Whether you’re selling something or just have a really awesome blog, there’s no doubt that you want to increase your influence in your niche. After all, who doesn’t want to be influential and powerful? But, how can you boost your influence online?
Here are 5 ways to become an influential person in your niche.
1. Understand The Wants and Needs of Your Audience Audience
Before you can understand the wants and needs of your audience, you need to discover who your audience is. What is the content, products and services that they are really clamoring for? Do they really need another cooking blog? Or do they want new ways to barbecue on a grill? In other words, stand in their shoes. What products or services would you want? Where could you get these products or services? These will not only give you a better understanding of the competition, but clue you in on what your customers/fans want.
And, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. If they make a purchase from your online store, follow-up with a survey on how the order went. Poll the visitors on your blog about what they like and don’t like about what you’re doing.
Once you have this information you can begin to create and produce material for them, which will help you extend your reach of influence.
Example: I recently started a hosting company. In order to connect with influencers I would go on Twitter Twitter and pay attention to people tweeting out #hosting and #webhosting #hostingchat and a few other terms. I followed this on Tweetdeck for around a month. I interacted with a few people but then started noticing the same influential people mentioning these hashtags. I would stalk them a little, follow them and then mention and interact with them. This over the past 2-3 month has helped put me in a similar situation as them…gaining influence among other leaders in the hosting space.
I also follow all the major companies in the industry. I devote 30 min a day to reading articles (5-6 articles a day) and see what they are talking about and who is following them. It’s a great way to know the landscape and figure out how to beat them. By knowing every aspect of their life you can become better than them!
2. Reach Out To Influencers/Communities
Don’t be shy. One of the best ways to become an influencer is reaching out and making connections. Who are are the top influencers in your field? What are the blogs specifically geared towards your niche? What communities can you or your team participate in?
You can find this information by searching for blog posts or businesses that are similar to yours. You can also use tools like Realtime, Topsy and Bitly to uncover trending posts and topics. Once you know who’s sharing these posts leave a comment on their blog, send them an email or get in touch on social media – Twitter and LinkedIn LinkedIn are great places to start. Moz has a very simple way in improving your outreach by networking by you need it and not asking for anything in return.
Reaching out to these influencers and communities in your niche is perhaps the best way to boost your influence. It connects you with industry leaders and members so that you can get introduced to a new audience and exchange ideas.
3. Guest Blog
If you have the chance to write as a guest blogger on a respected and industry related site do it. Why? Because there are some serious benefits that can help you increase your influence because of the following:
It Builds Your Network: Guest blogging introduces you to a new audience and can help you build relationships.
Increases Your Authority: When you write on several blogs related to your niche, it shows visitors that this is someone who is knowledgeable in this area and is experienced enough to keep discussing the area.
Drives Traffic: When you write on another blog, your website or blog will get a shoutout with something like a link in the Bio section. This will drive a bit of traffic to your website if the post is amazing. People want to know more and you’ve built trust.
Gives You Bragging Rights: Even if you’re doing your own thing, doesn’t feel great to tell everyone how your work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Forbes or Entrepreneur? I thought so.
- I do not recommend guest blogging for SEO reason, though it should help you out a bit. Don’t do it just for SEO.
4. Have a Great Online Portfolio
Don’t be afraid to boast about your accomplishments. It continues to showcase your talents within your niche. Also, an online portfolio makes for a great first impression and increases your online visibility. You can showcase your portfolio on tools like Carbonmade, Behance, Dribble, Dunked or Coroflot.
I do this on my personal press page and it attracts so many people to me. It also shows everyone out there how amazing what I’m working on or doing is and how it applies to them. Everyone wants to be like the people that show up in Entrepreneur and Inc. Show them how amazing you truly are. Don’t inflate it with false stories.
5. Be Easy to Find
Having social media accounts should be a give-in, but you also need to be active on the platforms that your audience is hanging out. This may take a lot bit of time, but once you know who your audience is (demographics, profession, hobbies, etc.) it’s a bit easier to find them. There’s a great post on LinkedIn that goes into this a bit more. Once you do find your audience, reach and engage them by conversing with them.
One final note, make sure that you have all of your social media accounts easy to find with social buttons on your website or blog. This will allow your customers to easily follow you and communicate with you on their preferred medium.