3 things all Niche Influencers need to know to increase their chances of success.
Influencer marketing is taking over the world. To stand out, niche influencers have a sharper offer. Discover how to become a niche influencer thanks to the Ikigai test.
Légende : Influencers achieved a popular: living of their passion. While it seems easy, being successful doesn’t happen overnight and requires work, strategy and guts.
An influencer or niche influencer is an online personality who has an audience (the followers) and shares content via online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok etc…
They cover many areas from beauty, wellness, finance, travel and even medicine: there is no limit!
You don’t need to have a large audience to be an influencer: nano and micro influencers have less than 100K followers but are considered very attractive for brands since their engagement rates are usually higher than those with astronomical audiences.
Brands are changing their marketing strategies and invest more and more in influencer marketing. According to a survey conducted by Statista, the global influencer marketing market had a value of 13.8 billion dollars in 2021, twice as much as 2019.
With the growth of influencer endorsement, collaborations between brands and content creators have skyrocketed and never been so profitable. Indeed, per a study from Defy Media published by the magazine Variety, 60% of millennials are more likely to take advice from YouTube than traditional advertising. In a report from Rakuten marketing, we can learn that 80% of consumers made a purchase recommended by an influencer by clicking on the image or link they shared.
These figures show how much influencer marketing has become the norm for brands to sell their products or services, but as an influencer, how can you stand out and be relevant for both your audience and brands?
One of the answers is to become… a niche influencer!
Let’s see what is a niche and how you can find yours using the Ikigai test – a Japanese philosophy aiming at giving a sense of purpose – and multiply your chance of success in the challenging world of influencers.
With 22.4K followers, Katie Mountanos found her niche: offering advice to help millennials master adulting. She has a strong following and a community that keeps growing. IG: @onadulting
What is a niche and why niche influencers are now trending?
Let’s go back to basics.
In marketing, a niche or to be more specific [spoiler], “a niche market” is a very specific segment of a larger market. For example, in the cooking market there are specific segments like French cuisine, Asian or Fusion Food, Vegan pastries, ASMR cooking etc… For another example, let’s look at the beauty industry where you can have products for people with beards, for people with curly hair or for make-up artists and so on…
The more specific you are, the more you are going to become a reference in your field compared to influencers who have a broader offer. In becoming an expert, you will attract the right audience, develop a bond with them and grow it. Yes, just like that.
A niche influencer doesn’t have a specific number of followers. Unlike macro, micro, nano or mega influencers, niche influencers differentiate themselves thanks to their specialization, the key to get a loyal following and attract brands.
“Jack of all trades, master of none” is a figure of speech that translates perfectly what a niche influencer is.
But how do you find your specialization aka your niche?
The Ikigai test : a starting point for niche influencers
Ikigai is a Japanese concept that can be translated as “a reason to get out of bed in the morning”. It’s a combination of the word “iki” which means “life” and “gai” which means “purpose”. To find your Ikigai you can draw circles intersecting each other that represent:
- What you love
- What you are good at
- What the world needs
- What you are or could you paid for
At the intersection of these four circles there is the sweet spot: the Ikigai.
Despite being a concept from the Heian period (794 to 1185), it is more than ever relevant in our society as more and more people want to combine their passion with their talent(s) in order to contribute to society while making a living out of it.
If you want to become a niche influencer, it’s important to first do some soul searching before entering the arena and the Ikigai test is a great introduction.
Inspired by the Ikigai test, find below 6 steps to find your niche and become a successful niche influencer.
6 steps to succeed as a niche influencer thanks to the Ikigai test
Step 1: convert your passion and talent into a niche
What do you like to do and what are you good at? These two questions and components of the Ikigai diagram are vital for a niche influencer.
Do you like drawing or finding the best deals? Do you have a condition and make it a strength? Do your friends and family love your restaurant recommendations? It can be anything, but it has to be something you like and have a talent for.
Once you have a rough idea of the topic you want to be expert at, go to step 2 but not before.
Step 2: Narrow it down
Narrowing is the principle of finding a niche: the more specialized you are, the better. The mistake is to think of an industry and stop there, while the idea is to look for the part of an industry you want to be in.
This way you can focus on one topic, one target, and become an expert in your niche. This way, you can build a loyal audience of followers and become their “guide”. It can be a big responsibility, so be prepared…
For example, if you pick the “lifestyle” industry and narrow it down to “natural cleaning”: well done, you found your niche. This niche is narrow enough to target a specific audience rather than anyone who has a life (since it’s everybody…).
Légende: Jessica Nabongo is a travel influencer but she decided to specialize in solo female travelling. It’s a niche that attracts a lot and in being the 1st Black female to have travelled to every country in the world including 89 solo, she can provide solid advice. IG: @jessicanabongo
But, be careful. Do not pick a niche that is too obscure and won’t attract anyone: you’re a niche influencer but also an influencer so don’t forget that you are after popularity and according to the Ikigai test, something that the world needs.
What if you are stuck finding your niche?
There are two scenarios :
- You want to know if your niche is viable.
- You have issues finding your niche.
If you want to know if your niche is viable, make a list of 100 different topics you can cover in your niche and if you succeed and have fun doing it, well done: you have found your niche! Remember, one of the components of the Ikigai concept is to love what you do. If you haven’t succeeded, try to expand your niche to other topics or go back to step 1…
If you struggle to find your niche, select a larger industry and three pillars or topics that belong to it and narrow them down. This way you’ll naturally narrow down an area or niche that is attractive for an audience and for you. There are a lot of examples online to find the best Instagram niche.
Step 3: Plan your future as a niche influencer
Because a niche is so specific, you need to check upfront where this is going to lead you, so in other terms: what are the opportunities you are creating in the long term. Can you generate revenue by publishing videos? Could this niche land you a deal with a brand? Can you turn this into a full-time job?
As the Ikigai test stated, it’s crucial to ask yourself constantly if you can make a living out of the niche you picked.
Légende: Kelly Cruz is a 29 years old French tiler and her Tik Tok account has half a million followers. She turned her career into an influencer one, fighting stereotypes while offering advice about her field.
Here’s a couple of tips to help you out:
- Test your content
- Find influencers in your niche and look at what they do
- Study what brands are after
- Diversify your revenues
- Ask yourself if your niche is viable in the long run
Step 4: Study the competition
Once you have done some soul searching, it’s important to see what’s out there…
The influencer world is big and messy, anyone can start an Instagram page or Tik Tok account as it’s free, but few people really stand out.
In order to not act as an amateur, it’s strongly advised to have a look at successful niche influencers. In scoping out the competition you can first learn about what works but also what doesn’t and avoid certain common mistakes.
Don’t try to be too different or get frustrated if your offer isn’t 100% new, don’t over compare yourself with others and focus on authenticity, on what you can bring to the topic and to your audience. It’s crucial to ask yourself how you can stand alongside your competitors and learn that it’s all about balance.
Légende: There are a range of tools to help you identify influencers with the most followers in your niche, their engagement rates and even their accounts on several platforms.
Step 5: Know and analyze your audience
If you want to grow your niche, you need to make sure you have an actual audience. To help you, see below a couple of tips to achieve it:
- Check out your competitors’ audience.
- Make a keyword search on Google and see the number of researches in your niche and in other topics that could cover it.
- Try to predict what your audience will look like in the future and if you can create content that will interest them now and in the future.
- Know your audience’ problems and see how your content can solve them.
In following these tips you get to know your audience better: one of the principles of any content or marketing strategy and of the Ikigai test.
Step 6: Experimentation is key
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to share the best content all the time. First, it’s a huge amount of pressure and second, you never know how people will react to what you post, especially at the beginning.
Content creation is a journey, just like life…
Experiment with new content or some that have been done already (do not plagiarize!) and look at the reactions: social media have been shaped to get data in a blink of an eye, so you can quickly change your direction if it’s starting to lead you nowhere.
For example, you can think backward and identify your ideal followers to build content for them and see what happens: be reactive, be assertive, be in doubt but don’t be afraid to try!
To conclude, we can say that wanting to become a niche influencer is a smart move and can lead to a very fulfilling and successful life. In finding your niche and in adopting good practices, you can quickly succeed if you are sincere, passionate, and work hard for it.
Do you think you can change the world with your passion and want to make a living out of it? Contact us and let’s discuss your project. We offer coaching and good practices for influencers to succeed in their niche.