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As content creators, we’ve been told by pretty much everybody that you need a niche in order to grow and be successful.
But, what happens when you decide the niche you’ve chosen no longer makes you happy?
Do you deal with it or do you decide it’s time to pivot your business in a new direction?
This is a question I have asked myself so many times over the past few years, and it was a change I knew I needed to make but was way too scared to do.
But recently, I’ve decided that it is time to pivot my business in a new direction. And if this is something you’re struggling with as well, let’s talk about it!
This is episode 2 of my Embracing Your Power podcast on YouTube, and if you’d like to see the video, check it out below!
Otherwise, sit back for a nice read!
- How to decide it’s time to pivot your business in a new direction
- Where do you see your business going in the future?
- Who is your target audience?
- Your happiness matters most
- What niche do you want to be in next?
- What changes do you need to make to switch your niche?
- Make a pros and cons list
How to decide it’s time to pivot your business in a new direction
Deciding to change your niche is no easy decision, and it’s one that took me a long time to make as well.
There were a lot of mindset challenges and a long thought process that I had to go through in order to decide to switch my niche.
It’s been a really tough decision but in the end, I know it’s the right one.
So if this is something that you are going through or you’re thinking about going through right now, I understand what’s on your mind and hopefully hearing about my experience with it will help you along the journey!
If you have no idea where to start, the first thing you need to do is look at the bigger picture.
Where do you see your business going in the future?
The future of your business is going to be determined by this decision that you make, so where do you see yourself in the future?
Is this niche that you’ve chosen something that makes you happy, and is it something you’ll be happy with moving into the future?
Are you okay with having yourself in this niche for a very long time? Or maybe, do you even need to niche down at all?
I used to think that you needed to niche down in order to grow your business. This makes sense because that is the advice that everyone is always giving.
And for some people, that works perfectly fine. But for those with multiple passions, being in a niche feels restricting.
A niche feels like you’ve boxed yourself in and don’t have the freedom to express yourself and share all that you’re interested in.
If you’re like me, this may be how you feel. And it’s one of the reasons I decided to pivot my business in a new direction.
Who is your target audience?
You may have multiple passions, like me, and want to talk about all or most of them.
So what I’m doing instead is throwing away the idea of a niche and instead looking at a specific type of person I want to reach.
Who do you want to help, and what are they interested in? Who is your target audience?
Because when you look at it that way instead, then you’ll notice what other topics you can talk about.
For me, I am trying to reach 20-year-olds who are trying to better their life. So that means I can talk about things like
- Personal development
- Living on your own
- And more!
This will help you not feel so boxed in because you have a bigger range of topics to talk about.
Choosing a niche is great if that works for you but at some point, you may have to pivot your business in a new direction.
Let’s say you talk about beginner gardening tips. Eventually, your tips will not reach the audience that originally subscribed to you or read your blog posts.
At some point, your audience won’t be beginner gardeners anymore. So do you then switch to more advanced tips? Or do you stick with your niche to constantly bring in new people?
Your audience may also get bored with hearing you talk about the same thing week after week.
Because, just like you, they have different interests as well. So they may decide to move on from your content to learn about other things.
Your happiness matters most
One of the things I really want to mention here is your happiness matters more than anything.
If you’re not happy with the content that you are creating, then you know it’s time for a switch.
I found it hard to make a switch because I was worried about upsetting my audience. Losing subscribers, losing momentum, and getting a dip in views.
Those are the reasons why I stayed in my niche for so long despite knowing for a long time I wanted to switch.
I was scared of the repercussions of switching, and any backlash I might face.
But it turns out that none of that actually happened.
No one really seemed to notice, no one was angry about it, and the people who did notice supported the change.
And those are really the only people that matter.
Sure, I lost a subscriber here or there. But it’s no different than my every other day on YouTube. I gained back way more than I lost.
So at the end of the day, if you’re unhappy then you need to make a change.
You need to make sure that you run your business and your business doesn’t run you. You’re allowed to make changes when things don’t fit or feel right anymore.
Your business is allowed to grow and evolve.
My thinking is, if I wanted to be unhappy, I’d go find a 9-5 job. At least then I would have a consistent paycheck.
Because when you jump into something as crazy as entrepreneurship, you don’t always know when you’re getting your next paycheck.
So it would be better to return to, or stay in, a 9-5 job that made you unhappy. At least you’d know where your next check was coming from.
As opposed to jumping into a business, also being unhappy, and not knowing when you’d get paid next.
if you aren’t 110% into what you’re doing in business, it’s going to be a hell of a lot harder to do!
At the beginning of 2022, I was struggling a lot with where I wanted my content to go, so I wrote a blog post about it! What to Do if You’re Feeling Lost as a Blogger
If you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed, that post may help you!
What niche do you want to be in next?
So once you have the bigger picture figured out and you decide it’s time to pivot your business in a new direction, the next thing you need to figure out is what’s next?
What niche do you want to be in next, or do you even want to be in a niche at all?
Chances are you already know what topic you want to move into next. But even if you don’t, that’s okay!
If you know you’re in the gardening niche and you want to start posting about fashion, then just start doing that!
Even if you don’t stick with that topic, maybe you post a few videos or blog posts and decide to go elsewhere.
It’s okay for you to test things out for a while as you figure out where you want to go next.
All that matters is you just need to take one step in the right direction and then you can figure out the rest later. You don’t have to have your entire business model figured out by tomorrow.
No niche? No problem! Use layering instead
If you are considering broadening the topics you talk about but hunkering down into another niche sounds like a chore, you can use the concept of “layering” instead.
This is not my original idea, and if you want to hear the expert talk about the concept, I recommend you check out Erin On Demand on YouTube.
I recently went to a webinar hosted by her where she explained the concept of “layering” that she came up with.
And it really helped me figure out my content a bit better.
She talked about the concept of having different layers in your business as opposed to a niche so for example, it looks a bit like this:
Instead of niching down super far, layer up instead!
So for example, my layers start with the foundation of “Building a life that you love.”
The foundation is what all of your content is created around. So, kind of like a niche but instead of a topic it’s more of a “feeling” or a “thing”. Something a bit vaguer.
The next layer in my business is “mindset” and then above that is “business”. Above that is “Manifestation” and at the top you have “Being your truest self.”
The further up in layers you go, the less you incorporate that topic into your content.
It’s a concept I love, but it is hard to explain well. So if you want to learn more about this “layering” technique, this video right here by Erin On Demand is the best place to go!
What changes do you need to make to switch your niche?
This is all going to depend on how different the topics are that you’re talking about. Some people may need to make bigger changes than others.
But here are a few questions you can ask yourself.
- Do you need to start over?
For some, it may be best to have a completely clean slate.
A new YouTube channel, a different blog, rebranding, or changing your name.
These are some of the decisions I agonized over for years.
I changed my blog name from Business Women Thrive, a name I only had for a year, to Sarah Marie back in 2020.
It is now 2023 and I have finally started to officially switch my content. Crazy right?
So don’t do what I did and take way too long to make a decision. Just make one and do it (Which I’ll help you with in this blog post!)
Something else you can do is keep what you have, but just delete things.
I know someone that had success with this on YouTube.
They were in the hair care niche and decided to private all their videos and start posting in the political commentary niche.
The result? Their channel blew up!
Now, am I saying this is going to happen to you? No.
But we can learn a lot from it! Sometimes big decisions and following your heart is exactly what you need to do to get your business off the ground!
- Should you announce the change?
If your niche change isn’t super different from where you are now, you may not even need to let people in your audience know.
But if you’re doing something like hair care to political commentary, you may need to let people know!
And will some unsubscribe? For sure!
But that doesn’t mean you won’t find more people that will subscribe to your new content.
Views and people with interests similar to yours are pretty much limitless, so don’t be discouraged!
- Do you need to update your blog or socials?
If you are running a blog, is there anything that you need to change there?
Maybe the categories on your navigation tab need to be updated, or the tags you use.
You might need to delete posts that no longer fit your niche, or if you want to keep them you can do that too.
Does your About page need to be updated, do you need a new blog name?
These are all things you need to consider when you decide to pivot your business in a new direction.
Make a pros and cons list
One of the best things I did when deciding to pivot the direction of my niche was make a list of pros and cons. You can do this for a few things.
- Pros and cons of changing your niche
- Pros and cons of keeping your old YouTube channel/blog
- Pros and cons of creating a new YouTube channel/blog
Whatever it is that you’re deciding, you can make a list for it.
When I did this, it became a no-brainer what to do. I had 20+ different reasons that were pro “Keep your channel and change your niche” vs all the other options.
And sometimes, once you lay it out like that, it’s the easiest decision in the world to make!
This is something that you want to put a lot of thought into because it’s kind of a big deal but it isn’t something that you want to agonize over because once you look at things critically- make a decision and move on with it.
It’s gonna be so much better in the long run and I promise you, you’re gonna be happier.
It may be tough for a while. Your views are probably going to go down and your income might even go down.
You might lose subscribers or followers but at the end of the day, you’re going to be able to gain those followers back.
You’re going to find people who are way more aligned with your content, people who are in love with you and everything you have to say. It’s going to be a lot better!
And make sure to check out the actual podcast episode on YouTube if you’re interested! New episodes release every Friday!