I wanted to ask if you have used the LinkedIn ‘create a post’ facility yet and if not why not?
I have published a few posts so far and will continue to do so, why, because it’s a fantastic way to reach the people I want to work with, build authority and position my business for success.
Now I know what you’re going to say, “what about Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus?” well they are good too but not quite as good and here’s why:
Twitter – it’s great for headlines and for catching up but is it really the place to start a conversation to make sales? Although I will say I haven’t tried the paid advertising route yet. I find the 140 characters so limiting. I won’t stop using it, it’s just that my style of engagement requires something a little longer and more substantial. I do know businesses who use twitter exclusively and do ok so don’t write it off just yet. Let me know if you disagree and why.
Facebook – since Mr Zuckerberg decided to ‘float’ the company anyone with a business page has to advertise to make any real impact and I really think the days of ‘free advertising’ are coming to an end on the internet. I have tried both paid and unpaid on Facebook and the reach without paying is poor to say the least. Yes you can target a specific audience, which is great, but I am still not convinced that businesses go on there to find a consultant, but again I may be wrong. I could write a whole article on Facebook and maybe I will.
Google Plus – I love G+, the conversations are better, well not better just deeper, and of course its Google but as everything has changed recently with the ‘dropping’ of authorship I am not sure if it’s worth putting the time in any more to gain clients. Again I will do further research and let you know but if you think differently let me know.
LinkedIn – well for me this is the new ‘leader’ in social connectedness. Now I have often told my clients and attendees at workshops and keynote’s that Facebook and LinkedIn are ‘walled gardens’ they both only serve the people who are in there. But let’s think for a moment the people who are in LinkedIn are businesses and lots of them. You don’t have to search very far for businesses like you do on the other platforms, if you’re a business it’s all there ready to be worked on. Yes you can use the other platforms to find people and engage with them but it’s the finding that takes all the time and effort and even then you’re never really sure if you’ve got it right.
LinkedIn does offer ‘paid for’ advertising, I will be trying it before very long, but as a consultant I can honestly say that in over four years since I changed from website building, all my clients have come from LinkedIn, with the exception of three or four. So why should I use anything else?
One thing I would love to see them change is the ability to edit the mainstream updates. The amount of mistakes I make and then can’t correct them. I guess I’m not the only one who would like to see that function too. I would also like to see a LinkedIn version of Google hangouts so we can talk to each other inside the platform that would be cool.
When building authority online or trying to position your business LinkedIn is a great place to start, especially now that you can use it as a blog, because it is already full of the people and businesses you are trying to reach so it makes it that little bit easier, you don’t have to do too much searching but you still have to keep in mind the goals for your business.
There are a few things I would change on LinkedIn, as I would on the other platforms, but for now the ability to post articles has raised the LinkedIn game a few notches, so use it and benefit from it.
If you would like to know more about LinkedIn and how to get started I wrote this post a while ago, it’s still relevant, but why not add a comment or ask a question below because it’s that type of engagement I love.
A while back we heard all the stories of why we should dump or websites and get on board with Facebook and Google Plus business pages. This was the way forward and websites were a thing of the past, a dinosaur in this world of contentedness and speed.
Well it hasn’t quite worked out like that has it? A big resounding NO I hear you shout!
You see with Facebook now throttling business pages unless you pay for promoting the post it’s really difficult to get anywhere. There are ways around it if you’re willing to put in the time but let’s face it who has the time or the inclination these days to go fiddling around in Facebook?
No, the good old website still has and will have for years to come lots of juice left in the tank. It will be there when the others have faded and the next ‘new thing’ has come and gone. Your website is a constant in a world of change and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
It’s yours to do with as you like, unless you rub up against your hosts T&C’s but let’s be fair how often is that going to happen for the average business and marketing site, not very often is my guess.
Having your own site really does give you ownership and using software like WordPress really does make it easy. Having your own domain name makes it doubly secure and you can have as many as you like there are no restrictions
I would urge you to use social channels as a way to get people back to your website but that’s it. Use them as a channel to get your messages out, respond to your tribe and answer any customer service type questions, they have no equal when it comes to this sort of use but as a direct replacement, no not for me there is just too much risk. Let’s face it if everything goes belly up on a social channel all your work has been for nothing you can’t back them up you just have to start over again.
When deciding, ask yourself could you live without your website or could you live without a social channel?
A lot of us struggle to achieve becoming an authority in our niche, or even knowing how to go about achieving it can leave many of us scratching our heads in frustration.
One of the things I love to do is analyze how some people seem to get there quite quickly, or do they? You see it takes a lot of work and effort to be seen as an authority in your niche and there are a myriad of things that can help in the journey.
Below are just some of them that can help you get there:
Create fantastic content – This goes a hell of a long way in helping you achieve your goals, if your content sucks you really need to get this sorted as soon as possible. It’s the quickest way to get people to follow you and spread your content. Nothing magic about this one.
Your content has to bring value – Again nothing magic here. Find out what your tribe need and give them it, all the time.
Never compromise – By this I mean never compromise on quality, be it blog posts, sharing others content, recommendations in fact everything you do in your life should say quality. Don’t settle for good because good stops you from being great!
Join in – If you don’t join in on conversations how are you going to get noticed? You aren’t!
Spread The Word of Others – Once your following starts to grow share other peoples content that you know will really resonate with your tribe, they will love you for it, both of them.
Make sure everything is as good as it can be – This means website, social profiles and blogs. If it’s not you’ll lose. Your profiles have to be filled out to the max. People want to know who you are and what you can offer them.
Join Google Plus TODAY! – Now I know I will get ‘slated’ for this by people who advocate other platforms but please bare with me. Google Plus is Google and that’s it. The conversations are fantastic, no its not full of Google Plus geeks, its full of people wanting to engage in conversations that bring quality and meaning to their’s and their tribes lives…what you waiting for?
Join Google Plus communities – This is a great way to contribute to conversations that are relevant to you and it will also showcase your skills and knowledge. Invite your tribe to join because they will love the new content they are being exposed to and you did it!
Start a Google community – If nothing suits your needs then start your own and invite everyone you think could benefit from joining you.
I haven’t included this next element as a bullet point just because ‘TRUST’ is the biggest single element to becoming an authority and it need to be discussed fully. Trust comes with months if not years of doing what you say you will. Trust comes by helping those who need it and not asking anything in return, ‘help without gain’ is my motto and I have stuck to it for years.
You have to bring something to the party. You will have heard the expression ‘show up and shine’ well for me it’s not ‘show up and ‘me’ to shine’ its ‘show up and let your tribe shine’. Letting them take the spotlight and helping them to do so is the most gratifying thing you can do for any person or business. Help as much as you can but a word of caution help but don’t be taken advantage of. There is a difference.
So there you have it a few ‘tips’ on how you can become an authority. This is just to get you started there is much more to this and we will cover it in a future post but always keep in mind “am I offering real ‘quality’?” then at every junction ask yourself this question “could I do this any better?” NOT “could I have done that any better?” because that’s just too late.
Until next time have a great day and please leave a comment I’d love to hear from you.
I am currently reading a book called Breakthrough: Learn the secrets of the world’s leading mentor and become the best you can be! By David C.M. Carter, this is the UK Kindle edition http://goo.gl/7MuPBQ it’s all about your personal breakthroughs and a whole lot more. I would highly recommend it.
I first saw David on a Google hangout with Martin Shervington ( Google Plus Link ) and was really captivated by what he had to say, it really resonated with me.
In the book there’s a chapter called “Know yourself” and it’s a fascinating chapter about getting to know YOU!
But for me ‘Brand You’ is a fantastic term that conjures up all sorts of possibilities because most of us have no idea what it means or how this works.
I want you to think about the big names in social media for a moment:
Richard Branson – Virgin
Tony Robbins – Tony Robbins
Guy Kawasaki – AllTop, amongst others
Robert Scoble – Rackspace
There are more, you can add your own, but you get where I’m going.
This got me thinking about how successful their personal brands are, even though they have massively successful companies. Through social media we get to know them by their first names, some are even on first name terms with them. My point is through social media we now think of them, as people before we think of their companies, however large the companies may be. This is how up close and personal life has become through social media. We feel like we know them because they give us a snapshot into their daily lives.
So lets bring this right back to how this affects to us, the ones who breathe the normal air, how can we ever hope to achieve the same sort of recognition and become Brand You? Well I can tell you it’s not impossible.
Building a Brand You is vitally important to any business owner and you know why? Because you have it whether you like it or not. People’s perceptions of you help to build that brand. Some will like you, some will hate you and some will love you, both personally and in business you might as well accept it. Some would have us believe that there is nothing we can do about this so we might as well make the best of it. But you can do something about it, you must influence it in any way you can so your Brand You becomes stronger day by day.
Network, both on and offline, this is important because to become the best ‘brand you’ you can you need help and don’t be afraid to ask for it
Give as much help and advice as you can on your specialist subject. Give without gain!
Social marketing is a tricky business because whether you have a Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter business and personal accounts they are all linked back to you. This is one of the reasons you can’t be everywhere at once, you need to concentrate on three platforms at most so you can become the best ‘Brand You’ that you can be. Don’t overstretch yourself because no one wants a watered down version of you! It’s better to be a giant on three platforms than a ‘wash up’ on six.
So building Brand You isn’t as difficult as you first thought it was. It’s not an overnight thing, you can’t do it in a couple of weeks but you can do it.
The most important part I have left to the end and that’s being true to yourself! Yes you can change how people perceive you but you have to want to do that to begin with. If there is something stopping you getting the clients you want then find out what it is and change it, it will be something really simple. If there is something stopping you from charging more for your services or products do a full end to end appraisal of what you do and make sure you are adding as much value to your clients lives as you possibly can. Get help with this one if necessary.
You need to build your brand in a positive way because you want people see you in a light that is positive to you and your business or you won’t have a business.
There are lots of ways to build a strong ‘Brand You’ but remember you have to start sometime and that sometime is today. I would urge you to read this post again and then formulate your plan to build the best ‘Brand You’ that you can.
I was thinking the other day that some people have no idea why their marketing isn’t working, especially online marketing. They either follow the latest trends or they follow someone who, they hope, will point them in the right direction on where they are going and with who for company.
But that’s not really thinking for yourself or getting the results that matter to your business is it? No!
So let’s break it down into its component parts because this is a lot simpler than you might think.
There are three elements to this and they are: Why, How and When. Yep that’s it, that’s all there is. Let me explain in a little more detail.
WHY: Who are you sending your message out to? Why will it help them? What’s the benefit for them?
HOW: How are you going to send your message out? Through your blog, like this? Through your social channels like eMail Newsletter, like this? Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? Maybe you will send it out to all of them?
WHEN: When will you send it out, once a week, once a month or maybe once a quarter, I wouldn’t recommend this as it’s too long a gap and people will forget who you are. Send it when you have something to write about that will help your tribe. You will know the frequency.
Once you can answer these three simple questions then you are on your way to making this an enjoyable journey. For some it isn’t enjoyable at all, they get in a mess with their social marketing and end up not using it or using so infrequently it’s never going to work.
I will let you in on how I use Why, How and When:
WHY: This is really easy, I know who my target audience are, it’s you, yes that’s right you! You need help with social marketing and aren’t afraid to ask, that’s the first hurdle over with. Think about your target audience and how you can help them with their problems and concerns? Once you have done that you’re on your way.
HOW: I send out my messages of help and advice via my email newsletter, you got this today. I will also post it on my blog and send it out to my social channels, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Most of you know I only use these on a regular basis. But please try whatever works for you and your tribe.
WHEN: I send out email newsletter once a week, don’t hold me to that though, but on the whole I do. This lets my tribe know that they can count on me to help at least once a week. Now I test different days and times for when I send out my stuff and if it’s not working for you, do the same its surprising what the results can throw up.
So to end think about the Why, HOW and WHEN for your business and if you not getting the
results you want or expect focus on this a little more, it will help.