profile

The Misfit Way

BRANDING MASTERCLASS: Positioning & Niching Case Study

Published 4 months ago • 10 min read

Read on: misfit-way.com
Read time: 20 - 30 minutes
Follow on LinkedIn:


Personal Rebranding: Niche & Positioning Masterclass 🏴

- An Ultimate Case Study -

  • This is the longest and hardest article I’ve written.
  • Think Dan Koe writing about brand strategy.
  • This article could completely change the game for your brand and business.
  • I’ve revealed my FULL case study and brand process on how I found my ultimate niche.
  • You are going to see strategy in action.
  • You are going to see my mind in words.
  • You are going to see my personal brand operationalized in the real world.

This one TOOK WAY TOO LONG to figure out


And it is the biggest problem with my profile.

My profile doesn't clearly show you what I'm about.

My profile doesn't build that clarity of authoritative positioning of:

"I do X for Z".

This was not a mistake though, This was by design.

I am a misfit

I really hate putting labels & boxes

upon my throat, if you know what I mean.

So I leaned into my misfit identity

And that was my personal brand on LinkedIn.

While It did fulfill me creatively, purposefully, visionaly, and personally...

It didn't fulfill my bank account (oh no! he's a capitalist bast*d).

I had to go back to the drawing board

I asked myself one question:

What am I good at?

(Bad question to ask for someone like me).

- I am a left-brained strategic thinker (most of the time).

In other words,

I document and "strategize" everything (without even wanting to lol).

- I am also a polymath, an ADHD creative with multiple passions and skills.

I can write, design, video-edit, strategy, build a brand, build a community, coach, teach, market, and the list goes on...

(And yes I might as well be emotionally intelligent,

which means that I am self-aware of all the above

because I spend time with myself to learn about myself

So Meta lol)

- Tell me how in the world a person like me would niche down?

Niching as much as good of a practice it is,

It is not for everybody.

It is certainly not for me.

Or is it?

Well, let's find out.

There are so many different frameworks for niching:

To niche by:

  • Industry
  • Problem
  • Outcome
  • Location
  • Framework
  • Skill
  • Experience
  • Solves a problem
  • Enjoys doing
  • For who
  • Has the budget
  • On-demand (market)

And oh boy!

A rational business owner would only need to pick one and niche with it.

But this MFer had to open his Notion brain and create a column for EACH CATEGORY.

This was extensive and time-consuming ASF.

But I did it.

So that this article doesn’t turn into a book,

I turned the framework above into 6 questions.

1) What is the one skill I do obsessively every day?

— The Skill Question —

Writing.

2) What are the things that I can talk about?

What is the 1 thing I can talk about obsessively that I'm better at talking than everyone else?

— The Personal Brand Question —

The things:

Physical health: Lifestyle, habits, daily routines, Biking, swimming, running, basketball, fitness

Soul health (Philosophy): Religion (Islam), life advice/lessons, stoicism, obsession, mastery

Mental health (coaching): Personal development, psychology, limiting beliefs, values, mindset, habits, identity crisis, loneliness, purpose, passion, relationship with self (discovery, leadership, improvement, help, love), finding your way

Financial health:

  • Writing: Content (social media), newsletters, email courses, posts, stories, scripts, articles, copy, etc.
  • (Personal) Branding: Positioning, journey mapping, research, market fit, leadership, visionary leadership, monetization (creator economy)
  • Community building: Networking, podcasting, public speaking, culture, language exchange (connection economy)
  • Thinking (ADHD left-brain): Strategy, planning, documentation, critical thinking, asking questions, research

The one thing I can talk about obsessively:

→ Mental Health ←

The one thing that my audience gives me signals to talk about:

→ Brand x Thinking ←

3) What are the problems I can solve? → What is the 1 big problem I solve?

— The Problem Question —

Problems:

Personal Brand Identity

  • Lack of clarity on your purpose, vision, mission, and goals (direction)
  • Not standing out from the crowd/competition & becoming the obvious choice
  • Lack of self-promotion
  • Not seeing your unique & hidden talent/value (identity crisis)
  • Lack of authenticity → Commoditized personal brand (copycat)
  • Personal branding specialists/coaches/strategists don’t have a personal branding coach/specialist/strategist to hold them accountable and give them perspective, motivation, advice, and momentum
  • Lack of action-taking — You get in your own way

Loneliness & Mental Health

  • Lack of genuine friendship and care
  • Isolated (best-kept secret) and feeling a lack of social connection
  • Being a best-kept secret
  • Lack of professional & personal balanced support

The 1 big problem:

Loneliness in entrepreneurship/leadership can be solved by building a healthy personal brand identity

4) What is a predictable solution or outcome to that big problem?

— The Result (end game) Question —

Mental health

  • Feeling surrounded by people who care
  • Aligned and have a sense of clarity of the path moving forward
  • Confidence in your skills/strengths

Brand

  • No longer have to introduce yourself™️ — To make your last name an adjective → Being known
  • To stay relevant/top-of-mind and gain authority, credibility, and industry recognition

Money

  • Attracting new clients with compelling copy that engages and converts
  • To be paid to be yourself
  • To build a personal branding business around who you are
  • To productize yourself from a “brand strategist” to the “first & last name”

The 1 outcome:

→ An/A emotionally & financially healthy holistic personal brand ←

5) What is my practice/skill of mastery that creates that predictable solution?

— The Craft/Experience Question —

#Coaching path

I can be a mental/emotional fitness trainer.

A “personal brand coach”:

who can help you overcome your personal limiting beliefs and build a brand around that.

But I don’t want to fall under the category of “anyone can be a coach”.

If I pick this route,

I’m gonna need to put in a lot of hours, books, money, and practice to get good at it.

This can be done on the side (on-demand) but I’m not going to build my personal brand around it.

#Community path

I don’t have enough experience to be a community consultant

I don’t want to be a community manager but I can leverage the community I’ve built and the skills I’ve learned to help my current clients build theirs (upsell not THE SELL)

I could build a community of creatives and sell them on the coaching path (eventually).

#Training & workshops path

Training is a great way to solve problems, teach new skills, and develop myself quickly but I don’t want to build my brand around that. I can offer it as an upsell, or do it when there’s demand. But I’m not going to spend my time creating demand for it.

#Strategy path

The business of giving recommendations. creating roadmaps. and feeding elephants in a room is a job chased by many, hired by few, mastered by (almost) none.

Everyone calling themselves a strategist nowadays makes me feel less compelled to get back on this path again.

I do enjoy the practice of it to this day, but I don’t enjoy chasing clients and offering them something that they don’t see the value in.

I don’t enjoy being a strategy consultant.

But I do enjoy writing about it.

Which leaves us on the last path.

#Writing path

The business of words.

I connect better with words than I do with most people.

I write every day.

I write to learn.

I write to teach.

Now it’s the season of:

I write to earn.

Writing is the cornerstone that connects all the pieces together.

Writing is my path to mastery.

I want to be the Winston Churchill of personal brand writing™️

To connect the dots above,

We need to understand the reader aka who’s it for.

6) Who is that solution for? Who do I help?

— The Customer Question —

I ended up coming up with 8 different personas/niches of people I could work with and I had to narrow it down to 2 categories.

A) The Misfit creative type (long-term community brand building)

The isolated, divergent thinkers, old souls, socially awkward, misfits, strategists, and creative entrepreneurs.

Who has a big pitch "I do X for Z".

Who lacks confidence and self-esteem.

Who feels like they don’t fit in.

Who feels bad about self-promotion.

Who wants more clients (financial freedom).

Who wants to be paid to be themselves.

Who wants to see a world of possibility.

Who wants to live the laptop, nomadic lifestyle.

This person is ME.

I have a big sheer responsibility to help myself and people like ME.

That's what I'm here to do in this world.

In this category I have a lot of problems I can solve, I know the industry, I know the outcome they're looking for, I have the skills, and I enjoy doing it.

But I also know that this is the least industry with big budgets to spend, and high sensitivity to make purchasing decisions.

B) C-suite leaders who are actively building an executive personal brand on LinkedIn (money-making)

The busy modern-world executive looking to position himself as a polished and well-established thought leader in his industry.

He wants to build a professional online image / personal brand.

He wants to stay relevant and top-mind.

He wants to build authority, credibility, and industry recognition.

He wants to be paid for public speaking.

His favorite type of content is video and podcasts.

He likes to be in the center of the spotlight.

He is afraid of being irrelevant (where the market has left him over)

He is always working on a piece of IP and ownership towards an impactful movement (book, newsletter, live show, YouTube, Ted Talk, etc).

In this category,

The budget is not a problem. I have the skills to solve their problems

But I don’t have years of experience, I don’t have shiny big awards, and I don’t have the geographic advantage for business meetups & conferences.

It’s not perfect, but this niche can pay the bills.

But wait there is more.

The dots aren’t connecting (just yet)

I had to step up from the process of trying to force an answer.

→ I took a nap

→ Went on a walk

→ Went on a bike ride

→ Forgot about it

And then after 2 days away from the computer.

I came back at it,

I had to ask the billion-dollar question:

→ Which niche should I pick for my business? The C-suite persona or the creative misfit one?

To answer that question I have to see it from the lenses of experience & influence.

I don’t have a strong influence or social presence in the C-suite and leadership world.

I mean I can start making content around it and slowly build momentum and attract a new audience. But that would take a year or 2 to get there.

Let’s call that plan B.

But I do have some influence in the branding / brand strategy world.

I mean, I am an ex-brand strategist myself. #insight 2

I can help other brand strategists build a personal brand that stands out from the BS rollercoaster into the real world of business.

That could be a great idea for a digital course to be sold at a low price.

Yet most of them don’t have the budget to work with me on a high-ticket, recurring basis.

Wait a second!

Is there a way to model the C-suite persona into the Brand-suite?

This question has led me to a 3rd niche persona.

My initial response was…

FU*K ME, I'm not spending more time procrastinating about another persona research.

But I didn't need to! I had all the answers already in the back of my head.

The ultimate niche persona

Not all brand strategists are broke! #insight 3

Only beginner-level brand strategists.

Senior brand strategists have learned the skills of growing a branding business and they are making good profit.

Senior brand strategists have the curse of knowledge.

But what they don’t have is time.

They don’t have the time to document their expertise.

I don’t have 20 years of brand strategy experience.

→ But I do have 5 years of writing experience.

→ I do have 2 years of building a community of brand strategists & writing content about it

→ I do have experience interviewing the most iconic branding gurus

Let’s give this a title worth claiming:

The Winston Churchill of Ghostwriting for Senior Personal Brand Strategists

→ In the business of words ←


That’s it! That’s my NICHE (for now).

Will this work? Maybe.

And maybe it will flop.

If it does flop,

It’s a good lesson to learn.

That’s what business is about, experimenting until something clicks.

And now that I’ve done the research, I could quickly switch niches & personas.

Split testing niches is crucial for brand success.

Let’s recap! What’s my ultimate niche?

[1] To Be The Winston Churchill of Ghostwriting for Senior Personal Brand Strategists™

→ This is gonna be my short-term, day-to-day LinkedIn business driver

[2] To Be The Brand Minister of Loneliness by Helping Lost Misfits Find their Misfit Way™

→ This is gonna be my long-term personal brand building movement (on platforms like YouTube, Newsletters, and more.)

Hence why I created the Misfit Way so that there is a distinction between the Brand Orchestrate business and the creator/creative/connection economy movement/community.

A decade or two from now, when my brand gets the awareness level it deserves, I’ll be closing the business and go all in on brand.

What to talk about to attract senior brand strategists:

→ Brand thinking (strategy)

What to talk about to build my own brand (beyond business):

Mental Health & loneliness in Entrepreneurship/Leadership

What’s I’m I in business for?

To help senior brand strategists:

  • Go from a noun to an adjective, from “A” to “The”, from “Brand Strategist” to “First & Last Name”
  • Overcome loneliness in entrepreneurship
  • Document their expertise
  • Build a personal brand identity
  • Attract new clients with compelling copy that engages and converts
  • Be paid to be themselves and build a business around who they are
  • Build a holistic (financially & emotionally) healthy personal branding business
  • Stay relevant/top-of-mind and gain authority, credibility, and industry recognition

What’s my coaching practice?

Therapeutic writing,

Writing that heals.

That’s it! A full insider about what it looks like to run a personal branding business as a professional misfit.

Btw if you are a senior brand strategist, you probably would want to hire me right now.

Book a free 30-minute call and let’s discuss how we can work together.


This newsletter is part of my personal rebranding series on LinkedIn,

Share and follow along the journey.

Till next time,

Your misfit friend.


Not all heroes wear capes, some wear glasses.
But the
conductor wears both.


~ See you in traffic ~

The Misfit Way

Amine Hammou | The Art & Biz of Personal Brand

The Misfit Way of building authority, credibility, and industry-recognition with 1200+ internet solopreneurs.

Read more from The Misfit Way
Social media = more money?

[Letter 10/365] — February 13, 2024 — 10 am You don't need social media to make more money [Letter 10/365] You only need these sales email templates to make more doing less. If you want to make more money, Doing less things, while still enjoying your time with your family and loved ones. This video is for you: Watch Today's Email As a result of doing this: You will be happier, Healthier, Wealthier, And free. And the best thing is that everyone can do it. Including you, Reader 👈 Till next...

21 days ago • 1 min read

[Letter 9/365] — Feb 05, 2025 — 11.13 PM 16 letters in 5 mins [Letter 9/365] 🏴 Today's post is sponsored by ME: If you're interested in getting my sales letter templates at a laughably low price with examples of how I'm using them for my clients for a bargain of $50. Click here and I'll send them to you. Madman Make your own luck Write your own paycheck Identity change masterclass I'm going dark Your time will come Life's Marathon: The Journey over the destination The quest for purpose: A...

28 days ago • 1 min read

[Letter 8/365] — Feb 01, 2024 — 03.44 pm The Business of Writing: Full Email Course 🏴 - Everything I know about running a newsletter business - Read on: Medium and Substack (I highly recommend reading this here) Read time: 25 minutes Promise: This is not an email but a full in-depth course of my newsletter business that took me over a week to finish writing Promise 2: It's going to be a long read but this is the stuff people sell you money for that took me years to learn that I'm teaching you...

about 1 month ago • 20 min read
Share this post