A common temptation we all face is staying true to our brand. Specifically staying true to the heart of the niche we've chosen.

I learned this lesson the hard way when I allowed asparagus to knock me off track. No, asparagus is not branding lingo, I really do mean the "supposedly" innocent veggie my mom said was good for me.

In 2010, I began building my Date Night Chef brand. My mission was to teach couples how to enjoy a weekly romantic Date Night dinner at home; like my wife, Valerie, and I have enjoyed throughout our 38+ years of marriage.

I started with a Facebook page. Then I published a cookbook, Party For Two, that made four of Amazon's Best Seller lists in the first week!

I did my first video for a competition sponsored by The Food Network and Youtube. I was chosen as a finalist, and my video got over 35,000 hits in two weeks.

That led to being asked to be an expert presenter for About.com where I did a video on how to fix a romantic dinner.

My next stop was Demand Studios. You probably haven't heard of them, but they produce original written and video content for sites like Ehow.com, USAToday.com, Livestrong.com and other sites that receive hundreds of millions of hits each month.

I was honored to be chosen as an expert presenter by Demand Studios and thrilled to have the opportunity to be exposed to an audience of hundreds of millions of people.

Then I made a BIG mistake. I forgot that the goal of publicity is not to get publicity and general exposure. The goal of publicity is to build your brand and reach your target audience.

I let the opportunity for MAJOR exposure through the free publicity that Demand Studios offered me lead me off course.

Not WAY off course, but far enough that I diluted my message and missed the mark of staying true to my brand.

I wrongly assumed that Demand Studios would produce a series of Date Night cooking videos starring yours truly.

I quickly realized that they offer very specific assignments, probably based on search volume, and as one of their expert presenters I would demonstrate recipes based on their assignments.

Because I wanted the free publicity I agreed and got my first assignment, ELEVEN VIDEOS FEATURING ASPARAGUS!

1. How to Make the Perfect Asparagus With Italian Dressing
2. How to Pan Roast Thin Asparagus in the Oven
3. How to Cook Asparagus Stalks in the Oven
4. How to Make Asparagus Bundles
5. How to Make Steamed Asparagus
6. Blanched Asparagus & Goat Cheese Dip
7. Fresh Asparagus Recipe
8. How to Prepare Garlic & Asparagus in the Microwave
9. Recipe for Steamed Asparagus With Cheese
10. How to Flavor Asparagus Without Salt
11. Reheating Cooked Asparagus

It wasn't completely off brand. They did give written credit with each video, Bruce Cadle, The Date Night Chef, and I was able to introduce each video by saying, "I'm Bruce Cadle, the Date Night Chef. Today we're going to talk about Reheating Cooked Asparagus".

But, none of the recipes were MY recipes. None of them were in MY cookbook, and anyone watching me teach how to reheat cooked asparagus would probably not be enticed to visit MY website, buy MY cookbook, or pay $75 to attend one of MY Date Night cooking classes.

The good news is I got lots of on- camera experience and Demand Studios loved the videos.

Here are three tips to help you stay true to your brand:

1. Only seek or accept publicity opportunities that are a good fit for your brand, your niche and your audience.

2. Develop a perpetual publicity strategy that includes a check list with your criteria for publicity.

Does it fit your personality?

Example: If you're not comfortable speaking in public then you may not want to do radio or TV interviews.

Will it be a good platform for your message?

Example: If you're a healthcare professional you probably don't want to do interviews on a hip hop radio show.

Will it reach your potential customers? Will it cause them to know more about you, your products or your service?

3. Don't try to be all things to all people, just focus on your niche! Look for publicity that will build your brand and reach your potential customers!

Author's Bio: 

Would you like Free Publicity? Get my free training at http://www.PerpetualPublicity.com

Bruce is a bestselling author, speaker and trainer and founder of Perpetual Publicity, a step-by-step training system that teaches Authors, Business Owners and other Entrepreneurs how to grow their business through free publicity.

Bruce has been featured, quoted, profiled or has appeared in thousands of newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and TV shows in over twenty countries, including:The Today Show, Fox & Friends, CNN, MSNBC, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun Times, I Heart Radio, and NPR.