HOW TO FIND YOUR NICHE
Let’s talk about shoestrings…wait, say what? Did you know that there is a guy online who has a blog on just shoestrings? Literally this guy makes a living blogging about only shoestrings. That is a super defined and a very specific niche, but apparently there is a market for just shoestrings. Because this guy is so specific he makes great money from brands and businesses selling shoestrings and shoestring related products with campaign collaborations and from the advertising they pay for on his blog. His conversion rate is extremely high, meaning people are selling more and reaching new customers because of him. I mean if you are taking the time to research shoestrings online they must be pretty important to you right? So if this guy looks like the ultimate expert on shoestrings and shoestrings and considering they are so important to you, you are going to definitely take his advice and buy the shoestrings he suggests. This is the truest form of what being a social media influencer is all about. This guy is one hell of a marketing platform for the companies selling shoestrings. Can you see the value in that?
HOW TO FIND YOUR NICHE.
Influence comes from authority. Authority comes from expertise. Expertise comes from studying, learning, practicing, and being extremely passionate about something. So take a second and think about what you are an expert on or in. An easy way to figure this out is to think about the questions you get from the people in your life already. Does everyone call you for advice on where to eat in your city? Or maybe which mascara is the best? Or what guitar petal they should purchase? I could give you examples for the next 4 years, but you see where I am going with this. Let’s moves on and assume you have the answer to that question already.
Before you can become an influencer you must decide what you can legitimately share your expertise on. This is called defining your niche. It’s important to define your niche and become an authority on something because it will lead you to finding your audience online. Your audience becomes the people who will turn you for your advice, suggestions and who will learn to trust your opinion online through your blog or social media platform of choice. Established your specific audience is when you become valuable to brands and businesses that will benefit from collaborating with you…because you hold the key that unlocks the door to their target customer or client.
I know what you are thinking, “but I’m really good at X & Y, but I want to talk about Z too!”. Sure you can talk about, post about, and be considered an authority on a few things, but those should fall under the same “umbrella”. Meaning if you are an authority on beauty, that is your “umbrella”. And ideas of what can be under your “beauty umbrella” would be makeup, skin care and hair care. Make sense? Brands that will want to actually pay you or gift you something awesome are selling the products that your audience would be interested in.
The more specific your niche is the better, but this can be extremely hard for many people. Most of us love multiple things, we aren’t defined by just one subject, hobby or passion. Most creatives are multi-passionate, I definitely am. But all good things come in due time my dear, if you can nail your influence on one niche eventually you will get to a place where you can diversify…then you can talk about beauty and your cheese obsession. But remember, out of the gate you will just confuse your audience and look like a hot mess combining cheese and beauty…that is unless you have found a cheese that you can put on your face that helps wrinkles disappear. ;)
Let me show you an example of how one of the influencer’s on my team does it. We will take a look at her niche and talk about what else falls under her digital “umbrella”.
“Hey there! Let me introduce myself. My name is Lauren Zoeller and I am a CTA certified Life Management Coach, Wellness Expert and E-RYT 200. My jam? Bringing holistic balance to the busy professional. I have achieved overwhelming success in helping people find work/life balance for increased happiness and heightened performance. I can help any individual find success with their physical, mental, spiritual and emotional goals. Whether I am working one on one with a client, facilitating a workshop, speaking to a group, or teaching yoga, I have the ability to open hearts and minds to show clients that they have everything within them to become the best version of themselves. In addition to my coaching practice, I teach yoga and co-lead 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification Courses with Phoenix Yoga Teacher Training. When I am not coaching or teaching, you can find me traveling, speaking and leading workshops to promote my ultimate message of balance and self care. My clients include high achievers such as CEOs, VP’s, entrepreneurs and professional athletes, as well as corporate companies who are seeking self-care and life-balance programs for their employees.” - Lauren Zoeller
Can you define Lauren’s niche? Her audience is interested in what she does and considers her an authority on her niche. What’s under her “umbrella”? She’s established so now quit a few things are in her “influence-wheelhouse”, like yoga, healthy living, inspiring others, coaching, fitness and more. What kind of brands work with Lauren? Because she is extremely established the answer is now a lot of brands want to work with her. She has shared her audience with brands selling yoga wear, protein shakes, supplements, meal-prep delivery businesses, natural beauty products and more all because her audience wants to know what she recommends, they trust her opinions and value her advice on her expertise…on her niche.
BONUS TIP: Lauren wouldn’t work with Doritos or a company who sells something full of chemicals. Those kind of brands wouldn’t align with her audience. I’m sure there are plenty of yogi’s that eat Doritos, but Lauren’s audience isn’t turning to her for advice on the best junk food, and if she did she would lose some of her loyal audience because they would be able to see she had “sold-out”. It’s super important that your niche and the brands you work with align with each other. Keep that in mind when deciding your niche. If you are want to talk and advise your audience on the best junk food in hopes to work with big junk food brands, and lock down a lifetime supply of Oreos don’t make your niche eating healthy. And if you get those Oreos send me some, I love Oreos.
Now let’s look at Lauren’s content on Instagram and discuss how her Niche is defined in her content.
I have taken a screenshot of what Lauren’s last 9 pics on IG look like to use as the example. Lauren’s grid has a flow and it all relates to her niche in some way. She posts an inspirational quote every 3rd picture too (you do not have to do this, many do, but to be successful this is not required). You just have to find what works for you. You can also see that Lauren’s personal brand colors are obviously black and white. She still shares images with color, but there is a theme. This my friends, is called branding. Branding is super mportant too and I find it really fun. I will send you more info on branding in another blog coming soon.
Your goal is to provide value, you shouldn’t assume your audience is obsessed with everything you do…unless you are a celebrity...then for some reason suddenly everything is interesting for people.
Now that’s not to say that your audience doesn't want to know you better, you can get personal, in fact you will need to, but just be mindful of what you share.
THE IMAGES YOU POST.
How does your image relate? Pay attention to the light, what you are wearing, what you are doing, and how the image will fit into your message, your grid and align with your niche. I’ll cover image composition in another blog as well.
BONUS BONUS TIP: You are essentially starting a business. Study how to establish a brand and a little “starting-a-business” books and articles too. There will be long hours of hard work that many may not realize can go into being an influencer. It looks so glamorous online, but the truth is you have to have a little entrepreneurial spirit or you will not succeed. You will want to consider taxes, contracts, education, trial and error, critics, lots of time and the not-so-fun stuff that comes along with all of this too. Most influencers are creatives who hate the paperwork, I am also a creative, every time a tax form lands on my desk I cringe, yep paying taxes kinda sucks, but most of all I hate that I have to stop the fun creative project I’m working on and handle it, even if it’s just scanning, and sending the forms to my CPA. The biggest turn off that kept me from starting my own business for years was 100% not feeling smart enough to do the kind of intimidating, hard to understand office stuff. And believe me I still hate it…like hate it, hate it, but you can hire people to do all the stuff you hate eventually. Take it from me, I have no college degree and I was a bartender for 15 years, if I can do this, so can you. #yougotthis
Still think being an influencer sounds fun? I hope so, and I’m here to help you know so you can grow.
FUTURE BLOGS COMING UP:
How to make money being an influencer.
Understanding the contracts brands will want you to sign.
Posing for your blog and social media content images.
Influencer marketing statistics & why micro-influencers are all the rage.
Working with professional photographers.
And plenty more.
WHY AM I BLOGGING ABOUT THIS?
I’m a business owner, photographer and I have a team of influencers I work with consistently too. I’m fascinated by the power of social media influence in the marketing industry. I have spent years studying social media and the influencer industry. I love watching business owners gain massive traction when they can use social media to their advantage. And after working with so many incredibly driven and hard working people I’ve also become a huge advocate for influencers who dedicate hours upon hours perfecting their influence. I want to help educate the aspiring influencer on what it really takes to do this the right way. I’m also out bring awareness to more brands and businesses on how valuable influencers are and why they are worth the rates the ask for. More than anything I’d like to help stop the madness of the “here’s coupon to buy something from me [the brand] as a thanks for providing me FREE ADVERTISEMENT) I literally cringe just typing that!!!
Everyone stands to gain from this industry. It’s creating jobs and allowing more people to feel fulfilled in what they do. And brand’s are finally reaching their target audiences loud and clear. This is every brand and business owners ultimate marketing goal. People can absolutely take and use social media out of context and some may even be right in a sense when they say it’s addicting and feeds our consumerism. There’s the good, bad and the ugly in everything my friends. But social media also brings awareness to real issues, helps support small and start up businesses, and connects millions of people. People aren’t putting their phones down anytime soon, brands aren’t going to stop popping up, and there are more entrepreneurs now than in the history of business. So we can scrutinize social media or we can embrace it for the good it can bring. The choice is and always will be yours.
Here are two super creative brands (that might be owned by the same people) that I totally plan to purchase gifts from for my favorite humans…these are so cute and such a brilliant idea!
I’d love to hear your feedback, comments, questions and suggestions. Drop your comments below!
Talk to you soon,