How to Micro Niche, Improve Your Focus & Leverage Blockchain As a One Person Business
In last week's review, we discussed Building Blockchain-Based Communities. This week, we'll look at One-Person Businesses (OPBs), a framework for finding your "micro-niche" with style, plus examples to help you create your own monopoly. We'll also touch on ways you can leverage blockchain practically for the future.
Last week’s newsletters for premium subscribers:
Before we get started...
After reviewing last week’s posts, I discovered the following themes:
- Myths and legends fuel our histories and societal norms
- Getting clear in business is about being patient yet decisive
- Blockchain still has a ways to go before it becomes practical
In this newsletter issue, I'll cover:
- Niches vs micro-niches
- Applied examples of micro-niches
- Practical benefits of niching for OPBs
- Leveraging blockchain as an OPB
Let's dive in...
Niches vs. Micro-Niches
The Oxford Dictionary defines a niche as a "specialized market segment for a particular product or service."
For solopreneurs, niches are a great place to start. However, when building an OPB, you may want to go deeper and choose something truly unique to you.
A micro-niche goes two layers deeper than your standard niche, for example:
As someone who's dabbled with multiple different monikers over my career (from "Cultural Animator" to "Bitcoin Preacher" to now "Digital Wayfinder"), I can tell you it's taken a good number of years to finally understand it all works practically.
So here's my current state of the framework I've developed by studying various experts over the last 10 years, based on my own experiences:
- Niche = #1 focus topic (interest/expertise)
- Sub-niche = niche + sub-topic
- Micro-niche = sub-niche + who you are (or target audience)
- USP = micro-niche + unique style
You can simply replace the underlined elements above that are relevant to you.
How to Apply the Micro-Niching "Formula"
So let's apply the previous structure to a few examples:
1 - Here's what it looks like for my business:
- Niche = building communities
- Sub-niche = building blockchain communities
- Micro-niche = building blockchain communities as an OPB
- USP = building blockchain communities as an OPB using wisdom from the past
2 - Here's what it looks like for a friend's business:
- Niche = content marketing
- Sub-niche = trust-based content marketing
- Micro-niche = trust-based content marketing as a consultant
- USP = trust-based content marketing as a consultant using authentic storytelling
3 - Here's what it looks like for a fictitious business:
- Niche = yin yoga
- Sub-niche = yin yoga for accountants
- Micro-niche = yin yoga for accountants as an ex-corporate
- USP = yin yoga for accountants as an ex-corporate using number-based techniques
It's taken me a while to get this "formula" down, but it's helped me understand the niching process better. I used to avoid niching in the past because I thought it limited me, but this was more due to my lack of confidence, understanding, and perceived experience.
everyone wants a niche
no one wants to be niche
— Jack Butcher (@jackbutcher)
May 23, 2022
Practical Benefits of Micro-Niches
The benefits of niching can be found all over the Internet, but it's not until I went through the trenches that I finally understood why they matter when starting a business.
A niche (let alone a micro-niche) with a strong offering, well-targeted, and well-timed can command the following benefits:
- Higher rates $$$
- More leads (less chasing)
- Monopoly of one
The "monopoly of one" is where you find something you do that is so unique that no one else can replicate it. As a result, people flock to book you in advance, and you retain more control over business dealings.
So just like culture is hard to replicate in communities or companies, style is hard to replicate for an OPB. So your USP can simply be the style you bring to any topic.
As mentioned in The Rise of One-Person Businesses (OPBs), millions are making millions following this strategy.
I get a lot of inquiries from OPBs about how they can leverage blockchain technology to future-proof their business. If I'm honest, I'd say we're still another 10-15 years out from it being practical for most.
No different from the Internet and email in the early days.
However, since I'm deeply involved in the industry, I've decided to work more with companies closer to the base [blockchain] layer. Why? To improve my technical understanding and translate that into practical terms for you.
Many have jumped the gun to applications without fully understanding the foundations. As a result, we have an ecosystem still applying old thinking to new technology, resulting in shaky foundations for everyone trying to build on top of their respective blockchains.
If you're looking to set yourself up better for the future, I highly recommend you start thinking about micropayments.
If you're working in NFTs, DAOs, etc., and are thinking, "Could this be done using Web2 technologies?" and the answer is "yes," then you've understood the reality of where we're at.
For example, Bitcoin's original killer app was its ability to leverage micropayments.
However, most people don't know that it can't be done anymore on BTC because of the controversial SegWit (Segregated Witness) changes made in 2017, which limited block sizes and increased transaction fees. (Another version of Bitcoin has restored such capabilities but more on that another time.)
As a result, all BTC has going for it now is its narrative as "digital gold" (ironically still valued in fiat), its fervent believers, and the hope that it replaces government-controlled money.
BUT NONE OF THAT IS TRULY INNOVATIVE NOR PRACTICAL LONG-TERM.
So if you're new to this space or still trying to understand it, dig deeper into micropayments (or subscribe to my newsletter 😉). This is where we will see new business models and innovations, like microcredit and microfinance (pioneered by Bangladeshi social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus) did for the rural poor of the world.
For a practical read on how micropayments can enhance current business models, including your own, see this article from Unbounded Capital on how the initial version of Bitcoin unlocks the future of gaming:
The future is bright, but we just need to balance reality with hype.
To wrap up, if you'd like to learn more about niches in general, I highly recommend the following:
From a scale of 1-10, how strong would you say your niche (or micro-niche) is right now? Is it clear? Is it working for you? Food for thought.
Until next week, remember: it will come.
PS. Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you: