This week I’m back with a solo episode to share some insights on finding your niche to help you narrow down your side hustle. There are endless paths you can take with side hustling, it’s important to get specific. Finding your niche will put you in line with your ideal audience or help you discover where you need to pivot and make changes.
In this episode I share:
- The best place to start deciding what niche will work for you
- How to get over the fear of putting yourself out there
- The power of feedback and how to use it to move your business forward
2:01 The Benefits of Polling and Asking for Help
6:10 Picking One Niche to Focus On
16:07 The Value of Getting Feedback
19:02 Embracing Change and Simplifying
Links mentioned in this episode
- Sample SHP Poll: https://sidehustlepro.co/poll
- Google Survey: https://www.google.com/forms/about/
- Newsletter: https://sidehustlepro.co/newsletter/
- NicailaTV Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@NicailaTV
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Nicaila Matthews Okome 0:02
You're listening to side hustle Pro, the podcast that teaches you to build and grow your side hustle from passion project to profitable business. And I'm your host, Nicaila Matthews Okome. So let's get started.
Hey, friends, Hey, welcome back to the show it ticker on Nicaila here, and today I am back with a solo episode. And today we're gonna be talking about how to find your niche. So you can look at this episode in one of two ways. First, we're going to talk about just how to narrow down your side hustle. So you can look at this episode and one of two ways. Either it can help you narrow down what your side hustle should be period. Or it can help you if you know that you want to start a blog, for example, or you know that you want to start a podcast, but you're not sure what your topic should be what your niche should be, it can also help you in that way. So now, let's jump on into it. All right. Some tips on finding your niche ah, number one, you know, I talk about the benefits of polling and asking for help. So let's go over this again, because it can't be overstated. All right. So when you're starting out, and you're trying to figure out what your knees should be, you're looking at this through your lens. And that's kind of like looking at things and not looking in your blind spot. Because you know, all the things you think you're good at, you know, all the areas you've doubled down, and really focused on getting more education and so forth, so forth. However, there are things that you do naturally, that we often take for granted, those exists in our blind spot, we don't give a lot of attention to those things, because we think that's easy. Everybody knows that. Everybody reads this, everybody's practice this, everybody's taking the time to learn how to do that, right? No, that is where you're wrong. So we're going to get out of our blind spots. Number one, get out of your blind spot, ask for help. You can do this in a few different ways. One of the ways I highly recommend that I did was by sending out a poll to my friends, my associates, people who really have worked with me know me, and could answer this poll. And in this poll pol L. I didn't via Google survey. And essentially, I wrote down a few questions. And these questions I went through were things like, what am I good at? Where have you really seen me shine? What do you think I should be focusing on. And the reason I sent this survey is because I was home in DC after graduating from my MBA program, I didn't immediately have a job. Now I had interned at a company, between my first and second years, I thought I wasn't gonna get a job there. But I did it. So I came back to DC and I was a little bit confused. Because you guys know me now. Or if you don't know me, I'm very much into the areas of writing, social media, marketing and creation. Now content creation, I'm a creative, and I just didn't know what to do with my life. I mean, I was in DC, the political and public policy capital of the nation, and I said, No, where am I going to find a job here, I'm gonna have to create one for myself. Or I don't know what I'm gonna do. So I decided to lean on my friends to get some more clarity into Okay. Nicaila, who are you? What are you good at? What should you be doing next? And the answers that came through this survey, were life changing? You know what these answers really poured back into me at a time where I felt confused about what could I potentially do next? The survey just helped me to be reminded of the things that I do well, and then also, to look at it in a new light, like, hey, you know, I think that blogging is no big deal. I think that being able to put together a blog and promoted on social media, it's no big deal. But clearly, there are people who are impressed by that skill. What I didn't know then was I was a content creator. And I didn't realize that that was going to be such a sought after skill at that time. So this was 2015. I was completely taken it for granted. But because of that survey, I said, let me start taking this for granted. And let me start putting my skills and my strengths to good use. So let's put it back to you now. All right. What things are you taking for granted? What things do you do? Well, what things do people always compliment you on? Or ask for your advice on feedback, ask you to make and so forth. Or it could just be you could even send a poll on hey, I'm thinking of doing this this and that, what do you think I should focus on, you can even kind of direct them a little bit. So it doesn't get too broad. And they're not telling you to do something that you've decided I'm not going to do that anymore. You could say, Hey, I'm thinking of starting a blog about this service, what should I do, or, Hey, I'm thinking of starting this business, you know, and get that insight. The thing about sending a survey is you have to be open to the feedback, it doesn't mean you have to use it. Because remember, you don't know what's going to come through there, you have to really be strong and who you are. And remember that you don't have to take this advice. But it will be enlightening. It's food for thought it's things for you to consider. And again, it's making sure that you are not forgetting about things, and that they're not in your blind spot. So that is the purpose of the poll. So that's the first step in finding your niche. Second step, here's what you're going to do. So you get these results back, coupled with the things that you've already been thinking about doing. And now it's time for you to go ahead and choose one, pick a niche. Here is a fun fact, you guys, a niche is not something that's just going to come to you through divine intervention. It's something that at some point, you have to just pick, you have to say, I want to explore what would it look like, if I did this thing? So for me, I said, what would it look like if I started up a blog? And at the time I wanted a job, so I picked being a marketing influencer? i No. Boring, right? What was I even thinking, but at the time, my vision was, I am going to be this marketing analytics Pro, who breaks down marketing trends. And all of these employers are gonna look at me and say, Oh, we got to hire her. You know why that didn't work? Number one, it was boring to me. I love marketing. I do love seeing what companies are doing things like, how do they choose to message something? Or oh, that was a really clever campaign. Like many people, that kind of stuff interests me. But do I want to talk about it or read about it all day long? No. And then also, that idea came about, by me putting myself in someone else's gaze. That was me, prioritizing, wanting to prove someone wrong. So the feedback that I was given a lot was, oh, you know, you're not analytical enough. And that used to really piss me off. Don't tell me I'm not analytical enough. You don't know what analytical is okay? There are a lot of reasons for that. But you know, my mind works in a way where that was the feedback that was given and I wanted to fight against that I didn't want to be seen as creative. I didn't want to be seen as however I was being perceived. I wanted to be perceived as a numbers, nerd, your marketing analytics nerd, I said, I'm gonna prove them wrong. And here's what shifted for me, I realized I just didn't like that. I wasn't interested in that. And that was okay. That didn't make me less than that didn't make me less smart than anyone else. I was D prioritizing what I was naturally gifted in. Because I was trying to be something I'm not I was trying to fit into someone else's idea of what makes you smart, or what makes you good at marketing. And so I started out my blog, and I was writing about oh, look, what Uber just did with this cool new thing. Oh, look, what this company just did. snooze fest. I was bored to tears. But I was still marketing it on social media, right. I was getting likes people were like, okay, Nicaila is doing something, that forward momentum still got support. Why? First of all, it takes a lot of effort for you to put yourself out there. So people aren't going to support you off, jump just because they're proud of you. They know that they could never do that. Actually, they could. But a lot of people have this mindset, like I could never do that. That's so cool that they're doing that, oh, they wrote up blog posts. How many times have you seen somebody post something on any social media platform? And you have clicked like, just because you're like, oh, wow, they posted something. Right? So off the jump, you're already getting support just for doing it. And then once people actually start reading, they'll say, oh, wow, this is interesting. Or again, if you're using these tips to narrow it down to what side hustle you're going to do, once you've made up your mind that shows people you're serious, that shows people Oh, she's committing to this, Elaine. I'm going to take her seriously because she took herself seriously enough to focus. So that's what it does to pick one. And once you pick Once you get closer to the one you should actually be focused on. Isn't it funny how that works?
All right, so you might be waiting to pick one because you just want to be right. You just don't want to make a mistake. And by the way, we could have a whole nother podcast about that, right? But let me tell you something, like, get rid of that mindset, like, Oh, if I do this, I might make a mistake. Oh, go ahead, make the mistakes if you need to. But you have to pick one. So what it does is it forces you to decide rather than kind of being in this indecision lane, and that gets you closer, because as you do the thing that you've picked, you start to see, oh, I don't like this as much. I'm kind of gravitating to this a little bit more. I know, I write about this. And I know I started going down this path, but I'm actually finding myself being pulled somewhere else. And that's, again, my story. So again, I based my tips on my story, but I know that this will be helpful for some of you guys as well. I started out writing my marketing trends, I was bored to tears, I found myself wanting to do interviews, I really just want to talk to people. And I also wanted to network. And it was easier for me to reach out to someone for an interview than to say, Hey, can I just get 15 minutes to talk to you? Because no one wants that call, right? Oh, just the minutes? No. But all of a sudden, when you say hey, I want to interview you for my blog series, then you have more of a chance of getting time with them. Because people like to talk about themselves. They like to be featured. And they like those features to be promoted and tagged on social media. It's a win win for everybody, right? So as I started doing that one, I was really interested in their story. But I also just wanted to get some advice from them. How are you doing this? At the time, I was interested in people who are side hustling? How did you know what your side hustle would be? How are you growing this? Oh, my God, you have a full time job? How are you managing that? How are you not getting fired? So all the house I was able to ask by starting my blog. So let's go over these tips before we get into the next ones. All right, so we talked about, first of all polling your friends, asking people their advice. So if you want an example of the exact questions that I used in my survey, go over to side hustle pro.co/poll There, you'll be able to download the exact sample survey that I send out to my friends. You know, the questions that I asked them were what do you think I'm good at? What are my strengths? weaknesses? Can you give me an example of a time you saw me really shine and excel at a task or project? if money wasn't an object? What do you think I should be doing? And what other things could I be giving back to the world that I'm not giving back to it now? And the reason I really love those questions, and I love those questions for you is people are waiting in an eagerly cannot wait to tell you how awesome you are in ways that you might not even realize that you might take for granted. And you give them the opportunity to do that they will absolutely go in. It's a win win again, for them. And for you, you know, they finally get to tell you these things that that never really comes up. And then to you get to see like just how amazing you are. So go ahead and send that poll and then pick one. If people are like, Hey, you're good at social media, you're good at you know, breaking down topics. You're good at making apps, you're good at making cupcakes, whatever it is, say, you know, for the next quarter for the next 12 weeks, I'm gonna focus on making cupcakes and start doing that. Pick a domain name, pick a name, start writing, start making posts, start testing out your recipes, and then start selling something. I don't know, start your testing, but pick one. All right. Another thing I want to mention on this is that you don't have to have a PhD you guys, you don't have to be an expert in the thing that you pick. I was not an expert in entrepreneurship. I'd never started a business in my life. I was not an expert at side hustling. I mean, I was still figuring out that piece about what I was good at, was bringing people along on the journey I was comfortable with saying, Hey, guys, this is what I started. Here's what I'm doing. Here's how I opened up my business bank account. Hey, today, I got incorporated. Hey, today I registered my business entity. I was comfortable with doing that. And I'm not even an extrovert or anything like that. I'm actually very introverted. But I have extrovert tendencies, because you know, you got to survive in this world. However, I really find it's easy for me to write a post on social media. I don't have to be around a bunch of people. I just ran it put it out there. Same thing with podcasts. I'm behind this mic. I'm in the comfort of my own home. So it plays into those strengths. So a lot of times you don't even realize just how easy it is to do this stuff. But again, you don't have to be a PhD certifications are absolutely okay. But do that at the same time that you are actually test You don't need to wait on one thing to do something else not Don't pretend you have experience or qualifications that you don't have. But you can start promoting what you do know. So for example, if you're a fitness person, right, you want to be an online personal trainer and give advice. And let's say you want to get some certifications. While you do that, you can still share what you know and do for your own body. You don't have to create content where you're giving advice, if you don't yet feel qualified to give that advice, but you can still share what's working for you what has helped you, and other fitness related content. So that's what I mean there by not letting the certification you want to get be a hindrance to starting to share or you can even share a week in the life following Nicaila As she gets her physical training certificate, and you can say, Hey, guys, today I learned about this, and I practice this, it was really cool. I don't even know about this, I'm so excited, I can't wait to be able to share more. as I learn more, you see what I mean? take people along with you. That's content. And that is getting started.
Now, let's get into tip number three, get some feedback. So as you are testing out this niche, make sure that you are communicating with your audience with your potential customers, with your potential listeners, anybody who is going to be receiving the side hustle that you're creating? And if someone comments on something that you did say, Oh, thanks so much for that comment. And then ask a question like, What made you like this? Or what made you comment or you can even DM them if you don't want to, you know, if they share that publicly and you want to get some more information for people who are engaging with whatever you do, those are your first people that you should reach out to to get more feedback about what's going well, what they would like to see more of what could be better, and use that to inform how you develop your side hustle. So as people would comment on the blog post that I did, I paid attention to who was commenting, people would reach out to me to they want to be on the blog. And so I took advantage of that and said, Hey, can I jump on the phone with you? I'm thinking of starting a podcast? What makes you interested in this? What things would you want to hear about who else do you follow who does this type of content, I then would audit those pages that also did similar content, just to kind of see what was resonating with the audience what kind of posted the best how people enjoyed the content. So that was really, really interesting for me. And that's how I started out, narrowing down my niche. So to recap altogether, how to find your niche number one, you're going to pull your friends on what it is, you're good at, go over to side hustle pro.co/poll, to get some sample questions to you're going to pick one, you're going to pick one to focus on. And then in addition to that, remember that you don't have to have a PhD, just bring people along with you share as you're going through the process, it makes you more approachable. And it you know, builds that trust with people because they know that you are being honest about where you are in the process. And then finally, Tip number three is to get feedback early, often and from the first people who start to engage with the side hustle that you are developing, and some reminders throughout this process for you guys. Reminder, number one, remember that as you go, you can always change your mind. Just because you started doing something doesn't mean you have to stick with it. You can always change your mind. But give yourself time to really explore what it is that you are interested in before you pivot really exhaust that topic, that product, that vision, that side hustle for as long as you can, and then say, Hey, I'm no longer interested in this and pivot to what you are interested in. You can always change your mind. Don't even worry about that. All right. The last reminder that I'll give you is you want to focus on one thing at a time. I know it's tempting to say hey, I'm gonna post about this on Monday, and I'm post about this on Wednesday just to kind of figure out which one I really want to focus on or I'm going to work on this business on one day, but I'm also doing this other thing on the side and me and my friends. We're also starting this foundation. Simplify, simplify, simplify. We are all gifted at a number of things. It's so tempting to want to work at them all at once, but honor yourself by focusing and just focusing on one business idea at a time. That is really how you find your niche by giving yourself time to decide one if you even like this idea, this process what it would take to build this out and then to having enough time to see what that would mean. look like. So if you and your friends are working on something, and you don't want to give it your all, now's the time to really reevaluate and say, Hey, I love what we're doing. But I might need to step away, I believe in this vision wholeheartedly, but I might need to step away. And I'm true story that actually happened for me. There was a time right before going to business school where I was involved. I was, you know, part of this group, and we're building something amazing to this day, it's still amazing, you know, I had to be honest with myself and say, All right, I am trying to build this thing with a group. I'm also trying to at the time I was trying to study for the GMAT, go back and get my MBA because I had a vision of the business woman to solo businesswoman and I want it to be and I had to be real with myself and with them and say, hey, you know what, I know we're building something awesome. I'm kind of sad, because when it pops off, I won't be a part of it. I won't be one of the founders. However, I know that I need to be able to focus wholeheartedly on this because I can't be half in with you guys and have fun when my goal for myself with going to business school and this GMAT requires all of me because it did require all of me to take that GMAT. So I've had to do it myself. And it's time for you to be real with yourself too. So part of finding a niche also comes down to you letting go of all the different people you're trying to be. And it might feel good, because you like being able to attach your name to all the different projects that you're working on. Oh, I do this, and I do a little bit of that. And it's time, if there's one that you really want to build out into a viable side hustle, aka something that will be a business one day that will earn you revenue, and that you can scale and one day, if you'd like it to have it be your full time thing. It deserves your full attention. It doesn't mean that you can no longer do those other things as hobbies here or there. But everything can have the same weight. So with that, I hope that you will go forth narrow down your niche if this episode was helpful be sure to let me know at Hi at sight has a product CO and let's talk about some more things in the coming weeks. Let me know what topics you guys would like me to cover what questions you guys have, and I can't wait to share more of my solo episodes with you this year. All right. Thanks for listening, and I'll talk to you next week. Hey guys, thanks for listening to side hustle Pro. If you like the show, be sure to subscribe rate and review on Apple podcasts. It helps other side hustlers just like you to find the show. And if you want to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram at side hustle Pro. Plus sign up for my six bullet Saturday newsletter at side hustle Pro, that CEO slash newsletter. When you sign up, you will receive weekly nuggets from me, including what I'm up to personal lessons and my business tip of the week. Again, that side hustle pro.co/newsletter to sign up. Talk to you soon
Transcribed by https://otter.ai