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How to Find a Profitable Niche for Your Online Business

How to Find a Profitable Niche for Your Online Business
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Do you struggle with knowing what to do when it comes to building an online business?

Most people struggle, a lot.

The truth of the matter is that if you do not pick the right niche, or focus on serving people who are willing to pay you, chances are that you will fail. But this doesn’t mean you have to figure it all out right away: when I started my online business, I didn’t know what I wanted to focus on.

I knew I was passionate about personal development. I also knew that the personal development market was extremely saturated, but I didn’t know what else to do, so I jumped in anyway. I started building an audience, and as I started getting feedback, I started to discover my niche.

You see, it’s not about perfection—it’s about constant improvement. If you have a vague idea of what you want to do, but aren’t sure, the best thing you can do is to jump in and see what happens. If you can’t figure it out, you just have to take action, otherwise you’ll stay stuck for a long time.

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Why Most People Fail

One of the main reasons people fail is because they are unrealistic. They may follow their passion, but they never stop to think if people would be willing to pay for what they want to do, so always stay focused on what problems people have, and if they would be willing to pay you to solve those problems.

When I started, I dove into the personal development market. My odds of success were low, but I knew there was demand. I knew the market was viable, because there was competition; I could find books, courses, workshops, and coaches. If I could just build an audience, I could succeed. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I took things one step at a time, and here I am today, getting paid to do what I love.

How to Find a Profitable Niche for Your Online Business

There are three main steps—or areas—you need to think about when you’re determining what you want to build an online business about. Let’s dive into the first and most important one.

Step 1: Passion

The first area is passion.

Yes, there are people who have businesses in markets they aren’t passionate about, but are they happy? They may be making a lot of money, but money alone won’t bring you fulfillment in life. It is when you are passionate about something that you excel. You have a drive to learn more because you love it.

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And I was passionate about personal development when I started: I was willing to work hard, and be open to constantly learning new things. This drive allowed me to build an audience of thousands of people, and it later helped me uncover my niche, which was to help people turn their passion into a thriving lifestyle business.

Action step: Look at what you’re passionate about. Brainstorm a list of topics. Don’t censor yourself, and don’t worry about if it’s profitable or not.

Step 2: Skill

The next area is skill. What are you good at? Or, what do you want to become good at? People pay for skill; they pay for a job well done. This doesn’t mean you have to be an all-knowing expert—it just means you have to have skills that are needed by the people you’re helping.

For example: when I started, I certainly couldn’t hold up to some of the personal development experts like Tony Robbins or Wayne Dyer, but I had my own experiences to share. People enjoyed my unique, fresh perspective. Don’t underestimate how much you already know—you don’t have to know everything, you just have to know enough.

Action step: Write down a list of things you’re good at, or want to become good at. Again, let it flow and you’ll be surprised at what comes out.

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Step 3: Demand

Demand is what makes it all work.

What are people willing to pay for? What already exists out there? Look at books, programs, courses, workshops, retreats, and anything where people are paying money for a solution. Also look at successful coaches: What problems are they solving? How are they helping people? How much are they charging?

When I dove into the personal development market, I knew there was demand there. People were paying thousands to attend retreats, workshops and take online courses because they wanted to be fulfilled, live their purpose, and to find their passion. Uncovering the demand doesn’t have to be complicated—just look at what people are spending money on.

Action step: Do some research. Use Amazon, Google, and just plain surfing around, to see what people are paying for. Then look at what you’ve written down in step 1 and 2. Try to find the intersection.

Finding the Intersection, Finding Your Niche

So, how do you find a profitable niche for your online business? Look at the three steps we’ve gone through above. Write down what you’re interested in, write down what you’re good at, and then look at what the competition is doing. If there is competition in a market, it means there is opportunity there. Once you’ve done your research, try to find the intersection between these three areas.

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For example, my passion is personal growth and business: that’s my intersection. I’m passionate about it, I’m good at it, and there’s demand for it. In the end, there are no guarantees, so you have to be willing to start before you feel ready. Most entrepreneurs fail many, many times before they find something that works.

The Bottom Line

To find a profitable niche for your online business, you have to find the intersection between what people want, what you’re good at, and what you’re passionate about.

It’s not easy—that’s why most people give up—but if you keep going, you will succeed. That’s what I’ve discovered, and that’s what I’ve found to be true.

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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