How to DIY Your Own Brand, Part 1: Niche & Connect
This week I had several great conversations with business owners who weren’t moving in the direction they would have liked. For many, they had been developing their client base for years, but they weren’t seeing the results that they were expecting.
One conversation stuck out to me. This particular entrepreneur’s budget was small, but with incredible stick-to-it-ness she was making that small budget stretch as far as she could (around the block and back again).
Still, she struggled with not quite having a brand. Her number one goal was creating clients, but then freely explained that she didn’t really know who her ideal client was.
Her second goal was that she wanted to create more engagement with her digital outreach, but she didn’t know what sort of engagement her potential client base actually was seeking.
So she was left re-trodding the same ground over and over, hoping that something would bare fruit.
She was stuck.
DIY’ing your own brand can be frustrating when it feels like you’re looking for a secret door in a secret room that everyone else seems to know about but you. I should know because this is what I work with my clients on, day in and day out, within my program, Pursuit with Passion.
Rather than immediately jump onto a platform like Squarespace, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram to start making sales, we’re going to take it slow today. In this series on How to DIY Your Own Brand, our first phase is to get down your basics first. Going step-by-step is incredibly important, which cannot be overstated enough. Without our basics established, you’ll find yourself creating content for a group of people that didn’t ask for it and have little interest in it.
1. Be Clear On Your Niche.
Here’s what they don’t tell you about finding your niche: it’s a long and winding road with a dead end or two. While “niching down” is a proven strategy that works, it only works when you’re authentically and deeply connected to your niche. I’ve more than once heard of clients passionlessly explaining that they got into their niche because it “made sense given my background” (and then they wonder why they don’t have clients).
Niches are most often at the crossroads of personal/professional experience, talent, a past injury/injustice/stress, and a change you’re looking to make in the world.
Once you have an inkling, TEST IT. Test it as much as you can and see if you receive validation from the marketplace that its responding to your chosen niche before tweaking it as needed. While it doesn’t need to be overly-specific in the beginning, it will become clear(er) the longer you are in business.
2. Articulate Your Skin in the Game.
Our businesses are meant to support us financially, however, there is often a compelling personal story behind it. For me, my stand for the world is that I genuinely believe that if everyone was making the change they wanted to see in the world, we’d be so busy connecting that this world would be a much better, happier, more fulfilled place.
You have one, too, and it’s the thing that unites all the different arms of your business. It’s made up of your story, your opinions, and what you believe the world/your clients need. Find it and it will tell you if you are on the right path in the choices you make.
3. Know Who Your Clients Are.
Just as important in knowing your motivation is knowing your clients. If you don’t understand what peeves your ideal client, or makes them happy, or what has them up worrying at 2 am, you are missing a key component of how to relate to them. By having this, you know what they’re seeking, and you can create empathy and valuable content to reach them. I wrote a blog post that goes into a bit more detail on this, which you can find here.
Part 2 Next week….
Next week we’ll jump into Part 2, where we cover what it looks like to start creating branding and design for your business and how it’s way easier than you think. Make sure you subscribe below to receive this directly in your inbox and don’t miss it! And, if you’re interested in the Pursuit with Passion program, make sure to check it out here.