Building Personal Digital Influence is the Path to Business Success
The internet is an amazing place for launching a new business, reinventing your career, or expanding the growth of your existing offline business. Let’s face it, business has gone digital. You can work on your business and conduct business activities from anywhere, on any device, at any time with today’s tools, technologies, and networks.
To create and grow a sustainable digital business, first establish yourself as a person of influence.
Influencers focus on helping others. They are genuinely interested in helping other people become better at something they want to improve upon or master. Influencers are leaders and teachers. They clearly understand that by providing leadership and guidance, sharing valuable information, empowering others, and connecting others, business will ultimately come back to them.
Building digital influence requires a giving mentality. It is a critical building block to success with any of your online relationship and network-building activities.
Personal Digital Influence Builds Credibility
There are so many opportunities to grow your online visibility, but it all starts with credibility. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have in your field, how smart you are, how good looking your are, or how great your advice is! If you don’t expand your online presence outside of an old and clunky website you built years ago, you will have ZERO credibility online.
Professionalism matters now more than ever. You are making a first impression anytime someone visits your website.
Without digital credibility, it is very difficult to earn trust with prospective clients and referral sources. Furthermore, an unprofessional or outdated online presence can kill your credibility instantly.
Strive to build a professional and consistent presence across the social web that showcases your personal brand and unique message. This is the foundation for building your digital influence!
Influence Cultivates Trust
These days, trust is hard to come by. It is as scarce as attention. If you want to build trust online, you also have to come from a place of influence. This means that you commit to publishing and sharing messages that provide guidance, information, insights, resources, and HELP to your ideal clients wherever they are spending time online.
Giving away your best ideas and openly sharing your lessons learned can be very effective. Thoroughly researching your topic and providing step-by-step guidance to others can also position you as a go-to resource.
Everyone is looking for a leader. We are inundated with useless information and thirsting for knowledge. If you want to be known as an influencer (and cultivate trust), give your target audience the knowledge they need to be better, to be more successful, and to avoid costly mistakes. The formula is truly that simple.
It is impossible to acquire a new client if you don’t earn their trust from the very beginning. By positioning yourself as an influencer online, you will gain a competitive edge.
Influence Ignites Relationships
People love influencers. They tend to have celebrity status within and even outside of their network of online connections and followers. At conferences, the influencers fill the room during their speaking sessions.
When you position yourself as a person of influence with your branding and your thought leadership content, you will naturally attract your ideal clients into your network. They will WANT to connect with you. They will subscribe to your insights and consume your content religiously.
When you build your digital influence, you will find that each and every action you take online will have a greater impact. You will not have to work as hard to attract your ideal clients. They will seek you out!
I believe there is a tipping point here. If you dedicate yourself to being a person of influence by providing consistent value to your community, the growth of your network will eventually take on a life of it’s own.
Everything you do online plants a seed for future relationships and business development opportunities. Not only that, by building your “online” influence with existing clients, the modern referral process will be activated as your clients share your message with their friends and colleagues!
Reverse Engineering Lead Generation
I talk to many professionals who want leads without building a foundation of digital influence first. In fact, the number one goal of any professional services provider is to get more qualified leads.
Buying lead lists or paying for programs that promise to generate leads for you are mostly a waste of time and money. Why? You will not have earned the trust that you need in order to develop quality relationships with these methods. You won’t find the loyal clients who truly believe in you because they’ve followed you over time and ultimately have come to trust you through your online leadership and guidance.
Reverse engineer the lead generation process and start with building a foundation of online credibility and trust first. This is the only sustainable path to successful client acquisition in the digital age.
Attract and Earn the right relationships by building your digital influence first.
If you grow your digital presence organically and with the right mindset, it will be a sustainable and systematic quality lead generation tool for you for years to come.
Sure, it takes more time to do it this way. You must be dedicated and persistent. Not everyone will have the drive, ability, persistence and patience to do this. Many will take shortcuts or abuse the privilege of having social media access to prospective clients. They will market too close to the sale and they will blow it.
Understand that right now, you have an unbelievable opportunity to gain a competitive advantage. We are just in the beginning phases of the personal media revolution, where anyone can build a successful business through their digital presence. This disruption in media has been effectively described as “The Great Horizontal”, a phrase coined by NYU journalism professor and new media observer Jay Rosen.
There are no limits as to what you can accomplish if you make influence the center of everything you do online. Building digital influence will be critical to your future business success.
What are your thoughts about building personal digital influence? Is it something you are working on? Share with me in the comments below:
About Stephanie Sammons
I'm Stephanie Sammons. I teach professional services entrepreneurs, consultants and coaches how to build personal digital influence to attract their ideal clients and referrals online. I'm also an author ("Linked to Influence"), speaker, podcaster, and a Texas gal!