I started my journey as a content creator two years ago on TikTok. I had no purpose other than to entertain others and myself during the pandemic lockdown. Along the way, I grew a small following and got to work with TikTok directly on a few campaigns. Usually an online workshop would be organized with TikTok community managers and HUGE content creators who would constantly suggest ‘niching down’.
This means as a content creator, you pick one industry or topic and be known for that one thing. That suggestion never motivated me. My interests, hobbies, and career over the years make it hard for me to pigeonhole myself in just one thing. I’ve always love tinkering and learning about different things. I taught myself how to build computers, make websites, modify cars, study martial arts, be a sales professional, speak my village dialect. More recently, I have been learning about Angel investing, NFT’s and the creator marketing. But I couldn’t identify the value I would offer to solve a problem that wasn’t already covered in great detail by far more talented content creators.
I started by approaching problems I solve professionally and personally. Professionally, I am hired to solve really unique problems. Social media to me is very personal and I don’t often like mixing professional work into my own time. Plus, I didn’t want to be known as an entrepreneur or tech leader as I am in my professional network.
So, I asked my closest friends and colleagues, what’s something they look forward to hearing from me when they see me?”
The common answer was my storytelling often accompanied by youthful energy and humor. Some also included my ability to offer outside perspective. Great answers but this didn’t help narrow my online voice. So rather than picking one topic, I decided to test the water by posting a range of everything to find my voice. This worked and I now have a strong following. However I was creating content out of discipline rather than passion. My frequency to post began to slow down. My creativity was no longer inspired. My recent posts didn’t feel genuine. I didn’t enjoy what I was talking about, so I had to re-evaluate.
I have many more followers than many accounts out there but the game isn’t quantity. My users follow me purely due to entertainment. As we all know, entertainment is fleeting.
I have met many creators who have niched down and productized themselves or create some service(s) with very few followers but incredibly high engagement. I could see how niching down means you know exactly who you’re helping and what you’re helping people with. They figured out seemingly effortlessly, and their engagement results proved successful. When they brought their unique point of view, skills, and other interests, that’s what they were known for.
Drawbacks To Niching Down
I could also see their limited benefits of niching down. Some tried to pivot and it proved difficult. Now they pushed forward with their commitment even if they no longer express interest in that area of topic. Their following was now centralized into this one topic.
My theory to growth is if you can’t be the best content creator in your area of interest and topic, is to be the most consistent one. Let your audience indicate the topics you excel in, and then decide your unique interests and the skills you want to help people with. Think of yourself as a product for a lack of a better example. Find a way to combine those topics and use your online voice to fully express yourself to tell a story. This way there’s no need to hold yourself back about your unique point of view and your interests.
I came across a Google Creator article and while it didn’t help me, there’s some good stuff I believe are helpful for those who narrowed down their interest and hobbies. Educational Guide: Finding Your Niche and Brand- Google for Creators