Find Your Side Hustle Niche In 7 Steps
I’m so glad you’re here, because it means you’re contemplating starting your very own side hustle. If you’ve seen some of my other articles or videos, you’ll know how much I believe that everyone, including busy working moms, should have a side hustle—some way to earn money on the side that is created and controlled by you.
Before we get started, I created a video and workbook that’ll walk you through these seven steps to finding your side hustle niche. Watch the video here and be sure to get the workbook by signing up below. The workbook will make it easy to follow along, and also contains some juicy bonuses you won’t find in this article (or in the video!)
Some people know right off the bat what niche they want to get into. But you’re not. It’s totally ok. In this article, I’ll walk you through the seven steps you need to take to find your niche.
First, let’s define “niche”. According to google, the definition of “niche” is: “denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population”. Essentially, you’re trying to figure out what market you’re going to enter into. Your niche can be as big or as small as you want it to be.
Before we start, please keep in mind that this 7-step process involves work. Doing the research and work up front is a key tenet of being a successful side hustling mom. In fact, it’s Habit #1 in a video series I did called the Habits of Highly Effective Side Hustling Moms. Watch the video here or read the article here.
Read the article instead.
STEP #1: LET GO OF THE SCRIPTS IN OUR MIND
Step #1 is to let go of any preconceived notions about what you were meant to do. This is the time to dream and to create your vision about your life and what you want to do with it.
This is your side hustle and you get to define the parameters. Let go of the existing scripts in your head that’s telling you’re stuck doing something related to your 9-5 because that’s the most logical thing to do. Instead, dare to dream!
So, if you’re an attorney during the day, it doesn’t mean that you need to provide legal services for your side hustle. You can if that’s what you want to do, but just know that you aren’t limited to that.
To recap, Step #1 is to let go of any pre-existing scripts in your head, telling you that you’re limited in what you can do for your side hustle.
STEP #2: DO SOME SERIOUS SELF-REFLECTION
The second step involves self-reflection. This is where you reflect on and assess your natural strengths, your weaknesses, and your existing skills and experience. Think and write down the answers to these questions:
What kind of formal education do you have?
What you do well at your job?
What skills have you developed at your 9-5?
What skills have you developed outside of your 9-5, for example volunteering, coaching, etc?
Do you have some type of unfair advantage over others?
What comes easily to you that other struggle with?
BONUS CONTENT: In the workbook, there are 12 additional questions that’ll help you with this step. Work on journaling the answers to these questions.
For example, let’s just say you’re a sales manager for the cable company. When you inventory your skills and experience, you realize that you’re able to sell, influence, and negotiate well, and you enjoy that aspect of your job. You’re also pretty good at managing people, but you hate that part of the job. You also hate the administrative part of your job, all the paperwork and reports, and HR stuff you need to do. And although you watch cable TV, it’s not your passion.
Outside of work, you coach your kids’ soccer team and you love it. You love working with the kids, you plan out your practices in advance and you love brainstorming ways to positively impact and motivate your team. The parents on your teams have told you how much they appreciated you, and how much they loved you as a coach.
All of these ideas should be swirling around in your head. Write them ALL down.
STEP #3: DEFINE YOUR FUTURE SELF
Moving on to Step #3-for this step, I want you to think about you in five years, your future self. What do you see yourself doing? What things are Important to you? What do you want to accomplish in life that’s in alignment with your goals and values?
BONUS CONTENT: In the workbook, we’ve got the eight life dimensions broken out, so you can easily think about each area of your life and write down what your future self looks like in each of those life dimensions.
STEP #4: PROBLEMS AND PASSIONS
Now for the fourth step, brainstorm the kinds of problems you have in your life. Start listing the problems you experience in each of these areas. In the workbook, each life dimension is broken out again, so it’ll help you to think about the problems you have in each life dimension.
For example, you might be unhappy in your career—you feel stuck and you think you’re too old to do anything about it. And other than chasing after your kids or walking to the printer at work, you haven’t exercised since before your kids were born. You’re out of breath when you take the stairs and your back is killing you. You know you need to exercise but you don’t have the time.
Your family eats out a lot and you feel guilty about not cooking healthy meals for them.
The list can go on and on, right?
With your list of problems, look over them and reflect on whether or not other people have the same problems. Do you think you can help solve them? (You can also go back to your assessment in Step 2, about your existing skills and experiences. At your 9-5, are there problems that you have that you can help others solve?)
If the answers are yes and yes, write the problem down as a niche idea based on a problem you and others have.
Now, do the same for this question: what passions and interests do you have? Do other people share the same interests and are people as passionate as you are about that particular thing? Are you often asked about this particular topic? Do other people consider you an unofficial expert on this topic? If the answer is yes and yes to these questions, record this in your workbook as a niche idea based on your passions and interests.
For another example, if you love to design graphics, and you’re always been asked to help your friends and family with invitations, brochures, designing logos for your kids club sports teams, etc., you’re going to write this down as a niche idea too. It’s something you love to do, and people are always coming to you for help and advice in this area.
For this step, you should have a couple of niche ideas recorded down, so stop to work on this.
BONUS CONTENT: Start outlining your problems, passions and interests in the Workbook on the “Problems and Passions” (1st worksheet). It’s split out into the 8 life dimensions. Then, assess your ideas on the page entitled “Problems and Passions: Potential Niche Ideas”.
If you prefer to watch a video walking you through these steps (Steps #1-4), watch it here:
And, if you still haven’t grabbed the workbook, get it below:
- February 2019
- Jan 17, 2019 10 Simple Tips: How To Choose Your Mommy Blog Name
- December 2018
- Nov 24, 2018 The Habits of Highly Effective Side Hustling Moms: Habit #3 - Put First Things First and Don't Let Others Control Your Time and Life
- Nov 19, 2018 The Habits of Highly Effective Side Hustling Moms: Habit #2 - Begin With The End In Mind (See The Finish Line)
- Nov 19, 2018 The Habits of Highly Effective Side Hustling Moms: Habit #1- Be Proactive (So You Don't Go Down the Wrong Path)
- Nov 14, 2018 25 Ways Working Moms Can Earn Side Money Right Now
- Nov 13, 2018 The Ten Step Side Hustle Start-Up Checklist
- Nov 7, 2018 Five Essential Audiobooks for the Working Mom Side Hustler
- Nov 6, 2018 The 10 Step Framework to Starting Your Side Hustle Biz (For Working Moms!)
- Nov 5, 2018 How To Stay Motivated At Your Day Job While Building Your Side Hustle
- Nov 5, 2018 Two Strategies You Need To Build Lasting Habits
- Nov 5, 2018 Know Your Personality To Build Habits That Stick
- Nov 5, 2018 Don’t Break A Good Habit: Use These Two Strategies To Stay On Track
- Nov 5, 2018 How To Deal With Failure and Setbacks In Four Steps
STEP #5: YOUR EXISTING SKILL SET AND EXPERIENCES
Watch my video walking you through Steps #5-7 here:
For Step #5, you’ll need to assess how much existing knowledge you have about the problems and your interests and passions you identified in the fourth step. You’ll also need to think about whether or not you’re really interested in learning more, and writing about, or talking about the issues you identified to help people solve their problems.
For example, some of the problems we identified were that you don’t have enough time to exercise and you don’t cook healthy meals for your family—you eat out too much. You’re pretty sure these are problems that lots of other people have too.
Evaluate these ideas. How much existing knowledge do you have about them?
For the healthy meals problem, if you hate to cook, and you have no desire to learn how to cook, so this probably wouldn’t be the best idea to move forward with.
On the other hand, let’s just say you DO want to learn more about exercising and how walking could improve your health, this could be a potential topic for you! So, it’s also important to consider what you want to learn more about and what you’d be excited talking to your customers about.
So, to complete Step 5, isolate the ideas that you already have knowledge or experience in, ideas that you’re willing to learn more about, and be sure to eliminate the ideas that you don’t have knowledge or experience in and just don’t care about learning more about them.
STEP #6: ASSESS THE COMPETITION + PROFIT POTENTIAL
Alright, we’re getting closer! For step 6, you need to assess the competition in the areas that you’ve identified.
This is really important. For this step, you need to let go of some limiting beliefs. For example, have you been thinking about starting your side business, looked online, got intimidated by the sheer number of people already doing what you want to do, and then you gave up?
Let’s turn this around. I want you to start seeing competition as a GOOD THING. So, if you see lots of competition out there, that’s actually a good thing—it means that there’s already a built in market for your niche and people are ready and primed to spend money in that niche.
We get caught up in thinking that we have this extraordinary idea, and that we need to be the first ones to bring it out into the world. You have to get over that. Reframe your thinking that competition is bad, and instead begin thinking that competition is truly a good thing and move on.
As a side note, if you haven’t watched my video about the Habits of Highly Effective Side Hustling Moms, watch the Video for Habits 4 and 5, where I talk about competition among other people in your niche.
To proceed with Step #6, find out if there’s competition in your niche.
BONUS CONTENT: In the workbook, there’s some exercises on how to find this information, as well as how to find out whether or not people are actually spending any money in the niche(s) you are looking at.
This is important because you’re running a business, and in order to be successful, you need to make money. To qualify as a viable niche idea, you’ll want to have both competition and profitability.
STEP #7: FIND YOUR NICHE IDEA
For the final step in this process, you’re going to evaluate each potential niche idea to see which ones meet all of the criteria that would qualify your idea as a good idea. Part of this step is to go back to your “Future Self” worksheet, and to be sure each of your potential niche ideas are in alignment with how you see yourself in the future.
Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to move on. Now, you’re going to objectively look at your niche ideas. Evaluate each idea to see if they have all four of these components:
Do you have the knowledge/skill/experience in this area?
Do other people share your passion or have the same problems? And can you help to solve these problems?
Is there competition in this niche area? Is it a profitable niche?
Does the niche idea excite you?
Let’s use a few examples to illustrate.
First, let’s evaluate the topic of walking for exercise. It meets all four criteria because (1) we’re don’t have the existing knowledge but we are willing to learn, (2) we’re excited about this topic, (3) others have the same problem, and (4) there’s lots of competition and profit to be made.
Next up, let’s look at our passion for graphic design. In this niche area, we have the skills and experience, we definitely are passionate about it, and there seems to be a lot of competition. There’s also some real profit to be made.
Then, let’s look at our outside activities. We love to coach our kids soccer team. We have the knowledge and skills, we love doing it, and there’s a need for resources, but let’s just say our research showed that volunteer coaches aren’t willing to pay—they just want free stuff. So, soccer coaching would only meet three of the four criteria.
Finally, let’s look at our 9-5 job. We have the knowledge about managing employees, it seems to be profitable, lots of other organizations and managers have this problem, but it’s one aspect of the job you hate. We wouldn’t be able to check the box for the likability factor here, and it would only meet three of the four criteria.
BONUS CONTENT: Do this final step on your worksheet called “The Niche Finder”. Evaluate and compare each of your potential niche ideas side by side!
There you have it! In the above examples, we’d have two viable side hustle niches: walking for health and graphic design! Hopefully you have at least one niche that you were able to check off all four boxes. You may have one or a few, and you may have a few choices! If you have only one, go for it. If you have a few choices, you’ll need to make a decision and go with it.
Way to go on an excellent job making it to the end and completing all seven steps. I hope you identified a profitable niche that excites you!
GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!! I wish you the best on your side hustle journey! Please get in touch to let me know what your side hustle niche is!
SUPER EXCITING ADDITIONAL BONUS: You found your niche idea and now you’re ready to investigate the ways to monetize your idea. Here’s the second bonus: if you’ve opted in to the workbook, you’re also going to get my Guide to 50 Side Hustle Ideas for Working Moms. It should delivered to your inbox tomorrow!
Links to both videos:
And, if you haven’t already grabbed the workbook, sign up below: