In our day and age, one of the most critical things we can do about our Life Signatures is to identify what niche we belong to. This, I believe, could even be more important than a University Degree. The operative word here is could.
There are three reasons why you must have a niche that you are known for:
First, our generation has seen unprecedented hoards of information available in seconds than any generation since creation. The paradox is that even in an identified niche, there is inexhaustible information but there is no guarantee that all of it is useful information.
I have had instances where I needed to purchase specific content online but could not just find the quality I was looking. We are flooded with data but not all of it is useful.
Secondly, a new dimension of information has come up in our generation. It is normally in terms of opinions, preferences and recommendations that is flooded every second on social media. The catch of social media is trust. You follow people that you trust their content. So you are most likely to deem credible what they say. There are very many streams of social media and the fact is that on social media, nearly everyone’s opinion matters to somebody.
Lastly, niche identification is a must in our day and edge given the advent of information technology. For the reasons given above, it is easy to get lost and not be known to stand for anything. Let me give you an example.
I have been so fed up with my tweeter feeds of the recent past that I have not been on tweeter for months. This is amazing for me because twitter used to be my number one stream of preference in social media. Believe me, I intend to go back and prioritize it over other social media channels.
So, yesterday I started a process of sanitizing my tweeter feeds by un-following some people. I need people who can meet a certain criteria: People who will build me, people who speak my language, people who are always updating, people who have rich content, and people who have a brand (niche). So, you can imagine that anyone who did not have a website or at least a stand on something was automatically un-followed. The same could happen to you if you do not have a niche.
Given the reasons above, I believe that after identifying our niche, we need to immediately find the leading thought leaders in that particular niche. This should guide our choices in selecting what content to consume from these thought leaders. Consequently, we will:
The following are five ways you can use to select the thought leaders in your niche
It is easy to see who is passionate about their niche. First of all, they lay claim of the niche by identifying themselves with it. Secondly, they almost always have a product or a service they have prepared on the said niche. Consequently, if you search for information on a niche online, it will always identify the thought leader more than the niche.
For example, my biggest thought leader in the Sales niche is non other than Jeffery Gitomer. Every tweet he sends, every mail he writes oozes unrivalled passion in sales.
A thought leader is seldom know for an opinion in many things. They just have one enduring mission that they are focused on. Again, it is easy to see this from the first five tweets you read from them. I have never heard Brendon Burchard for example spending time to talk about evolution and creation. The man always talks about personal products that you can impact the world with online. He is the greatest voice in the ‘Experts Empire’ because he is single minded about it. If you are looking for a niche leader, find one who is focused and single-minded in your niche.
Some thought leaders have been known to go against the grain and take a stand that is erstwhile unpopular with the current philosophy. Their driving force is the belief and gut feeling about their cause. Once you figure out that such a thought leader’s stand is fair, beneficial, legal and moral you should be happy to consider them. Today, you cannot make much mileage by sitting on the fence or being careful to please everybody. You ought to take a stand on what you think really matters to you. Thought leaders have done this again and again.
How do you think I got to love Jeffery Gitomer? He was referred to me (not directly) by being featured on Success Magazine. I am currently reading a kindle book titled, “What Just Happened?” by Jimmy Burgess. Where did I get him. I stumbled across his writings from my friend Dan Blacks blog. By allowing him to write on his Leadership blog, Dan Black was actually recommending Jimmy to me. I am following Jimmy and his work since the book he authored falls squarely on the topic I have written my book on. And how did I get to know Dan Black? He came to my attention when he kept commenting on my friend Ngina Otiende’s blog on marriage, a niche that I am passionate about. I have written a post or two for her .
A good thought leader has distilled her thoughts in a book, or a blog, or a video or podcasts. They have resources that can easily be accessed in several formats. This should be one of the most obvious criterion to use while selecting your thought leader. I believe that the multitude of followers does not necessarily reflect the depth of a thought leader, but their resources in content do. Believe me, there are very many one hit wonders in many niches. You therefore want to look out for a thought leader that is consistently refining and developing their resources.