Find Your Freelance Niche Using Ikigai (FREE TEMPLATE INSIDE)

Ikigai is a Japanese concept referring to something that gives you a sense of purpose or a reason for living and/or working. It embodies the idea of happiness with what you’re doing and can be translated as a “reason for being”.

Essentially, Ikigai is your sweet spot and the reason why you get up in the morning feeling motivated to face new challenges.

Since you’re your own business as a freelancer, you and your freelance business should have this “reason for being”. Accordingly, if you can align your business Ikigai with your own values, ambitions, and passions, you’re much more likely to launch a freelance venture that’s both fulfilling and fruitful. Read on to learn more about this simple but extremely effective tool to discover your freelance niche!

How to Find Your Freelance Niche Using Ikigai?

Ikigai is a chart consisting of 4 overlapping circles:

  1. What you’re good at (your skills, knowledge, experience, expertise),
  2. What you love (what your passion is),
  3. What the world (market) needs (where the demand is),
  4. What makes you money (where the value is).

Each circle represents an element in your success matrix in your freelance work.

Additionally, the Ikigai diagram labels the areas where the four circles intersect:

  1. PASSION – Combines what you love with what you’re good at, including your skills, talents, and unique abilities.
  2. MISSION – To find it you need to realize what constitutes an overlap between what you love and what the world and your clients need.
  3. VOCATION – Merges what your potential customers need with what you can be paid for by them.
  4. PROFESSION – A combination of what you’re good at and what makes you money.

Ikigai lies at the center of the diagram, where all four circles overlap.

Finding Your Freelance Niche Through Ikigai –FREE Template

To build a more resilient and sustainable freelance business, use Ikigai principles which can help you clarify and realign your freelancing purpose. Find a fruitful freelance niche based on your passions, talents, clients’ needs, and profit potential.

To make it easy, you can download the free template we’ve prepared for you below. Otherwise, you can create your own by drawing 4 overlapping circles (as you can see in our graphics).

Ikigai freelance niche blank template

1. WHAT YOU’RE GOOD AT (The Left Circle)

In the circle on the left write down your skills, talents, and unique abilities – both the ones you were born with and the ones you learned and mastered during your personal life, work, or education.

Your existing skills, talents, and expertise are essential and will give you a huge advantage in running your freelance business. Ask yourself what you know well. Everything you’ve done with good results until now has potential value.

Don’t limit the question of your skillset and strengths to yourself – you’ll likely find it useful to ask your friends, family, or co-workers, too. Maybe they’ve noticed something that slipped your mind and you don’t even realize that you excel at.

If you choose your freelance niche taking into account your existing skillset and experience, you’ll be able to offer immediate deeper insight and understanding of your customer’s needs instead of having to learn as you go.

Extra helpful questions to analyze:

  • What do you excel at doing? Is there something you want to be among the best at with some more education and experience?
  • Which parts of your (current and/or past) job are you good at?
  • What are you among the best at within your workplace and/or community?

2. WHAT YOU LOVE (The Top Circle)

In the top circle write things you’re passionate about, activities that bring you joy, and tasks and topics that motivate you to get out of bed in the morning feeling excited.

You need to ask yourself what you feel fascinated about, what brings you satisfaction, and what you have the most fun doing.

Creating a freelance business and choosing your niche from a passion can help you stay motivated even in the most challenging moments. This is especially important in times when you feel down, stressed, or overwhelmed with the responsibility carried on your shoulders – working solo isn’t always easy!

Ask yourself which freelance work you can see yourself doing for the rest of your career. Of course, you don’t have to stick with it, but it’ll be overall beneficial for you to start working in a freelance niche you actually enjoy thinking, talking, writing, learning, and even teaching about.

Additional helpful questions to ask yourself:

  • What’s thrilling to you and gets your juices flowing when you do it?
  • What could you talk about for hours on end?
  • What would you do if you didn’t have to be concerned about making money and getting paid?
  • How would you spend your time on a long holiday or a completely free weekend?

3. WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS (The Right Circle)

In the circle on the right, note down what your potential clients would benefit from but isn’t accessible to them – or you can do it better.

What you’re offering has to be something that’s needed in the world, so you don’t end up putting a lot of your precious time and energy into something that nobody wants or needs.

Analyze what the market needs that you can provide better than your competition (or at least that offers better value to begin with). Is there anything particular that your potential clients are trying to get done in their work or lives, and what tasks and problems do they want to solve?

Other questions to ask yourself:

  • What issues in your community would you like to help solve?
  • What matters in your community do you care about and what problems affect you emotionally?
  • Will some of your work be relevant a decade from now and whose life will it influence?

4. WHAT MAKES YOU MONEY (The Bottom Circle)

In the bottom circle write down services, tasks, and niches that may give you the biggest return for your time investment, and which you can get paid more for.

Your freelance niche has to pay your bills and turn a profit. No matter what, your freelance work shouldn’t keep you up at night as you wonder how to keep yourself afloat. It would be a shame to, at best, break even from a ‘pricey hobby’ that soaks up your time, money, and emotional resources.

Even though you might offer some services at a discount rate to begin with, at some stage, your freelance business has to start generating revenue and actual profit.

Research which freelance niches have the highest revenue-generation potential (within reason), and examine which services you could offer that will give you the biggest return for your time investment. If you’ve already joined the world of freelancing and are currently trying to further nail down your main freelance niche, consider which services are already paying you the best in relation to others.

Some other important questions to investigate:

  • For what work have you already been paid? Are other people being paid for this work?
  • Are you already making a good living doing what you’re doing? If not, according to the current market, can you eventually make a good living doing this work?
  • Are people willing to pay for what you’re selling?

Finding a rewarding freelance niche improves your odds of running a successful freelance business. Using the Ikigai concept to discover your niche as a freelancer can help you choose something truly sustainable – something that will bring you both money and satisfaction.

After finding your Ikigai, always remember that you can expand it by improving your skillset as you gain knowledge through training, education, and life and work experience.

FAQ – Ikigai For Freelancers

How do you find your niche for freelancing?

To find the best freelance niche for you, analyze what you enjoy doing, what you’re good at, and where the demand and value for your skills are. Ask yourself who your ideal clients are, how you can help them, and whether they would pay for it. Try the concept of “Ikigai” to discover your freelance calling – a simple but highly effective tool!

How do I find my freelance writing niche?

To find your freelance writing niche, explore what topics you’re passionate and curious about, which subjects you’re interested in and good at, what matters are in demand currently, and which issues your potential clients need solving and are willing to pay you to unravel.

What are the 4 components of Ikigai for freelancers?

The 4 components of Ikigai for freelancers are:

1. What you’re good at (your skills, knowledge, experience, expertise),
2. What you love (what your passion is),
3. What the world (market, your potential clients) needs (what is in demand),
4. What makes you money (where the value is).