Almost ten years ago a business consultant and speaker named Susan Friedmann wrote a book that has always stayed with me. Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a Small Market was written for what she calls “Nichepreneurs.” You can be a generalist, or you can be a Nichepreneur, she says. A Nichepreneur specializes in a specific area.
You know you’re already a Nichepreneur if you’re the go-to person for your specialization. If you’re asked to speak at events about it. If you’re quoted. If your peers send their clients to you for your specialization.
Nichepreneurs (obviously) create niched courses. If you already do that, stop reading. This blog article isn’t for you. Go read something else!
If you’re not a nichepreneur, read on. My guess is that you might be a bit uncomfortable with this topic. You’re thinking, “Isn’t niching down dangerous? Won’t I be missing business if I do that?”
The amazing Pat Flynn has addressed these questions quite a bit. “In order to succeed online, you cannot do what everyone else is doing – Follow the crowd, and get lost in it,” he says in a blog post about choosing a niche.
And Riches in Niches author, Susan Friedmann, makes that point that in a market that is packed with people doing what you do, you absolutely need to differentiate in order to be chosen and be hired. You need to get into an arena with fewer competitors. Fewer e-courses. More opportunities to stand out and be noticed.
Now let’s apply this to e-courses. I really want you to think this through:
In a market crammed with cheap courses on Udemy and other massive storefronts of courses, what makes your course special? Why should someone spend $497 on your course when they can find one on the same topic for $97?
How can your course stand out and be noticed?
In Blue Ocean Strategy, we’re taught to find a new ocean (not the shark infested, bloody waters of everyone else.) So take note and create a course in an entirely new ocean. Be a trailblazer, not a copycat.
A great way to do this is to mix up your unique gifts and experiences into a delicious soup.
One of my former clients, for example, has an organizing business. She’ll come into your home and get your stuff in order. But she also has a woo-woo side of her that doesn’t get to come out in her organizing business. That is, until she figured out how to marry Feng Shui with home organization. Whammo! A unique niche.
But did she have a market? Could she afford to rebrand her business and move from mainstream clients to fringe-y clients? Would they pay? So she created an e-course as a test to see enough people would be interested and buy – and then hire her consultant services.
Now that’s a great use of an e-course. It was a great two-fer. Not only did she create a unique course that didn’t compete with any other, but she got to test out a new business direction. Bonus.
So think about your unique soup and see if that makes a delicious, unique e-course in a niche that you can excel in. If so, you’ve got a winner!