There are two kinds of people in this crazy world—those that let life happen to them, and those that build the life they want to live and own the heck out of it. Most of us start out as the former.
Then one day, you wake up.
You realize you're tired of living in the shadows and talking about all the things you want to do instead actually of doing them. You're sick of window-shopping the life you want instead of creating it. You know you're capable of amazing things, and it's time to prove it.
Whether you want to design a life you love or build the business of your dreams, the path t0 becoming a person who finds your niche and owns it starts with the commitment to show up. For the purposes of this post, we'll stick to building your own beautiful, compelling, and fulfilling brand. Now let's dig in!
So what is a niche anyway?
Your niche is your very own slice of heaven. It's a specialty or group that feeds your soul—the creative space where you feel at home. The best thing about niches is that everyone likes different things. We're all a gorgeous global tapestry of overlapping hobbies and skills and stories, but no one has exactly the same beautiful blend as you.
So how do you find your very own niche?
1. FIND YOUR first
Get your head right
Of course it's difficult to find your niche, especially when you're first starting out. I know you have a million ideas that you're passionate about, but you're terrified of starting with the wrong thing. So let's dial back that stress a bit. Just start with one. That's right, pick one idea and give it your everything.
I'm not saying you have to abandon all those other ideas, just use this season to focus on one. Don't worry about it being the “right” first thing (man oh man, do I know that paranoia). No matter if this first thing is the thing, it will bring you one step closer to where you want to be and open up doors that you can't even imagine now.
2. Declare your Niche
Be laser focused
There's a certain type of work that lights you up. You daydream of a time when you can spend your days doing only this kind of work, but that's not realistic, right? It's too specific. There's no way there would be enough to let you do this full-time. Most people hate their jobs, so how dare you think you could create a business you'd be head over heels for!
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong!
Don't fear the niche... you can always dive deeper.
I know it's terrifying to choose a niche. You feel like you'll be limiting yourself and that people want someone who can do it all, but it just ain't so! Believe me, I had those same worries when I chose to focus exclusively on logo and brand design, and then again when I chose to get way more specific about who my dream customers were.
And do you know what I discovered? Every time I chose to niche down and specialize more, I discovered new layers and depth within that niche. Every time I realized I could go even further, specialize more, and get even more specific about the kind of work I do, how I do it, and who I do it for.
Don't fear the niche. Once you dig in, you'll find more depth and complexity in that space than you could have imagined. Find some comfort in ditching the scarcity mindset and knowing there will always be more to explore. You can always dive deeper.
3. Manifest It
Create your own destiny
Once you know what your specialty is, what happens if that's not what your full-time job is? What if paying customers aren't exactly knocking down the door to hire you for it yet?
Well, odds are that a few things are happening.
- You're not showing people the kind of work you want to be doing.
- If you are, it's getting lost in a sea of other work in your portfolio and/or personal posts in your feed.
- Since you're not showing your passion and expertise in that area, the clients you want can't find you.
- You're attracting clients based on what you've done already instead of what you want to do. And so on. And so forth.
So what can you do? Well, it's simpler than you might think. But just because it's simple doesn't mean it will be easy.
It's time to manifest your dream brand. I don't mean writing a letter to Santa about it or just hoping really hard that it happens. I mean setting the intention, creating a plan, and showing up. Once you know where you're going, it's much easier to spot the path that will get you there.
Here's how you can actively manifest this dream brand of yours.
- Make the time for the kind of work you love... even if it means sacrificing your free time on nights and weekends. If it's worth it, it's worth it.
- Hone your skills through practice, personal projects, and collaborations.
- Do the work... even if no one's paying you for it.
- Cut down on the noise. Be consistent with your message and curate what you share—from your portfolio down to your social media. Don't show everything, just the kind of work you want more of.
- Be proactive. Figure out where those dream clients are and hunt them down yourself. Create an amazing brand experience that will dazzle those customers once you land them.
4. Own It
Wear your niche with pride & start loving your life already
I know how scary it is to declare your niche and to let your true self start to shine through in your work. For a long time, I was afraid that being too feminine in my work would turn clients away. I tried to tone it down, and just ended up making things I wasn't proud of.
I spent so long living that fear, and I want to save you the time and self doubt. You can do this. Your dream clients are out there waiting for you.
It's the absolute best feeling when people start to recognize you for your niche and clients seek you out because they want exactly what you have to offer. The life and business of your dreams is closer than you think. Now it's time to declare your own niche, choose your path, and start showing up.