If you want to build up your personal brand and gain influence online, you don’t need millions of followers, but you do need a clear reason for people to listen to and engage with you. In my case, I’ve built up my influence on social media over the years by being honest and transparent about my life while doing my best to offer valuable marketing insights to my audience. I try to stay in my lane as a social media marketing expert, rather than trying to be an influencer on every topic.
If you want to build a stronger personal brand and have more influence, make sure you have clear intentions about what you want to be known for so you can go full speed ahead toward that goal. While many people wish there was a quick-fix way to grow their social media influence — and think if they only knew the secret they could snap their fingers and gain traction — the reality is that building your influence takes a ton of time and commitment. Having influence depends on more than the quality of your content; you also have to be good at interacting with others online and forge quality partnerships to expand your reach, and that’s something that takes time and genuine effort to build.
While it’s possible to buy your way to some level of influence by advertising on social media, you’re more likely to build and sustain a quality influence if you’re patient and willing to put in the effort. In doing so, make sure your content and your interactions online include these three Ps:
With the social media landscape being as crowded as it is, you need to have a clear purpose for everything you do online in order to eventually stand out. With each post and with your overall strategy, make sure you know what you’re hoping to achieve and that you can bring a unique perspective. Don’t just post a link and hope for the best. Think about how what you share can further your overall goals, and think about the best way to get there before posting.
Related to purpose is passion, as you need to be enthusiastic about what you’re sharing online. For example, if your purpose is to grow your influence as a digital marketing expert, but you don’t really find the subject that exciting, then it’s hard to create content and interact with others in a way that gets them excited about engaging with you. People can tell whether you’re passionate about what you share, so make sure your purpose aligns with your passions.
If you have a purpose and a passion, you may be able to organically grow your reach, but you can go even further if you have the right partnerships. That’s how I’ve been able to expand my reach and gain quality interactions, and I’ve been able to work with my partners because they see my purpose and passion for helping others become better marketers.
Brands are always looking for quality content, so reach out to ones where you think you can add value. In addition to guest writing for other sites, you could also try strategies such as asking an influencer or someone at a brand that’s better known than you to be interviewed in an article or podcast you’re working on. While you won’t catch the big fish right away, if you start with partners a little bit above your current reach, eventually you can work your way up and partner with more prominent brands that can help you exponentially grow your influence.
Remember, the goal isn’t having the most followers, but rather creating quality content to build a quality audience where you have real influence. Be real in your interactions and build quality relationships with others online so that your audience wants to continually engage and spread the word about what you’re sharing. Anyone can have social media influence, but not everyone needs to be an influencer. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth it to put in the time and effort to build up your personal brand. If you do want to go down this path, make sure you have a clear purpose and passion, and focus on building quality partnerships to grow your influence over time.
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