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My niche - is it too small?

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AciD

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Nov 13, 2020
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Hi everyone!
JUST finished TMF and it was glorious! I will get to the Unscripted next.
I'm Polish and I do have a Video course on Visual Effects for Filmmakers in a specific software [After Effects, if anyone knows what it is].
I always thought global, since, at this moment, I am working as QA engineer in USA-based company, remotely full time [where I get paid REALLY well, comparing to salary in my country, although after pandemic's over me and my wife are planning to move somewhere - maybe Canada?].
That's why my course is in English and I am selling my course [at least targeting] worldwide. I launched this May and I have a little over 220 students at this moment.
My issue is... this may be a little too few people that would be interested to REALLY grow and it will eventually stall, especially since not everyone likes to pay for organized knowledge with easier access to everything, when you can spend a lot of time on youtube and get more-or-less similar information.
I am growing [well, it's only 2k subscribers] my youtube channel at the same time as well, all related - also VFX-related videos.
I just wanted to hear your thoughts about it and anything that would help me moving forward.
I will be [and since I finished the book my thinking shifted and I am trying to 'catch' THE need / pain point] looking out for any sign of a great opportunity moving forward anyway.
Thank you!
 

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Mike L

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Nov 11, 2020
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21
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Hi everyone!
JUST finished TMF and it was glorious! I will get to the Unscripted next.
I'm Polish and I do have a Video course on Visual Effects for Filmmakers in a specific software [After Effects, if anyone knows what it is].
I always thought global, since, at this moment, I am working as QA engineer in USA-based company, remotely full time [where I get paid REALLY well, comparing to salary in my country, although after pandemic's over me and my wife are planning to move somewhere - maybe Canada?].
That's why my course is in English and I am selling my course [at least targeting] worldwide. I launched this May and I have a little over 220 students at this moment.
My issue is... this may be a little too few people that would be interested to REALLY grow and it will eventually stall, especially since not everyone likes to pay for organized knowledge with easier access to everything, when you can spend a lot of time on youtube and get more-or-less similar information.
I am growing [well, it's only 2k subscribers] my youtube channel at the same time as well, all related - also VFX-related videos.
I just wanted to hear your thoughts about it and anything that would help me moving forward.
I will be [and since I finished the book my thinking shifted and I am trying to 'catch' THE need / pain point] looking out for any sign of a great opportunity moving forward anyway.
Thank you!
Hi AciD,

I don't think the market is too niche specially when it comes to After Effects (if you deal with media, you probably use AE in some capacity). I've worked within that field for many years. BUT I think more that the challenge is that there's already so much for free on youtube and very established paid resources available in that field already (the gnomon workshop, school of motion, learn squared, these are specialized, then you have the more generic ones like Lynda, Udemy etc ).

But if you do something unique and different that might help. And specially if your courses head in to more advanced this like scripting and advanced setup that greatly improve peoples workflow and pipelines. Just sharing what I see. Good to be aware of.
 

AciD

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Nov 13, 2020
10
5
15
Hi AciD,

I don't think the market is too niche specially when it comes to After Effects (if you deal with media, you probably use AE in some capacity). I've worked within that field for many years. BUT I think more that the challenge is that there's already so much for free on youtube and very established paid resources available in that field already (the gnomon workshop, school of motion, learn squared, these are specialized, then you have the more generic ones like Lynda, Udemy etc ).

But if you do something unique and different that might help. And specially if your courses head in to more advanced this like scripting and advanced setup that greatly improve peoples workflow and pipelines. Just sharing what I see. Good to be aware of.
I 100% agree with you - while I KNOW my course crushes these cheap ones in terms of knowledge + I have facebook support group where I help them [but this, again, is trading my time for money] - the cheap courses and more established ones around the corner will always be an issue.
I focus on beginners, so while there are some advanced concepts, I don't do anything super advanced.
I'm worried I might be headed into a dead end.

Thanks for the reply!
 
Last edited:

No.1

PARKED
Nov 14, 2020
2
0
1
Hi AciD,

I don't think the market is too niche specially when it comes to After Effects (if you deal with media, you probably use AE in some capacity). I've worked within that field for many years. BUT I think more that the challenge is that there's already so much for free on youtube and very established paid resources available in that field already (the gnomon workshop, school of motion, learn squared, these are specialized, then you have the more generic ones like Lynda, Udemy etc ).

But if you do something unique and different that might help. And specially if your courses head in to more advanced this like scripting and advanced setup that greatly improve peoples workflow and pipelines. Just sharing what I see. Good to be aware of.
This, you can also create a complete new product out of your skills and something else that you will learn or you have learned, aiming outside of the single scope from video editing and add some other value and sell the course aiming at something different but related to V-FX (your main topic), you can learn a bit about the V-FX used by youtube channels and teach how to replicate them, bundle the videos into packages and sell 'em.

With this you are bringing something new to the market, aim multiple niches, and provide value at the same time.

You can sell a course about Youtuber's basics on video editing and effects, now youre aiming at a wide public that doesn't just need to be interested in visual effects but can be someone who is interested on becoming a Youtuber.

Those are just ideas bouncing to get you into the creative mindset so you can come up with something new into the market.

If you succeed, please come back to flex. ; )
 

AciD

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Nov 13, 2020
10
5
15
This, you can also create a complete new product out of your skills and something else that you will learn or you have learned, aiming outside of the single scope from video editing and add some other value and sell the course aiming at something different but related to V-FX (your main topic), you can learn a bit about the V-FX used by youtube channels and teach how to replicate them, bundle the videos into packages and sell 'em.

With this you are bringing something new to the market, aim multiple niches, and provide value at the same time.

You can sell a course about Youtuber's basics on video editing and effects, now youre aiming at a wide public that doesn't just need to be interested in visual effects but can be someone who is interested on becoming a Youtuber.

Those are just ideas bouncing to get you into the creative mindset so you can come up with something new into the market.

If you succeed, please come back to flex. ; )
Thank you very much for the input!
It's a really interesting idea!
Yeah I'm still bouncing ideas around in my head.
This book really messed my life up... in a good way, I think, haha.
 

Blek

Contributor
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Jun 15, 2018
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Poland
You told something about product (WHAT you sell) but didn't tell about the rest (WHERE, WHO(M), HOW).
220 people is very small number for After Effect. It must be other things - WHERE you sell it and HOW you sell it.
 

AciD

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Nov 13, 2020
10
5
15
You told something about product (WHAT you sell) but didn't tell about the rest (WHERE, WHO(M), HOW).
220 people is very small number for After Effect. It must be other things - WHERE you sell it and HOW you sell it.
Well I didn't post here to troubleshoot my sales / business but to ask if the market is too small to become a fastlane.
I started the course recently and still figuring out funnel and marketing.
 

Speed112

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 5, 2013
30
39
109
26
Bucharest, Romania
Well I didn't post here to troubleshoot my sales / business but to ask if the market is too small to become a fastlane.
I started the course recently and still figuring out funnel and marketing.
Few niches are "too small" to be Fastlane. SaaS businesses are fastlane and they often focus on highly-tailored solutions for microniches. Some businesses exceed 7 figures with as many clients as you can count on your fingers.

Your course sounds like a great meat and potatoes type of product where you get a lot of bulk value to your audience and put your foot down as an authority in VFX. Scaling it vertically is possible, but (apparently, since I don't know anything about your niche) in question due to the barriers talked about so far... but you can also scale horizontally!

What other kind of value can you provide to your existing students? They already know you and you've already helped them, so they trust you. How can you help them even more?

Where are the high profit margin drink with the meal solutions?

If you don't know... ask them.

Think of possible recurring value propositions for them. You have a FB group, great. Could you perhaps get them to subscribe to a premium newsletter going in-depth on more advanced or less adopted concepts? You could interview other experts in your field and package them as additional one-off lessons that deal with specific needs.

Scaling isn't just about finding more customers, but also about getting more value to and from the customers you already have. Retention and expansion leading to increased lifetime value.

The two end up going hand in hand. The extra value you create for your base audience gives you opportunities to reach new audiences and penetrate your niche further.

You'll be surprised how many interesting answers you find when you start looking inward through your business and use your funnel for more than just pushing products.

Edit:

Here's an idea... Production companies nowadays use VFX extensively for billion dollar projects. They spend millions on professionals for many years in not just animated movies or videogames, but also all manner of live action productions, commercials, etc.

That's a multi-billion dollar a year pie, where you are establishing yourself as an expert. Do you really think that niche is too small to go fastlane in?

What can you do to get a larger piece of that pie?

How can you provide value that leverages the work of those 6-figure+ After Effects pros? Do you think they'd be willing to pay you a measly 4 figures a few times a year if your skills can elevate them from making $100k/year to making $250k/year?

That value proposition isn't farfetched at all. Business/productivity coaches and consultants get results like those routinely.

Think you could partner with someone that has authority in money and tackle your niche together? You could create tailored products on how to land a movie gig, how to negotiate higher pay, how to streamline or delegate your workflow... Lots of room for value.

And you don't even have to go that far, since a lot of these products already exist.

If you identify particular pains in your audience, chances are products that solve those pains already exist... and you can sell them as an affiliate and help everyone in the process.

Still think you can't scale?

There's probably a course you can buy for that ;)
 
Last edited:

AciD

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Nov 13, 2020
10
5
15
Few niches are "too small" to be Fastlane. SaaS businesses are fastlane and they often focus on highly-tailored solutions for microniches. Some businesses exceed 7 figures with as many clients as you can count on your fingers.

Your course sounds like a great meat and potatoes type of product where you get a lot of bulk value to your audience and put your foot down as an authority in VFX. Scaling it vertically is possible, but (apparently, since I don't know anything about your niche) in question due to the barriers talked about so far... but you can also scale horizontally!

What other kind of value can you provide to your existing students? They already know you and you've already helped them, so they trust you. How can you help them even more?

Where are the high profit margin drink with the meal solutions?

If you don't know... ask them.

Think of possible recurring value propositions for them. You have a FB group, great. Could you perhaps get them to subscribe to a premium newsletter going in-depth on more advanced or less adopted concepts? You could interview other experts in your field and package them as additional one-off lessons that deal with specific needs.

Scaling isn't just about finding more customers, but also about getting more value to and from the customers you already have. Retention and expansion leading to increased lifetime value.

The two end up going hand in hand. The extra value you create for your base audience gives you opportunities to reach new audiences and penetrate your niche further.

You'll be surprised how many interesting answers you find when you start looking inward through your business and use your funnel for more than just pushing products.

Edit:

Here's an idea... Production companies nowadays use VFX extensively for billion dollar projects. They spend millions on professionals for many years in not just animated movies or videogames, but also all manner of live action productions, commercials, etc.

That's a multi-billion dollar a year pie, where you are establishing yourself as an expert. Do you really think that niche is too small to go fastlane in?

What can you do to get a larger piece of that pie?

How can you provide value that leverages the work of those 6-figure+ After Effects pros? Do you think they'd be willing to pay you a measly 4 figures a few times a year if your skills can elevate them from making $100k/year to making $250k/year?

That value proposition isn't farfetched at all. Business/productivity coaches and consultants get results like those routinely.

Think you could partner with someone that has authority in money and tackle your niche together? You could create tailored products on how to land a movie gig, how to negotiate higher pay, how to streamline or delegate your workflow... Lots of room for value.

And you don't even have to go that far, since a lot of these products already exist.

If you identify particular pains in your audience, chances are products that solve those pains already exist... and you can sell them as an affiliate and help everyone in the process.

Still think you can't scale?

There's probably a course you can buy for that ;)
This is great! thank you for taking the time to write that!
 

Fr33zerPop

Contributor
Jan 14, 2020
29
29
18
Portland, Oregon, USA
Hi everyone!
JUST finished TMF and it was glorious! I will get to the Unscripted next.
I'm Polish and I do have a Video course on Visual Effects for Filmmakers in a specific software [After Effects, if anyone knows what it is].
I always thought global, since, at this moment, I am working as QA engineer in USA-based company, remotely full time [where I get paid REALLY well, comparing to salary in my country, although after pandemic's over me and my wife are planning to move somewhere - maybe Canada?].
That's why my course is in English and I am selling my course [at least targeting] worldwide. I launched this May and I have a little over 220 students at this moment.
My issue is... this may be a little too few people that would be interested to REALLY grow and it will eventually stall, especially since not everyone likes to pay for organized knowledge with easier access to everything, when you can spend a lot of time on youtube and get more-or-less similar information.
I am growing [well, it's only 2k subscribers] my youtube channel at the same time as well, all related - also VFX-related videos.
I just wanted to hear your thoughts about it and anything that would help me moving forward.
I will be [and since I finished the book my thinking shifted and I am trying to 'catch' THE need / pain point] looking out for any sign of a great opportunity moving forward anyway.
Thank you!
Hey AciD,
No, definitely not too small of a niche. I've been an AE pro for 20 years (antifreezedesign), and there are a lot of users. Interested to hear how it goes. That's great that you already have a course and students. You're well on your way!
 

AciD

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Nov 13, 2020
10
5
15
Hey AciD,
No, definitely not too small of a niche. I've been an AE pro for 20 years (antifreezedesign), and there are a lot of users. Interested to hear how it goes. That's great that you already have a course and students. You're well on your way!
Thanks, man!
The other courses sites with cheaper versions are definitely a challange and I'm still trying to figure out my funnel, but so far it's going okay!
 

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Kid

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Mar 1, 2016
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Now, a plot twist:
You have experience in Visual effects backed by experience in such and such companies.
There are already established courses providers.
So you're opportunity is not to create another course
but to make website that reviews those courses.
Having knowledge in the field makes you authority and you can judge what is good about each course and what is bad.
Make money with affiliate programs to those courses.

That's it.
 
Last edited:

AciD

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Nov 13, 2020
10
5
15
Now, a plot twist:
You have experience in Visual effects backed by experience in such and such companies.
There are already established courses providers.
So you're opportunity is not to create another course
but to make website that reviews those courses.
Having knowledge in the field makes you authority and you can judge what is good about course and what is bad.
Make money with affiliate programs to those courses.

That's it.
It would be extremely easy basically throw all credibility of said site if it came to light that I owned one of these courses.

But I do appreciate the out-of-the-box thinking
 

Phoenix Leo

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Oct 30, 2020
10
12
17
Sweden
It would be extremely easy basically throw all credibility of said site if it came to light that I owned one of these courses.

But I do appreciate the out-of-the-box thinking

Then make sure you are the first to disclose it.
If you are completely up-front about it, without turning it into a sales pitch, and provide honest reviews, then there is no problem.
 

Speed112

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 5, 2013
30
39
109
26
Bucharest, Romania
Then make sure you are the first to disclose it.
If you are completely up-front about it, without turning it into a sales pitch, and provide honest reviews, then there is no problem.

I agree with that and thought about recommending it myself, but when thinking about it the thought crossed my mind that the concern is regarding competition: they view the reviewer as potentially malicious and using their clout to "put down" their product in order to elevate his own. So in retaliation at their perceived sleight, they use their resources to defame the reviewer and level the playing field.

That's of course a pessimistic hypothetical, and this type of industry is driven by abundance, so if you affiliate with them it's everyone cross-promoting each other and winning more and more... So I wouldn't be discouraged by the possibility.

But it is a concern worth accounting for nonetheless.
 

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