Just as you need to find your niche when you start a business so too do you need to find your blog niche — this is especially true if blogging IS your business. If blogging is going to be your business and you love to write, you are on the right path toward being an entrepreuer.
Find Your Blog Niche
What are you passionate about? In fiction, the maxim is “write what you know.” Will your blog be about something you know? Something you want to learn more about? Something you’ve always been curious about and now you’re going to dive in and take your reader along for the ride? That is one way to go, for sure!
When you’re looking for a niche, don’t be too narrow, but don’t be too broad. For example your niche might be “cars.” Now that’s a broad topic. You could blog about “blue cars for teenagers.” That seems awfully narrow, right. You could come to a happy medium and blog about, “cars for soccer moms and beyond;” that niche would take you past the kids in soccer and onto your empty nest, for example.
Here are tips to find your niche.
- Blog about something you enjoy. If you’re looking to make a long term commitment to blogging, you don’t want it to be about something you don’t enjoy. There will come that day when writing your post will feel like a slog through quicksand, but that will pass… as long as you’re blogging about something you love.
- Do your research. Don’t jump on a trending blogging topic just because “everyone is talking about it.” If everyone is talking about it you may get lost in the conversation. Before you chose a blog topic or your website URL, do keyword research and see what else is out there.
- If you want to make money, from it look for possible ways to monetize before you lay out a lot of cash. Sure there are business ideas that seem like they will be profitable and long term and they can’t sustain themselves. So do your homework and put together a business plan that makes sense.
Are you blogging for your business? How is that going? Is it sustainable? Are you enjoying it and are you being consistent with it? If you’re not or you’re not sure, let me know. Our team can help!
As an entrepreneur you assume your customers love you. But have you ever wondered, “do your customers hate you?” Hate is a strong word, but your customers may not love you as much as you hoped they would.
Here are some things you might be doing that you think are fine, but you are making your customers angy.
Do Your Customers Hate You?
- You don’t listen to their concerns. You are so busy pushing your products and services on them that you don’t listen to see if that’s what they really need or want.
- You over promise, but you are underdelivering. If you can’t meet a deadline, don’t promise that you can.
- You always know what’s best (read number 1, again). If you’re not involved in the day to day operations of running their operation you don’t know what is best.
- You are not easy to get in touch with. Playing hard to get with a client is not a way to endear yourself to your clients. If you are working with them, be available to them.
- Watch what you say on social media. If you trash talk clients or people on social media, your clients will wonder what you’re saying about them.
Every entrepreneur wants his or her clients to love them, but you have to work to earn and retain that loving feeling. Remember when you were wooing them and convincing them that you were the right person with whom to work? You need to keep working on your relationship if you want it to thrive and be the best for both of you.
Have you experienced a time when your client didn’t love you as much as you imaged he or she did? What did you do to address that? Were you able to rekindle the warm feelings and stay working together or did you pocket that information as a learning experience for future clients and how to work with and treat them?
Are you planting in rocky soil? Have you ever heard that phrase? While it may seem that “planting in rocky soil” would thwart a farmer more than an entrepreneur the metaphor rings true. Growing your business against all odds is the same as planting in rocky soil. You may have started your business in the midst of the recession — talk about against all odds/rocky soil!
Growing Your Business Against All Odds
One reason many entrepreneurs don’t success or reach their potential is that they never stopped to truly understand who their ideal customer was, where to find them and how to properly market to that customer. Meeting a pain point for your customer is the best way in which to thrive in rocky soil. If you’re pushing a product or service to a person or group for whom it’s not a good fit you are expending energy, time and money and not seeing a return on your investment.
I urge you to stop. Take a breath. Focus.
You can’t be everything to everyone. It’s been said that “jacks of all trades are masters of none.” Find your ideal customer/s and market to that group.
There’s “riches in niches” so the saying goes. But don’t niche so small that your pool of potential clients is too small to thrive.
Don’t let a potential customer doubt you. Consider this: You go in to get your hair cut and during the appointment your hairdresser offers to change the oil in your car, clean your pool and arrange your next event. What?! Do you really want this person weilding scissors by your head when they obviously have no focus? Don’t create doubt or distrust in your ability in the minds of others.
Specialize, don’t generalize. Being a generalist does work for some people, but others find that if they specialize they can find more unique clients and make more money because they are experts in their field.
To grow your business against all odds, take some time today to draw a Venn diagram. In the three circles, write down: 1. your area(s) of expertise; 2. what people want; 3. what people will pay for (that is the intersection of where you can make money)
As an entrepreneur, chances are you know where your core strengths lie. After all, you wouldn’t open a CPA firm if you didn’t love numbers and analytics. You wouldn’t strive to be a writer if you didn’t embrace words, grammar and syntax. But do you know your core strengths and do you embrace them in your daily business dealings?
Let’s look at core strengths and see if there are areas in which you may want to focus more… or less.
Do You Know Your Core Strengths?
I believe in order to move forward you need to know where your foundation is, where you’re starting from and what resources you have available.
- Do you have focus? Are you running after every bright, shiny object that falls in your path? Focus is essential to grow your business.
- Do you have specific milestones toward which to strive? If you don’t have milestones you could easily meander off the path of growth. Define your core strengths and build from that foundation.
- Are you launching a new product? What have your customers been asking for? What skillset do you have to launch a new product or service? Are you ready for launch and do you have the support staff you need to accommodate it?
- Are you moving out of your lane? If you have built your business on a core strength are you focusing on that or do you wish to add a new competency to your entrepreneurial endeavors? It’s never a bad idea to diversify, but you do need to know whether you have the core competency to make it a success.
- Are your core strengths the bulk of your profit center? Will any diversification add to that profit center or will you be moving into a different realm than what you’re currently known for? Moving into a different area of expertise isn’t a bad idea, but if you don’t have the financial stability to support a switch, make certain you are solvent enough to support your new experiment.
Are you running on auto pilot and is your business remaining steady but not growing? If it’s the case, drop me an email and let’s talk about how to focus on your core competencies to further your business growth.
Gone are the days when you can run your business the same way that the “guy down the street” does. You need to know how to set your business apart from the competition and it has to be in a better way than racing to the bottom with the lowest price. There are many strategies that entrepreneurs can put into play to make their business “be” different from the competition even if you’re both selling the same widgets to the same base of clients.
How To Set Your Business Apart From The Competition
What are you doing to stay ahead of your business competitors? What is your differentiator? What steps can you take to truly make a difference and have an impact that will make your business soar?
Have faith in yourself and in your success and, most importantly, in the goods and services you offer. Your faith and your belief in yourself will shine in every conversation you have.
Don’t quit. Even if you try something that doesn’t work or doesn’t work the way you’d hoped it would — it is NOT a failure. It was an experiment from which you can learn, strengthen and move forward.
Be ethical. There is no “winning” if you cut down the competition to gain a customer. You and your business need to stand on its own merit. A potential client will not look fondly upon you if you’re bad mouthing the “other guy.”
Make a decision. Entrepreneurs cannot afford to sit on the fence. They need to be decisive — yes, even if that decision turns out to not offer the outcome you’d originally hoped for. You decided. Moved forward and you can course correct if necessary.
Be healthy in mind and body. Yes, entrepreneurs need to put in a lot of hours to be successful BUT if you’re not taking time for yourself and your mental and physical health you will not thrive. You need to operate at peak levels and this means you need to eat healthy. You need to get physical exercise and you need to sleep. Don’t forget your personal life and make time for friends and family.
What can you, or do you, do to set your business apart from the competition?