A lot of people don’t realise it, but social media influencing is a highly competitive sport. Ok, you may not spend your days arm-wrestling with your fellow Instagrammers, but you are most certainly wrestling for the attention and affection of the same audience.
For example, Maximize Social Business suggests that there are around 8 million ‘mummy bloggers’ active in the world. So, if that’s a subject around which you’d like to build your own career as an influencer, your voice is going to have to be pretty loud to stand out amongst all those others.
But then again, having the loudest voice perhaps isn’t the answer to standing out from such a huge crowd – particularly when it comes to persuading brands that you can play a valuable role in their marketing campaigns.
So instead of being the loudest voice in a noisy room, what if you simply found yourself a less crowded room?
Establishing your niche on social media may make all the difference to how brands view you as an influencer – and a potential asset to their marketing.
After all, brands (well, the smart ones at least) are not necessarily looking for a huge following, but the proven ability to inspire an audience to act on your recommendation. (Just take a look at our blog on the small-but-mighty world of micro influencers.)
That means an influencer in a subject where they clearly have a great deal of knowledge, passion and credibility amongst the kind of people who share the same interest.
That’s why brands (again, just the smart ones) go to amazing lengths to find the influencer that represents the ideal contextual fit for their brand.
Often, these brands will even search for influential voices in their own following. After all, what better way to develop an authentic influencer partnership than to choose someone who already loves what you do?
The tricky part of finding a niche is that, well, there aren’t necessarily a lot of them left to grab. Just think back to those 8 million mummy bloggers – and there are probably equally vast numbers of people sharing their views on fashion, beauty, fitness, travel and food.
But don’t worry. You don’t need to create an entirely new specialism to be a success as a social media influencer. And if you did become a unique social authority on, say, monkey haircuts, then it sort of limits your appeal to most brands.
The reality is that to be an authentic and engaging social media influencer, your subject needs to be something you can speak about in an intelligent and inspiring way. In other words, you don’t really find your niche as a social media influencer – your niche finds you.
The key is to make sure you specialise. If you have a passion for hill running, but you’re also really into omelettes and woolly hats, then it’s important to focus on your most influential topic – or at least only supplement it with related and relevant topics.
That’s not to say your Instagram should be filled with post after post of omelettes/woolly hats. It’s just making sure that you are developing a clear identity for yourself in your channels.
Treat your social media presence as a brand and behave in the same way a brand would – essentially ensuring that everything you share communicates the values that are most important to you.
Or, if you can’t be bothered to do all that, you could always just go and arm-wrestle all the other influencers in your space. That shouldn’t take too long.