Influence is an interesting word. You never know who gets influenced by whom. Human psychology works in strange ways so you cannot exactly predict responses. But you can connect the dots and reverse engineer things. When it comes to building your online identity and influence, certain definitive steps must be followed. Following these basics should provide you a roadmap for sure progress. The dos and don’ts of how to grow your online influence are enlisted here for those willing to look at a life beyond short-cuts. This is going to be work, but planned well!
DOs: How to grow your online influence
If one had to determine the whole marketing funnel to generate any business, the steps would be as follows:
- Stage 1 Awareness – Making sure you’re only getting business in front of your niche of consumers that are likely to spend money with you at a later stage
- Stage 2 Interest – Grabbing customer attention, getting their contact and building interaction with them
- Stage 3 Relationship –Building relationships via follow-up emails to get them to visit your store, website or business.
- Stage 4 Sales – Converting your email leads to a paying customer and creating loyalty (more)
In this post, we’ll concentrate on Step 1 to 3. How do you create influence to build awareness, interest and invest in relationships.
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Build up your content base
The first and foremost requirement for building any kind of online influence is content. You must have some content worthy of people’s attention. It may be a authority blog or an arresting portfolio of images or even a YouTube channel depending on what you do. Your work defines your skills and quality and without good content to back it up, nobody will trust you. Create high quality content that enthrals people and solves their problems. You should be able to provide a new perspective or some rare insight that sets you apart from the crowd.
Almost in parallel with content you need to connect with a community and establish your network. The easiest way to do so is through social media. Initially it may only be your friends and family liking your posts but as you keep up the good work, a fan base will slowly build up. You can also opt for paid promotion as you set goals for your social media plan. Remember to keep context in mind. Each social platform is different, so optimize your conversations depending on where you are!
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Thankfully, search engines such as Google are favorable towards quality content. So, if you can create good content, half the battle is already won. Familiarize yourself with basic SEO techniques and follow the best practices religiously. Make sure that you use the right keywords in your content and submit your site or blog to various directories. Also, never miss a chance to promote the link to your site. Put that in your email signature, comments on other blogs and share it on social media.
The Internet is a two-way street. Always try to be interactive with your followers to create a good vibe and spread a positive word of mouth. Reply to people who comment on your blog and answer queries on social media as much as possible. Be kind and helpful that will be appreciated and promoted by other people.
Reach out to other influencers
You can enhance your credibility by getting associated with people or brands that are bigger than you. If you can get retweeted by a celebrity figure or publish in some well-known websites and media, this adds to your influence. So, look for opportunities to contribute to and collaborate with others. This will make you look more trustworthy and accomplished. Also, once you do so, make sure that such achievements are displayed prominently on your site or blog.
Don’ts: What not to do when building online influence (Why you are failing)
Plan only for virality
It’s amazing to be viral. But it’s less amazing to be viral without a plan. Ask yourself, how will you convert the massive amount of traffic that may come your way in case you do go viral. Remember, the whole idea of influence is to build something sustainable. Very rarely does viral last, but your customers will appreciate the utility you bring to them for a while. Focus on evergreen content that adds value. Virality can hardly be planned to the T.
Have no consistency
It’s easy to be swayed and create content once in excitement. But many a brands falter and stop before they can see the benefits of online influence. The key to building something organically is consistency. Writing a blog for 2 months is not going to take you anywhere. It needs consistency and regularity.
You are always negative
You do not know where or who your future customers are. It is important to stay positive and be a part of conversations that add value and optimism. Do not be an addition to the massive amount of rants that already exist on the Internet. Stay positive and be a part of conversations that are helpful instead of derogatory. Do not isolate anyone by your cynicism. You want your brand to be associated with positive sentiments!
You run only on auto-pilots
Automatic is necessary and great. But never being present is not taking your brand far. You brand presence needs to be authentic and humanized. Do not appear like an auto-bot. That’s not helping you build relationships!
What are some of your dos and don’ts for building your online influence? Are there some challenges that you have been unable to work around?
This post was written in collaboration with Enakshi Sharma.
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