You’re excellent at what you do. You’ve been in your industry for a number of years and have dealt with a variety of situations that would qualify you as an expert by anybody’s standards. Now is the time to divulge your knowledge to your audience.
Being an influencer carries many advantages. It can drum up publicity for your business, attract even more customers and demonstrate your proficiency. When customers or other business owners want to learn about your industry, they will look to you for guidance. If people want to purchase a product, they will trust that yours is the best choice for them because you know what you’re talking about. The benefits are numerous.
Here are four ways that you can establish your influencer status online:
1. Create videos
Videos are a good way to show whom you are and add a personal touch to your otherwise faceless business. In videos, you should go on camera and talk about a topic that your audience doesn’t already know about or might be interested in. For example, if you were a dentist, you could do a weekly video discussing different ways to take care of your teeth or showcase products you’re currently using in your office.
You don’t have to hire a video crew; you can simply hit “record” on your smartphone or computer and then post it to YouTube. It’s more about the quality of the content than the quality of the video. You’ll also want to keep your video short, because most users don’t want to watch more than 3 minutes’ worth of content.
A great example of someone that has utilized videos to benefit his company is Tom Dickinson, the CEO and founder of Blendtec. His funny series of videos called “Will it Blend?” has given the brand a huge amount of publicity.
2. Produce a company blog
A well-done company blog will drive traffic to your website. Once customers are there, they might explore the products you have to offer them, or they may share your posts within their networks.
You should update your company blog once or twice a week, and include posts on a number of different subjects related to your industry. Don’t promote your products and services too often (throw the promos into the mix, but certainly don’t focus on them.) Like video blogs, the quality of the content on your company blog is imperative.
Whether you’re posting a blog that’s 300 or 1,200 words long, it should be engaging, informative and appealing to your audience. To figure out which blog posts are the most popular, install social-media buttons at the bottom of your posts to see which ones are commonly shared and add in a comments box so customers can give their opinions.
Gary Vaynerchuk runs a blog that’s one of the most influential in his industry: marketing. By consistently putting out great content, he’s built up a following of more than 1 million people on Twitter alone.
3. Post on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is where you can interact with other business owners in your niche and earn their respect. It’s also the best space in which you can increase your B2B presence.
You can post exclusive content to LinkedIn or repurpose your blog’s content on the site. Try sharing your content on your status updates and within the groups you belong to on the network. Just remember not to post too often in your groups, or else you may come across as a troll.
The content should be of value to those in your industry and focus on their needs. For example, you might want to post some tips for your fellow small business professionals or talk about high-level topics within your industry that customers wouldn’t necessarily understand.
4. Guest post on other blogs
You can’t create content in a vacuum. To spread your message, you need to target the top blogs in your industry and guest post on them. Study the blogs you’d like to appear on, come up with relevant pitches, send them to the blogs’ editors and hope for the best. These guest posts can lead to more B2B or B2C opportunities depending upon the publication.