The Spark Show Episode 15: Narrow Your Niche

How to Narrow Your Niche

the spark show Jul 22, 2019

In this episode of The Spark Show, I’ll be talking to you about how to narrow your niche as an influencer, content creator, or personal brand. Whatever it is you’re doing, the more SPECIFIC and SPECIALIZED you are, the better.

If you’re just starting out - this can be one of those things that really make you slam on the brakes on everything because of the questions you might be asking yourself such as:

  • What am I gonna post about?
  • Is this too broad, is this too specific?
  • Is this all over the place?

And then you start thinking about narrowing your niche and you’re not really sure if it’s too narrow or narrow enough?

That spiral of questioning, doubt and FEAR starts coming along. I’m sure you can relate - it’s anything that requires some sort of decision. That feeling of - you don’t wanna do the wrong thing and so you’re second-guessing yourself. 

Here’s the thing, you don’t have to 100% DECIDE on this right now. You just have to be at like 60 or 70%. That’s it. WHY? Because things change.

You gotta also make room for feedback and see what your audience likes and resonates with. And you might realize that you thought you liked posting about something, when you really don’t. 

The amazing thing about the digital world and social media is that things can be done and changed in real-time. That’s what’s so fun about it. It’s a process, a journey, not a one-and-done thing that once you set it up - that’s it. 

Brands have evolved so much during the years: logos, colors, their brand mission, goals - things change. And that’s okay. Your people who wanna stay, will stay. You don’t wanna operate from a place of fear, I want you to stay true to YOU. 

Now that it’s clear that you just have to be around 60% clear on your niche, I want you to think about your ideal person.

Some marketers call this ICA - Ideal Customer Avatar. You may not be selling anything yet so we can call this Ideal Follower Avatar (IFA). I want you to take the time to think about this person (for now, just forget about who’s already following you) and I wanna talk about who you want. Who do you want in your community?

Here are some questions that you can use to help you go through this process. It’s best to block out 20-30 minutes of time for this, if possible, write it down on a blank sheet of paper or page in your notebook or journal. You know I’m old-school so I like doing pen on paper as just a way to solidify my thoughts and intentions. 

  • Who is this person?
  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • What does their life look like?
  • What do they do? For work? For fun?
  • Do they have kids? A family? Pets?
  • What are their passions? Hobbies?
  • What do they think about?
  • What do they struggle with? What are the challenges they face?
  • What thoughts keep them up at night? 

I have a method called the 5-Layer Cake method, where you have to go at least 5 layers deep when you’re trying to figure out your niche, your audience. It’s not enough to say you’re helping women that are into fashion or beauty. That’s way too broad. 

I’m not saying that’s a bad thing - you should talk about fashion or beauty. But I want you to go deeper than that - is it budget or luxury fashion? Can your audience and followers afford the brands that you’re gonna talk about and recommend? This is super important because this will affect the brand partnerships you’ll be getting later. Same thing with beauty, are you talking about drugstore or luxury? And specifically what types? Anti-aging or acne? 

At the end of the day, it’s all about helping and serving your audience. So what would help them? It’s hard to help them if you don’t know them so I really want you to spend some time thinking about who your ideal audience is. 

It could be age, gender, location, then 2 interests - that’s 5 layers. If you wanna go even further than that, have at it! Again, if you’re 60-70% satisfied, it’s time to leave it alone and just take action. The biggest mistake you can make is letting this keep you STUCK. A lot of people use this as an excuse to not move forward and to start or keep putting content out there. 

Next if you already have an audience, I want you to take a look at your analytics. This is why for Instagram, I recommend that you switch to a business account to give you access to analytics.

Also if you have a Blog, you’ll want to install Google Analytics so that you can learn more about your audience - you can see things like location, age range, where they’re coming from, what device they’re using, how long they’re staying, which pages they’re viewing, ALL SORTS of data!

You know I’m a numbers girl so analytics and data is exciting to me - not just being able to SEE everything and get more information but really to help you make decisions moving forward.

By letting the data and analytics decide for you, you’re making informed decisions instead of just guessing. 

If you don’t have that set up yet, you wanna make time to do that. Schedule it in, plan on doing that the next time you have some free time tonight, tomorrow or this weekend.

It also takes some time to populate so you may not be able to see the info until a week or so, and you can look at it weekly or monthly. I think daily is too much and becomes too obsessive, things fluctuate a lot.

Some of my students were looking at their Instagram followers every single day and it goes up and down, and can be a little discouraging so I think once a week is a good enough amount of time. 

Based on your analytics, you can actually see which content is getting the most engagement from your followers. And you can continue to test things out and get the real-time feedback.

So part of it is posting what you want and then listening to your audience and observing what they respond to. And that’s why you don’t have to 100% know your niche right away - because you wanna leave room for data, feedback, creative spurts, etc. 

So now let’s talk about YOU, because the reason why your followers are following you is YOU. It’s really less about what you’re talking about - that counts too, but the things that make you uniquely you. Let’s face it, you are unique and no one else has your story. I talk about this a lot in Episode 14 where I discuss why Oversaturation is a Myth. 

There will always be people out there but you have a unique story, path, and perspective and I want you to share that with your IFA. So here are some prompts and questions that can help you start sharing your stories:

  • What are you passionate about? 
  • What makes you laugh? 
  • What are some key moments that have made you who you are today? 
  • Who are the people in your life that have shaped you? Or you would call for help? 
  • What are the biggest obstacles that you’ve encountered in your journey? 
  • What does your perfect day or life look like? 
  • Fast forward to your deathbed/funeral, what would you want people to say about you? 

I know, I know - it’s a little morbid. But it’s great perspective right? What would you want those people to say about you? How do you want them to remember you? These are the things that I want you to start talking about and working on now. 

You see, it’s not really about narrowing your niche. That’s just a way to give your brand direction when you’re attracting your audience and brand partnerships. But it’s not a container or box that’s supposed to restrict you - you’re free to learn, explore and bring your audience along for the ride with you. That’s really it. So don’t stress about it so much because really, at the end of the day, the question is how are you gonna help someone? 

I hope that helped you think about how to strategically narrow your niche and also realize that it’s not something that has to be decided on and that’s it. I want you to know that as humans, we are always changing and evolving and that’s okay. I want you to give yourself permission to be different and follow your intuition. 

Listen to the full episode below:

                                                        

Listen to Previous Episodes: 

Over Saturation is a Myth

How to Be More Intentional on Social Media featuring Quigley

Getting Clear on Your Big Vision

Perfection is a Scam featuring Loren Trlin

 

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