It’s safe to say that online influencers are the driving force behind the social sites we love (and loathe).
But what makes someone an influencer? How’d they go from zero to hero online?
From what I can tell, there’s no secret sauce, only hard work!
WHAT IS AN ONLINE INFLUENCER?
Influencers are highly respected on the web. They tend to have many followers, but there are plenty who don’t have 10,000+ fans and followers and still carry a lot of clout (and Klout!).
The more influential a person is, the more reach his or her content will have.
During #SMSS13, Mark Schaefer said to think about Klout as a score that reflects the ability to move content; the higher the score the more content a user can move, and therefore the more influential they may be.
SIX STEPS TO BECOMING AN ONLINE INFLUENCER
- Create valuable content
- Share valuable curated content
- Think conversation
- Get invited to several Tribes on Triberr (which might be hard to do without 1, 2 and 3)
- Contribute to sites other than your own
- Hang out with/associate with other Influencers
Let’s go for a deeper look …
Create Valuable Content:
I can’t stress this enough: Telling stories about your vacation, your weight loss (unless you’re a weight-loss coach), and other dull stories is not value. If you like to hear yourself talk, start a personal blog, not a business blog.
Actionable tips that consistently solve the pain points of your clients and would-be clients are the best ways to garner value. Don’t know what your audiences’ problems are? Look at your FAQs. No FAQs? You’re not ready to create content.
Share Valuable Curated Content:
Sorry to say that your opinions aren’t the only opinions that matter – even if they’re valuable! When looking for content to curate, think about what your audience(s) will gain (it’s ALWAYS about them).
Will they want to share it? Will it make them “cool” or “hip” if they share it? Will it make them look smart by sharing it?
Again, the content that usually gets shared over and over is information people would PAY for, but is free.
It’s not enough to push out content, you have to engage! I can’t tell you how many Twitter accounts I see where the user doesn’t respond to their mentions … doesn’t participate in conversation at all!
I can usually spot an influencer when I see lots of back and forth conversation going on. Not only are they remarkable enough to entice the conversation, they actively talk to others on ALL the social platforms they’re a part of.
If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, G+, Instagram, etc. and are only having conversations on Facebook, you’re doing it wrong. Consider what type value you’re getting out of those silent platforms. You may want to delete those “dead zones” and focus on what works.
Tribes exist everywhere! There are Twitter and Facebook lists, LinkedIn and Facebook groups, and my personal favorite, Triberr.
Triberr has been a HUGE reason that my own posts (created content) have been shared more and more recently. It has helped me grow tremendously as a blogger and online influencer. (I don’t think it hurts that I make sure to thank EVERY person who shares my content, either).
Write, Write, Write!
By writing for both the Social Solutions Collective and SteamFeed, I have been able to better my reach and my brand. SteamFeed is my 7th (as of today) traffic driver, right behind Google, B2socialmedia.com, and our social platforms. Triberr is right behind SF in 8th, and the SSC is in 9th place.
And if we’re talking ROI and conversions, both the SSC and SteamFeed have helped me convert two website visitors to contacts — for a total of four prospects.
Again, if you want to write for others, you have to show success in writing for yourself. That not only goes back to value, but consistency. If you can’t churn out content for your own sites on a regular basis, other sites might not be keen on you being able to do that for them.
Birds Of A Feather …
You’ll often notice that one influencer will write for, tweet about, or highlight another online influencer.
Surround yourself with influencers. Share their content. Ask them insightful questions. See if they’ll let you interview them for your blog, newsletter, YouTube Channel, etc..
In other words, be ACTIVELY looking to buddy up with, learn from, and emulate what online influencers in your industry are doing.
ZERO TO HERO DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT
Do the above suggestions guarantee you’ll become an online influencer? No. Does not doing the above guarantee you WON’T become an online influencer? Probably.
Unfortunately there’s no easy button or magic “trick” to gain influence – you have to do that all by yourself!
What influencer tips would you add? I’d love to know … just post them in the comments below.
See you in the social sphere!