By John Lincoln, MBA, Co-founder and CEO of Ignite Visibility and one of the top digital marketing consultants in the industry
Want to work less, but make more? Of course you do. Building up your personal brand and your authority in your industry is one way to do that. As an industry influencer, you’re valued for your experience, opinions and advice, not just your deliverables. You’ll get in front of more clients, land bigger accounts and turn your opinions into profits.
But becoming an influencer in your industry isn’t always easy. You need to have the tools and strategies to make your life easier — and differentiate you from the crowd.
1. Get the right tools.
With the time spent blogging, making videos, and posting it all to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, it can be hard to keep up with the schedule of a successful influencer. But they have a secret — they don’t do it all themselves.
Influencer pros use tools such as BuzzSumo, AnswerThePublic and Hashtagify to choose the topics that people most want to hear about and to perfect their hashtags. They likely also use social media management platforms such as Hootsuite to schedule posts weeks ahead of time and track their results.
2. Post blogs and video.
If you want to become an industry influencer, you need a blog — period. It’s the easiest way to get started, incorporate organic marketing best practices and drive traffic to your website. Don’t stop at blog posts, though. Video content is in high demand: Over 50% of consumers want more video content from brands they support.
Create a video based on your blog, discussing the top three or five main points. Make it less than 10 minutes long so you can post it on your main social media channels. (Side note: Twitter limits videos to 60 seconds. Create a cropped version, and point viewers back to the full video.) Start with YouTube — no matter your industry, this is a valuable channel.
3. Find your own voice.
There’s a lot of content out there. What makes yours so special? This is a question you’d better be prepared to answer if you want to become an influencer in your industry. Everyone has unique experiences and perspectives that they can turn into a niche, such as B2B marketing for startups or freelancing as a single mom. Discover yours.
It’s important to have an opinion, especially one that goes against the grain. If everyone in your industry thinks chatbots are the next big thing, find a unique angle. Better yet, create a post about “Five Tools That Are Better Than Chatbots.” People love controversy.
4. Use unconventional channels.
Depending on your audience, you might want to create profiles on sites such as TikTok or Twitch, in addition to the five usual suspects. Don’t stop at social media. Answer user questions on forum sites like Quora, and your answer just might show up in the Google answer box.
Another great way to get your name out there is Help a Reporter Out (HARO). Sign up on the website, and choose your areas of expertise. You’ll receive emails with questions from reporters. Send back your answers — as quickly as you can — and your quote could be featured in industry publications. You’ve never looked more professional.
5. Educate others.
Top influencers aren’t content to sit behind their computers. They network at conferences and give presentations to others in their industries. They create and host webinars and repurpose that content as a downloadable offer to drive traffic. They send out press releases that relate their businesses to wider industry trends.
Perfect your speaking skills, and go on podcasts and radio shows to share your knowledge. It’s not a completely selfless strategy — you then invite the person on your show, increasing your authority. Dream big: The top industry influencers are authors, speakers and all-around leaders.
Are you ready to get started?
With compelling content and the right strategy, becoming an influencer in any industry is possible. These five tips can make your journey a little easier. Put yourself out there, and start creating content.