General, Tips and Advice, Work

Building Your Brand: Find Your Niche (Hint: Look to your passions)

Anyone can have a blog or a YouTube channel, but very few can conquer the illustrious “brand”.  I think this is partly because brands can seem so intangible. Just what IS a brand anyway?  It’s something that frankly I am no expert in and am still trying to figure out, but in the past few days I’ve done some deep digging on the world wide web to learn more about it.  You would think that three years of business school would teach me the ways of building a brand…but that’s another blog post for another day.

Today I’m launching a FIVE-PART SERIES (hold for applause) that will help you establish your brand when you are looking to start a blog, YouTube channel, Instagram account, podcast, or anything in between (I would encourage you to consider launching as many of of these elements that you can handle.  Chriselle Lim called this a “360 brand” on the Him & Her Podcast and I LOVE that concept).  The first thing you want to do is decide what your platforms will be about.  This is called your niche

You want to be careful not to cast too wide of a net at the beginning when you are establishing your platform. Having a clear intention and goal when it comes to your business, in the long run, will yield a more loyal following. Think of it this way: would you rather follow a blog that scratches the surface on a bunch of different topics, or would you rather follow a blog that goes deep into one or two very specific topics, with a ton of detailed information and consistent execution?

It’s not enough to call yourself a “fashion blogger” or a “lifestyle blogger” these days.  What type of fashion blog will you be?  What aspects of that giant ‘lifestyle’ umbrella will you cover?  Get SUPER specific.

Let’s say you want to be a food blogger.  Will you specialize in desserts?  Vegan recipes?  Wine pairings?  Family meals?  Dinners you can cook in under 30 minutes?  There are a million different routes you can take in this category.  How about another example: fashion blogging.  Will you do outfits for under $100?  Do you dress more edgy, or are you all about comfort?  Are you preppy and shop at Nordstrom or are you more of a ‘jeans and a t-shirt’ kind of a gal?  Do you want to showcase every day style or more elegant, ‘date night’ looks? Again, there are a million different directions you can go in.

I wanted to talk about finding your niche first and foremost because in my opinion, this is the most difficult part of launching a brand but also the most important aspect.  I think finding your niche will also make your life easier when it comes to all the other aspects of building your brand (more to come in part two!) But, don’t fret: you can always expand your niche into other areas as you grow your audience.  This needs to be done strategically, but as long as it comes from a place of authenticity, your loyal followers will, well, follow you.

Stumped on figuring out what your niche is?  What helped me was reading this post on The Skinny Confidential and this post by James Altucher. Basically you start by looking back on your early life (James Altucher does age 7-20) and writing down all the things you were obsessed with and passionate about as a child and young adult. What were your skills? What did you want to be when you grew up? What were you talented in? What did all of your friends go to you for advice on? What did you love to do? Once you have written those things down, mix them all together into different combinations to see the full potential of what you can build using your passions.

Simply put, you’ll find your niche in the things you already love to do.  See how easy the universe wants life to be?! I think sometimes we have this image of what being an ‘influencer’ looks like and we think we have to fit a certain mold, completely neglecting what makes us unique and squashing the opportunity to blaze your own trail and build your brand on something no one else is doing. Because there is only one you.

Besides, if your content seems forced, it will come across as inauthentic. And followers can smell that from a mile away.

To put it bluntly, don’t BS yourself and your audience. Listen to Minnie Mouse: Do what makes you happy.

I know this was a very text-heavy post, I’m still learning how to stock up on nice photos to share with y’all. Don’t worry, Part Two definitely has visual aids.

So go discover your niche and I’ll see you in my next post!

xo Carly


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