What do you want to be known for? What could you teach? What can you influence? Or what do you want to influence? What is your area of expertise? What do you know that others in your industry don’t? Identifying your uniqueness and value is easier said than done. For those of you wondering how to narrow your niche beyond answering these exercise file questions here’s another tip. Go back and think about some of the feedback that you have received over the years. What are some of the most memorable feedback you remember? What do you most compliment about? Here’s an example. I had been running my marketing consultancy for several years when I had a personal branding aha moment.
I generate Website traffic for my personal blogging network based on real-time execution around SEO techniques and create updated content based on relevant keyword research by unorthodox maneuvers that I perform via continuous product investment and experimentation. Before you jump to the doers part, read this article I wrote on Effectively Marketing and Launching Successful Online Products. This will help you gain perspective on clients’ expectations who want to promote their products or events via your online presence.
What is my personal demographic niche profile?
I identified a pattern of people saying things to me like, you’re like a marketing therapist or I need to get on your therapy couch. I had no intention of being therapeutic in my marketing approach, but the consistent feedback about how I worked that was tied into therapy-isms, turned out to be a great niche. Marketing advice and support, therapy, if you will, was such a niche for me that I now define myself as the marketing therapist, and I changed my company name from Titantwister to ZoraysKhalid.com. Sometimes the answers to your niche aren’t just within you, it is how others perceive you, so pay attention.
Another way of monetization is by defining your niche while focusing on work that you truly enjoy. Maybe your personal branding goals in work are geared to help move you into a new career path. If that is the case, ask yourself, what work do you love best? What is your unique ability? If you want to grow your brand to attract more of the work you love then you need to declare your professional intention. Identify ways that your previous work experience has pre-qualified you for this and make sure any public web messaging, like a website, your resume, or LinkedIn profile, clearly communicates this.
Your personal brand is not something you spend time on, it is something that you invest in for the life of your professional career. Just like a good stock builds and compounds over time, a personal brand can be grown with small steps compounding overtime to support your best interests.
Start growing your brand by deeply defining your area of expertise. There is an old marketing saying, there are riches in the niches. Just as organizations focus on niche marketing whether that is a product, service, industry, target group, or location, a smart step to sharpen a personal brand is by defining your skills in a certain area.
Connecting in the Community through Personal Branding
Another area of focus that can help advance your personal brand is creating community connections. It’s not just what we know, it’s who we know. Your brand status will go a lot farther if there are other people aware of you and supporting you. Grow your personal brand by connecting and building key relationships. Start connection work by focusing on your community. For some, this may mean networking in your local community if your brand is tied to a geographic location. For others, community building may tie more into networking in your target industry.
To focus networking efforts, first, define your industry. For example, I am in solar and wind manufacturing design. Next, look at the community connected to your industry. My work might compete with other companies in my industry, meaning they may not be jumping to connect or endorse him, but the community that needs and wants his skill set becomes his target community. My community can include Zorays Solar Pakistan customers, partners, as well as coworkers. My community can also include contacts from previous jobs.
My networking efforts may expand to include thought leaders in his industry like writers, speakers, or other industry experts in my field who share common values. Once you define your community then you are ready to focus on connecting and developing key industry relationships.
If you want to gain connections you have to give. One of the easiest ways to gain meaningful connections is to give through content. Content that is more community-centric can include social media posts that are crediting network contacts, blog posts that link back to the original author’s post, even sharing links to great articles that interest your community.
Some people worry that defining a niche may close professional opportunities. This is not the case if you define your niche correctly as it relates to the goals for your personal brand. A niche is a specialized market. I have been doing Niche’ Blogging for quite some time now. The power of communication can command and drive your personal brand. Use a niche focus to help direct your communication efforts. You’ll be surprised how this can help advance your personal brand.
In building social capital, branding is more often than not factored as part of strategies to succeed but is it as important? I build my brand by sharing content. This effort also multitasks when his content helps establish connections. For example, on Twitter, he searches and follows industry-related accounts, like Solar Powered World.
I retweet content that I feel my target market would be interested in, as this study on solar manufacturing costs. I share the link on LinkedIn and on Twitter that he originally found from a tweet from someone who talks a lot about sustainability. When I mention the original content creator and the source of the content, these people can see my tweet when they check their mentions.
I also added the writer and industry publication to a specific circle in Google Plus called Solar and mentioned them both when I shared the article. To help develop key industry contacts, you can also connect with them on LinkedIn. Let’s say you want to connect with me so you can be my example for my next article. You can send me an invitation.
You can take the extra step to write a personal note beyond the default message to help increase your chances of getting my acceptance. Another way to develop key industry connections is to go back to the give to gain concept and compliment or endorse contacts that you want to develop a more meaningful relationship. This can be little skills endorsements on LinkedIn, a longer recommendation, a Facebook post, a Tweet, or a blog post that gives them, as we say in social media, a shout-out.
What pigeon holes did you get put in?
It’s one thing to know who you are and what you do. I am giving away a free Promotion Masterplan that I followed through a Youtube series by my friend:
A. Strategy 1: FACEBOOK GROUPS
Grow your brand by defining your niche, sharing content, becoming active in your community, and making meaningful connections. Find 10 relevant Facebook groups that you will join and post your content in. Bonus points for sending join requests right now.
B. Strategy 2: QUORA
When you define your niche skillset, that helps bring attention to you and then develop your reputation. Think of this as personal public relations. Find 10 relevant questions on Quora that have more than 1K followers each.
C. Strategy 3: INSTAGRAM INFLUENCERS
A little flattery can go a long way when it comes to connecting and establishing relationships. Find 10 relevant influencers on Instagram that you will write to/for a shoutout once you have 5-10 pieces of content uploaded
Think about how you can apply these niche communication points to your current web and social media assets. Defining your niche can help your authoritative content creation by giving you a clearer focus. It can also help you go back and optimize your online assets to make sure they communicate this. And lastly, it can be an influence on your personal style.