How do you pick your niche? How did I get here with you?
I am grateful today to have answered several questions in my newest productivity course about how to choose your niche based on my repeated failure to do it myself followed miraculously with the chance to be here with you today. I hope this message is entertaining and inspiring for you because of the honest sharing I give you of how I got here and of the practical tips you might benefit from today.
Would you guess that I went straight to teaching on Udemy when I started my business online in 2011 or that teaching on Udemy was the 18th niche I tried? See for yourself below in this list of niches I tried since I started my YouTube channel in 2011.
- Trashy videos talking about how to cuss and making fun of people. My first video on YouTube was something about different ways to say the f word. The ones following it were not much better and have been made private!
- Dating help featuring me talking in my bathroom with a lovely dolphin shower curtain background wearing only a tie and answering questions such as “when should I send her a picture of my junk?” https://www.youtube.com/user/dukeacem/search?query=dating. If I can go from making those to writing this, I think you are capable of about anything also!
- Video game addiction help complete with surveys and me offering to give informal counseling to people impacted. http://www.gamingaddiction.net/
- Funny tshirts promoting video games and any trending cause. This is where I really began wasting money on my business including buying around $2,000 of tshirts and selling 2 of them.
- Living a productive life delivered through trying to make a website like wikipedia.
- Using Google custom search engines placed in library computers to make money from ad clicks. I personally think this was my worst idea ever. It became obvious when I logged off the last library computer after putting the search bar in and logged back on to find it loaded the operating system refreshed itself every time. I went home with a library card I never used again feeling like the world’s biggest idiot.
- Responsible technology management featuring a failed kickstarter project that nearly every one of my around 1,000 Facebook friends got a message about and that many pledged too. I missed my goal by about $10,000 with around $500 in pledges made.
- Social media management where I offered to do everything I had never done for myself on social media because it is what local business owners needed.
- Facebook likes first with Fiverr and then with Facebook ads. This was the first thing I did that made more than $1,000 and by the time I found this, I had spent all of my savings and borrowed money to keep my new business alive.
- Google AdWords management for clients based on my experience getting my own Google AdWords account suspended.
- Local social media marketing featuring a nice corner office at my local tech incubator in complete ignorance of the fact that nearly none of the clients I had ever got were local. This was my single most costly mistake weighting in at $10,000+ spent with around $2,000 earned through hundreds of hours of time invested.
- Facebook advertising campaigns for clients online. This was the most single successful niche I found until teaching on Udemy. At this point in 2013, my debt had increased to $74,000 after being around $40,000 when I started my business in 2011.
- Mobile advertising campaigns for clients using mMedia.
- YouTube training showing what I did with Facebook likes and ads.
- Event marketing on Facebook for a client promoting a world tour.
- YouTube for real estate agents featuring cold text messages and cold calls to hundreds of real estate agents. I stopped doing this in July 2014.
- Mobile app focus groups for 20+ popular apps in Asia to be released into the USA with a client I had started with an order of fake Facebook likes from Fiverr. I got to this point in the relationship by being honest about how much I messed things up and continually trying to improve.
- Teaching courses on Udemy. While you are here with me in this 18th niche I have “found” since starting my business, it might not be obvious how much I struggled to get here and how many things I did poorly along the way. My debt reached $130,000 in March 2015 and now is finally dropping $5000+ each month for the first time since I started my business. At this rate, I may have it all paid off by 2017.
If you are struggling today, let me be the first to tell you that it might be just what you need. Everything I learned on my way to being where I am now made me whatever I am today and gave me the chance to be of service with you. If I had tried Udemy right away and everything had went perfect, I doubt I would have had much of real value to teach. As you can see from the list above, I went from making videos about how to say the f word to teaching on Udemy in four years and failed hard at everything along the way. If you are failing, you are at least trying!
If you are looking for your niche and not finding it, you are also not necessarily doing anything wrong! In 4 years, you can see how I started with making videos that people hated to now somehow I make videos people like. The key change for me was to focus on my “why” especially as in why I was doing what I was doing and what other people would get out of it. When I understood my “why” was to help other people do things themselves and overcome the same struggles I did, then I looked for how I liked to do that best. I found I liked making videos the best and then started teaching on Udemy full time after trying 17 other areas before.
Once I found what I liked to do in the form of making videos and my reason for doing it to help the most people possible, I then was attracted to Udemy through almost no effort of my own. The fact that you are reading this is proof that if you focus on your purpose for being alive today and what you enjoy doing, you will be slowly guided by life into the right niche. All of the searching and looking can both produce a lot of valuable learning and cause a lot of pain if you are doing it as a means to some end that you will reach anyway without trying.
Thank you for reading this and I hope your week is off to a good start!