How to find your niche and create a brand
One thing I’m really proud of when it comes to this content creation life I’m living is the fact that I really forged my own niche and built a brand around it. When I set out down this path, I knew I loved photography, fashion, travel, thrifting/taking a sustainable approach to my shopping habits. Those were things I knew I wanted to put at the forefront of my brand. Frank Vinyl is a reflection of who I really am in real life, not just online and I wanted to make sure that it came through in my imagery and everything I put out there.
With that said, creating a brand isn’t easy. Especially when you see what other people are doing and feel like you need to emulate them to find the same level of success. It’s also hard sometimes just to narrow down what you want your brand to really be. I get asked about this a lot and how I did it in a way that felt authentic to me, so I thought I’d dive in on the topic a bit and give you all some of my best tips!
Be authentically you
I get asked all the time, “How do I find my niche?” and my best advice is to strip back all the layers and be who you really are. Being vulnerable is the best way to find your authentic self and will help others be able to connect with you and your brand. Don’t worry about what other people are doing or things that are working for them, and just do you! Take time to reflect on what brings you the most joy, who you spend time with and why, what draws you to certain people and places, etc. What are you extremely passionate about? What makes you tick? You may even want to ask yourself, what do you know a lot about? What do people come to you for advice on? How can you be helpful to others?
I’d actually recommend grabbing a journal and taking the time to write everything down. It’s also kind of like a self-awareness activity to help you learn and see things about yourself. Write down every single thing that comes to mind. After you do that, keep going over it until you are able to narrow it down a bit. If you try to cover too many topics it can be confusing to an audience you are trying to reach so try to narrow it down as much as you can. If you are focusing on a personal brand (like being an influencer for example), its impossible to put yourself in a box! Just like our real life selves, we are multi-dimensional beings! Don’t limit yourself so much that your personality doesn’t shine thru. Instead narrow it down to 3-4 things that all intertwine with each other.
Research your competition
It’s important to not compare yourself but you definitely need to research your competition in order to see where you fit in. What are other people doing? What’s missing? What would you change? What are the brands, people, accounts you are loving and why? Making a list of what you love and don’t love including colors, vibes, locations, editing and overall look can be helpful. Do your research and also take a moment to reflect.
Create a vibe
Once you have an understanding of your own interests and what makes you, you, it’s time to start getting creative! For me, this is where my personal style, skating, sunset pictures and funky photo editing come into play. I incorporate all these things I love, and that I feel represent me, into my Instagram feed and any content I create. I recommend making a mood board on Pinterest or get crafty at home and make an art collage type mood board! Add everything that you feel speaks to your brand. Colors, locations, things your love and everything in between! This really helped me when I was trying to nail down my whole aesthetic and vibe. See example of what part of my mood board looks like below:
This “vibe” that you discover is what will eventually be your brand and what people will know you for. But in order for people to know you for it, you have to first be consistent, which brings me to my next point…
Define your Audience
Once you know your niche, you definitely need to know who you are serving. Who will be enjoying your content, your products or whatever you are putting out there? As the saying goes, if you are trying to please everyone then you are pleasing NO ONE. Always remember this. You need to know exactly who you are talking to or trying to reach whenever you do anything for your brand. I actually recommend creating an “avatar” or two describing your target audience or your ideal community member. Where do they work? How old are they? What are their interests? What are their dreams? Where do they shop? Are they married? Write a whole paragraph describing it all and I guarantee it will help you so much! This is who you are constantly sharing content with and talking to from now on.
Consistency is key
Part of establishing a brand is showing up consistently. If you want to be “recognizable” to people online, you have to be creating on a consistent basis so people can start to see you over and over again – you have to give them an opportunity to learn what you’re all about! And the only way to do that is to be consistent. If you’re vlogging, have a set schedule so your audience knows they can expect something new from you every Wednesday, for example. Or if you’re starting up an e-commerce business, share about new product drops and be talking about your products/what matters to your biz all the time. If you are mostly creating a personal brand or niche for Instagram than you definitely want to make sure you are constantly popping up and saying hi! Take a look at this blog post where I share tips on showing up and being consistent.
Serve your followers
I talked about this in my blog post all about growing your IG following, but I think sometimes we (myself included) all get wrapped up in the numbers – followers, views, likes, etc. – and forget about the loyal and amazing followers we already have. Part of having a brand is getting and keeping those followers so don’t forget to bring them valuable, educational and/or entertaining content on the daily that is consistent with your brand. Do that, and I promise they’ll stick around and likely organically share your brand with their own followers!
All of this to say, if you’re wanting to find your niche and create a brand, don’t overthink it! Just be you!! Let yourself shine, be vulnerable and don’t be scared to let your true personality shine. It’s the one thing no one else will ever have so embrace it and the rest will follow!