Ikigai – How to Find Your Niche in 4 Steps
How to use Ikigai to Find your Niche and Succeed to position yourself or your business in a competitive marketplace with a 4 Steps Proven Method.
Download the Free PDF template we’ve created: Ohma Digital: Find Your Niche Template.
In this article, you will learn about the Ikigai Japanese Tool. You will discover why finding your niche is essential for business or long-lasting life success. And, you will find a directly actionable 4-steps-method to guide you along the way.
We designed this article for:
- Experts and Corporate Professionals with key takeaways directly actionable in the workplace.
- Students and Job Seekers with direct advantages for starting or pivoting at a crucial crossroad in their lives.
- Entrepreneurs and solo-entrepreneurs with clear benefits from Niche Marketing applied to their ventures.
Before We Start: Niche Marketing in a Nutshell
Before presenting the Ikigai tool and how to use it, here’s what you need to know about Niche Marketing in a Nutshell:
- Rewarding investment: Niche Marketing is a single-time procedure that fuels yourself or your brand for years to come.
- Critical Factor of Success: Marketing positioning is a crucial factor and defines the success or the downfall of a product or service launch.
- Easier than it seems: Nobody either a business or a personal brand starts from scratch. The four steps method that follows is a simple guide because you are a first-timer or need to refine your market position.
- Keep it up to date: Revisit your position market every four to five years to reflect your industry or life changes to it.
It is never too early or too late to ask yourself the question of your niche market. While finding your marketing positioning isn’t an on-going process, you will also learn how and why it is essential to leave it room to adapt and change. We created this article to inform our readers and give them the necessary tools to find their place for themselves.
Why Finding Your Niche Matters?
To succeed in today’s world, you ought to think and act like an entrepreneur and consider yourself as a business. And what’s great entrepreneur does well is Marketing.
“If technology doesn’t eliminate or change the skills you need in many industries, it at least enables more people from around the world to compete for your job by allowing companies to offshore work more easily –knocking down your salary in the process. The labor market in which we all work has been permanently altered. Searching for a job only when you’re unemployed or unhappy at work has been replaced by the mandate to always be generating opportunities.” The Start-up of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha.
3 Key Benefits of Finding your Niche
- A Strong Brand Positioning
- Higher Chances of Success
- Generate Regular Opportunities
A Strong Brand Positioning
Countless talented people with bright ideas have learned the hard way the importance of having precise positioning. While failure and risk-taking is an essential part of life, your main goal is to ensure to minimize these risks and their consequences.
Finding your ideal marketing positioning will help. With a strong brand positioning, you not only limit the risks you will take on the road, but you also guarantee a possibility to bounce back from a potential failure.
Higher Chances of Success
People who specialize early enough experience higher chances of success. Why? Because they have done their homework. They stand for themselves and what they believe. It gives them purpose and visibility.
The type of success we are talking about isn’t defined only with material rewards. When you find your ideal match in business, for your career, or your field of study, you understand that everything is connected. Benefits range from fulfillment to self-accomplishment and an overall more satisfying life.
On-going opportunities generation
If you want people to find you, it’s better if they know what you stand for. By being clear and concise about what you have to offer you help yourself and others to reach you for what you want to be acknowledged and recognized.
It doesn’t matter how smart you are, how many skills and certifications you have if no one is willing to buy what you have to offer, you cannot make a living from it. It is right in business as well as for individual careers or brands.
How to Find Your Niche: Use the power of IKIGAI
IKIGAI is a Japanese Concept that translates into “A reason for being.”
The Ikigai tool makes a lot of sense both in personal and professional development. We use it for marketing strategy and branding with business and individual coaching. Its four dimensions represent exactly the four parts that need to be considered in business and personal growth.
Over time, we’ve found that models with three or five and more criteria are either not enough or confusing for our clients. The tool we’ve created at Ohma Digital using the Ikigai principles helps us be better at what we do, and our clients manage their businesses and brands with great return on investment.
For the following exercise, you’ll need to take notes or download the Free PDF template we’ve created: Ohma Digital: Find Your Niche Template.
To use the Ohma Digital: Find your Niche Template, you will need to focus on four areas:
- What You Love
- What You are Good at
- What You can be Paid for
- What the World need
There is not a mandatory order; the four areas have equal importance. They all need to be investigated appropriately to produce a powerful positioning.
We’ve found that it is easier for individuals and personal brands to follow the order we introduce in this article. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you are more comfortable starting with another category, don’t limit yourself to this methodology and go ahead.
Inward VS Outward
- What you love and what you are good at requires you to look inward with a deep introspection
- What you can be paid for and what the world need requires you to look outward and open your eyes to the world you’re living.
Explore, Prioritize and Choose
For each of the four categories:
- Explore: List all that comes to mind; brainstorm with yourself and all helpful resources you can find, such as family and friends. Asking the people who love you can be a powerful help in self-exploration.
- Prioritize: Classify the list choosing what you want most or what is most essential for you.
- Choose: Once you’ve completed the four areas, select your top three choices in every category.
“If you work hard and creatively you can have just about anything you want but you can’t have everything you want. Maturity is the ability to reject those alternatives in order to pursue even better ones” – Principles by Ray Dalio
Ikigai & What You Love: Your Core
What you need to do there is a bit of introspection. It doesn’t matter how long it takes and how far inside you require to go to answer this question.
A good start is to list all you loved to do and experience since you were a child. Think outside of the career or school box and look into your past and current hobbies. During the expiration mode, you are not looking to prioritize, write what’s come to mind.
What can happen if you have under-investigated what you love? You are comfortable with a feeling of emptiness.
Reconnecting with what you love most can be challenging. Children or teenagers who hadn’t the luxury to explore what they love because they had to face adults’ responsibilities at an early age have often under looked this area. There is no shame, on the contrary, to have been able to face economic realities and responsibilities at an early age.
That’s completely fine if this step takes time. If you consider yourself the field of study, you can write down or record yourself daily, whatever works best for you, on what positive experience you had during your day. What makes you happy, what energizes you, will strongly indicate your areas of pleasure and enjoyment. Often what you love doing is what comes naturally to you. It constitutes your core.
We’ve been working with various corporate professionals or experts developing their branding. We observed that sometimes areas of happiness had been labelled negatively by the school system or the educational culture of origin. A very active student socializing with classmates during class hours can be a tremendous salesperson.
Ikigai: What You Are Good At, Your Areas of Excellence
Continue to fill your Ikigai with what you are good at. What we are looking for here is what you are doing better than the average every single time. They are your areas of excellence. Think about what people admire you for. We tend to under notice of our areas of excellence as they come naturally for us.
What you are best at doesn’t have to be popular, it has to be you. We are all unique, and as we explore what makes you better than others, it is worth it to examine rather peculiar qualities or skills. Do not limit yourself and go out of your comfort zone. It can range from paying attention to details, drawing, or mentoring skills.
What can happen if you are not aware of or not using what you are good at? You develop a sense of uncertainty and maybe insecurity. It can manifest into imposter syndrome for some people with difficulties moving forward in their careers.
Ikigai: What You Can Be Paid For
We are interacting with others in societies and work organizations. Positioning yourself by understanding what you can be paid for is an essential step of the process. While the first two steps requested you to look inward, to analyze what you can be paid for, it is time for you to look outward.
Your best clue is to check what the market needs. If you are a student or jobseekers, consult the job boards. If you are an expert or corporate worker, see the opportunities in your industry or field. As an entrepreneur or solo-entrepreneur, what you can be paid for is when your expertise or product/service meets its audience.
This time, it’s best to start with your audience, your prospects, or your clients. What do they need.? What does your company or your employer need? Forget about your skills, expectations, and experience. Stop, ask and listen. When you’re done, report what you’ve found using the Ikigai Template we’ve created for you.
What happens when you do not activate what you can be paid for? You experience delight and fullness but not wealth. It is the reality of many entrepreneurs, solo-entrepreneurs, and artists who find themselves trapped in it. Hopefully, there are ways to get yourself back to a more balanced positioning without betraying who you are and what you believe in.
Ikigai: What The World Need
What’s the world needs might seem a very large, overwhelming topic. It isn’t. It speaks about your mission and your legacy.
What the world need can be what your specific industry needs to face the future challenges ahead with climate change. You can either start with the top or the bottom of the funnel. #MeToo movement started from individuals and lined up with a strong need for gender equality worldwide. The idea here is that you don’t need to go very far. If you focus on what your team or clients need most, you have a starting point.
What happens when you do not activate what the world needs? You feel useless. It is powerful to make the world a better place; it gives perspective and deepness to your existence. For inspiration, we like to recommend checking the United Nations Goals. They provide a clear view of the challenges of the century, and that should help you out to position yourself.