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How to Choose Your Niche — Passion or Expertise?

I received an interesting email from one of my subscribers recently. In her journey to try to find her coaching niche, she asked:

“I find two conflicting ideas.  Firstly, research tells me that I should choose a focus where I have experience and knowledge.  Second opinion says to rather choose a focus where there is passion and little experience which would obviate given advice and coming across the expert. What are your thoughts on this?”

It’s a great question.

Ideally, you can find a niche where you have both passion and expertise. But if you had to choose one or the other, I would lean toward the passion.

The caveat being that you will learn all you can about your niche so that you can eventually become more of an expert in your niche. And if you are truly passionate about your niche, then you will want to learn all you can about it. You will live it and breathe it. It will be part of your DNA.

If you haven’t yet read “Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuk, then I would highly recommend it. He is someone that believes in following your passion. In fact, the first chapter of his book is “Passion is Everything”, he says:

“Live your passion. What does that mean, anyway?  It means that when you get up for work every morning, every single morning, you are pumped up because you get to talk about or work with or do the thing that interests you the most in the world. You don’t live for vacations because you don’t need a break from what you’re doing — working, playing, and relaxing are one and the same. You don’t even pay attention to how many hours you’re working because to you, it’s not really work. You’re making money, but you’d do whatever it is you’re doing for free.”

It is my belief that each of us has a unique gift to share with the world. Something we want to share, not just because we are experts in it, but because it excites us and is central to who we are.

But it’s more than just using your unique gifts.

It’s also about tapping into what you’re most passionate about. That will be the fuel that keeps you going even when things get tough (as they inevitably will no matter how successful your business is).

Your understanding of what fuels you will evolve as your business grows. You’ll get clearer about why you do what you do,  as you start doing it!

The reasons behind your passions can be really personal, and you might not want to share them with the world because you might think they don’t care. But they do.  Your ideal clients, the ones who really “get you”, want to know your personal story and your message.  They want to know that you’re a real human being who has also struggled. They want to know that you understand what they’re going through and that you truly care about helping them.

The bottom line is simple. You need to understand what you’re passionate about in your business and match that with your unique gifts, and the right audience who is hungry for what you have to offer.  

When you do that, you can not only build a profitable business, but one you love.

What do you think?  Please share your comments and questions below. Thanks!

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Helen Wenley

From my experience, finding my niche has helped me to fine-tune my passion. Now that I know what it is, I am on the look-out for information related to it. It is like finally buying your favourite car and then noticing how many others are on the road – it becomes an awareness and a focus.
So I say that by following your passion it does make researching and learning a joy not a chore.



So well said Helen. Michael Port, author of “Book Yourself Solid” said this of finding your ideal target market (which as you know is a component of your niche)

“It is imperative that you work with a target market that excites you, that you can feel passionate about serving. If you don’t, growing your business will quickly begin to feel like … See Moredrudgery, and you’ll be miserable. When you choose a target market that you’re passionate about, growing your business will feel like a passionate play and will bring you joy.”


Marie Leonard

Good point, Cindy. Passion should over rule the other. Now you hear about successful marketers who don’t have a passion and have all of these affiliate sites and make a killing at them too. But what I’ve learned is that they immerse themselves into their topic for about 3 weeks straight without coming up for air, then launch their project. I bet that they find a little passion for that topic in the end, especially if it starts making them tons of money!


Pam McKeen

I agree Cindy,
Passion is the number one motivator.Passion will get you through the frustration, the weariness and the self doubt.Passion is the driver that will move you to accomplish your dreams.



Many thanks for your feedback Pam and Marie. Sometimes people get stuck because they feel they don’t have any passions or expertise. For those people, here are three tips to help you. 1. Dig deep — really take the time to go through the exercise of asking yourself specific questions that can help you uncover your passions, interests and expertise. 2. Ask others — sometimes we take these things for granted because they are just part of who we are. So ask friends, family, colleagues some questions like “what is most memorable about you” and “how have you most helped them”. 3. Work with a coach — having the objective perspective and insightful questions of a skilled coach can help you hone in on your unique offering.

@Marie – for the serial affiliate marketers who jump from one niche to another and do so with great success, perhaps their greatest passion is affiliate marketing itself. They’ve learned how to do it very well and that is what they love to do.


Lori Winslow

I agree, I liked the idea of internet marketing, but until I found the area I was passionate about, I never really moved forward. Once I found my passion, I started on the path that makes me happy, it really does change how quickly you progress and it makes all those new things you “have” to learn into things that you want to learn.

It is exciting when you find others to share your passion.



Hi Lori,
Thanks for sharing that and congratulations! That’s really exciting to hear. I look forward to staying in touch and learning more about what you do.


Theresa Ip Froehlich

Being a Life Coach with diverse background, I can coach several categories of clients. Focusing on the niche that I feel passionate about is something I am still working on. The idea of immersing oneself in the niche learning for 3 weeks is a very interesting one. I may just look into it.



Thank you for sharing that Theresa. I visited your site and you have a wealth of experience. In fact, one thing that struck me was how you highlight your diverse range of experience.

Its great to hear you say that you’re exploring the idea of finding your niche. If you haven’t yet read my free report, “Ten Steps to Finding and Attracting Your Ideal Niche”, that will hopefully help you with this process.

I’m so passionate about helping other solo entrepreneurs find their ideal niche. It’s the foundation for your personal brand and your business.

All of your marketing depends on understanding your niche. Every article you write, social media site you join, video you create, and email you send, should be targeted to your niche. If not, it’s like shooting in the dark.

You have to know who you’re selling to, what problem of theirs you are going to solve, whether or not they are willing to pay for this help, and why they would buy from YOU.

Something magic happens when you put these pieces of the puzzle together. You are connecting with a specific group of people who you can genuinely help. They know you understand their challenges and that you have something valuable to offer them. They can not only find you through all the “noise”, but they actually seek you out.

I look forward to staying in touch Theresa. You can email me for a brief training video I put together specifically for coaches looking to find their niche.

thanks and warm wishes,



Great article!
When I write on my blog, this is work but it does not feel like work for me. I enjoy it.
When I sing and play the guitar, this is work but it does not feel like work ’cause I enjoy it.
When I care about my body and I practice gym, it’s work but it doesn’t feel like work ’cause I enjoy it.
When i practice mediation, it’s still a work that I’m doing with my thoughts but it does not feel like work ’cause I enjoy it and it’s the best thing that I can do for myself.
When i comments other poeple’s blog, this is work but I does not feel like work ’cause I enjoy it.
So THESE are my passions. The big question is : how to make money from that?
And I don’t mean just a little money, I mean all the money that you need to do whatever you want whenever you want to and never think again about money! :)



Hi Francesco,
Your business should be based on your passions, but ultimately you have to provide valuable information and a solution to your target market’s top burning needs. I took a quick peek at your blog and from what I saw your message is relaxation and joy and love. That’s a great message, but what solution are you providing and who are you providing it for? You need to do the work to answer that question. I’d recommend you read my free report and also the book highlighted in this article, as a good start.
Good luck and thank you for taking the time to read this article and leave your question.


Brandi Brown

I am following niche and pursuing a career in a field that I have been passionate about since I was a kid. I was an office manager for more than ten years. I was good at my job but not passionate about the oil and gas industry. I got burned out and quit. I decided to pursue a career in recording arts and business of music. I semester left and am on my way to becoming an a talent manager!! I can see my dreams becoming a reality!



That is awesome Brandi! Congratulations on pursuing your dreams. I wish you all the best and please stay in touch and let us know how you’re doing.
warm wishes,


Bi Sadong

I choose passion because this is the real satisfaction.
.-= Bi Sadong´s last blog ..Money- and the Law of Attraction- Learning to Attract Wealth- Health- and Happiness Kindle Edition =-.



In addition to Crush It, another good book on the subject is The Millionaire Messenger by Brendon Burchard. Following the suggestions in that book you can acquire the skills needed for your passion.



Hi Aamer – I agree. That is a fantastic book! Thank you for stopping by and sharing.


Natalie at Ozzi Cat Magazine

Thank you for the article. It’s fantastic. I’m also for the idea of following your passion. The difficulty might be to find ways to monetise your business. You are absolutely right – you need to know top burning problems and provide solutions for them. Being passionate about something does not give you the skill to identify them.
Natalie at Ozzi Cat Magazine´s last blog post ..Cat Book “Guys Can Be Cat Ladies Too” Giveaway – WINNERS!


Cindy Schulson

Thanks for sharing that Natalie. We definitely need to start from within and look at our passions, because that is what will sustain us and drive us. But we don’t operate in a vacuum and need to match our passions with our expertise and what others are looking for helping with. In terms of monetizing our business, there are creative ways to do that when we’re willing to think outside the box:)


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