How To Expand Your Brand's Online Influence
For all the talk about successful online marketing and interacting with your potential client base, a common question on the minds of many business owners becomes how to gain a wider audience. Although we've covered many of the basics (engagement, consistent communication, etc...) there's a lot of information out there and implementing it may seem daunting.
So, how does one become influential online? Not only do you need to be knowledgeable and passionate, you need commitment. Yes, commitment. A strong following doesn't happen overnight, nor will your influence remain if you opt to take a break. Here are three key pieces of information to keep in mind.
1. You have a voice; use it!
A unique voice is going to be one of your biggest assets. I cannot stress this enough! Many business owners and social media marketers tend to hesitate to express their point of view because they are afraid of being offensive. While you certainly don't want to try to alienate people or post inappropriate content, this does not mean you can't have your own opinion. Allowing your real voice to appear in your content will aid in increasing your online influence for one simple reason: people respond to people to whom they feel share their point of view.
2. Freely and frequently share your expertise.
Whether you're keeping up your followers in the loop by commenting about the newest industry trends or sharing a link to an interesting article you've read, you want to establish yourself as a source of information. As I've mentioned in terms of coming up with unique blog content, don't venture to social media with the goal of continually talking about you, your business and its overall awesomeness. The harsh truth is well, most people don't really care.
By offering free advice, how-to tips, and other valuable information, whether the person visiting your page is a client, industry blogger, or none of the above, you'll begin to establish yourself as a leader in your field. Rely on your following to promote you and your services; that's typically what helps to boost your revenue.
3. Improve the lives of your followers.
Don't just know your clients, know about their lives and in turn, tailor your content to make their lives better. If you're an interior decorator, offer advice on how to find unique pieces under $50. If you're an accountant, prepare a free check-list people can use to gather necessary forms for their taxes... whatever your business, you get the idea.
Hesitant to give away advice for free? It's time to change how you think!
As I've said many times, online marketing and influence is all about community building and well, nothing in life is free. When done well, online community building's ROI can be called converting interest in to investment in a brand, and eventually, a new customer.