Today, we’re going to dive into the question of whether or not you need a niche for social selling. The bottom line is, it depends.
I used to think that having a niche was crucial. I’d spent years building my credibility on social media, but something felt off. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but I eventually realized that I wasn’t showing up online with all of me, so that left me feeling like I was hiding so much of me from the people that I was building trust with. The issue was that I wasn’t talking about all the things that were the vast majority of my life – the Army, my husband, my dogs, house hunting, mental health, or IVF, and that was weighing on me.
That’s when I came upon the idea that you are your niche. It took some time to re-adjust, but now I can see the benefits of this approach both for my business and for other creators – especially on platforms like TikTok.
So, what exactly is a niche?
A niche refers to a specific topic that you create content on, usually using your authority as an expert. Your goal is to reach a specific group of consumers with specific interests or needs. For example, you could be an expert in curly hair or an expert in travel to the Caribbean. Or, you could focus on mothers in their 40s and the specific challenges and journeys that are unique to that set of mothers.
Pros of having a niche:
- You can focus on a specific topic
- You have the ability to grow a following faster since your audience will be targeted
- It positions you as an authority and makes use of your expertise.
Cons of having a niche:
- You risk losing your audience if you stop talking about that thing that you built your audience on
- In social selling, people may assume that if you’re an expert, they can’t be an expert too, which makes it really hard to duplicate
What is a personal brand?
A personal brand is the way you present yourself to the world, both online and in person. It’s a combination of your skills, values, personality, and reputation, and it helps others understand what makes you unique and what they can expect from you.
In the context of social selling, a personal brand means focusing on yourself as your “niche”. You get people familiar with your story by documenting your day, talking about your likes, dislikes, favorite products, family, travels, and business. That way, people are engaging with your content because they know, like, and trust YOU, not necessarily for your authority or expertise on anything in particular.
Pros of a personal brand:
- This positions you for longevity, since your audience is willing to stay as you evolve in business and life
- Allows you to talk about anything you want, not just a niche
- Leaves room for you to sell multiple things over time (my favorite benefit)
- Much more duplicatable in social selling, since you aren’t relying on degrees or formal training / authority as expertise for a product
Cons of a personal brand:
- Since you aren’t targeting a very specific audience, you may see slower growth on social than with a defined niche
- It takes time to build trust since you aren’t relying on any degrees or authority
Bottom line is that for most social sellers, I recommend being a personal brand. If you want more details and explanation, be sure to listen to the podcast at the top of this blog.
If you want to hire me for a 1:1 Social Media Review or Strategy Session, head HERE.
Storytelling is so important in any brand – niche or not. If you’re interested in learning more about how to tell your story, download my Fill in the Blank Caption worksheet HERE.
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