Find your niche. Become an expert.
We get told this all the time in the sphere of digital influence, but how do you actually do that?
I’ve managed through strategy, consistency, and a bit of luck to be number one in my niche of Pilates. I’m frequently in the Top 20 for fitness, too.
This led to some very lucrative opportunities and it just takes some know how and some sweat equity.
1. Pick Two Top Social Media Venues
There are a slew of social media options to pick from these days although Twitter and Facebook remain, for most people, the best choices. Your industry might be better represented elsewhere though, so check LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc. to find the best two areas for you to play in.
2. Set Up a Blog
There is no point building a following if you don’t have somewhere to lead them. Make sure you have a website with a blog and focus on your niche.
I’ve been writing at LisaJohnsonFitness.com since 2008 and I blog three times a week there.
Whenever I post something new, I let my friends and followers know and drive them to my website. And my latest thing? It just so happens to be selling my fitness DVDs. In the last 30 days, I had over 1,000 visitors from Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
3. Use Keywords Wisely
Competing for the word “Pilates” on Google is a fool’s game. There are too many companies paying tons of money for that keyword and it’s not worth my time. But search “What is Pilates?” and there I am. That one search term nets me between 200 and 300 unique visitors a month.
Do the research, find some terms or phrases with low competition, and a few of these long-tail keywords will provide you with some significant traffic quickly. Use the Google keywords tool, take some time, and try a bunch of different phrases. You’ll find some gems.
4. Talk About Your Niche Everywhere
Your bio should mention your niche. Talk about your niche regularly in your streams. Your content should regularly talk about your niche. If not daily, almost daily. It doesn’t have to be exclusive, but it does have to be consistent.
The algorithms that search for activity want to see that you are constantly talking about your area of interest. Otherwise they’ll pass you over for the next guy.
5. Interact With Others In Your Niche
I think this is the secret sauce. Make friends with the gurus in your area of interest. Of course, you would do that anyway because you’re passionate about your subject, right?
Once you’re on friendly terms with others in your niche you can ask them to provide guest posts or for you to guest post for them or perhaps they’ll repost something for you. They can also be invaluable resources as you move up the ladder.
I got my first speaking gig ever at BlogWorld (now New Media Expo) because of a guru in my niche who mentioned me to an organizer there.
You never know what can come from online relationships.
6. Be Real
Be a real person. Don’t push out content all the time.
If your stream is nothing but a list of links, you’re not an industry leader. You’re a spammer. Stop wasting everyone’s time.
Talk and respond to whatever interests you in your stream. It can be anything from what you’re having for dinner to talking about your favorite sports teams.
Being real will show people your personality and that will make them more likely to want to work with you.
7. Don’t Be Too Real
Keep the intimate details out of it! No one wants to know it’s been three days since you had a shower or you just had a fight with your spouse. No one wants to see you swearing like a sailor either — do you think those people are considered professionals?
Use the analogy of being at a cocktail party.
Keep the conversation light and entertaining. A healthy dose of humor is always a good thing, but keep it clean.
Feel free to adjust your content to your niche. Mommy bloggers might share more intimate details than I would. A comedy-focused niche might think off-color content is just fine in the right amount. Adjust accordingly.
8. Have an End Goal
What do you get out of achieving number one in your niche?
For me, it’s to build an email list and sell my fitness DVDs. I’m also hoping I’ll get some ambassadorships and speaking gigs.
I have goals and I’m hitting them consistently.
9. Be Consistent
This is the most important thing! If you do all of the above sporadically, you’ll fail spectacularly.
You need to be on social media every day, being present and participating in the conversation surrounding your niche. It is rare that I take a day entirely off. You also need to be producing longer pieces of content on your blog or vlog. If you don’t, the message you’re putting out there is that you are inconsistent, and who wants to work with someone who is unreliable?