The Internet is one massive audience just waiting for your business. Having a large audience of your own is no easy task. Online influencers, however, have a large audience. You want to become an online influencer, and we will look at how you will build your influence until you’re a trusted online powerhouse.
Understanding how influence works online
In an online context, influence comes down to:
- How many followers you have on any platform.
- The number of views your YouTube videos get.
- How many responses you get in the form of replies and comments.
- If your content is being shared.
To become an online influencer you need to continuously engage with an audience. This not only about providing information, but also other activities including building social connections. For example, we know for certain that PewDiePie’s an online influencer. He gets millions of views, and has the most YouTube subscribers ever. Most of his influence is in the video game industry. That’s why he created a video game:
Having him review one of your games could be huge. But it would be even better if you had some of your own influence over an audience.
The psychology of online influence
Building your influence online goes much deeper, though. To make good use of your influence, you have to understand the psychology behind it. Aside from the above mentioned authority, psychologist Robert Cialdini identified five other principles to keep in mind:
- Reciprocity: In order for you to gain from your following, they also need to gain from you. Understand your goals as an influencer and how it matches with the goals of your audience. From there, you can better provide them with what are looking for.
- Consistency: Becoming an influencer is not a one-off thing. To keep your following, you have to consistently deliver quality content on demand. Commitment also plays a big role, you have to be decisive to follow through with any move you make.
- Liking: People are more inclined to follow those that they like. As such, you have to build yourself as someone likable to them. This starts with connecting and building your relationship with followers.
- Social proof: The Internet is often a numbers game, with those having a large following seen as being more credible. And this is what draws even more people towards these personalities, to be in with the crowd. This social proof also means they can be more readily persuaded to take your desired action. It is the key motivating factor in why people buy Twitter followers from us.
- Scarcity: People are often attracted to things that are limited in supply, mainly out of the fear of missing out. For you, the influencer, this gives the opportunity to help them in making decisions about the matter. You also get to share valuable insights on how to deal with their particular problems.
All of these principles combine to give you a clearer picture of how your audience thinks. When applying these principles, think about how they fall in line with your objectives, including how you intend to influence your follower base. From there, adjust your planned approach to suit the situation at hand.
Building your influencer credibility: Content
Content is often thought of as the single most important commodity online. Being able to provide valuable content to your audience is going to be your biggest role as an influencer. As such, you need to know how to pick the right kind of content. Understanding your audience’s particular wants and needs become important here. Mountain dew have perfectly captured the zany meme-focused content that their audience enjoys:
They said 42 triple-doubles in one season would never happen 🤔
— Mountain Dew® (@MountainDew) April 9, 2017
Learn what your audience wants by using the listening tools, and even asking. Be sure to track the success of your content. When one type of content is getting shared more often, start to focus on that. Competition analysis is also important.
Keeping the information flowing
As you have learned earlier, becoming an influencer is not a one-off thing. That is especially true when building your credibility. To be a credible source of information, you also need to provide that information whenever your audience wants or needs it.
Having a content release schedule is one way you can ensure that the information your audiences are looking for are delivered to them. Time the release of your content to when they are most likely consumed to make them more effective. You also need to advertise this content calendar just as the guys from Philip DeFranco does with his header image:
Creating so-called evergreen content is another way to provide information to your following. This content remains fresh and valuable for a long time. This is different from trending content, which is relevant only as long as the trend behind them lasts.
Evergreen content is also especially helpful for establishing credibility. Your followers can go back to and use it anytime they need to. Tutorials are some of the popular kinds of evergreen content you can create.
Presenting yourself the right way
Much like how people see you in person, your online credibility can also be affected by how they perceive you online. As such, establishing a good online persona is important. This begins with your online profiles, be it your blog profiles or social media accounts. You want all of these to look professional:
- Your profile image on every social platform should be given a lot of attention as this is the first image people see when checking you out.
- Fill all the pertinent details in your bio sections with up-to-date information.
- Be sure to provide accessible contact details people can use to reach you.
It’s more than just good-looking profiles, though. You have to follow that through with consistency, authenticity and honesty. Your audience has to know what to expect from you. If you say you tweet about video games, you better tweet about video games like IGN:
— IGN (@IGN) February 6, 2017
This is especially the case when expressing your opinion. As an influencer even your personal opinion will hold a significant weight to your audience. As such, you have to be ready to stand by these opinions, even if they are not well-received. Being true to what you believe in will help you accomplish that task better.
Connecting with other influencers
Establishing your credibility by yourself can only do so much. At some point, you need to have others to vouch for you. Building a relationship with other influencers begins with becoming one of their followers. Once you are following them you want these influencers to notice and acknowledge your work. Frequently mentioning them in your content, such as blog posts or videos, could do the trick here. Replying to their content is also a good tactic.
Of course, they need to have a reason to actually endorse your work to their audience. This where we go back to creating good content. Your content should something that would be of value to their own audience, such as:
- Topics the influencer has not yet covered.
- Supplementary content for their own work
- Response videos answering questions/challenges they made
- Any content their audience will find interesting
Meeting with these influencers offline also helps in creating a connection with them. Conferences and trade shows are popular venues where many influential personalities come together and share their knowledge. You could also attend the various events they organize. Once you make the initial connection, further that by inviting them to be guests to your own events. Here we can see Cmdr. Chris Hadfield was away on a sort of event…
@WilliamShatner Yes, Standard Orbit, Captain. And we’re detecting signs of life on the surface.
— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) January 3, 2013
Capital Much like attracting followers, reaching out to fellow influencers is a gradual process. It might also not go as you planned. Don’t stop, just go onto the next influencer.
Choosing where to build your influence online: Your website
Your website is where everything starts, including your appeal to an influence. The biggest advantage with having a personal site or blog is that you have full control of the content. To build that level of influence, your blog or website should have a clear focus. PR Newswrite for Journalists’ Amanda Hickens says that a good way to do this is by documenting the content strategy you use. It would also be helpful to write down your blog’s goals. This will prevent you from wandering off course.
Leveraging your brand’s unique aspects also plays an important role in casting influence. Instead of just using pre-made blog or website themes, invest in getting a unique one made. Additionally, inject your unique spin on the content you provide. This will help you catch the interest of the audience further.
Don’t limit yourself to just your blog. Do guest posts on other blogs to expand your reach. High-profile sites like Social Media Today, Hubspot, and Smashing Magazine accept posts from different niches. Tapping into your influencer network is also a great way to get increased publication space. In return, offer them the the opportunity to post on your own blog.
Social media influencers
Social media is arguably one of the biggest developments on the Internet. It has shown time and time again that it has the power to sway public opinion. Hence, it’s no surprise that this is where you want to go next when building your online influence. In fact, our own @Devumi Gorilla is one of the bigger social media influencers in this industry:
— Devumi (@devumi) July 3, 2017
One thing to keep in mind when creating your presence on social media is that it is not about you. Rather, it is about the online community. You should focus on friendly competitions with others on social media, instead of trying to wall yourself up. Collaborations with others are going to be mutually beneficial for all the parties involved.
Follower engagement is also important in establishing your influence on social media. Pay close attention to what your audience responds and doesn’t respond to. From there, engage them with more of the same content. Use tools like bought likes and retweets to boost this content and make them more visible to your audience.
Establishing your online influence is not confined to cyberspace, though. In fact, people become more willing to follow an influencer if they get to see him in person, instead of just reading on or hearing them on the internet.
Like what was mentioned earlier, conferences are some of the venues you can use for your personal appearances. Organizations like TED, in particular, regularly hold conferences where emerging industry experts and members are given the chance to present their ideas to a live audience. Make the most out of these opportunities not only to reach out to the larger public, but also to connect with other experts.
But that opportunity would be wasted if you don’t have a good presentation ready. Note that this isn’t just about the the Powerpoint slides or the videos. How you interact with the audience in front of you will affect their receptiveness to your ideas. Speak with confidence to show authority on the topic at hand.
Audience engagement becomes even more important here. Encourage them to ponder upon the points you present and ask questions about it. From there, build a discussion that will not only answer the questions they pose, but also get them to act on the questions you pose in the talk.
Be an online influencer in your niche
You can become an online influencer and be a trusted voice in your industry. This is not just about your ego, and having the most followers, because being an influencer online can seriously have a positive impact on your business.
In your quest to become an influencer you have to consider where you want to exert your influence. The most common areas are:
- Your blog or website
- Social media websites you use
- Personal appearances you make
Each of these places are avenues where you can become an online influencer. The key to how you’ll become an online influencer on any of these platforms is going to come down to the content you share. The content you share must:
- Be relevant to your niche
- Have a consistent schedule
- Be presented professionally
- Find ways to connect with other online influencers
If you do all of this, and do it consistently for an extended period of time, you will one day be seen as an online influencer for your niche. It won’t happen overnight, and you can use our services to help you along, but you will get there with persistence.