Grow your influence, not just your followers
Influence has currency, both online and in the wider business world. It’s what opens doors, makes things happen and ultimately helps you reach your personal and professional goals.
One way you can build influence online is to use social media to build meaningful professional relationships with people who can help you reach your target buyer.
These people are known as influencers and may not themselves be your target buyers.
The idea behind this is that it’s a lot easier to build professional relationships with a smaller number of people who, in turn, have the ability to influence their followers, than it is to try to build meaningful relationships with all those end followers directly.
Of course this approach can be used in a sleazy or inappropriate way. But it can also be used to build mutually satisfying business and maybe even eventually, personal relationships.
How do I find influencers?
The influencers in your sphere will become apparent the more you research your target buyer. Who do your buyers follow? Regularly read? Share, comment or otherwise engage with?
A lot of the techniques I outlined in this post will also help you learn more about your key influencers.
It pays to keep an open mind here: your influencers may be several steps removed from the translation or localisation world.
For example, when I’m looking for information on the latest SEO strategies, I head straight to the horse’s mouth – Moz, Hubspot, or QuickSprout are my main ports of call.
But when it comes to information about tax, regulations, or other country-specific information relating to small business, my main sources of information tend to be the general press, and maybe, my accountant (they’re not terribly proactive, to be honest).
So someone looking to influence my buying decisions relating to SEO training, software, or even SEO-friendly web design or copywriting, for example, would do well to feature in a guest post on Moz.
A seller of bookkeeping, legal or other professional services, however, would be guaranteed my attention if they were referred to me by my accountant, or quoted in an article on small business in the Sydney Morning Herald.
The point here is, you need to think upstream, downstream and sideways from the interests, needs and desires of your target buyers to find the influencers that are likely to magnify your marketing efforts.
That’s what’s going to see you get the best return on the resources you invest in your online marketing.
Once you’ve found your key influencers, you can work out where your interests and goals overlap. Use this to build an appropriate outreach campaign.
Social media is always a great place to start, but make sure you move to a mode of communication that can facilitate a deeper connection over time, such as email, calls, face-to-face meet ups, and so on.
Again, the ultimate goal here – as it is with all networking – is to build a mutually satisfying and meaningful relationship. (And that just doesn’t happen on social media alone.)
Now, doesn’t that sound a lot more interesting than chasing random and meaningless “followers” on your social media accounts?!
Go for it!
- Episode #28 of The High Income Business Writing Podcast, hosted by Ed Gandia: John Corcoran is the go-to guy on networking these days, and in this podcast interview he summarises his approach. There’s lots of actionable tips on identifying influencers and networking in general – check it out, especially if you dislike networking 🙂
- Chapter 7: Outreach of The Complete Guide to Building Your Blog Audience, by Neil Patel: OK, this is targeted at bloggers. But honestly, it’s like a super-dooper primer for everything you’d ever need to know about reaching out to influencers, including email scripts and spreadsheets (oooooh, spreadsheets!). Read it.
- How to Find Influencers Who Already Want to Share and Link to Your Content, by Mark Trueman on the Kissmetrics Blog: This very detailed post does just what it says on the tin, but forget about the content aspect – use the same techniques to research exactly who is sharing content on translation in your field, and you’ve got yourself an incredible list of influencers right there. Awesome stuff.
A Social Media Challenge!
Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do one thing each day in October that will have an impact on your social presence in the longer term.
Each weekday in October, I’m going to suggest a task to work on for whatever pocket of time you can carve out that day. You can choose to follow my suggestion, adjust it to suit your circumstances, or come up with an alternative – whatever makes most sense for you. Or just dip in and out as it suits.
Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog. Let me know how you’re getting on by using the hashtag #socialtranslator (so I can find you!). If you find it helpful, please give me a thumbs up, a like or a share – that’s how I’ll know you’re finding it useful, and it’ll help other translators join in too.