September 8, 2016
How do you go about becoming that person whose every word is listened to? How do you build trust so that you become an influencer? Digital influencers have not been around that long. However, there’s already a science behind influencer marketing. It’s not easy, but there is a path.
Focus on Your Special Interest
Although it seems counter-intuitive, becoming more specialized makes you more likely to becoming an influencer. Pay attention to the small things.
“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”
~ Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
There is already talk of a skills gap in social media, due to the fast proliferation of new platforms, and the breakneck speed of digital change. With so much going on, developing a special interest doesn’t have to be difficult.
Follow Other Influencers
Read their books, read their blogs, and study them. Follow them on social media, and check in with them. Comment on their blog posts. Start conversations. Show up at their events. In my arena, that might be Mari Smith, or Gary Vanderchuk.
Find Your Social Media Voice
Write and rewrite your statements until they ring true to you. If you’ve ever written a journal, writing posts can be somewhat similar. Reading a post or tweet out loud can also help make it sound natural, and more like your voice.
If you’ve followed some influencers, make yourself distinct from them. How does your opinion differ from theirs? There may be some areas where you have a strong opinion. Images and original artwork or video are becoming more and more important, so take advantage of images as well. Here’s an article about Secrets to Great Content You Forgot You Knew. It includes some tips about how to avoid procrastination.
Engage, Engage, Engage
Share others’ posts, and most of all talk to people online and offline. Engagement is probably the most important of the ten steps here. Why should you care about engagement? Because for your brand, you can speak to one possible client or many, you can drive people to a website to buy products, all while you work on your branding. Building relationships takes time; constant and steady engagement is the path to those relationships.
Sprout Social has a wonderful article about social media engagement: What is Social Media Engagement and Why Should I Care?
Helping others is an excellent way to build influence. Being a resource is one of the fastest ways to being influential. Find what people need and then provide it. Whether that’s giving someone a helping hand or solving a problem, being useful is a shortcut to influence success.
Get up every time you fall down. Rinse and repeat every day. The Positivity Blog has a great little article about failure: How to Overcome Failure: 9 Powerful Habits. As Henrick Edberg says, try to learn something from the failure, even if it’s just one simple thing.
Think Long Term
Nothing is going to happen overnight, although you can speed up the process. Unless you’re a celebrity, nobody gets a free pass. But all the organic reach, the followers and added business are worth it. Social media is more of a tortoise than a hare.
Work Hard and Be Creative
Get the work done, definitely. But also be creative in how you get it done. For instance, you can recycle content, especially on Twitter. Save yourself from redoing your work. Even Guy Kawasaki reuses content! Nobody is going to read every single one of your tweets, so repeating them can be part of your strategy.
Be like a pair of old shoes: comfortable and a little worn around the edges. I think Dale Carnegie said something like that. My friend, Bridget Willard, wrote a great post about being friendly, which you can be even if you’re shy. It’s in her Keys to Being Social: Be Friendly.
Do You Want to Be More Influential?
What steps are you taking to be more influential? I’m sure there are many missing here. Leave me a comment, and thanks!
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