialized services to a target client market (e.g. social media services offered to health coaches or authors).
In addition to the new opportunities we mentioned in the introduction, here are seven profitable niches to consider and potential services you can offer:
1. Social Media Management
- Social media profile set-up and design
- Online community management (groups, pages, and blogs)
- Content planning and scheduling (Buffer, Hootsuite)
- Social media image editing and design (Canva, PicMonkey, Pablo)
- Social media advertising (Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Promoted Tweets)
- Social media analytics (Platform Stats, Google Analytics)
2. Digital Marketing Support
- Setting up marketing strategy, funnels, and pages
- Managing content marketing platform (blogs, videos, podcasts, social media posts)
- Managing and supporting online product launches
- Email marketing and list management
- Affiliate marketing and management
- Keyword research and search engine optimization
- Website analytics and tracking
3. Content Creation and Management
- Content strategy and planning
- Content creation, editing, and transcription
- Managing editorial calendar and scheduling new content
- Publishing and optimizing content for the audience and search engines
- Repurposing old content for new mediums
- Tracking online content results
4. Online Media and Events
Managing webinars, live streaming events, teleseminars, virtual conferences, and podcasts, including the following services:
- Online event strategy and planning
- Online event moderation and management
- Online event replay creation, repurposing and distribution
- Creating and producing screencast videos
- Event marketing and promotion
- Event tracking
5. Technology Management and Support
Setting up and managing technology for clients, including the following:
- Social media management tools
- WordPress design
- Ecommerce tools
- Email marketing platforms
- Landing page design tools
- Project management tools
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and support tools
- Course management tools
6. Online Business Management and Support
- Your client’s “point person” for all projects
- Setting up and managing client’s business systems
- Managing team of contractors
- Managing billing and finances
- Managing a variety of projects
- Managing email inbox and calendar
7. Graphic Design
- Photo editing
- Image design and formatting
- Logo design
- Ebook design
- Forms and brochure design
- Infographic Design
STEP FOUR: Test the Niche
Now that you’ve researched potential niches and identified your interests and skills, it’s time to determine whether your preferred niche will be profitable. You can do this by asking the following questions:
- What do my clients say they need more support for?
- What do my colleagues say about the trends in client work?
- What do the stats say about different industries? Which niches seem like a favorable choice?
- What does Google say? In Google Trends or the Google Keyword Planner Tool, what words are most searched for right now and what niches are most popular?
STEP FIVE: Determine Core and Complementary Niches
Once you’ve discovered your core niche (e.g. social media or copywriting), you’ll find that certain skills overlap. By amplifying your skills and offering complementary services, you can deepen your relationships with your clients.
Here are two examples to consider:
- Complementary services include graphic design, content marketing, and email marketing.
- Complementary Services could be blog management, ebook design and formatting, and article writing.
STEP SIX: Master Your Niche
As we mentioned above, your passion will develop as you master your niche. And the more you master your niche, the more profitable it will become. Here are three ways to become a master at providing your chosen services:
- Create a regular block of time to master your niche.
- Take courses, listen to podcasts, watch tutorials, and read blog posts and articles.
- Practice. Practice. Practice.
STEP SEVEN: Market Your Niche
Once you know what you want to do, you need to decide how you will get visibility and market your services. In Step Nine: Find Your Ideal Client, we’ll discuss this in more detail. For now, here are the main types of marketing in a nutshell:
This is the best kind of marketing where you seek new referrals from your circle of influence:
- Connections (local businesses, friends, or online connections)
Publish niche-specific content to boost credibility and build your stature in a specific market:
- Social media posts
- Blog posts
- Facebook Live
Build a targeted email list with a FREE signature offer that demonstrates your expertise and encourages people to seek your services:
- Guide, report, checklist, or ebook
- Online course
- Video series
And now, let’s begin to build your personal brand that you can share when you’re marketing your services!
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