6 Steps to becoming a more compelling creator (that you can steal).

If you’re looking to build online, you must be compelling. And if you dive deep into the most compelling creators online today, they operate differently than the average creator.

The most compelling creators online are, what I call, a niche of one.

A niche of one is a unique combination of skills and interests rolled into one idea and then distributed through highly creative or technical content.

When you do this well, you own a micro-niche.

You become the category creator. The best in show. The only.

And you can deliver products and services that people will pay for.

If you want to do this well, you need to understand the formula and the 6 building blocks behind a niche of one.

I’ll break them down and then put them back together in the hopes that it helps you become a more compelling creator.

Skill

Most skills, by themselves, are not unique. Lots of people can write, speak English and Portuguese, or do financial analysis.

Too often, people make the mistake of choosing a skill when deciding to create online. I’m a writer, so I’ll write. I’m a painter, so I’ll paint. I know how to do X, so I’ll teach people how to do X. You get the point.

The difficulty arises when the inevitable question comes up:

“What do I write about today?”

“What do I paint today?”

“What do I teach today?”

When the brain faces a creative block, people either quit creating or create something subpar. Two poor outcomes.

Let’s introduce interests into the equation and see what happens.

Interests

This article is not meant to be cliche. “Chase your dreams!”. “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life!” Nonsense.

But, interests are important. They keep us…well…interested.

Maybe you’re fluent in English and Portuguese and you’re extremely well-versed in marketing. Maybe you understand financial analysis and your hobby is high-end wine.

When you read those sentences, nothing unique or compelling really jumps out. So, now what?

Let’s put them together to start formulating an interesting idea.

Idea

The idea block of a niche of one is where most people get it wrong. They let a lack of creativity keep them from building something unique.

For example, we’ve all had ideas before, but they end up as unfinished blog posts, abandoned podcasts, or dwindling YouTube channels.

That’s because the creation must be forced. You’re starting from a blank canvas every morning. We’re back to the same old questions:

“What do I write about today?”

“What do I paint today?”

“What do I teach today?”

In a niche of one, you create one idea, and then learn how to say it, do it, or package it 1,000+ different ways.

Let’s use our examples from above.

Example #1: You’re a financial analyst and your interest is in wine.

Unique idea: Use your financial knowledge to project the value of one high-end wine bottle each morning.

Example #2: You’re fluent in English and Portuguese and your interest is in marketing.

Unique idea: Translate one of your favorite company landing pages from English to Portuguese using local dialect and slang, every day.

You could easily argue that these ideas are not interesting, but you’d be missing the larger point. They are one single idea that can be produced and reproduced 1000x over.

The game of “what do I do today?” is now over.

These ideas, when shared broadly through proper distribution, attract a natural audience of interested people.

Distribution & Audience

In order for people to discover your unique and interesting idea, they have to be able to find it. This is where distribution comes into play. Your audience is an outcome of good distribution.

Having a niche of one gives you an advantage because you’ve increased the number of places you can distribute. For example, if you’re our financial whiz/wine lover, you can distribute on sites centered around wine, the wine exchange, finance trends, etc.

I’d recommend focusing on the following:

- Personal blog or newsletter: a place where your content can live forever and can be a catch-all for email subscribers.

- Social media: pick one channel and master it. Don’t try to be a social media hero from the start.

- Industry sites: every skill and interest has industry sites. For example, I like to talk about building online, so I can find great channels on IndieHackers or HackerNews.

- Slack Channels: join private Slack communities centered around your skills or interests.

By distributing routinely, a natural audience will grow. Remember, you don’t pick your audience, they pick you. You simply set up a system where more people are likely to find you.

If you’re our finance/wine person from above, you will naturally attract an audience of people who love wine, sommeliers, and collectors. But, you’re also likely to attract people who have an interest in data analysis, financial trends, the market, the exchanges, and so on.

Product

Now comes the easiest part. Asking and listening.

With an audience built around a specific, unique idea, you can simply start to ask them what would be most helpful, and listen to their answers. It’s amazing how many people skip this critical step.

Ask on social or send out a survey via email. What would they like to learn? What would they be happy to spend some money on?

For example, some people might enjoy a digital course teaching them your method behind wine price projections. Others might want a 1:1 Zoom call where you apply your formula to bottles in their collection together, while some would likely just want to purchase a financial analysis of multiple bottles, without the video call.

All of this can be placed on a value ladder that people can move up over time:

Summary

In summary, the internet is getting crowded.

Picking your passion and then trying to write or record from scratch each day can be a very daunting task. The most compelling creators you see online have a system. Nobody is out here winging it.

So, to get started, do the following:

Step 1: Pick something you excel at.

Step 2: Choose something you’re interested in.

Step 3: Combine them.

Step 4: Create a distribution system.

Step 5: Allow an audience to form.

Step 6: Ask them what they need.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. If you found this helpful, I’d be honored if you’d share it with your friends and peers.

I write systems and processes that I use to power my solopreneur journey. If that’s interesting to you, consider joining my newsletter.

Thanks again.

Cheers,

Justin

Former startup executive turned self-employed tinkerer.