As a professional, you already know that we live in a time where relationships we have with our customers as per the trend have to change with the advent of digital media and social communication.
As a service provider or consultant, like other professionals, you must pay attention to the development of your personal brand and take care of your image in digital media, what we call “digital identity”. This new role should be the part of your professional competencies.
Professionals who are dedicated to the world of marketing, we know that now any business no matter how small it is, if you want to maintain effective communication with your target audience in the digital media, it is not enough to have a wonderful website explaining magnificent services that are provided or the product you sell. A constant communication with the public has more weight and it is not the brand that dialogue, but you, as a professional and if you have a small business, employees who work with you in your office, should participate.
Therefore, in the past it was us, brands and professionals, where we controlled what the market had to know about us. We now live in an era of marketing trust and proximity, a feature where professionals are leading the sector with care, affection and maintaining personal relationships with clients, but this should also move to the digital world, where trust has spearhead personal branding and influence.
But why we need to be influential and how we can use it to strengthen our personal brand?
The influence of digital media can be described as an ability of a person to influence others with their opinions, their knowledge and content shared in digital media.
An influencer is someone who can help a person or a group of people to change their minds or behavior on a particular subject or topic.
There are very few people who actually have such a considerable impact on social media, since it is estimated that only 3% of people who publish content on Internet, generate 90% of the online impact, therefore, to become an influencer in a particular niche is really difficult, but not impossible.
There is a rule that is fulfilled by those professionals who influence their professional environment:
TRACKING + KNOWLEDGE = Influencer
Therefore, a social influencer, in any sector can be measured by the following:
- BY THE NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS
- BY HOLDING KNOWLEDGE about a subject or topic
- DIGITAL FOOTPRINT
That is, an influencer speaks and others listen…
Influencers are also potential generators of interesting content related to their activity.
To your followers you need to be a trusted person to share useful content and value? Nope! It does not mean that you should always be original content creator, as many professionals do not have the ability to research and find time out of their professional activity to write and publish, but it is also based on selecting quality and interesting content prepared by other professionals in the field and you think your fans should know about it is sufficient.
If your company has an official blog or you have a personal one, can make a small post about a study or link to the content prepared by other professionals. You can work on it for one to three days and share it across on your blog.
And really, as a content marketing expert, I can assure you that Google appreciates this type of very well written content, in many cases even better than the original.
But how do we know that someone is really an influencer? To detect an influencer, marketing experts research on these three metrics:
Scope: Measure the size of the audience that influencer have. The audience can be measured from the number of visits or its impact on their blog, the followers on Twitter, subscribers of YouTube channel, etc.
Engagement: After calculating the digital scope, here we take into account factors such as retweets, backlinks to the articles posted on blog, comments left, and the participation of this influencer in other media, as a guest blogger or online newspapers.
Relevance: Here we check the relevancy of the topics that a specific influencer has shared with his audience. Joining relevant users helps to increase the value of a content created by a professional on a specialized topic and helps in generating debate among the audience.
Building an influence around us is not easy, requires certain amount of time to understand other people in the network. Also constantly work outside the profession without expecting anything in return in the beginning.
You should also make time to participate and share your knowledge with other professionals in different groups and forums without expecting anything in return but it counts worth…
Furthermore not only content sharing, but have very good relationship with your followers, informing them about important issues, and even help them at certain times if they have doubts.
To be a professional influencer, you must have an innate curiosity about dominating issues, must always be very motivated, spend hours researching and studying with a clear objective, to share the knowledge with others.
In my view, these are the main characteristics of a professional influencer
Altruism: The professionals who are really looking forward to become an influencer in a subject or topic, should be altruistic with their knowledge, share the knowledge without asking anything in return. Should also write on a blog, participate in discussion forums or LinkedIn groups, participate in events, share valuable information, and sometimes without intending to receive any material compensation and use their talent in the service of others.
Empathy: The definition of empathy has always been “the key quality to differentiate a good leader and a great leader”. This concept extrapolated to the subject at hand, and would help to identify a real influencer, and the big difference is empathy, considered as the competence to read others.
An influencer must understand the needs of his audience, must know the content their readers demand. Must maintain and build a relationship in which everyone wins.
Participation: It is vital for a professional to participate in groups on LinkedIn, share useful content, and participate in specialized forums for visibility in the digital world.
And as a conclusion of this article, I’ll give you 10 small tips that can help you to start working on your personal brand and social influence.
- Find a topic with which you can define your personal brand. If you are an expert in any discipline no matter how small, for example, web hosting, why not exploit? It is better to have a niche audience rather than positioning yourself in general category.
- Give your audience what interests you, watch the active listening skills, what is spoken in the web hosting industry? What concerns are there? Data Protection, and much more.
- Be specific: Better get specialized in a subject, following the example of the hosting, when do you think that a business owner can start creating his business website and influence specific sector, writing about types of hosting services, their advantages and disadvantages can be of help. The bigger the theme chosen to dress your personal brand will get harder to be relevant, so choose wisely.
- Brand publishing goals and consistency: If you have opted for a content marketing strategy to boost your digital identity, building a content calendar and overturns the ideas that emerge will help.
- Use tools for content curation: It is very difficult to be aware of everything that is said on the network on a given subject and when the subject is as specialized as web hosting, use tools that allow you to through information and be aware of what is written and said about your specialty. Google alerts, scoop.it , Quora, Flipboard, Feedly can be interesting examples in this regard.
- Be human and altruistic, interact with your followers, if someone follows you on Twitter, thank him, if someone sends an invitation to connect on LinkedIn, accept and thank them, be communicative, although it seems difficult, at times we run, our digital communication still needs the human component that is disappearing.
- Share content only from sources that you believe are reliable.
- Be selective in the quality of each piece so that it adds value to your readers’ knowledge.
- Find professionals like you to master your professional area and they can be influential, will always be a source of inspiration, they may also share your content, allowing greater range.
- Be relevant and consistent, select the most valuable content, this will allow the audience not only values you for your expertise but also as the most reliable source.
I hope this article has aroused your curiosity and will help you start thinking on how to develop your digital identity, something that will benefit you as a professional and as a person.