The New Niche: Why Turning Your Passion Into a Career is Totally Possible
by Ann Connor
Thanks to the good ol’ internet, turning your passion into a sustainable career is now more possible than ever. And while it may take a little more time and determination than say, securing a more traditional corporate position, it is 100% possible. Why? Because where before a niche market typically applied to a relatively small number of prospects, in today’s world wide web, niche can easily mean upward of tens of thousands—a.k.a. big success! So we’ve gathered up the top strategies for using the internet to supply that online niche market and land you your dream job.
The Dream Phase: What is your dream job after all? Think about what it is you love most and want to contribute to the world. List as many as you can come up with—even ones that sound totally ridiculous! These are just jumping off points, so it can’t hurt to really think outside the box—because it could land you somewhere really innovative and inspiring.
The Opportunity Phase: Now, it’s time to think about how that dream list relates to opportunities in the real world. Let’s say one of your dream jobs is to watch movies all day. Okay, that’s great (I’m right there with you…). But now it’s time to think about the opportunity that exists within your dream job. Because watching movies in and of itself isn’t exactly profitable. It lacks an interaction with the outside world! So begin to think of jobs that might require a lot of movie watching as well as elements within your current skill set—for example, attention to detail and written communication skills. With that you could become a freelance movie reviewer and build from there. Similarly, if your dream job is to build houses, but you’ve never even come close to lifting a hammer, think about what opportunities exist within that sphere that apply to your current skills—how about starting a website that features construction projects? Or a home design studio? Who knows, as your business grows, so too could your skills so that, one day, you just may be building homes.
The Development Phase: Once you’ve examined the opportunity within your dream job and narrowed it down, it’s time to develop that opportunity into a profitable career. Analyze the many different skills required to be a successful reviewer or design studio. What classes might you need to take to develop those skills into an expertise? Will you need physical real estate or is an online site sufficient? Are there elements to running your own business that you would rather have someone else handle? The answers to these questions will be the building blocks to developing a sound business plan and foundation for running a successful venture that you love. It’s just a matter of putting those answers into motion!
The Funding Phase: While some have been lucky enough to start small doing something they love and watch it catch fire, others need to more aggressively market and attract buyers and funders. Play with the numbers to figure out how much you’ll need to make in order to survive comfortably and look realistically at what your business has to offer as far as meeting those goals—if you can’t afford to go full-time with your dream job just yet, keep your current gig and use your personal time to build up your business. Or, better yet, open a Kickstarter campaign to get your business up and running—and be sure to know how much product you’ll need to sell in order to be sustainable for the long run.
The Marketing Phase: You’ll need to identify and connect with your niche market, fast. So get the word out there on as many social media sites as you can comfortably (and effectively) manage. Study up on your competitors’ success, find ways to fit into the market, and promote, promote, promote—that’s the beauty of online marketing; it’s totally up to you, at no cost to you. So take advantage!