second tier skills

All posts tagged second tier skills

Dominate Your Niche With Content Marketing

by Joanne Dolezal on 9th February 2018

Once you find your niche, ideally the smaller the better, you will find some surprising benefits. You cannot be all things to all men or women. You are probably really good at just a few things. We are most successful when we do those few things really well for people who really appreciate what we can do – your niche market.

Why finding your niche is a good thing

It’s important to find your niche because there’s so much competition when you are a ‘Jack of all trades’ and your target customers just become confused. It’s pretty exhausting as well.

With the volume of ‘me too’ content being published online every second, of every minute you will struggle to build a following.  But if you are a specialist (or even an expert) in one or two areas, you may find that it’s easier to focus in and create content for a fairly tight target customer.

How big a market do you want? How many customers can you serve at one time? It may be fewer than you think. Especially if you can price your products and services in line with their rarity.

As Heather Townsend writes in her excellent book “The Go To Expert” this doesn’t mean you have to drop all your other products and services, but you focus on one or two clearly defined areas of expertise that would appeal to a small number of potential customers.

The benefits when you niche down include the increased fees you can charge as a specialist; more time for content marketing about the niche you want to dominate; greater confidence and raised profile in your specialism/s; invitations to speak on others’ podcasts or at their events; write for their publications or guest on their blog; collaborate on bigger projects where your skill set is valued and in short supply.

Where to find your niche audience

There are hundreds of social media channels, but you need to work out what you’re good at and find your community. Maybe you only need to be on Pinterest or on LinkedIn, or there’s an online forum in your sector or target industry, and that’s where everyone hangs out.

Create a presence in just a few places, but make it strong; people will value you and trust what you have to say, you’ll get much further than by trying to be everywhere and reach every demographic on every platform.

What’s interesting is when you ask people which bloggers they follow and where they get their information from, you’ve never heard of them, and they’ve never heard of any of the people you rave about.

New media creates new niche market opportunities

The proliferation of digital media and the different ways of marketing mean that you have a whole new range of celebrities, competing for your customers attention.  They could be a blogger or a vlogger like:

  • Zoella – fashion vlogger beloved of teenage girls – with 12million and 8million YouTube subscribers on her two channels
  • Stampyonghead – the unofficial king of Minecraft – with 9million YouTube subscribers
  • Miranda Sings – with lipstick on – with 8.5 million YouTube subscribers
  • Dude Perfect – 5 guys who do trick shots and sporting challenges – with 26million YouTube subscribers
  • Pewdiepie – king of the online gamers (despite his ill-judged recent antics) – with 60million YouTube subscribers

I could rattle off a long list of names. I bet you could to if you have a hobby, niche interest or kids who are old enough to be online.

You might have heard of some of them; your kids have probably heard of more – full disclosure: I consulted my teenager!

How about business and marketing podcasts?

I have been a podcast listener and online conference attendee of Social Media Examiner since about 2011. The founder Michael Stelzners weekly podcast on social media is my tried and tested source of all that’s new and how to apply it.  Yet when I’m working with clients, speaking at events or delivering workshops I see blank faces. Their annual conference now draws over 3,000 people yet their reputation has not reached mainstream marketers.

My other ”go to’ bloggers and podcasters will likely mean nothing to you either but for the record they are, in no particular order:

  • Mark Schaefer – blogger, podcaster and author
  • Michael Zipursky – blogger, podcaster, author and king of consulting success
  • Chris Brogan – blogger, author, membership platform: Owner Media
  • Marcus Sheridan – king of social media ‘how to’ blog, podcast and conference
  • Marie Forleo – YouTuber, membership platform: BSchool
  • Chris Marr – blogger, speaker, conference and memberships platform: Content Marketing Academy (and closer to home, in Scotland)

Even when I mention Tony Robbins, many people look a bit blank (despite his brief cameo in “Shallow Hal”).

What you’ll find is that each of these content marketers has a ‘small’ (relatively speaking) but very passionate audience for whom they are like celebrities or thought leaders. This passionate audience is prepared to part with money on a regular basis.

Where will you develop your niche?

It’s not like the old days, where you had three TV channels and a few media to broadcast the same message to everybody in the hope that someone out there was listening.

Now, you can find your niche and focus.  You can become very clear about who you are and who you can serve. Once they find you, they will stick with you, because they love what you have to say; it doesn’t matter how often they’ve heard it before.  The way you say it makes the most sense. And once you connect with them you discover that you’ve changed their life in some way.

So, this niche thing. How do you find it?

Chances are you already have an idea but if you are still unsure how to identify your hidden talents there are some tips in this blog:  Unleash Your Talents and Achieve Greater Success

There is also a wealth of wisdom and ‘how to’ in the “Go To Expert” and “why to” on Michael Zipursky’s Consulting Success podcast. There may be thought leaders in your own industry who you turn to for this kind of inspiration.

Alternatively, why not let us help you. We’ve helped many, many clients find what makes them special, different, niche over the years and then develop digital and content marketing strategies to reach your target customers efficiently.

What are the “Seven Habits of Successful Content Marketers”?

Tips and real examples from people who’ve inspired me over the last five years. They demonstrate, by using Content Marketing, how it has worked for the businesses they run.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 7 Habits of Successful Content Marketers. Why not check out the other blogs in the series:

  1.  Tell them what they want to know – often
  2.   Follow the plan and pick the right tools
  3.   Be efficient – reduce, re-use, recycle
  4.   Master social media, especially TWITTER
  5.   The 80:20 rule: 80% theirs: 20% yours
  6.   Earn Active Passive Income with RITE content
  7.   Find your niche… the smaller, the better
  8.   Measure your content marketing, often

If you like video, check out our recording of this fascinating topic and learn from these amazing thoughtleaders.

Our new online programme Content Marketing Conquered is designed with you in mind. Based on our successful workshop programme and latest strategies, we guide you to the top in 6 easy steps.

Don’t leave without grabbing your free eBook.


Photo by Vladimir Kudinov on Unsplash

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Joanne DolezalDominate Your Niche With Content Marketing

Unleash your Hidden Talents and Achieve Greater Success

by Joanne Dolezal on 5th April 2014

Are you a business owner?

Or dreaming of being your own boss one day?

Well, I’d like to help you unleash your hidden talents.

I meet many business owners in my marketing consultancy who are keen to grow their businesses and succeed.  Naturally.  They are invariably a talented, hardworking and enthusiastic bunch.

So where’s the problem?

Talents.  Skills.  Competencies.  Gifts.  Whatever you want to call them, they have them in spadefuls, just not always the ones they think they do.

You see, many of us have a blind spot when it comes to recognising our own worth.  I’m not talking about false modesty here.  I’m talking about a complete lack of awareness.

Over time, we develop our talents, capabilities and skills, often to a level where they have real value to those around us.  These could be called our ‘first tier gifts’, things that come so naturally to us that we feel embarrassed to charge for them.  We take them for granted so we overlook their value to others.

Some time ago, I listened to a podcast of an interview with an Organisational Development consultant, Betsy Jordyn, who observed that we, rather perversely:

“build businesses off of (our) second tier gifts because these are the ones that we’re decent at but we have to work a little harder at.”

Our second-tier skills cost us some effort to acquire, so we value them more.

I see this with clients (and friends) time and time again, particularly in start-ups and young businesses.

I recently consulted to a business where the owner had deep, specialist skills gained over more than a decade in a highly competitive niche industry.  But they were going to market with a range of products and services based on recent skills acquisition, overlooking their deeper, rarer knowledge completely.  It’s a kind of mind-wipe, as if people leaving employment to start their own business suddenly forget everything they ever learned.

And yet that is your value, right there.  All that great stuff you’ve spent years learning, honing and making part of you.   And it’s ALL transferable, ALL valuable.  Best of ALL, it’s likely to be the bits of your job that make you smile, that are like ‘falling off a log’.

So how do you work out what you do really well, what your ‘first tier skills’ are?

Well, Ms Jordyn’s advice is to:

“Just pay attention to compliments. Every single time you get a compliment, stop and listen to it, digest it and think, “What was it?”  If you’re tempted to shrug it off… that’s your clue that you’re hitting on something really significant.”

So, what to do with all the other stuff you are currently offering?  Well, you can always find others who you think are really good at those things – you see, it’s easy to see what other people are good at – and get them on board.
Also, moving away (gradually if need be) from the services or products that you are not really great at allows you to specialise.

There are many advantages to specialising.

1.  When you specialise rather than generalise it’s easier for people to understand what you do (and recommend you to others)

2.  Specialists (and experts) invariably command far higher fees.

3.  Other specialists will feel safe working with you, because you are clearly brilliant at things they’re not, rather than okay at some of the things they specialise in and could compete for

4.  It’s easier to market your products and services and to target your customers

5.  It’s a relief!  You don’t have to keep up with so many developments, just a few really important ones.

If you are reading this and thinking this may be you, start by becoming more self-aware.  Listen to feedback from colleagues, family members, critical friends and customers.  Work with a business coach if that helps you.  Don’t be afraid to ask them too.  You may be really surprised by what you learn so take time to gather and digest it.

Review your current products and services too.  How many are based on your first tier skills and how many on your second tier skills?  Which ones are really making you any money?

I have applied Ms Jordyn’s sage words to my own business and have worked through this model with many of my clients.  Invariably, it has been a positive and empowering process: clarifying what you’re REALLY good at and outsourcing or discontinuing those products or services that require the greatest effort.

I hope you find this blog helpful and enjoy the process of working out where your greatest value lies.

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Joanne DolezalUnleash your Hidden Talents and Achieve Greater Success