How To Identify Your Profitable Niche In 5 Easy Steps (Maiko Sakai)

Maiko Sakai

Recently, I was going through all of the grievances about the concept of “niching down” from business owners to creators to freelancers, and I have identified one common thread—a false belief everyone seems to share.

I want to debunk this first so that you can be more open to giving “niching down” a shot to cut through the noise & stand out in your space without being the person who’s screaming the loudest in the room. (No one wants to be that person, right?)

OK, here it goes:

Many believe that “finding a niche” is a task.

Actually, it is not.

Instead, “finding a niche” is the byproduct of other tasks that help you understand your specialty & the market you are in at a deeper level so that you can double down on it to increase revenue.

In other words, “finding a niche” is an outcome, not a task.

In this post, I am going to share my high-level framework which will help you avoid all of the mental drama that tends to show up with this process i.e. where to begin, how to go about it, whether this is right for me, etc.

You will also find my top 3 tips to doing this work successfully at the end of the post.

Now, let’s dive in!

Enter the Niche Diagram.

It’s a simple Venn diagram that shows how your profitable niche can be shaped.

As you can see from the diagram, your niche sits right in the middle where all three circles overlap. This means you’ll want to ensure your profitable niche satisfies all three categories.

Using this framework, you will go through 5 steps to explore what your niche options are:

Step #1. Know thyself (deeply) – Circle #1

Step #2. Carve out a special spot in the market – Circle #2

Step #3. Identify your sweet spot

Step #4. Validate your sweet spot

Step #5. Fine-tune your delivery method – Circle #3

There is one caveat that I cannot emphasize enough:

If you don’t invest your time, energy & resources to figuring out the two top circles (Step #1 through Step #4), no matter how much work you do on the third circle, it will all just go down the drain.

The reason why this is super important is this:

Too many business owners, creators & freelancers spend an enormous amount of their brain power trying to tackle these questions first:

  • How do I package my service offer?
  • How do I price this (to avoid getting rejections but not losing my shirt)?
  • How long should this offer be?
  • How do I name my offer?
  • How do I sell this?

All of these questions belong in Circle #3. Based on the diagram, you know that this is the last step you work on, not the first. This is why many people throw their arms up in the air & say, “This doesn’t work for me.”

They are right.

This doesn’t work because they are going about it completely backwards. I call this experience, “decision paralysis.”

Starting from these “how” questions first will put you in a “decision paralysis” that seems like an endless loop you just can’t get out of. So, don’t do it!

By the way, here’s something special that happens when you start by figuring out the two top circles.

Believe it or not, all your “how” questions magically disappear as you already know what’s best for your niched offer by the time you get to circle #3.

My clients tell me that they can’t believe how much time they’ve wasted by being caught up on their “how” questions that got them nowhere. You don’t have to make the same mistake!

Are you fired up? Are you ready to give this a shot?

If your answer is yes, I have something useful to offer to get your niche discovery journey started. I have created an assessment style free quiz called, “Discover Your ‘Hidden’ Profitable Niche”.

This assessment quiz helps you gain deeper insights for the first circle on the left.

There are 4 archetypes based on your personality, values & previous work experience that have shaped your unique expertise.

After taking the quiz, you will receive the full assessment jam-packed with values including an overview of your archetype, business examples, pros & cons, what you can leverage & what the next steps are.

I hope you take advantage of this fun tool.

Lastly, here are my 3 tips for successfully navigating your niche discovery journey.

1. When in doubt, trust the system.

It’s a good sign when doubts show up while you work on this. It means you are doing something new & paving your own path. But if you feel like you are giving in to your doubtful thoughts, go back to the diagram & trust the system.

2. One at a time. Don’t flip-flop. Commit.

We all have so many great ideas. I know. My recommendation is to stick with one idea at a time. Do as much research as you can before you hop onto another idea.

3. Get ruthless with your validation process.

When you are testing out whether your service offer is a profitable one, do your best to shut out confirmation bias. Your gut feeling or your hunch is not good enough to validate your idea. You want to make sure you find a few people who are willing to pay for what you are presenting. Otherwise, it’s just a hopium & hopium is not a strategy.

There you have it! Share your thoughts & questions here so that I can support you in any way I can!

Maiko Sakai @maiko
Founder & Lead Consultant for Creative Entrepreneurs | Creator of Business Optimizer 360 |

Tell Us Below:

Have you identified your most profitable niche?

Has it changed over time?

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