This is something that has eluded most people on social media whether they realise it or not. Becoming an influential figure is much harder than you might think if you’re not a big brand or famous celebrity already and the big question is how to get there?
You might think that the internet and social media has made it much easier to become that influential figure but this is more like a double edged sword than anything else. Yes, the ability to get to that point is there but it’s open to anyone so what sets you apart from everyone else trying to do the same thing? This is something I’ve been working on for years, long before I entered the digital marketing industry and while I feel like I’m making progress – there’s still a long way to go.
Here are three of the most important things I’ve learned over the years.
Be authoritative but not arrogant
There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance – most of us know this but a very similar line, if not the same, exists between authority and arrogance. Unless you have really established yourself, arrogance won’t go down well. There are times when even arrogant celebrity tones fail but the payoff can be greater. Unfortunately, these profiles have a lot of room to fall back on that the rest of us don’t and you can easily become a figure to avoid if you aren’t careful.
Another thing to watch out for is that your audience is a lot savvier than you might think –
they will know if you are making it up and trying to sound like you know something you don’t. Research might not be the most fun or engaging activity but it is essential to make sure people will listen to what you say – even if they don’t agree with you. It’s a very fine line to walk but be respectful to your audience and it’s more likely to pay off.
Find out what your audience wants
This is critical. Your audience won’t just be interested in one thing – they’ll have a much broader range of interests but if you try to cater for everyone and everything, you’ll produce thin content that doesn’t hold up to what else is out there.
Start out with a specific goal or common link and make sure it ties in together. They are coming to you for a reason and while it’s good to have some variety, if you move too far away from your main niche without explaining or showing gradual progression, you will fail.
This is also a good way to expand your own knowledge and keep up to date with the latest goings on in that niche or industry you’re focused on. You will undoubtedly have a goal behind doing all of this too, whether you enjoy it, to prove your project management skills or even making yourself more valuable to employers in the future. Keep this in mind so it is easy to prove to yourself and other what the point of this is.
Unique content is going to win
This is probably one of the most important things to consider. No matter what your niche or focus is, if it’s the same thing that can be found on another site, you are drastically cutting your appeal to both your current and potential audience. The big key here is to have something that sets you apart – especially if the news is covered elsewhere. Whether that’s a controversial view, a unique twist or something else, it needs to be consistent at all times so people will want to come back to you, if just to know what you are going to come out with next.
A regular schedule of posts and updates will also help. If your audience can know when to look out for your updates, they’re more likely to look for you. There will always be impromptu content as well, as you need to react quickly before others do but that’s part of the challenge.
Follow these tips and your influence should start to increase. Be patient, grow and adapt as your audience changes.