What’s Your Niche?
In the world of book marketing, and marketing in general, this question keeps coming up.
I get it. I understand how talking to a small group of interested people is better than talking to a large group of uninterested people. My tagline for a while now has been that I am passionate about raising our collective human consciousness. It’s vague and all-encompassing. It’s difficult to narrow my focus because I want to inspire everyone to grow. But most likely my words will connect with those who are actually seeking growth. Okay, that narrows it down a bit. People seeking growth.
But what kind of growth? How do I pick a subject? There isn’t a singular topic I can write about. Writing, editing, cooking, parenting, sports, travel, politics, religion, sexuality, environment — it’s all interesting to me, and I don’t want to limit myself to a niche topic. I want to write about a variety of life experiences whether they play out during a camping trip in Australia’s outback or in a local grocery store lineup. I want to write about my human experience. I want to inspire readers — through my writing — to think about their own life and choices.
I sat quiet for a few weeks in July trying to sort out my path forward and here’s what came up. First my husband and fellow author, Mark Cameron, wrote out a list of our priorities, our passions, our tasks, and stuff that was weighing on us. Then with a great big SHEILA’S MID-LIFE ?? in the center of a page, I carried it on from there as I asked myself what my passion is, my purpose, my why. Why am I here?
I was open to impulse, and impulse said that I need to help people feel heard. So I imagined arranging a life around helping people be heard. I can be an active listener. I can edit people’s stories so that their writing connects with a greater audience. I can share my own stories about listening and being heard. I can promote Toastmasters so that more people learn how to listen and more people feel heard. I can use my speaking skills to teach listening skills. Those are all worthy things. But, is helping people feel heard really my niche? I don’t think so.
A Serial Niche-ist
If I claim a niche, I feel like I might be pigeonholed into doing that forever, like once I know my purpose, that’s all there is. And that doesn’t feel right. The flexibility of having permission to change focus when the universe puts a new challenge in front of me is much more appealing. I suspect that I may become a serial niche-ist. I know a woman who lives like this—diving deep into each passion she focuses on. When I first met Annette Clarke, she was into frogs. Then she moved to chickens, building a house, growing a vegetable garden, renting a cottage, and then to growing exotic fruit trees. She lets her passion guide her deep into a subject at any given time, studying, learning and then sharing her knowledge.
My New Plan
With good insight into what will work best for our whole family — based on creating a balance of wants and needs, dropping extra stuff, and making sure everyone is bathed and fed, I worked out a life plan for myself. It’s not perfect. It could fall apart at any moment. But this is the intention I have set for the rest of the year, and I am already feeling the benefits of it.
Create and enjoy experiences: Make plans — social plans, travel plans, educational plans, creative plans.
Trust the universe: While enjoying experiences, see what comes up. Be open to signs and messages and learning along the way.
Take action: Don’t just sit there. Do something with the information received. Take steps toward personal growth or service to others.
Share my process: Write about it — in blogs, books, magazines. Speak about it when opportunities arise.
I’m going with a generalist attitude to life experiences and a focused attitude on sharing those experiences with readers.
I really appreciate all of you who subscribed to my blog for news about my first book release. My next book is a memoir to be published in 2018. Until then, I’d love to engage with readers who are seeking continual growth.
How about you? Do you have a niche? Or are you a serial niche-ist like me? What’s your plan for the rest of this year? Are you open to what life presents you?