Use This Evolutionary Framework to Find Your Niche

𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗧𝗶𝗺𝗲: 4 minutes

If you’ve ever felt confused or discouraged by the idea of niching in your business.

Then you’re not alone.

When I first decided to build a business around teaching what I know online, I was frustrated by the lack of information available on how it’s done.

So I’ve spent years reverse engineering other people’s businesses to figure out what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.

In addition, I’ve built courses, group coaching programs, workshops and newsletters.

And at the time of writing this…

I’ve invested over 4,642 hours into books, courses, trainings, and more to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

As a person with many interests, I too have bounced around the question of niching in my business time and time again.

And as far as I can tell…

There’s basically two camps:

  1. Niche early and niche often.

    Since niching speeds up the path to excellence and credibility, it helps build interest in your business quickly.

    The problem here is, people often get bored or realize their niche isn’t aligned with who they really are.
  1. Don’t niche yourself, niche your offers.

    If you are the niche, you have the benefit of always exploring your natural curiosities and teaching others what you’re most interested in.  This often greatly improves the quality of your work.

    The trap here is you can confuse the heck out of people if you’re not strategic about it.

    Because the confused mind says “No”.

Now if you’re like me, these mixed messages make the problem more confusing than ever.

But in Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning, he writes:

“We detect rather than invent our missions in life.”

After reading this, it struck me.

“If I want to solve the niching problem for good, I need to change how I approach it.”

I realized that I needed to create a feedback loop to help me listen to what the universe was telling me.

And so here’s why I think most people get hung up with niching.

In our modern world we tend to look at problems like they’re a straight line with a beginning and an end.

While in nature, everything works in cycles.

In nature, a niche is a role taken by an organism within its community or ecosystem.

And as an ecosystem continues to evolve — the organisms, roles, and communities within it also continue to evolve.

And anything that fails to adapt goes extinct.

So here’s the deal.

According to some anthropologists, the only sustainable way of life that our species has ever known is the hunter-gatherer band lifestyle.

And in the long span of human evolution, we all come from hunter-gatherers.

Despite many attempts to eradicate this way of life, many hunter-gatherer bands still exist to this day.

Clearly, they must be doing something right.

So here’s how to niche like your ancestors did.

To make it easier to understand I’ve developed the Niching Evolution Wheel.

Let’s have a look:

Community (The Who)

Historically, a typical hunter gatherer band might consist of 50-150 people who all take care of each other.

Each member had strengths and weaknesses, but together they were able to thrive and form a happy and sustainable community.

With the fall of many place based communities, we see the rise of interest based communities on the internet.

And an essential part of niching is to deliberately find your community.

The best way to do that is with an exercise often referred to as your “Dream 100”.

The actual number isn’t as important as the quality of the list.

But the goal is to build a list of leaders, colleagues, and potential clients in the community you’d most like to be a part of and serve with your offerings.

It’s extremely important to prioritize making this list because it will become the key to all your future marketing efforts.

Your Abilities (The How)

Simply put, this is your path.

Your personal and professional development.

Widely valued among most studied hunter-gatherer bands is the value of autonomy and self-directed education.

Unfortunately we do not live in a world that values this principle any longer.

Our mandatory education tends to stifle the passions of the individual in favor of uniformity and compliance.

But eventually as an adult you become free to pursue your self-directed education should you choose to do so.

And as you develop personally and professionally, you develop the unique gifts you have to offer your community.

Your Offerings (The What)

Your offerings are the way you serve your chosen community.

For your ancestors this meant hunting, gathering, weaving, building, teaching, storytelling, and more.

Many of which are still applicable even in today’s digital landscape.

But whether you serve your clients primarily in person or online, the principle is the same.

You often educate your customers about what you do for free, and then when they want to work with you, you make them paid offers.

For an online education business that typically means:

Publish on social media → Connect w/ people in messages → Build your offers on what they want.

And the cycle continues.

Using The Niching Evolution Wheel

This is just a broad strategic overview.

But the basic outline is this:

  • Build Your Dream Community (mentors, colleagues, & clients)
  • Improve Your Abilities (follow your curiosity to find out what you’re best at, and)
  • Develop Your Offerings (publish daily, integrate feedback, & build your offers)

Ultimately,

Niching is an evolutionary dance between finding your community, discovering what you’re best at, and learning to give value to others by making their lives better.

I’m aiming to expand on this framework in the coming weeks to grow my business and hopefully to help you grow yours too.

So come say, “Hi” on social media.

Let me know what questions you have about it.

And let me know where the roadblocks are in refining your niche and growing your business.

As always.

Lots of love,
Kevin