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If you want to know how to grow your online business then one of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to develop you skills as an online influencer.
Now you might be wondering, how do you influence others over the Internet? It's an important skill to learn because whether you want to share an idea or strategy, or make a sale of a product, the better you are at influencing your potential customer, the more you'll get whatever it is that you want.
I've been giving a lot of thought to this recently and I thought I would share with you some of my ideas for becoming an online influencer and building your authority within your niche. They aren't in any particular order but hopefully it will give you some ideas you can use to grow your own online business.
1. Pick Your Niche, Immerse Yourself In It, And Become An Expert.
Some people think that they should be able to talk about a wide range of topics but that just makes you a "Jack of all trades and master of none". It is much better to learn everything you can within a clearly defined niche area and then be seen as the "go-to" person on that topic. This makes you an online influencer on that topic because you are seen as having expertise.
2. Build Strong Relationships With Your Audience.
It never ceases to amaze me how people think they can run an online business without building a relationship of trust and understanding with their potential or actual customers. You need to get to know the people in your market by getting out there and interacting with them in places like forums and social media groups. Find out what they want and need, and then find out how you can give these things to them. Showing people that you understand their desires will greatly improve your online influence and build trust in you as a marketer.
3. Become a Champion For The Cause.
If you are just giving out the same message as everyone else in your niche then why would anyone listen to you? You need to stand up and be counted for what you believe in within your niche. If you can argue a case against "the norm" in your niche and show how things can be done differently and better, then you will attract followers who want to emulate what you do. Developing your own unique method is a fantastic way to grow your online business and bring people with you.
4. Be A Cheerful Giver.
It seems counter-intuitive to give things away when you are trying to build a business but giving away quality content that others in you niche are charging premium prices for is a great way to get yourself known as someone to follow. It also builds great relationships with prospective customers so that when the time comes for you to sell your own products you will get a much higher conversion rate because these people already know, like and trust you. Their thoughts will be - "if they give such high quality stuff for free then the things they charge for must be awesome!" The same applies for any affiliate product you recommend.
5. Be A Passionate But Genuine Person.
Nobody follows mediocre people with average beliefs and opinions about the topics that matter in your niche. You need to be a passionate advocate for what you believe in. People are more likely to follow those who are passionate about a topic than those who try to support their theory with logic and reasoning. At the same time you should come across as a real person who has the same problems and flaws as your audience and understands how they feel. If they think you are just like them, then they will listen to what you have to say.
6. Create Interesting and Informative Content.
A successful online influencer will regularly produce new content for the consumption of their audience. You will want to use various formats to deliver it too. Certainly create written content in the form of blog posts but also create videos and audio content such as a podcast. Tell stories in your content. Everybody loves to hear a story - particularly a story of how you overcame a problem and how they can do it too. A good storyteller will be a great online influencer.
7. Build relationships within your niche.
Look to see who else is having a positive influence within your niche and start getting to know them. You can do this by sharing their content with your followers, adding helpful comments on their posts, asking sensible questions and thanking them when they reply or answer your questions. Eventually if you find your way onto their radar you might be able to partner with them on a project and show that you are walking in the same circles as some of the more well-known people within your niche,
8. Dare To Be Different.
To really grow your online business you need to stand out in a crowd so you can't do and say the same things as everyone else. Do what others don't do and say what they don't say (as long as it doesn't mean you are completely wrong about things) and you will definitely stand out. Share personal thoughts, ideas and ambitions. That doesn't mean you tell everyone what you had for breakfast, but rather your opinions on what an expert has said, or a personal insight that maybe shows that something is not how it is usually seen.
9. Support others in your niche.
Look around to see who else is an up-and-coming person in your niche and then help and support them. You will almost certainly find that they reciprocate and support you in what you are doing too. You can make connections online and perhaps arrange to meet in person to discuss things. Share ideas and find ways to support each other - perhaps interview the person for your podcast.
10. Make your business and your customer your main focus.
If you really want to know how to grow your online business then make sure you are focused on your customer and not your own fame. The bottom line is, your customer doesn't really care about you personally, they only care about what you can do for them. If you are marketing a product for example you should not be spending the majority of your marketing on telling them how amazing your product is. You should instead be telling them what all it can do to improve their lives.
Are You An Online Influencer In Your Niche?
There are many ways that you can try to grow your online business but building your influence within your niche is one of the best. Work hard to be seen as an expert in your niche and then share your knowledge with others so that you can quickly build a group of loyal followers. As your influence grows they will talk to others about you and passively bring other people with similar interests into your business.
That's when you know you have made it as an online influencer - when people start to seek you out!