Social influence leads to opportunity. There’s no doubt about it.
The more people you know, and the more people who stand behind what you do or create, the easier it becomes to place your products, services, and ideas in front of an ever-widening audience, as well as garner funding, resources, and revenue.
So how do you gain social influence?
Many highly successful people, including Tony Robbins, estimate that social influence is 80% attitude, and 20% hard work and savvy action-taking. If you’re looking for a resource that can help with the attitude portion, I highly recommend Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. If you’re looking to work on your savvy, here is a list of 5 easy, economical actions to get you started!
1 - Reuse your photos.
Building a photo bank is one of the savviest things a business owner can do. A photo bank is basically a digital selection of images that can be drawn from at any time, regardless of what sales, specials, or seasonal products are top-of-mind at the moment.
The biggest and best brands build photo banks and then draw from them over years in order to create email blasts, posters, ads, and social posts whenever they need them—and they never worry about using the same images more than once.
Why? Because they know that (a) many people won’t even have seen their last promotion, and (b) those who did will develop brand recognition from being exposed repeatedly to images from the photo bank. Not to mention if a business knows that their audience responds well to certain images, it’s smart to keep using them!
I reuse images often in my online marketing. Photos that I use in my portfolio are also used in blog posts, email blasts, and social posts. I get as much “mileage” as I can out of my best photos, and you should, too!
2 - Repurpose your content.
Photos aren’t the only tool business owners can reuse! Content from certain email blasts can be re-used every year (or every launch). Free downloads can be turned into virtual challenges. Blog posts can be repurposed for speaking events, interviews, podcast episodes, and social posts. You get the idea!
As your audience grows, there are more and more people in front of you who want the kind of content that made everyone before them really excited. More than that, some of the things you teach and share are tried-and-true things that people just need to keep hearing for them to stick!
It’s not cheating or side-stepping to reuse or repurpose effective content. It’s actually quite savvy. So figure out what works, and keep doing it over and over!
3 - Give away value for free.
Part of my social strategy is to check one of my active Facebook communities every morning, and answer questions that fall in my wheelhouse—totally for free.
Why do I do this, when I could charge for that expertise? First of all, social communities are designed for this sort of generosity. Most people asking for help in a group, forum, pod, or chain aren’t trying to spend money; they’re trying to find the solution to a specific problem from a friend, even if that friend is someone they’ve never met.
Second, I’ve discovered that if I can help someone out of the kindness of my heart—and provide true value to them—they’re very likely to want to know more about me, which means they’ll click over to my profile and maybe even visit my website. I’ve added subscribers to my email list every day that I’ve given away value for free. And down the line, when I have a product launch, a sale, or paid offering that I want to promote, guess what? I’ve got people on my email list to tell about it, and they already like and trust me because I’ve helped them in the past.
Facebook groups aren’t the only way to do this, but they’re a start! Join a group and see how you can help people who are asking for what you can do, and help them for free.
4 - Automate and systematize.
Automation looks different for every business, as do systems. In my business, I automate certain emails so that when new people want more from me, they can have education, access, or tools instantly—no waiting on me to check my email in order to get back to them.
I also have systems in place for when strangers inquire about my subscription photography services or web design. I’ve created email templates and PDFs that ask all the questions I need answers to, as well as provide answers to the FAQ I get for each service I offer. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve tried to make them beautiful, as well as incorporate language that feels warm and professional!
How does this help with social influence? Well, first impressions really, really matter. When your business is automated and systematized, it usually means you shorten the wait time for people to get what they want from you, and that’s important in an instant-gratification era!
What can you automate or systematize in your business to excite new people to want to keep learning from or buying from you? It may require a little leg work up front, but in the long run you’ll be glad you did it, so give it a try!
5 - Give everything a personal touch.
The more we study effective marketing strategies, the more we realize personality matters. Whether that’s including a handwritten thank-you note in every package as an Etsy seller, or it’s making sure your face appears in every “top nine” on your Instagram account, getting personal makes a difference.
What kind of difference can it make? Well, Jenna Kutcher says that when she started posting more photos of herself, she saw triple the engagement on her Instagram posts! Since higher engagement means more exposure for your business and more opportunity to sell, that’s pretty important.
Also, who isn’t incentivized by a free gift, or more willing to forgive a small wrong when a business goes out of their way to make it right? These sorts of personal touches usually result in something called social proof—the culmination of testimonials, reviews, follower counts, and personal recommendations that lead new people to want to buy from a business. And revenue is what keeps businesses afloat!
Where can you get more personal in your business?
Was this helpful? If so, pin this article so you never lose track of it! Then leave a comment below to tell me which tip you’re planning to work on in the coming months in order to grow your social influence. I can’t wait to read about your success!