“Should I niche down? But I’m passionate about multiple topics. But I don’t want to talk about one thing forever.”
If you’re a new creator, you likely struggle with this like everyone else. There’s too much risk picking the wrong niche, just like when I picked raising kids as my niche in 2018 and put in 30 hours a week making just 1 video. What a joke. When I decided to stop and cut loss, all my effort went to waste.
So I get it. It is hard to niche down when there's uncertainty.
And then most advice out there ask you to choose niching down or staying multi-passionate. Does it have to be either or? They don't paint you a full picture based on your timeline and journey.
Which is why I want to write this article to share with you the importance of niching down which surprisingly allows you to expand later on:
- Write and create by following your heart
- Observe pain points and blow people away
- If you can get recognition, time to niche down
- What niching down means to your Twitter presence
- Expand your topics now
Before we start, if you’re more a video person and want a short version. Check out my video and consider to subscribe if you like it.
Write and create by following your heart
If you’re new to this, you must listen to your inner self.
Only you know what you’re interested in and can spend day and night doing. Only you know whether you can do this for years. No one else can. Only you.
And it is so important to have joy and fun while creating. If you force yourself to do something, you’ll run out of steam or even quit once things get a little tougher. You don’t want to get yourself in that situation.
When I started writing online, I wrote one article a week based on any topic I wanted to share with the world. I didn't give myself any constraints. After 8 weeks, I looked back at the 8 articles and found a pattern - 6 out of 8 were about the ups and downs of my failed entrepreneurial journey. BOOM!
Later on when I discovered "build in public", I had that feeling of a calling. Not trying to be religious here but I really felt that way.
So if you’re afraid that niching down would limit what you can talk about, don’t worry. It doesn’t apply in the super early days.
Write about what you’re excited about, what you’re curious about, and what you want to share with everyone else.
Observe pain points and blow people away
You should have some ideas what directions you want to explore. And this is not the time to rely on your inner self. You want to rely on your eyes and ears instead because it all comes down to observing what people are struggling with.
The word “research” is boring, but it is actually a necessary step if you want to increase your chance of success. This is how you decide:
You want to go into a crowed space (meaning high demand) but with a very unique and controversial point of view.
If your niche is about how entrepreneurs can be productive, you’ll not stand out because it is a truth everyone can agree to. It doesn’t say anything and you’re no different than other productivity creators.
But if your niche is how entrepreneurs can be productive while doing chores, now it gets interesting. You’ll get a group of people excited to learn how they can multitask while washing the dishes. And you’ll get another group of people screaming at you saying washing dishes are down time and there’s no need to make it productive. Now you have a spiky point of view and it is worth exploring.
Once you come up with a hypothetical spiky point of view from observing and interacting with lots of people via public tweets, you want to put together a piece of content that blows people away.
It is not enough to write a single article because it is not impressive enough.
it is not enough to film a 4-min video because it is not impressive enough.
You want to create something that people see your effort, know that it is the best they can find, and will recommend your content and you as the go-to for this topic.
This is what I called “a killer piece of content”. Also, it has to be free. People spread free, high-quality things like wild fire!
In my case, I spent 2 months researching, taking notes, and working with the few people in my audience to write the 10,000 words Build in Public Definitive Guide.
And guess what happened when I launched. 2,100 people read it in the first 3 days and they loved it.
If you can get recognition, time to niche down
If this killer piece of content is able to get traction once it is out there, congratulations, your niche just found you. On the flip side, if you cannot get traction no matter what you do, this might not be a niche you should keep going with.
To me, a niche has 2 parts:
- You have to absolutely love talking about it. You can talk about it for 30 years non-stop, day and night.
- You get recognition from other people. They find you helpful in this topic.
If you meet these 2 criteria, well done!
What niching down means to your Twitter presence
So now let’s talk about a common fear of niching down - “I don’t want to talk about one thing forever. 30 years? Are you crazy, Kevon?”
This is a huge misconception.
When I’m on Twitter, sometimes I come across people who only tweet about their niche. For example, if he helps people with copywriting, every single tweet is copywriting tips.
I don’t know about you, but I never follow people like this because I find it extremely boring.
You can have a niche, but it doesn’t mean you have to talk about it all the time on Twitter. In real life, if you love being a creator, do you only talk about this when you get a drink with a friend, when you go to a family gathering, or when you meet a stranger sitting next to you on the plane?
In my book, Find Joy in Chaos, I talked about an ideal Twitter presence. Stories and wisdom of your niche only take up 60% of your presence. The other 40% are equally important - you want to support your friends and show your personalities and interests.
That’s what I call a human voice. That’s what people want.
So does it mean you’re limiting yourself by niching down? Not at all. At least not on Twitter. You can still bring in new topics and test the water. You can still show up as yourself. It is just that your niche should take up the majority (60%) because it is what you promise you’d deliver to these people who want to hear from you.
But even so, you can widen your content and topics too. This is messing with your head, isn’t it? “Niche down and expand again? What are you talking about, Kevon?”
Expand your topics now
The need to niche down at some point is to get known.
If you talk about many topics at the same time, it increases the confusion and friction of someone seeing you as the go-to. Why do we follow some Instagram accounts for their restaurants ideas, travel destination ideas, or the latest gadgets? Because we expect that one thing from them and we can get it quickly.
As you show up, create, and interact with your following long enough, trust starts to form. And when you have trust, you can start expanding your topics again.
Why can I talk about so many topics now versus when I started out?
Because a large group (12k Twitter followers + 2k email subscribers) trust me enough to hear from me every week. In my mind, all these topics are related but standalone. But in your mind, you see everything I talk about as Build in Public but you’re okay because you’re getting value out of it.
This is how it works and you don’t have to worry that you’re limiting yourself by niching down. Things are forever evolving.
This is something I don’t see a lot of people talk about because the argument is always niche down or remain multi-passionate, but I love to see things based on a timeline.
You make different decisions based on where you’re standing. You do what moves the needle. This is your journey.