Do you want to become an influencer? Having social influence means you are a thought leader and an expert in your field who has the power to influence people’s opinions. But how do you become one? In this post, I’m going to share my top tips for how you can become a social influencer.
Find your niche
The first step in becoming an influencer is to figure out what your niche is. It has to be a subject that you clearly have expertise on and it can be broader, such as social media marketing in general, or more focused, for example, Twitter only.
Be a true expert in your niche
Whichever industry or niche you’re in, you also need the experience and know-how to back it up. And, just as important, you have to keep up to date with all the latest changes, updates, new features and new apps and tools. To become the go-to source for information on a particular subject, you need to show that you know it, inside and out, and that you’re always within the first to know and report new developments in your industry.
Subscribe to the top relevant news websites and blogs and check the news regularly, several times a day. Make sure to also subscribe to the various platform blogs, as that is where you will get the first announcements on new features, algorithm changes and other developments. To make this all easier on you, use a tool like Feedly to subscribe to various blogs and news websites and to categorise all of your sources.How to gain social #influence via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet
Another useful tool for keeping up to date is Google Alerts. Set up alerts with the relevant keywords and it will be even easier for you to keep up to date on all the latest news.
This way, you are sure to be one of the first to find out about any new changes and you can quickly report them on social media and your website and blog.
To get your name out there, and have people start recognising you, you need to have a huge presence online. Create a blog and open up accounts on all (or at least most) major social media platforms.
Engage on social media
In the beginning, when you don’t have a strong following and people engaging with you, it’s up to you to look for conversations that you can join. Search for conversations by keywords and just…start talking!
When it comes to followers, I think it’s very important that more important than quantity, is quality. Rather than focusing on getting as many followers as possible in a short amount of time, focus on growing a targeted list of followers. At the end of the day, in order to become an influencer, you need to have people who not only engage with you, but they also care about what you have to say. Those are, after all, the people that you can influence.
As you become more popular and grow your following, there will be more people coming to you for conversations and you will be able to start your own debates and discussions.How to become a #socialmedia #influencer via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet
Be helpful and approachable
As I mentioned above, once your popularity grows, people will start coming to you more with questions, debates, etc. Whenever someone does, try to be as helpful as you can be. As an expert in your field and aspiring influencer, people will start looking at you for assistance and you need to be ready to provide it.
Be friendly, approachable, helpful and respond promptly and people will continue to come to you with their questions and issues.
As a social influencer, people expect you to share the best, most informative content there is. I’ve mentioned earlier that you should subscribe to industry blogs and news websites. Whenever you come across a great article or other type of content, that you think will provide value to your target audience, share it with your followers, explaining why they should stop what they’re doing and read this now.
In a way, the goal here is to become a living, breathing content curator – preferably, the best there is. Your followers have to see you as the best source for interesting, relevant content in your niche, and come to you for the latest news and developments.
An influencer’s blog
It’s not just about sharing other people’s content, though – you need to create your own top-notch blog, where you write about news and changes in your niche, and more importantly, provide your expert advice and tips and tricks.
You’ve probably heard this countless times, but an influencer’s blog should only contain the best content possible, that provides a lot of value to your readers. To be a social influencer, you need to be an expert – and experts know what they’re talking about.
The best way to provide value in your posts is through practical advice, lesser known tips and tricks of the industry, how to guides and list based posts.
Through it all, don’t forget to be yourself and show your personality in your writing. People will want to know your perspective, not a generic blog post that could’ve been written by anybody.How to become a #socialmedia #influencer via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet
Host Twitter Chats
Twitter Chats offer a great way to engage with more people, as well as to show you know your stuff. At first, simply join other Twitter Chats in your industry and try to be as active as possible. Once you’ve grown a targeted following that engages with you, you can start hosting your own Twitter Chats. Use the opportunity to be helpful and approachable and to show you have the know-how of a true influencer.
Be up to date with all the latest apps, tools and software
It’s not enough to be on top of all the latest news, but also new tools, apps and software, that you can let your followers and readers know about.
Ideally, find new tools that are in beta and contact the developers and ask if you can try the tool out and chronicle and share your experience with your followers – this is a win-win situation for both parties.
If you are trying out new tools and apps often, people will perceive it as a sign of your influence, as you appear to be at the forefront of new technologies and developments.
Engage with other influencers
Influencers, just like bloggers, often mingle online (and offline) and they help each other out.
Having strong relationships with other influencers can help you become an influencer yourself. With their help, you can reach more people and grow your own audience and readership, get awesome guest blogging opportunities and get more shares and engagement.
Guest blogging can help you in many different ways.
Firstly, it helps you reach more people, that are also likely to be interested in the same subjects as you; this can lead to more followers, more traffic to your website and consequently, more engagement.
Guest blogging also gives you an extra boost in credibility, especially if you’re posting on a popular, respected blog.
Research the best blogs in your niche and find out what their guest post submission guidelines are.Top tips on how to become a #socialmedia #influencer via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet
Studies and in-depth guides
One of the ways to offer more value and incentives to your readers, as well as to help you establish your expertise on the subject, is to create in-depth guides. It can serve as an incentive for people to visit your website and subscribe to your email list. But more importantly, in this case, it shows that you know what you’re talking about and that you are truly an expert in the niche you’ve chosen – and you’re willing to share that knowledge with your followers.
Write a book
Publishing an e-book has never been easier and you don’t need to write one that is too long, especially if you’re willing to give it away for free on your website, as a subscription incentive.
Networking face to face
In order to gain social influence, it’s very useful, at least every once in a while, to take the networking out of the online realm and bring it in your real life. In the online world, it’s easy to make connections, but meeting in real life can really help you solidify these relationships.
Go to networking events, conferences, etc. within your niche and interact with as many people as possible. You will get to meet some of the other influencers and power-players in your niche, as well as some of the people who have been following you and reading your blog and, who knows, maybe also some future followers and readers. Make sure you’re armed with enough cards before you leave and be friendly and communicative – you could meet really great people and grow your influence, all at the same time.How to become a #socialmedia #influencer via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet
Conferences and round-table discussions
As you grow in influence, and you start establishing yourself as a thought leader and expert in your niche, try to get speaker spots at conferences, or as a moderator for round-table discussions. There’s nothing that says expertise more than being a hired speaker at a legitimate event and, once you’re finished, you get to network some more.
Another way to show your expertise and grow your influence, this time without having to leave the comfort of your home, is to host webinars.
The best part about webinars is that you can record them and use them again at a later date, for example as a subscription incentive.
The downside is that you need to work a lot to promote it so that enough people hear about it and enough people attend it. Use social media, your website and make use of your influencer connections to help you promote it.
Last, but not least: be consistent. To become an influencer, you need to work hard at it and it can take a long time to get you to the point you want, but it’s definitely worth it.How to gain #socialmedia #influence via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet
In order to gain social influence, you need to be prepared to be in it for the long haul and ready to work hard. But while it’s a lot of work and time consuming, the results are completely worth it. What do you think makes for a good social influencer? Let me know in the comments section and please share if you enjoyed the post:)
Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business.