I vividly remember finding the website changingcourse.com when I was first beginning to consider how I would make a living after my kids were born. My PASSION — then and now– was in finding all sorts of ways to make money. The answer to the question, “What do you get lost in?” or “What could you do for hours?” or “What do you love to do even when you’re not getting paid?” was always the same.
I LOVED thinking up ways to make money. And think up ways to make money I did.
Back in those days, I did everything from typing up water reports for US Embassy’s overseas to logging election donations for a (Democratic) candidate to creating resumes, to producing court reports for couples fighting over custody… I also did a “welcome wagon” of course and created a fundraiser called “Promotion Commotion” and sold letters from Santa, which also turned into letters from the Tooth Fairy.
I was MAKING A LIVING while being a full-time Mom and being home with my babies. I had DONE IT…. and my hope, my dream, was to help other women do it too. Then, I found that website… and realized that this woman Valerie was already doing it.
And I thought…. “Shoot… I guess I’m too late.”
I laugh at myself now, of course. But, back then, I seriously thought there wouldn’t be room for both of us.
Back then, the world was different, of course. Not everyone used to email every day. Smartphones didn’t exist. Websites were expensive and complicated. Fax marketing and direct mail businesses were all the rage.
Back then, NICHE-ing was a bold marketing move…. becoming THE go-to person for a specific niche of people was SMART… because it allowed you to stand out of the crowd and talk to a specific market.
For those reasons, niche-ing is still smart today.
But today… even SUPERB niche-ing doesn’t make you the GO TO person for a specific niche. Today, SUPERB niche-ing may put you among the 50-100 OTHERS who hope to be the GO TO person for that specific niche.
So, is NICHE-ing history? Does it still have merit?
Yes, it still has merit… it’s just NOT ENOUGH.
Today, information is everywhere and experts spewing their “expertise” is a dime a dozen.
So, yes… NICHE. Choose WHO you will serve, and which problem you’ll solve. Of course.
But then…. YOU MUST, MUST, MUST differentiate your voice, your approach, your personality from all the rest. Today, people want information from experts they resonate with… almost at a SOUL level. So, showing up as a “me too” option will NEVER work.
The WAY to do this… to create a following of people that PREFER to get their information from YOU… that prefer YOUR voice over any other expert….
lies in your willingness to be UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHENTIC… to show up without the gloss, without the veneer, without the walls.
In order for your “NICHE” to PREFER YOUR VOICE over any other, they’ve got to recognize it… first as different… and then, as YOURS.