Week 10 - Market and Branch Out

Start: Time to Elevate Your Friend Group

Along your journey to influencer stardom, you will find a lot of other interests that spark your attention. Hold steady to your main niche and interest group before you gravitate to others! You want to be the very best and professional at what you know and automate your sharing process before branching out. When your audience is growing and picking up what you’re putting down more quickly and seamlessly, then you know there is some room to market and branch out. You will get a feel for the timing when it is right. Jump the gun too quickly and you may stretch yourself too thin and have to start from ground zero. Take the time you need to gain momentum and set yourself up for success when you do take the jump and elevate your content reach. There is no fast track way to do this quickly if you truly want long term sustainability. 

When the time is right and you feel you can handle branching out to other interests and another niche, it’s time to elevate your friend group. If you aren’t sure where to branch into next you can always begin with the very steps we talked about and brainstorm ideas. However, if you truly understand the voice of your content and the target audience of the supports who like what you’re doing it will be an easy choice on where to branch to next. Since you have already done the steps to get your main niche going you won’t be foreign to the steps it takes to succeed as you branch out. However, this lesson will cover strategies that you can use to blend both in a seamless way so that your audience will gradually grow to follow all the new content you will be putting out. The smoother the blend, the more effective you will be at growing your market audience. 

Path to Success: Do Something New

You are officially ready to make your mark in the world of content creation and online influences. The marketing process of brand creation is both fun and challenging. When you think you have a good thing going suddenly your engagement drops and the strategies you thought were working just don’t anymore. On the other hand you may off hand try something you have no confidence at all will work and get incredible results. Ultimately, you will have to frequently do something new and implore creative strategies to target different angles and reach a bigger audience. As you work through the steps for each week, it is helpful to have a pen and paper or a Microsoft Word doc ready to take notes and write down your thoughts. This will serve as a helpful resource to you as you dive deeper into each goal week. It’s time to take your content to the next level! 

Content Creation

Step One: Join More Groups

“There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” 

― George Shinn

A very simple way to grow your reach is to join more groups. After all, more friends to chat with means creating more of those smaller groups we talked about in previous lessons, keeping it around 9-10 people remember? Giving yourself more diverse options will make things a bit more exciting and less mundane as well. The marketing techniques you used initially make work tens time better for you when you have fresh friends to reach out to, or you may find you need to do something new. Joining more groups will require attention and diligence. At first you may have started out with your family and circle of immediate friends so its more comfortable to pitch them on what sort of content you are creating and why they should follow. Now, you are branching out to people outside of your friend circles, to the unknown! Do not be intimated though, you are prepared for this. Joining groups today is easier than ever. 

With all of the resources on Facebook alone you can join groups within minutes to tackle every possible angle that relates to your niche. Some groups require you answer a few questions to ensure you are not going to be spamming them with vulgar language and annoying ads. The good thing about the Alt Perspective Travel Circle is there is no place for any of this, so you already know you won’t be dealing with that here. On other platforms however it’s a different story. Outside of social media platforms there are many group options to plug yourself in too, you are not just limited to meeting people online.

Be intentional on the types of groups you want to join. You want to get involved with people that will accelerate and grow your reach, not expand it. Using our example of ‘Solo Traveling Photography’, we don’t necessarily want to target anything possibly related to ‘Travel’ or we would end up in hundreds of groups! We want to target something more specific like solo female travel for example, traveling photographers, travel blogging. Groups like this are a but more specific and are more closely related to our niche.  

At some stage throughout these lessons, we had you brainstorm a list of topics to get a feel for what niche you want to center your content around. Do you have that list still? If not, shame on you! Just kidding, but we are going to reference that list again or create a new one. Think of all the possible angles that you can relate your specific niche to. You want to keep your content narrow but your range broad. If you can find a group from any angle that relates to your niche in some way, this is the type of group you want to join. You wouldn’t join a fashion group if you had nothing to do with fashion right? Eventually you will tap into these groups when you are at the level of content creation to have a knowledge base in all these areas and are ready to broaden the niche your content is centered around. But for now, just plug yourself into these different groups just to make an appearance. In the next step we are going to talk about how you start building relationships in this group so you can direct more traffic at your content.

Step Two: Don't Be Needy

“Do your best, then adopt a ‘whatever happens happens’  mindset. Don’t try to force things. Just let go and allow the right blessings to flow.” 
― Marc and Angel

The world of social media and content creation can be just as competitive as any other media industry. Everyone wants to be noticed, they wanna be a star, the wanna be ‘Insta-famous’. Behind the scenes though everyone wanting these things is going through the same process to get there. You will not be the only want trying to join groups and make friends so they will follow and support you. (They are doing the same thing.) So how do you win? Well, avoid being needy and desperate at all costs.

You have to have a lose it all sort of attitude. Like gambling at a casino for example. If you walk in expecting to lose all the money you walked in with, then you won’t be disappointed with the end result of walking out with no money. But, if you walk out with money in hand well then that’s a win because you expected to lose it all. See? You have to trick yourself to be okay with not getting any results so you can celebrate the small successes should you end up getting something back. 

In the end you have to want this, badly, and be willing to do what it takes to get it. You have to also be careful not to push the boundaries of becoming needy. That gives the power to others and desperate needing to gain their support is going to lead them to follow you out of guilt or empathy, not out of willingness and genuine interest. If you are staying true to your reason for creating content and have a passion to hustle a bit to grow your reach even when the times get rough, your determination will outshine your desperation and people will admire you more for that.

Expect to not get any feedback or engagement at all from your content. So then, when you do get a good return back it feels more rewarding. You can then lovingly critique yourself to see what you can do to improve and allow your growth to gradually increase. Next, we are going to talk about ways to approach others that have found success doing what you are doing to ask for assistance without compromising your professionalism.

Content Creation

Step Three: Mentors and Guidance

“Asking for other’s guidance helps you see what you may not be able to see. It’s always important to check your ego and ask for help..” 
― Ken Blanchard

Along the lifetime of your career, should you decide to stick with content creation in some form you will reach a point when you are at a fork in the road. Do you begin doing something else completely, or do you reinvent the type of content you are creating? That is a tough call to make. Chances are you will never really lose that part of yourself that is inspired by content creation as an art form in some way. One way to get out of the rut of content creation road blocks, is to seek out a mentor!

Mentorship is basically like your own college professor to teach you life development skills and further your knowledge in marketing and business. These subjects all play a role in your success working online and mentors like these know a thing or two about a variety of helpful subjects. They likely tried all of the different routes too and also hit a wall. There is only so much cold calling, email spamming, personal messaging, and collaboration requests you can ask of people before you just run out of results. Do not be discouraged!

Instead of calling it quits or losing faith, seek out the guidance from someone who has been in your shoes before. Remember in previous lessons we mentioned sending out collaboration requests to accounts that are bigger than you? This a perfect place to begin searching for someone to mentor you! It may take a bit more looking to find someone who is really serious about assisting you and it some cases mentors offering advice like this want you to pay them a monthly fee. You will want to really take the time to find an influencer that you trust who will be honest with you so it helps if you have had a conversation with this person first.

After all this person will be coaching you on how to scale up and improve. This will also prove to be a turning point in your career. If you are willing to step up and ask to be mentored or coached by someone on how to improve, this shows that you are really serious about what you are doing. Try to be very specific with what you are seeking guidance on and don’t rush into the process just to have a mentor. Truly utilize this opportunity to help your grow and tap into the knowledge of marketing and business techniques you have not used before. In the next step, we will cover ways to create ads and smart techniques to place them!

Step Four: Smart Ad Placement

“You can define advertising as the science of creating and placing media that interrupts the consumer and then gets him or her to take some action.” 
― Seth Godin 

Advertisement; sounds like an intimidating word huh? It insinuates added cost and spending more of your precious resources to get a wider audience to see your content. Contrary to popular belief, advertising does not have to be a costly process!  Not if you set a strict parameter of what you want to spend. At some stage to truly grow your audience you will need to utilize the other tips we have suggested, such as always adding your affiliate partner link to every post, joining both online and in person groups related to your niche, taking part in networking events to meet people face to face, strategies like this can drastically increase your engagement!

The majority of these strategies are also free or low cost strategies to grow your brand. All you are really doing next is capitalizing on content that is doing really well already and giving it a little boost of attention. Think of advertising as that helping hand to give your content a bit more of an edge. Google, Yelp, and Yellow Pages are good sources to find information and people looking for exactly what you have. It is worth considering these traditional methods of advertising especially since you have something to market and sell them! You just need to make sure you know what your goal is in paying for advertising and what you want to gain.

You want to really get a good feel of what content is doing the best before you boost a post with paid advertising. Being active often and utilizing all of the strategies we have talked about is forming a brand for yourself. You already have the support of our company where you can market yourself and network too. So when you check out your stats in your affiliate area, see which posts are doing the most work for you. If a post clearly outshines the others and is getting you a lot of link click throughs, that is the type of content that would be more worth your money to put paid advertising into. Of course this is completely up to you whether you do paid advertising or not. If you are ready to really market your brand outside the parameters of what you are already doing, paid advertising is the way to go. When you decide to boost a particular content with paid advertisement, you will need to know a few key pieces of information to know how to set up your ad.

The first thing you need to know about ad placement is, what audience are you trying to target? Think of the people who are currently following your content. What is the age range and demographic of your audience? Do they live in a city or country? If you are on Facebook and Instagram, you can check all of these stats from the backend of your business profile. It matters who is viewing your content because that is who you want to target when you place an ad. If you throw money at a niche that doesn’t relate to your content your ad simply won’t reach the audience you need.

Make sure when you place an ad there are no grammatical errors, that your content is very crisp and professional looking, and you have a very direct message of what your content is about. You want to give your ad a bit of a pop to stand out! As far as the amount you want to spend, for Facebook and Instagram specifically, you can set a range and it will tell you the reach that you can expect to receive based on how much you want to spend. Stretch your money out efficiently and use it in small bits among different content to make sure you truly target the audience that will respond the best before spending more money. Use this as a tool, not as your only means to market yourself! We will wrap up this week’s lesson by talking about polishing your brand to truly corner your niche the best.

Content Creation

Step Five: Own it Like No One Else

“You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it.” 
― Dr. Robert Anthony

The true power to content creation is branding your niche like no one else does. You are likely one of hundreds interested in the same topics as you however, you are the only ONE unique YOU. That means more than you realize. That is the beauty of content creation because you truly can use your content in a way that no one else has. At this stage you have learned all you can learn about content creation at the base level. There are millions of people out in the world looking for that next new thing, the next exciting trend and you are a part of the trend being a partner in the Travel Circle. Think of your content as the difference between being mediocre, to being a rockstar! Truly putting every ounce of confidence and belief in what you can create and knowing that you can not only change your life but you can change others too. 

The more active you decide to be in this company the more success you will receive from posting and sending out your content. Ultimately you have to choose to take the steps from these lessons as your starting foundation and actively do what it takes to keep learning. We all have room for improvement and if you truly want to see big results from sharing your work, you have the ability to accelerate your career to new heights. Own your niche as if no one else is doing it and let your imagination run wild with all the possibilities that can be your reality. Think of all the people out there who do no know about the Travel Circle yet, just waiting for your content to reach them and inspire them to be a part. Time to get out there and start your new chapter!

Optional: Jump To Next Section

When you have completed each step for this week’s lesson, you have officially completed the content creation section! If you feel you have completed each step thoroughly and are ready to move on, take a glimpse at another section here and start learning more! 

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