How to Become an Online Influencer in 10 Easy Steps
September 13, 2011
This post originally appeared on Charlie Cook’s Marketing for Success site. If you haven’t checked it out, I strongly encourage you to do so. It is absolutely crawling with smart people with great advice .
I’m re-printing the tips for those of you that missed it.
- Identify your target audience. This is always the most important step, and yet people just gloss right over it. “Everyone” is not a target audience. “Mom’s with only 15 minutes in their day to exercise” is a target audience. Look at your existing customers, pick the ones you are most successful with and start profiling them. Everything from what they read to what sports they like.
- Define your brand promise. What is your USP (unique selling proposition)? When you understand what your customers can count on you for, you will find that your ideal customers will flock to your site. If you’re targeting moms who only have 15 minutes a day to exercise, then it’s clear that you want to create offers that your audience can accomplish in 15 minutes or less and see results. That’s what they can count on you for. If you suddenly strayed from that promise, you would lose your audience and authority.
- Identify your keywords (10 – 20). Focus on a handful of keywords that represent what your ideal customer is searching on. Using our busy moms example, you might choose to focus on “15 minute abs” or “15 minute exercises” or “exercises for moms”. It’s far more effective to choose the keywords you will focus on and be sure to use them repeatedly on your site. You’ll also want to use those keywords in guest articles that are posted across the web.
- Buy relevant domain names. If you’ve taken the time to identify your keywords, you’ll find this next step much easier. Buy domain names that contain those keywords. Using the above example, you might purchase www.15minuteAbs.com or www.momexercises.com. Find as many combinations that make sense and own them. You can either forward them to your main site or create landing pages with specific offers.
- Start a blog. This is obvious, and so I can’t leave it off the list. The interesting twist I’m adding is to write 7 – 10 foundation posts. Make them evergreen and “linkable” it really helps to include a template or a download that people will pass around.
- Write relevant and focused content regularly. You don’t have to write every day. It’s more important that you create content that is valuable to your readers and that allows them to get the most complete experience of your product or service. New York Time’s best-selling author John Locke writes one post per month, but he really makes it count. Focus your content on your brand promise. If your brand promise is to deliver mom-friendly exercises in 15 or minutes or less. Create content that includes videos or exercises or articles about how to modify longer exercises to fit into that time frame.
- Create social media profiles and participate. Regardless of where you intend to spend most of your social media time, you need to have keyword rich profiles on at least Facebook, LinkedIn and Twiiter. the next step is to decide which social media profiles are most likely to help you achieve your goals and then participate there. Twitter is indexed by Google and that means that the conversations you have there are available as search results and LinkedIn profiles are indexed by Google, so having a complete profile can increase your site’s ranking.
- Write guest articles on big blogs. Find blogs in your industry or niche that have lots of traffic. A great resource for finding these sites is to go to Federated Media and browse sites in your niche. Choose a handful of blogs that are a great fit and then become a regular reader nd participant. Get to know the community and become part of that community. The articles you contribute to these blogs should be your best and most representative content. Reach out to the community leader and and find out where they see gaps and opportunities for growth for their site and see if you can fill that gap.
- Create digital products / information products. It’s common knowledge that writing a book will increase your authority. And in an online world, you are not limited by the cost of printing a book. In fact the tighter and more spacialized your topic, the more likely that your content will be found by the audience that values your content most. One resource I just learned about is Kickstart.com a service that allows you to raise money for your book or event.
- Give webinars, seminars and teleseminars. Another traditional way to build authority is to speak. While you can certainly do public speaking to build your authority, a still underutilized method to speaking is to do webinars and seminars. A really terrific strategy is Ito develop a “concept speech”, an informational, educational and benefit-rich speech that you can run again and again to new audiences. Check out Stealth Seminar as a tool to attract new prospects to your sites and another great tip is to record your webinars as videos so that you can distribute them via Traffic Guyser.
Building authority and influence is really a function of being the perceived expert on a topic, being quoted across a variety of sites and of starting or creating new conversations on a specific topic. All of these tips will help you achieve all three of these objectives and grow your authority as well as your bottom line.
Name: Ivana S. Taylor
About: Ivana Taylor is the publisher of DIYMarketers.com – an online marketing publication that provides marketing strategies that help entrepreneurs and business owners get and keep profitable customers. She is the DIY Marketing expert and book editor for Small Business Trends and a contributing author to AMEX Open Forum. Her strategic consulting firm, Third Force specializes in helping companies find their best customers and be the one they choose – regardless of price. Ivana is the co-author of Excel for Marketing Managers. You can find her on Twitter as @DIYMarketers.