Episode #28 Growing Influence and Audience Online

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Hi everyone. Welcome to episode 28 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter.

In this week’s podcast, I want to address a question which appears in the Brilliance Ignition Facebook group which, by the way, is a free community which is hosted by me to which you are all invited.

Do check out my website, dexterousdiva.co.uk, and you’ll see the community tab on the menu bar which is a link to our Facebook group. It’s a fantastic place full of people who are also undergoing the free Brilliance Ignition four week masterclass, so it’s a really cool place to be.

As always some great discussions appear in the group, and what I’m going to do now is something which you can all do, it’s watching out for questions as they arise and then answering them.

This question which was asked by a lovely member of our group who is always really active was:

“Okay, it’s time for me to start spreading my message out to the world online. Where do I even start?”

She felt completely overwhelmed…there are blogs, podcasts, YouTube…where does she start? This is such a brilliant question for many reasons, firstly because it’s something which I’m pretty sure we can all resonate with. Once you’ve got clear on what you want to be talking about, the next stage is, right, who do I tell, and how do I tell it?

It can be really confusing knowing where to start! As you would expect, I’ve got lots of tips on that, and it’s also super well timed. As I’m recording this on Monday 21st September 2015, in just four weeks’ time I’m going to be running six weeks of live Blogging for Business Bootcamp workshops right in my Blogging for Business Bootcamp Facebook group and online.

Oooh, What’s In That?

I know – exciting, right?! In that we’re going to be covering all sorts of new material.

I’ve got sections on exactly how to guest post, how to leverage your influence online, how to use audio, Periscope and all sorts of things. I’m going to start promoting the access to that soon, but you can jump on now here.

Existing Bootcampers will have access to all the old material and the new material and any future pop-ups which I put into the group – I have several exciting things planned with experts, speakers and workshops – and newbies will have access not only to the new live workshops, but also the original material.

So it’s really exciting times and it’s super relevant to this question because that’s exactly what we target in bootcamp. What we look at is how to layer up an approach, so the lovely Corinna, the lady in the group who asked the question, feels overwhelmed and so the way that I would start is to first of all start building up the message on your own website.

Start Layer By Layer

Start telling stories on your blog and start thinking about themes around your subject and different angles to it.

Think about some client case studies, think about some personal experiences, think about some how-tos, some tips, some reactions to current news with your particular angle on things. You could think about round-ups of other people’s tips which also include yours to have a real bumper post.

There are all sorts of ways you can approach this, you could Periscope or you could do some audio, but start in a way that feels super comfortable for you.

Some people get really scared by a blank page on the screen and so if writing is really not your bag, then consider doing what I’m doing just now, just let it flow into a microphone. You can use SoundCloud for this as a free starting platform, you could use Garage Band on the Mac or use Audacity on the PC, or you could even just brain dump some thoughts into your smartphone and have these transcribed.

If audio is the way that you express yourself the best, then just get some thoughts down and you can always tidy it up later or have someone help you to do that for you.

Let’s recap.
1. Think of some different angles around your story and your message, and
2. start to work on your own website in a way that’s comfortable for you, be it audio, visual, video or written, start experimenting with formats.

Next…

A really great thing to do next is to leverage traffic on your own site by working with other people’s websites, so make a target list of people whose work you really admire, whose stuff you really resonate with, and who also might have an audience that would love your stuff.

Start to form relationships with these people if you don’t have them already, make sure you’re following them on Twitter and that you’re engaging in conversations with them. Leave comments on their websites, start to build up some visibility with them, and then approach them with a really well worded guest post pitch. Tell them you absolutely love their website and all the work they’re doing and it was great to have a conversation with them on Twitter.

Make sure they know who you are and that you love their work, and then say, I’ve got some ideas for some posts which I would love to pitch to you to be a guest contributor before shooting them your ideas. I know myself whenever someone pitches a guest post idea to me, this is all I really want to see:

  • who they are
  • why they resonate with what I do
  • the angle of their work
  • how it fits with my audience
  • a bullet pointed list of ideas

That usually straightaway leads to me saying yes to having a guest post, because actually, most small business owners have a problem which you can solve, as in they have a website that they’re running with content on it, and if you can provide some really valuable content to them and their audience, they will snap your arm off for it and it’s a win-win situation.

Write a really concise, well-worded pitch with some ideas, and start approaching people in your industry who have websites and audiences that are really relevant to your stuff. You’re layering up your website and your voice in your own home, if you like, and you’re starting to branch out to other people.

You’re The Expert, Darling

What you’re looking to do is to establish yourself as an expert in what you do, so really seek to assert your authority, be it for a technique that you use, a book that you’ve written, the clients that you have or the process in which you work with.

Just really start to establish your brilliance, essentially, and make people aware of that by being heard and seen in a lot of places. It can feel overwhelming, but do it step by step and just start taking actions every day. As part of my Brilliance Ignition process – which you can find out all about here – it’s really all about outputting content on a daily basis to gain clarity around your message. If you do that you will have a wealth of material that you can share in various places as quotes on social media, as inspirational posts, as newsletter ideas and all sorts of things.

That requires taking a little bit of action every single day, but you do get massive results from it. Whilst it can feel like a massive wall of things to do, to approach people for posts, to create content, we’re talking about taking small actions and doing them consistently.

Here’s What I Would Do:

Build a slot into your calendar to work on your own content at least once a week, and make sure you’re creating something for your website if you’re trying to build up an audience and really consistently work with that.

Then approach people in your niche and sector and in your zone of genius who would be great people to work with and to guest post for.

Experiment with different platforms, so if you’ve always been doing blog writing, try audio. If you’ve always done audio, mix it up and try some writing or use your transcripts.

Once You’ve Got It Make It Work!

Work to re-purpose the posts that you’ve already done and make them work super hard for you. If you work with a VA already, you can hand this off. If not, it’s something that you can build into your process that you can hand off later on, and we go into the detail of this in the bootcamp live sessions, things like pulling apart one blog post and re-purposing pieces of it as quotes and imagery to spread throughout social media and be seen by more people.

You could also create a SlideShare PDF from the key points from your post and pop that up to get seen and found by new people, or you can pop it on your LinkedIn profile.

You can re-purpose one piece in different angles and different ways and put that on different platforms, and this is something which I’m really excited about. As small business owners and content creators, there’s often not enough time to really work on the content that you need to, to get the valuable word out and to spread your niche and your authority and your expertise.

Like a MACHINE

Over time as you do have guest posts published and as you do keep building up your audience by adding value on your website and by telling your story and spreading the word, you will start to become known as someone who knows their stuff. You’ll start to become referred to and you’ll start to grow your own little hub of raving fans.

This is really where you want to be, because when you have your content working 24/7 for you, and your raving fans recommending you and spreading the word for you, then that’s like a machine working for you all the time and the word can soon snowball from there. Obviously there are lots of other things you can plug into to get the message out, but I would really urge you to start experimenting with different content styles, approaching people to guest post for and appear on their websites.

Be Ready

A really handy thing to do is to create a super simple bio that you can send somebody, and you can do this really easily either in Google Docs or in Canva.

Mine has been designed by Team Diva and I think having something that’s really visual and lovely to look at will help you, but it doesn’t have to be, it can just be a nice Google Doc with some images in there. Have your bio which explains who you are, what you do, where we can find you on all the different platforms, what your areas of expertise are, where you’ve appeared before, if indeed you have, and just have a nice summary of you and your different talking points as a media bio in PDF.

What we do is send out this media bio to people whose blogs or podcasts or websites I’m asking to appear on, and it has a link to book with me and also a link to my images in Dropbox.

It’s a really helpful way to get things done in one email.

The Long Game

What you will find as well is the more word spreads about you, the more people will be asking you to be part of telesummits or to appear on their website, and so after a while the hard work doesn’t have to be done by you.

Once you’ve done the legwork to start off with, people will be running to you to work with you, to partner with you, to have their message seen alongside yours. It’s a case of just getting started and trying to break it down into really small chunks.

Growing your influence is a long term gain, it’s something which is an investment in the long term and it’s about being consistent, taking lots of actions and investing in your message and time in yourself to keep getting the content out there.

Really it’s setting aside some time in your calendar and sticking with it, and honouring that time for yourself and your business to start getting the word out there.

As I said, the Blogging for Business Bootcamp live sessions, the brilliance sessions, are starting on 12th October, and you can grab your space RIGHT HERE.

I’m really excited about this because it’s going to help so many of you to let go of the overwhelm and to try all sorts of ways to find a way of creating content that really aligns itself with your style and how you work best, and to really leverage your influence online.

As always, I’m really grateful that you listen to (or read!) my podcast and I love to hear from you guys, so feel free to tweet me @dexdiva. Find my me on my Facebook page, or come and join me on Periscope and show me some hearts, @dexdiva!

I’m hanging out in the Brilliance Ignition Facebook group every day, so that’s where I’ll be, and of course you can drop me an email, hello@dexterousdiva.co.uk.

If you would like to hear something in particular looked at on the podcast, then you can drop me a line, you can tweet me, you can find me in the Facebook groups, and I always love to hear your feedback. Thanks very much, go and be brilliant.

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Jo Gifford

My work is about helping people work in smarter, creative ways + getting their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek. You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.
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