“You need to convert your followers into paying customers” Have you heard this before? I bet you have … I’m pretty sure if you’ve read a number of my blogs that I’ve said that to you myself.
The thing is, you can’t convert online if you don’t have influence. After all, people buy from people who they believe are:
- Experts at what they do
- Able to solve issues they have
- Have a good online presence
- Are trustworthy
Yep, you definitely need to have some influence and you need to demonstrate it through your digital channels in order to build trust. Here are 5 ways to build your brand’s influence online.
#1: Be yourself
I’ve listed this first because I think it’s the most important. If don’t act like your true self online then your audience will see straight through you and think you and your brand is fake and it will damage your reputation.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – the personality you portray online needs the same as the personality you have when your followers meet you in person. You won’t succeed in building your audience and your influence if you act different in person to how you act on Instagram.
It’s that simple. Portray a personality that reflects you and your brand. After all as a solopreneur they’re one in the same, aren’t they?
#2: Have conversations
The aim of digital marketing is to open two way conversations between brands and followers. To master this, you need to listen and respond to your audiences while pushing out your key messages. It’s a balancing act.
Brands that pay attention to the minor details of what is being said online by their audiences are the ones that succeed in building influence, because they show that they care.
Whether you respond to a comment on feedback being left on your Facebook page or comment on a blog to offer a solution to a problem, being interactive and engaging with your brand will have a positive impact on your overall brand reputation as well as help you build influence.
#3: Consistency is key
It’s so important that you turn up on a regular basis to serve your customers. In order to build your influence on a general level, you need to be present online – whether this is through sharing your content, posting videos, commenting and having conversations, or simply popping into your feed to say hello – your followers just need to know you’re there when you say you’re going to be.
If you survey your audience and find out they’d like to receive an email update from you every Tuesday at 10am, then make sure when you commit to this that you follow it through. Your audience needs to know that you do as you promise and if you can’t manage that online, then how will you manage it for them when they’re buying your product or service?
By consistently serving them you’ll build a rapport with them, your credibility and most importantly, your influence.
#4: Always add value
Doing this will help you become an authority in your field because it’s all about you sharing what you know with your followers in a way that will help them.
There are a number of ways you can add value. Here are some ideas:
- Create your own content.
- Make guest appearances on other people’s podcasts, vlogs, blogs, memberships etc.
- Use social media to share opinions, tips and get involved in online chats where you offer advice to those that need it.
- Speak on stage at events.
- Host regular Q&A’s either online or in-person (depending on who you’re targeting).
- Host your own events.
Any and all of these things will showcase you as an expert in your field and position you in the market so you can build influence with existing followers while attracting new ones.
#5: Share a persona that creates a positive lasting impression
In other words, portray yourself in the right way to appeal to your audience. This point is linked with my first one where recommend you ‘be yourself’. I don’t like the word ‘authentic’ (it’s such an overused buzzword), but for lack of a better word – that’s just what you need to be.
Share your thoughts, expertise, personality, sense of humour – whatever makes you, you. The only thing I’d say is that you should do it in a way that creates a good impression, makes your followers want to visit your profile and feed more often to get to know you and your brand more.
I’m not suggesting you share all of the details of your private life, I’m simply saying that you should share a detail that allows your audience to get to know you better. It could be your favourite food, your love of sci fi movies or your pet. Whatever it is, just make sure if reflects well on your brand and allows you to connect with your audience.
Use this as an opportunity to create a good lasting impression, then work on building your influence from there.
#6: Leverage industry influencers
Who is well-known in your industry? Who does your target audience rave about? These are the people you need to leverage to build your own influence.
Why? Because, to put it bluntly, you’ll build influence by association.
My advice to you is to connect and converse with the influencers in your industry – offer them the chance to collaborate with you, get seen on their channels, share them on your channels and seek out opportunities to make guest appearances in the right places.
This will hugely help you build influence.
My final thoughts …
The trick to building influence online is to stick to what you know and don’t give up. It takes time and dedication to build influence in the right for you and your brand and trust isn’t built with your audience overnight.
Find what works for you (it might take some experimentation) and leverage it as best you can. Just be sincere and persevere. That’s how you’ll build your brand’s influence online.
Do you want to learn how to build influence and become to go-to expert in your industry? Check out my membership site Headliners: The PR & Digital Marketing Academy to learn more.
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