As anyone who has built an influential brand will tell you, ruts happen.
Seasons in the life of a brand come and go, and sometimes it feels like nothing works. Or that the return on investment into the brand gets lower and lower. They get diminishing returns and begin to feel discouraged.
I recently sat down with Glenn Vo, author of Industry Influencer, to tack this important issue. He shared three strategies that seem counterintuitive at first, until you think about the logic beneath them.
First, he told me, “You can get out of a rut just as easily as you got into it. It takes the right strategy. In my time working with people who want to become an influencer in their industry, I’ve seen this same set of tactics work time and time again to revitalize their brand and regain their lost momentum.”
They seem counterintuitive because they don’t involve working harder, pumping out more content, and burning the candle at both ends. But they lead to much better results, and fast.
Then, he addressed a common misconception he hears in this area:
“You don’t have to pay a consultant to ‘rebrand’ you.”
“This isn’t a knock against branding experts,” he explained. If you want someone to audit your brand and suggest ways to transform it into something new, go right ahead. But a total rebrand isn’t necessary for getting out of a rut.
It’s more about going back to the fundamentals of what gave you influence in the first place… then working smarter, not harder to move forward.
- Discover (or Rediscover) your Triangle of Genius.
“Oftentimes influencers lose sight of their zone of genius because they follow trends, sticking to that which is mainstream and popular. Then their voice gets lost in all the noise online.”
You have to go back to what makes you, you. Get back to your core values. Or get focused on your core values for the first time if you never considered them when starting your brand.
To discover or rediscover to your core values, you need to answer three important questions:
- What passion gets you out of bed in the morning?
- What are your natural skills and talents?
- What are the biggest needs of your industry?
Dr. Vo recommends taking a journal and write out the answers to these questions. These three points will form your Triangle of Genius at their intersection. Go back to the basics, redevelop your foundation, then build on it. It might seem like you’re starting over from scratch, but like any high-performing athlete, you have to build around the fundamentals.
- Niche down.
In his time helping create new Industry Influencers, Glenn Vo noticed common problem.
“A person begins building their brand and they see instant traction. Things go well for a time. Then, competition comes. Whenever someone succeeds at building influence in an industry, others come along to try to get a piece of the pie. They want to copy the success of the forerunner.”
He doesn’t think that’s a bad thing, though. “For one, imitation means that whatever you’re doing works. Two, I genuinely believe there’s enough ‘pieces of the pie’ for everyone.”
We don’t have to fight over scraps. Everyone just needs to find their specific nook in the market, and they’ll find their audience multiplying.
If you feel like your brand is in a rut, that there’s too much content and you can’t differentiate, niche down. What does it mean to niche down? It means designing content more specific to your Triangle of Genius. Yes, that means appealing to even fewer people with your content. Counterintuitive, right?
“It works because more specific content is easier for your ideal audience to find as you will come up in their specific searches, and social media algorithms will know to direct your content to their feeds. Plus, a niche audience tends to be more passionate, meaning your work will be liked and shared more easily when it appeals to them.”
- Refocus your efforts on networking.
“Oftentimes when a person’s influence stalls, they begin to feel alone and like pushing a rock up a hill. Instead of spending more effort pushing the rock, invite some friends to push with you.”
You’re not alone in your industry. Part of revitalizing your influence means making the right connections and helping one another out.
“Don’t think of other influencers as your competition. Think of them as friends you just haven’t met yet.”
Find a few people with similar (but different) niches and reach out to them. Host them on your podcast or YouTube channel. Let them write a guest blog for your website.
“To build your network quickly, you have to give before you take. Add value to another person’s brand without immediately asking for a quid pro quo.”
Again, it might seem counterintuitive. How does helping someone else with their brand get your own brand out of a rut? Well, over time (and faster than you think) the favor does get returned. But it’s a much better return if you invest more on the front end. You’ll gain a positive reputation quickly, and soon enough, people will be lining up to add value to your brand.
“Remember,” Glenn finished, “the rut is temporary. Take a look at your Triangle of Genius, double check your niche, and start helping others out. Soon enough your influence will go back to how it was – and beyond.”
Visit Industry Influencer for the blueprint to becoming an authoritative leader in your market.