Identifying Market Niche

“If you build it they will come." Unfortunately, this sentence is false.

Identifying Market Niche
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Use the "how-you-look/how-you-feel" test below to find your topic. The stars of market demand, your expertise, and your enjoyment all have to align when you choose a topic.

“If you build it they will come."

Unfortunately, this sentence is false.
It’s popular to think you should start by building a comprehensive curriculum with thoughtfully designed projects, create beautiful slides, post it on social media, and like magic - students will buy your course and you'll make heaps of money.
Instead, what you'll likely get is crickets and tumbleweed. Because you haven't validated whether there's market demand for the topic and whether the target audience is willing to pay for it.
Market niche fit is making sure you're the right person teaching the right topic to the right audience at the right price.
You don’t want to build out your whole course curriculum and then find out it’s a course no one wants. But you also don’t want to make yourself miserable slogging through building something you personally are not passionate about – even if it’s a topic the market is asking for.
Avoid these problems with a positioning framework called how-you-look/how-you-feel.
How You Look is looking at the market and choosing a topic that’s overwhelmingly obvious based on your background and career track record. If you are a known expert in marine biology, people might not care if you start offering poetry courses. Start where you already have authority.
How You Feel is being honest about what topics you care about. There might be a lot of market demand for Watching Paint Dry. But you shouldn’t pick something if your heart isn’t into it.
You can’t simply choose any topic in the world. It has to be the perfect blend of
  • there is market demand for it
  • you are an expert in it
  • you actually enjoy teaching it

✍️ Exercise: How You Look/How You Feel

This exercise will help you find course topic alignment in the overlapping space of (a) what students want to learn from you and (b) what you would enjoy teaching.
For How You Look, ask yourself:
  • What are the questions that people ask you all the time?
  • Who are the people asking you these questions, and do you already have access to them (e.g., on social media, via communities, networks)?
  • What topic would you be asked to guest lecture on?
  • If a stranger looked up your track record, what topic would they think you’d teach on?
For How You Feel, ask yourself:
  • Within your area of expertise, what’s a topic that fascinates you?
  • What topic do you enjoy explaining to others?
  • Where do you have a ton of content that you've already written about?
What topic overlaps in both ? That’s a strong clue as to what you should teach. Here's a template to write your high level topic:
"How to [achieve outcome] for [ideal student]."

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Buford Taylor

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Buford Taylor

Founder Casting Call Club / Closing Credits. Founding engineer @ Reforge. First 10 @ Eventbrite