“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” – Carrie Fisher
I have always resisted the idea of “finding your niche.”
Let’s say you’re feeling called to create stuff. A blog. A book. A business. Whatever it is – fill in the blank for yourself as needed.
Before you begin – you go research tips and advice from those who have gone before you. Your bookmark bar starts busting at the seams with “How To” articles. Maybe you research for a little too long. Maybe you let it spin your head in circles until you’re completely disconnected from the passion that drove you to create in the first place.
And in your research, you find that all the experts say you need a “target market.” A “niche.” A blunt and clear statement that clarifies who you are, what your message is, and who it’s for. Your niche will be your anchor which will then influence your marketing copy, your “about me” page, your “elevator speech” that you recite when people ask about your creations.
“My blog (that I haven’t started yet) will be about ______ and I will help ______types of people achieve _____ results.”
“My handmade jewelry (that I haven’t created yet) will appeal to _______ audience who likes to feel ______ and reflect that in their style through _____.”
“My book (that I haven’t written yet) will be a cross between _____ author and _____ author, appealing to readers of the ______ generation.”
Polished. Succinct. Orderly. But the disconnect is:
You haven’t MADE anything yet.
Are you interested in actually CREATING something? In messing around and seeing what incredible words/jewelry pieces/messages flow out? In letting a dangerously vulnerable amount of yourself emerge through your work?
Or are you interested in just having a nice little elevator speech? In looking like you have it all together? In hoping people will read your writing by promising “5 Easy Steps!” and “Guaranteed Results!” and stories that are stripped of heart connection? Are you seeking to control every little aspect of the process to prevent yourself from “failing” before you even begin?
People want you. Your artist heart. Your authenticity. And that authenticity and creativity aren’t found by thinking up a marketing box first … and then trying to squeeze your spirit into that box.
When you’re just starting out: start with creation. Start with the heart.
Create a lot of stuff. Share your message often, even if you don’t have a cutesy statement yet on what your “message” is. The more rants you share, the more jewelry you make, the more words you string together… the more obvious your “target market” and “niche” will be. Muddy up the water so that when it clears, when you have a moment of calm, your message and style and “brand” is sitting right in front of you. You couldn’t miss it if you tried.
Let the business and strategy and “Who is my target market?!” questions be a natural extension of what you already love to create. Strategy will eventually become useful to you, but it’s not the first step. (It will shock you in how naturally your niche will reveal itself through your work – if you let it.)
I have had to repeatedly learn this lesson. First it was with creative writing – I believed the lies I had been fed, that I needed an easily-described “genre” and “target reader” before I had the right to call myself a writer.
These beliefs bored me to tears and kept my writing bottled up inside me for way longer than it needed to be. When I finally ditched those beliefs and began where I was, with what little I had, and with no clue who exactly I was writing for… everything opened up. My voice came out to play. Through lots of daily scribbling, I discovered several topics that I couldn’t stop ranting and writing about, and my work evolved into a book and other creative projects I couldn’t have predicted at the very beginning.
I’m re-learning the same lesson now in my life coaching classes. I couldn’t figure out why I was SO resistant to this week’s homework assignment, which is to come up with this sentence about our coaching practice:
“I help _____ types of people achieve _____results by ______method.”
And today it hit me that this homework assignment runs counter to the entire process that has brought me joy and creative success to this moment. Of course I’m resistant to it. It’s just not the right process for me.
It’s time to get back to our roots, relax the stranglehold we have on ourselves, and play around. It’s time to remember that the more we engage in our passions, the more shimmery and obvious our niche becomes. We don’t have to strain. We just have to show up.
Let it be organic. Let it reflect your heart. Let your strategy and marketing be a natural extension of your passion.
Peace + Creative Frenzies,
PS I’m giving away tons of FREE 30 or 60 minute coaching sessions right now. In these sessions, I hold space for you to tap into your heart + support you as you step into your creative supernova of a life. I love coaching on writer’s block, creative projects, finding your voice, writing a book, and that quarterlife crisis “What am I doing with my life?!!” feeling.
If you like my vibe and feel like we would be a fabulous fit, fill out my contact form and I’ll send you a link to my calendar ❤