When it comes to marketing, why is it better to pick a niche than to try to target popular demographics? What factors should you consider when choosing a niche for your brand?
Gary Vaynerchuk, a successful entrepreneur and social media expert, says that you should pick a niche audience rather than a popular one when creating your personal brand. There are many reasons why he gives this contradictory advice.
Here is why you should pick a niche and how to do it.
Gary Vaynerchuk: How to Choose Your Niche
Gary Vaynerchuk repeatedly argues that your personal brand must be true to who you are—and that starts with picking a niche. While it’s tempting to choose a topic based on its marketability, he insists that you must let your passion guide you because that will not only resonate with your audience but also keep you motivated and interested in this work during the inevitable long hours and late nights.
(Shortform note: In contrast to Vaynerchuk, Cal Newport argues in So Good They Can’t Ignore You that the idea that following your passion will lead you to love your work is flawed. Instead, he says that the way to find fulfilling work is to hone your skills, and use them as currency to secure a job that gives you autonomy and purpose.)
Vaynerchuk writes that any interest can be fodder for a personal brand—from accounting to carpentry. It may be an extension of your professional expertise, or it may be a hobby, but as long as you’re enthusiastic about it and creative about how you present the information, you will be able to gain digital traction.
For example, Vaynerchuk took an unorthodox approach to tasting and reviewing wines on Wine Library TV: He wanted to make the world of wine accessible to everyone, so he used casual language and made familiar references. Instead of saying that he was “nosing” the wine when taking a whiff before the first sip, he called it a “sniffy-sniff”—and when describing wines’ flavor notes, Vaynerchuk sometimes detected hints of Cap’n Crunch. (Shortform note: He even dedicated an episode to pairing wine with cereal.)
How to Choose Your Niche Based on Your Interests
Some of the biggest niches for influencer marketing include beauty, fashion, travel, parenting, and how to make money online—which Vaynerchuk has focused on since the late 2000s. However, as in the traditional business world, the bigger the market the fiercer the competition. Alternatively, there are a number of successful influencers monetizing obscure niches, like Disney fandom and copywriting.
Not sure what your passion is? Consider these questions: How do you spend your free time? What are your top three interests? What kind of people would you want to talk to about your interests? (In other words, who is your ideal audience?)
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Here's what you'll find in our full Crush It! summary :
- Step-by-step instructions for building and monetizing a personal brand
- How to quit your day job and earn a living off your brand
- Why a few loyal followers are better than a crowd of passive subscribers