I Think I Found My Niche &
The Experts Aren't Gonna Like It
I’ve been reading a lot of stuff lately that talks about the importance of finding your niche in business. In fact, in my line of work, that’s like rule #1. The experts all tell you, if you want to establish an online presence, attract readers to your blog, students to your courses, clients to your practice, or just generally be successful at what you do, you have to have a niche (“a specialized segment of the market, for a particular product or service”). Sounds serious right? Experts are always so serious.
These experts also want to give you a ton of advice as to how you should go about finding your niche. You know, ‘best practices’ and all. It makes me want to either nod off or run screaming when I hear people start blathering on about stuff like, ‘your ideal client profile or better yet, ‘avatar’, social media target strategy, call to action, Google/Facebook/Instagram analytics, conversion rates, search engine optimization, blah, blah, blah.... Hell, it took me forever to even realize that my blog would loosely be categorized as a 'lifestyle blog'. Who knew?
Seriously people! Who talks like that in real life? Not me, and you know why? Because I’m a normal fucking human being (well, relatively speaking), and normal humans don’t talk like that! At least not the ones I know. Sheesh!
I mean I suppose it's all well and good if you're talking to your expert friends, but when you're trying to explain this stuff to regular people like me, people who aren't also experts, don't throw that 'industry jargon' around like it's everyday English. I will tune you out like my TV just switched from the Anthony Bourdain episode I was watching to re-runs of the Teletubbies!
I've got news for you if you think that using all the $50 'specialized' words you know makes you sound smart... It doesn't. It makes you sound like a pretentious wanker who is more interested in hearing themselves talk than in actually being helpful to anyone. Nobody over the age of three wants to hear nonsense babble! Unless you're preaching to like minds (those people who already get what you're talking about because their passion is also keeping up on every FB algorithm change that happens), then you might as well be speaking Klingon.
One of the things I’ve been told by those ‘in the know’, is that my focus isn’t narrow enough. That’s a nice way of saying that I’m all over the map and need to stop acting like I have online ADD. So according to the 'experts', I have no niche to speak of. Like, I go from posting thought provoking quotes, to pics of food, to sharing astrology articles, to making jokes about my kids, to writing about my shitty day, to teaching various courses... instead of sticking to just one area/niche (like motherhood or baking for example).
Well here’s the thing... At the risk of repeating myself - I. Am. Human. The last time I checked, that meant being a messy jumble of stuff, not JUST a mom, JUST someone who likes food, JUST a teacher, JUST someone who used to suffer debilitating anxiety, JUST an amateur astrologer, etc.
So as I see it, I DO have a niche. My niche is being human! And guess what? The people I want to help, that are part of my tribe, are actually human too! Go figure!? If that’s too ‘broad’ for you experts, then I guess maybe I better brace myself for failing in business.
See, I can’t not be me. I can’t not be human. Part of what I believe is that we should all strive to be MORE human, not less. Be messy and complicated and fully who you are. Don’t put yourself in a teeny box labelled, mother, wife, accountant, race car driver, computer hacker, or whatever. Because that’s the opposite of being human. You are SO much more than one thing! We ALL are.
Maybe it's kinda weird, but narrowing my focus, finding my ‘niche’ market as the experts define it, feels out of alignment and icky and divisive and exclusionary and contrived and like everything I feel is wrong in the world.
Also, if I’m being honest, I don’t even really know how to do that whole ‘narrowing your focus’ thing. (Squirrel!) I think it would be really boring and stifling. In fact, just thinking about it, gives me a kind of choking sensation in my throat and tightness in my chest. If you've been around here awhile you know that I'm so about the freedom not the restriction.
And really, it’s not like I have ZERO boundaries or focus. I mean, on my 'lifestyle' blog for example, I’m not writing about EVERYTHING! Like you never see an article on the latest fashion trends, which celebrities allegedly hate each other, or how to do an oil change on your car, right? But apparently that’s not narrow enough.
So experts, if you’re reading this I know you’re not going to approve, but I guess I just have to keep on keepin on with the whole ‘being human thing’ and see how it goes. I opted to start my own business so I could put myself out there, use what I have... ALL OF IT, to support people in their struggles, to help them feel less alone, and to empower them to live the lives they were meant for...because ALL people have that right.
See, I think if we were all just allowed and encouraged to be who we are - fully, completely human in all our messy, complicated glory, then the world would be a much saner, safer, kinder, less stressed out place. Who doesn't want that? I don't know of a single soul. So see experts? It's hard to narrow it down! I just can't do it.
Sorry experts, but...
Hey humans! Welcome to my niche!