If you’re not serious about advancing your personal brand, business brand, or preferably both, to achieve Market Leader status, you're leaving yourself at a severe disadvantage. A competitor won't be so complacent, and will take full advantage of the rewards on offer.
Social media has enabled people to quickly reach out to their marketplace, and has provided opportunities for entrepreneurs to gradually generate a reputation, build their profile, and convince others that they are an authority in their niche or market as a whole.
You can too, by following these ten steps:1. Let the money take care of itselfAt the end of the day, we all want to make money, and the idea of using social media to quickly generate huge profits sounds very appealing.
The first thing to get your head around is that, just because you’ve created a Facebook or Twitter account, the money won’t start rolling in.
He says: ‘People who tell you that you can (directly) make money from your Twitter account have got rocks in their heads.' ‘What these things can do, however, is to make you a market leader. By having influence in a market place, you'll make a lot of money, and do really well in your market.
Although that video was published about 3 years ago and Twitter are now introducing ‘Lead Generation Cards' to help you generate leads straight from Twitter, what Ed proposed is still fundamentally solid.
So as long as you are sharing great content and building influence in your marketplace, then the money should start to follow.2. Niche upBeing perceived as a mover and a shaker, and having respect in a market, is obviously a great position to be in.Unfortunately, the benefits this status provides aren't a secret, and there's a lot of people who share your ambitions – that’s why you are probably seeing a crowded marketplace.
The best way to beat them is to specialise.
Have you ever considered whether you could niche your market any further? Could you go deeper into one subject and become THE Go-To Expert for that niche?Remember it will be a lot easier to move onto other areas once you’ve conquered one part of the market. Sir Richard Branson likes to do this, but he tends to traverse whole industries.3. Open upAt one stage, people used to see the internet as a way to be anonymous, and to hide behind their user names. This is probably still pretty useful for a selection of nocturnal activities, but sadly not for business.
In a world where social media is dominating, it’s a good idea to use your name as a brand, and promote it well.
If you want to be successful, and build your brand using Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, you'll need to be open, and share ideas, insight and knowledge that is worth reading.
You'll need to be comfortable getting your thoughts out there, exposing them to – and eventually shaping – the wider debate.
It’s quite tough to lift your head above the parapet, but when you do, you realise you’re not actually in any firing line, and it’s fun to get involved.4. Get followers – to a pointIt's important to remember that you need to focus on gaining followers who are relevant to your niche – quality is a lot more important than quantity.
If you're doing things right, your audience will build up naturally and organically as your reputation grows, and you'll pick up the people you want to be communicating with.Building alliances with other influencers can quickly speed up the process. How do you do this? Participate with them and get involved in their conversation.5. Create quality contentPeople need a motivation to follow you or sign up to your mailing list – they need some substance.
Simply tweeting your opinions isn't going to be enough. Creating a blog that people find useful and interesting is a good way to do this.
You can make videos, record podcasts, or create information courses – whatever you think will resonate with your market.
Make sure any content you release is worth the time visitors will need to invest in absorbing it. If it isn't, they're unlikely to become an avid follower.6. Expose your contentYou can have the best content in the world, sat on a fantastically designed website, but if no one knows about it, it's worthless.
You need to get the message out there, and the best way to do this is by getting involved with other influencers and thrusting yourself into the spotlight.
If other influencers have inspired part of your content, or have created relevant content, then it’s always a good idea to cite them and – once published – alert them to your post. This usually ‘inspires’ them to share it, which can help it go viral.7. Draw attention to other contentDon't be afraid to point your followers to other influencers, and any other content you find interesting. This will help attract new subscribers to you, as you'll be posting interesting and valuable information, which will further integrate you into the community.
It will also encourage other influencers to link back to your stuff.Getting involved with the blogging community is a good idea. Leave comments and engage in discussions on other people's blogs. This will encourage them to reciprocate and help you spread the word.8. Be availableThe more you get yourself out there, and gain exposure, the more people will think of you when they need the opinion of an expert.
Offer to write articles for magazines relevant to your niche, offer yourself up to comment on news stories, and make yourself available for interviews.
Make your contact details easy to find, and register on websites like Help a Reporter to make yourself available to journalists and other writers looking for an expert opinion.
If you are OK with public speaking, get yourself out there and offer to contribute at seminars and conferences.
All this will help you get yourself into a position where people are actively seeking you out.9. Write a bookNot only does writing a good book offer you some fantastic credibility in your marketplace, it can also send a ton of new followers your way. These aren’t any old followers – they are usually relevant and loyal, because they have taken the time to read your whole book.
Stuck for ideas? Why not use the content you have produced elsewhere by pulling it together to create your masterpiece?It’s easier than ever to self publish these days with Amazon Kindle, so there's nothing to get in your way.10. If it's working, keep doing itMake sure you regularly assess your actions and connections by using software like Hootsuite to track your reach.
A great piece of software to manage your connections is Nimble, which is a Social Media integrated CRM that alerts you to events on your own profile, and also those of your connections.
Your aim is to become one of the Top 20 Influencers in your niche and to climb as far up this list as you can – this takes consistency, however, so make sure you keep your interactions regular.