At the end of 2015 we covered some basic ways you can grow your influence. The tips were not rocket science, and more like intuitive “influencer ways of life”. As an influencer you understand that in order to grow your audience, engagement, and true social media fame to a noticeable level you must live and breathe you. Not to mention, social media has to be your thing.
Spoiler Alert: do not try to become or grow as a social media influencer if you despise social media.
Let’s take a fresh look at ways you can start 2016 off with a bang.
2016 Tips to Grow Your Influence
- Consider the WHY.
Why are people following your social media platforms, and interested in you? Influence means nothing if it’s bought, because then it’s not real. So once you have an authentic following, engage with them on a deeper level than just “hey thanks!” The more you can learn about your audience and what they love about you, the more you can give them what they want. Are you feeding an emotional need? Do they love the pictures you post, and if so, why?
If you know why people are drawn to your content and social profiles, you can continue to build upon an already strong foundation.
Another really important question to ask is, “Why are people not following me?” This might be more important to understand than the former, because your goal is to bring non-followers into your world. Review your blog and other platforms and compare them to peers who have 100k followers. Stepping outside of yourself, think, “What are they doing that I am not doing, and why might I follow these people before I would consider following myself?”
- Think outside the social box.
Do you ever feel restricted by a 2×2 Instagram image, or a 140 character limited Tweet? Sure, you have built a strong blog following and your Instagram profile isn’t too shabby, but what else are you doing to grow your influence?
2016 is the year to expand. First, think livestreaming. Livestreaming is newer version of social media that not everyone has caught onto yet. Today is a great day to start.
Beyond social, are you attending industry conferences, or business networking events to meet fellow bloggers/ fashionistas/ musicians/ comedians/ etc. that are working to build their social influence? There is no better way to automatically double or triple your reach and audience than collaborating with a fellow influencer within your vertical. Think: marketing events, shows, product releases, photo shoots, videos or other content releases.
- Be your brand.
The only real way to grow influence is to live and breathe your brand, which ultimately is you. Consider if your “brand” has somehow gone wayward and is less “you” than you would like to project into the world.
- Is your personal message reflected somehow in every piece of content you send out – in images, in copy, in actual branding tools like logo and web address?
- If you have not fine-tuned your personal vision in the past 3 months, do that. What new thoughts and ideas do you wish to embody and use to inspire others?
- The more you move toward a centered self where you feel good about your life, and passionate about the work you put out in the world, the more people will be drawn to you.
A note on authenticity: I’ve mentioned authenticity as a foundational tip necessary to grow your influence, and it seems to resonate true throughout the industry. The extent to which we are authentically expresses our true nature on social media is an ongoing topic in media, from this article on Authentic Advertising in Social Media, to this opinion article in EveryGirl about Social Authenticity, to this article on The Importance of Authentic Influencer in 2016. We watched famous model/ influencer Essena O’Neill breakdown delete all of her social profiles because she felt it was all too fake. She since has launched her new website expressing her real views, a more authentic, genuine approach to self, inspiration, social media, and life. O’Neill’s homepage reads:
“YOUR PROBLEM IS HOW YOU ARE GOING TO SPEND THIS ONE AND PRECIOUS LIFE YOU HAVE BEEN ISSUED. WHETHER YOU’RE GOING TO SPEND IT TRYING TO LOOK GOOD AND CREATING THE ILLUSION THAT YOU HAVE POWER OVER CIRCUMSTANCES, OR WHETHER YOU ARE GOING TO TASTE IT, ENJOY IT AND FIND OUT THE TRUTH ABOUT WHO YOU ARE.” ANNE LAMOTT