Becoming a Niche Leader in 6 Steps
Whether you are new to the online community, or been around for a while, niche leadership is quite a common phrase to encounter. You know that it’s a good thing, all the entrepreneurship sites say so, but you just don’t know how to get started.
Niche leaders are those who have found their places in particular niches, and built themselves up as authorities in their fields. It is achievable by anyone who wants to develop their online presence.
Becoming a Niche Leader
1. Find Your Niche
Begin with thinking of your long-term career goals. Whatever you dedicate your site too, you will be spending quite a lot of time developing the content and audience. That being the case, you might want to place your niche where your passion is.
If your long-term passion is to become a brand logo designer, for example, your niche would be somewhere in layout and graphic design. Wherever you plan to be in the future, let your online presence be a signal of your knowledge and expertise in that field.
2. Do Your Research
The fact that an individual holds an opinion does not mean that it is an individual opinion. It either has too many adherents to it, too many competitors, or it does not strike anyone’s interest. To find out where you stand in your niche, you need to discover what is being and what has already been said.
For example, if your desired niche is gardening, look for the general themes on gardening that already exist online. There are sites dedicated to zen gardens, home gardens, kitchen gardens, tiny windowsill cactus gardens. There are sites dedicated to gardening tools, gardening gloves, gardening pots, gardening soil. The list goes on and on.
Group those sites into general categories, and figure out where your niche is. If you specialize in home gardening, discard all the other categories and read up on home gardening. Do the same thing: split home gardening into smaller categories and figure out your niche there. This exercise will give you the invaluable experience of knowing what exactly is in your niche, and where your site fits into all that.
3. Choose Your Audience
After you have decided where you fit into your niche, narrow it down further, and develop your specialization, by choosing an audience. The more specific, the better. Of course, it cannot be overly specific–”Presidents of the United States,” for example, would be a rather terrible audience choice.
Say that your chosen general niche is economics. You’ve narrowed it down to microeconomics, specifically household economics. However, since you have not yet chosen your specific audience, any podcast, blog, or social media page that you create will be too broad. Household economics include the groceries, utilities, looking at the independent income of each member of the household, the car maintenance bills–trying to deal with all of those at the same time will not draw a steady following.
What would be better is a site dedicated to simple economics for full-time housewives who do their own shopping for household food. This would deal with causes of egg and milk price changes, the pros and cons of shopping in the marketplace vis-a-vis the grocery store, and so forth. Targeting this niche will give you a specific audience, and increase the possibility of your becoming a go-to in that field as your consistent readers grow.
4. Know Your Keywords and Hashtags
You might be a blogger who loves writing about small parts of your day that you find sweet or funny, but you are not being read. Part of the reason could be that you do not know your keywords. Those kinds of blogs are part of the general niche called “slice of life.” If those words are not in your post or tags, then the readers who would like what you write cannot find you. This goes especially for hashtags, where readers tend to search familiar phrases.
The keyword phrase “slice of life,” however, is still too broad. If your blog entries focus on slice of life stories from school, then optimize it for the search phrase “slice of life school stories.” If it’s on romantic things that you see, then optimize it for “slice of life romance” or “slice of life couple.” These keywords will help your target audience find you, and you to reach out to them.
5. Develop Your Expertise
For example, if you are planning to write on social media management, and have already narrowed your niche down to Twitter management for businesses with less than ten employees, make sure that you know what you are talking about. Devote time and effort to reading and researching on the subject. Keep abreast of the latest polls on Twitter as a social media platform for businesses, and the latest articles on how different businesses use Twitter to promote their products and services.
To become a niche leader, you need to act like one before your brand begins to be known. Your target audience will continue to return to your site because they receive regular updates that tell them that you are on top of the game, and constantly adding information that they need to best use Twitter as a social media platform for their businesses. It might be slow, and the research might feel wasted at times, but building a solid foundation of followers is key to niche leadership.
6. Develop Your Audience
As you find your niche and become consistent in posting content for your particular audience, do not forget to engage them. Readers or listeners will most probably comment questions, compliments, or suggestions on your posts. It is important to read through as many as you can, everything if possible, and respond to as many as you can.
Visitors to your sites or pages want to know that they are interacting with a person, not just a website. Niche leaders are those who have made themselves a personal presence to their followers. This kind of interaction, whether on the social media platform where you promote your site or on the site itself, will encourage your readers to become consistent because they feel connected to, cared for.
Niche leadership is not something mysterious that some humans have that gives their sites a boost. It is a carefully-studied, deliberately-practiced approach. This guide presents a practical look at becoming a niche leader with your personal website or social media page.