The Whiteboard Method: 5 Easy Steps to Discover Your Niche and Turn Your Passion Into a Career
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As COVID-19 cases in India cross 1 million, local governments are reimposing lockdowns in several parts of the country. This is upsetting, but staying indoors comes with its own share of perks. To start with, we finally have the time to indulge in our passions and long-forgotten hobbies – whether it is making crafts or cooking exotic cuisines. Some of you may even be wondering if you can turn your passion into a profession.
After all, there are multiple social media platforms where you can earn money by showcasing your skills and doing what you really enjoy. While it is easier said than done, there are detailed blogs and videos available online giving you a step-by-step guide on how to start setting up your profile, channel or blog and the techniques you can use to create content in a professional manner. You can also attend virtual workshops and webinars to learn how to insert your CTAs and build a dedicated audience.
However, these are generic advice and do not address one important aspect, i.e. identifying your niche. You can be good at a lot of things, but if you cannot focus on one thing, you will end up confusing your audience. So, how can you find your niche? Let us try a simple, straightforward method called the ‘Whiteboard Method’ that will help you declutter your mind, organise your thoughts and give you a direction. There are 5 steps to it which are as follows –
The first step is to get a writing surface. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a whiteboard. You can get a blackboard or even a notepad. Then, draw four well-defined columns.
In this step, you need to give headings to each of the four columns. Let us assume that you want to become a content creator on YouTube. So, in the first column write YouTube, and in the second third and fourth, write what you love and enjoy, the instruments and tools you already have to create content such as cameras, software tools, lighting equipment etc, and the final column will be your requirement list.
The third step involves filling in the first three columns. Under the first column, jot down all the genres that you commonly see on YouTube such as hacks, tips and tricks, how-to videos, tutorials, series, docu-series, breakdown videos, roasts, reviews and reaction videos, comedy skits, gaming, fitness, and cooking etc. Now, under the second column, write everything you are passionate about or enjoy doing in life. You don’t have to immediately put them into a genre. Feel free to write down anything and everything you like. This could range from anything like makeup, fashion, technology, history and painting to board games, music, baking and dancing. Be honest with yourself and pour your heart out. Under the next column, note down the tools and devices that you already have with you to make a video. Even if you just have a smartphone, mention that.
After filling in the first three columns, it’s time to review the information you have written down and pick a category that suits you the best, based on what you like and what is in demand/trending out there. This will take some time, but the key is to find something at which you are not only good at but will also enjoy pursuing in the long run. Weigh in different options before finalizing on a path. For example, if you have a gaming laptop and a live broadcasting software, you can consider launching a gaming channel. However, if you cannot see yourself doing the same thing one year down the road, then don’t go for it. Try out a different option that you see yourself growing and evolving into. The objective is to match something you are comfortable with in the first column with any of your passion in the second column. The third column is your list of tools which help you understand how you can go about creating content for the matches you made (from the first two columns), this will give you a clear view of the scale at which you can produce content.
Once you have identified the topics that can be explored, and jotted down the tools at your disposal, you need to populate the final column with things you will require to create the content you want to. This could be equipment you need like a camera, lights, or a mic. It could also be the skills you need to learn such as video editing or sound mixing. Once you finish all the steps, you will have not just one, but multiple niches to pick from that you will surely enjoy creating content for.
The Whiteboard Method is a great technique that can be employed for any online platform, be it YouTube, Instagram or a blog. You can easily discover your niche and start your journey as a content creator while having a blast. Once you acquire a loyal base of followers, you can always experiment and try your hands at newer things.