Everyone wants to be valued for their insights, and today’s content marketing-fueled age presents multiple opportunities for people to become influencers. I covered how to crowdsource these influencers in an earlier post, but what if you wanted to become one yourself? What does it mean to be an influencer? How do you reach a point where people in your industry are clamoring for your perspective? Finally, how do you build your business from such influence?
It’s not as difficult as you think, and it all revolves around efficient content marketing and re-purposing. Serial entrepreneur Chris Ducker outlined the process in an NMX super session, charting the path for people to build their influence.
Ducker, author of The New Business Manifesto, presented a plan for entrepreneurs to build personal/brand influence with content marketing, eventually seeking to launch a business from that attention.
Here are Ducker’s five steps for entrepreneurs and content creators looking to build the “Business of You”:
1. Identify your niche.
It’s difficult to be truly original in this era of content re-purposing. As a result, few ideas are truly original. What separates your content from everything else is personality. Ducker noted that when you build the “Business of You,” nobody else can copy it. Before any entrepreneur or content creator can devise unique ideas, they must first identify their own corner of the content generation map. What do you want to write about? What drives you to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard/touchscreen)?
2. Know who you are helping.
Now that you have your niche foundation, identify the audience that you’re aiming to influence. Ducker insisted that this involves more than simply following them on social media. Building customer profiles can help you focus your efforts on people that have a need for your content. (Note that these are customer profiles, not listener or viewer profiles. Content marketing is still a business, after all.)
3. Create great content.
Content is the gateway to building strong relationships with your followers. Ducker argued that great content should be centered around three main categories:
- Educational – Are you looking to teach or instruct your followers?
- Inspirational – Do you want your followers to be motivated to make change, or perform an action?
- Entertainment – Should the content make them laugh or smile – while still generating attention and conversions?
At first, you won’t have the necessary data to hone your content strategy, so you’ll need to create content what you think the audience wants. Once you collect feedback and quantify the results, you can then start to create content the audience needs.
4. Build lasting relationships.
We are in a relational business, and connections help drive influence. Ducker referred to this concept as the “people-to-people” (P2P) philosophy, and he saw a lack of it in the sales/marketing industry. Content creators want their fans to connect with them, ask questions, offer feedback, and hang out with them. They must build relationships with their fans and generate a P2P connection. In the end, the audience will determine what the “Business of You” actually becomes.
5. Monetize the brand.
Even with a large social following, it’s difficult to generate influence as an entrepreneur unless you monetize your personal brand. It’s a difficult aspect to tackle, and many content creators are uncomfortable selling themselves. But Ducker argued that monetizing your brand drives authority, and to be seen as a powerful influencer, you must be “seen to sell.”
Ducker proudly proclaimed 2014 as the year for profile content creation and marketing. Such content helps build those P2P relationships, and let loose the influencer inside everyone.