Consumers of products are looking at fellow consumers as well as their favorite personalities to help them make purchasing decisions. These personalities, or influencers, are building massive followings on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and other platforms.
Social media opens a whole new channel for brands to connect with consumers more directly and organically. For these reasons, many believe influencer marketing to be the next big thing. So, the appropriate question for anyone with an ambition to become an industry leader and see their revenue grow, is: “How do I become an influencer?”
1. Do your keyword research. This means familiarizing yourself with search trends, search engine optimization (SEO) and Google Keywords. You want to include as many trending keywords and phrases as possible in order to increase your online presence and increase your brand recognition.
Once you’ve identified the most popular keywords associated with your product, make it your goal to own them. What do I mean by “own”? I mean that one of your most important business goals should be to appear at the top of the list each time one of your relevant keywords is searched for.
2. Guest-post for high-traffic blogs. The next thing to do is reach out to others within or related to your niche market. Write a compelling article and send it off to the editor of a high-traffic blog. The key here is reciprocity. The article has to be good enough to generate a decent amount of traffic, or no one’s going to be interested in publishing it. Don’t be scared of pointing your audience in the direction of other people’s content! Write about what you know and write about what you love. Do your research and make it fun, entertaining and educational. Include links to your own content for that extra boost in site traffic, as well.
Peter Sandeen has compiled a great list here to get you started.
3. Write a book. It used to be that self-published weren’t taken seriously. The assumption was that the book just hadn’t cut it with traditional publishers, so the author was forced to print it on his own dime. But these days, with the advent of print-on-demand publishing houses like CreateSpace,, many mainstream authors are choosing to take their work directly to the public and cut out the middle man. Turn your blog posts into a book, or come up with something completely new. But get your brand out there in an authority-positioning book.
4. Focus on your niche. With all of the competing markets online, if you cast your net too wide, you’re not going to yield any real results. The trick is to narrow down your demographic. Get specific. Don’t waste your time on attracting people who just aren’t genuinely interested in what you’re selling. Find the like-minded ones and research your targeted audience’s wants and needs. Take surveys, and observe product trends. If you go the extra mile to engage the people with whom you want to connect, you’ll get brand loyalty in return.
5. Send media releases. Even in this age of 140 characters, a media release is still a powerful tool. Keep your releases short and sweet, and make sure you post them wherever you have news to report. Create a media page for your website and post all releases about any new, exciting and upcoming changes to your business. Obviously you can’t rely on press releases to the exclusion of social media, but the two can work hand-in-hand, and you can post your releases on all of your social media properties.
6. Be a podcast or radio show guest. Interviews are a great way to show your audience a human side and engage with them in a more personal, meaningful way. Additionally, it’s a great way to network, because you can connect with other personalities who are active in your field. Reach out to producers with an eye-catching letter. Attach samples of your portfolio that showcase some of your more notable and accessible work online. Wow them and get their attention. And, of course, the best way to ensure future interviews is to nail the first one. It’s true that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, so go out of your way to knock their socks off the first time around and you’re sure to get invited back.
If booking interviews proves successful, you can also take it to the next level and start your own podcast! There are a number of online services that offer free or inexpensive hosting packages. As a host, you can exchange ads and interview time with others in your field, and promote the little guys just starting out. Plus, you’ll have a dedicated and regular block of time in which to promote your own brand.
7. Be an educator or advocate. There is just no substitute for street cred. If you want to be taken seriously and really engage with your audience in a meaningful, productive fashion, you’ve got to put yourself out there. Schedule speaking engagements where you discuss the issues that are closest to your heart and about which you feel passionately. If you can get yourself booked on a conference panel, all the better. If you can’t, consider running your own conference! Book likeminded speakers and really publicize your name.
If public speaking isn’t your favorite thing, you can set up online teaching courses at websites like Udemy where you can record short videos that demonstrate your vast knowledge of your chosen subject. The goal is to get people to think of YOU when they want to speak to an expert in your field. Connect with online and print journalists, submit opinion articles and generally make yourself known and available to any figures within the media who want access.
There’s no better time than the present to begin to set yourself up as an influencer in your industry. Use these seven influencer marketing strategies to propel yourself as the obvious choice for your prospects.
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.