Many of my fellow female entrepreneurs have asked me how I became an important public relations industry influencer. Although I worked towards this goal for years, there are certain things you can do to speed up the process. I’ve put together 10 tips to help you work towards expanding your own circle of influence in your chosen market.
I strongly encourage you to try one of these ideas or sign up for the Public Relations Academy to get my implementation support, and you’ll be on your way to being viewed as a knowledgeable leader. If you have some additional tips, please share them in the comments below or in the Fempreneur Facebook group.
Related: Join the Influence Lab to build your reputation as a leading industry influencer.
You don’t have to be an entrepreneur or blogger to be viewed as an industry leader. These strategies can be applied to those that work in-house for a company as well. Think about it this way: A new hire comes on board and immediately skyrockets to stardom. That person lands promotion after promotion, rising through the corporate ranks effortlessly. We look at those types of individuals and think:
“Why isn’t that me? What does she know that I don’t know?”
We have all worked at some company over our career journey and seen it happen. However, the good news is, you can be that person too. All you have to do are the things most other people in your industry fail to do. If the vast majority of people are unsuccessful, unhappy, unfulfilled, and would rather follow than lead, don’t do the things they are doing. It sounds simple doesn’t it? So what exactly do I mean by that!?
As far as developing industry influence goes, this means taking specific actions that other people in your field are not. For example, I’m the Founder of the Organization of American Women in Public Relations and the Organization of Canadian Women in Public Relations. I created these organizations because I wanted to make a difference. Honestly, I truly believe the organization was waiting for me to create it. I have the established network and the expertise to really help you grow your business. In 2017, NASDAQ recognized me as a PR Influencer, and PR Week showcased how I’m helping women in my field succeed.
I’ve worked with some of the largest brands in North America at my PR agency, Pink Pearl PR to help them get featured in high profile media outlets and grow their sales. When you work with me, I’m going to help you learn exactly how you can take your business to the next level. I build influential brands using my proven public relations systems across the globe and I have the media coverage portfolio to prove it.
Industry influence can come quickly when you put into practice the following 10 strategies and tips.
1. Act Like An Influencer
Act and dress the part of an influential market leader. Speak the lingo. To be an important industry influence, you first need to be perceived as such, even if you aren’t quite there yet. Inside the Public Relations Academy, we teach you every month how to build your influence. Join us and you will be well on your way!
2. Surround Yourself With Leaders
In North America, people love taking pictures with celebrities. This is because they are perceived as important. When someone is seen shaking hands with a celebrity, smiles all around, that lends an immediate sense of importance to that individual, regardless who that person is. You can do the same by forming relationships with important industry influencers. You will immediately be seen as an influence yourself because of that relationship.
Related: Take the Thought Leader Challenge!
3. Publish High Quality Content
You should never publish anything except high quality content. You need to get your message out there consistently. Online and offline, the more content you publish, the more places your name can be found, and the quicker you are viewed as an influencer.
4. Publish Off-Line Content
Sharing your content online is easy, quick, and very effective for sharing your message. However, it is important to note that many businesses, entrepreneurs, and small business owners ignore off-line media as a marketing channel. This is your opportunity and I encourage you to speak at an event to promote your brand.
Newspaper, radio, and local television station managers are often starved for value-rich content. You can provide press releases, reports, industry tips, and how-to’s, interviews, and other valuable pieces of content to these and other local media organizations. This can quickly grow your local influence, and could lead to a regular weekly or monthly television or radio show, or newspaper column.
5. Host An Event
Nearly everyone in any industry has never held a conference or expo. They just run their business, do a little marketing and advertising, and pray for the best. When you organize and host a conference or expo for your industry, you are instantly viewed as an important market force. Join Women in PR North America at an upcoming event across the Americas. We host events online and offline!
6. Raise Your Rates And Hire An All-Star Team
You are busy running your business and in order to grow you need to hire an all-star team. You know there are not enough hours in the day to handle all of your personal and professional obligations as it is, much less considering taking on more.
If you price yourself too high, you might find yourself constantly sending out proposals and not closing any sales. If you price yourself too low, you might undersell yourself and end up overworked, exhausted and resenting your clients. You might also feel ready to take the next step and increase your rates so that you can afford to hire a team, but you don’t know exactly how to do this without losing your existing clients.
7. Optimize Your Online Personal Brand
It’s so important to optimize your blog and website. How else will your clients or future employer find you!?
Every day more than 300 million people search for someone’s name on Google. When potential customers encounter a brand, the first place they’ll go to find more information about the company and its products or services is the Internet. What’s more, they’ll believe what they read there and worse, they might spread the word. If someone’s first impression of your business is a bad review or negative comment, they may not investigate further. You need to have an online reputation management strategy.
On the majority of websites and blogs, small and large, personal and professional, the About Us page is the #1 or #2 most viewed. Your website visitors have grown to be more attracted to, and view as trustworthy, people rather than companies. Make sure your full name and all your industry accolades are listed on your’ about us’ page. If you don’t have a detailed about us page, take some time to write your personal brand story.
Include a lot of content that uses industry keywords and phrases. Talk about your achievements from a viewpoint of how they have helped your customers and others in your market. Don’t just scribble a few lines on this very important page. Add tons of valuable content, and make sure you have an opt-in form so you can grow your email list, and your circle of influence, on this critical web page.
Related: Download this free content marketing planner.
8. Start A LinkedIn Group
LinkedIn has more than 550+ million business professionals as its members. Of all the social networks, this is the most business-oriented. Everyone is there to seek and provide value, and make business connections. Once there, optimize your profile to the fullest. Use as many words as LinkedIn allows when filling out your profile, and immediately join any groups, such as Women in Public Relations, which apply to your industry.
9. Manage A Facebook Group
Starting and managing a Facebook group is easy and this is how you can build a community around your brand. The important part that delivers excellent industry influence is exactly HOW you manage that group. You have to be active daily, even if it is only for a few minutes. Share, like, and respond to comments and posts made by your group members. Set aside one day a week for a 1 or 2 hour question and answer session. Post video and infographics, because they receive much more engagement than text-based posts. Provide valuable freebies or steep product discounts, and always think about what your market wants as opposed to what you are trying to accomplish.
10. Be a Problem Solver
Finally, be a problem solver that people will respect. Solve some big, serious problems your prospects are having and you immediately become an industry influence in their eyes. When you’re seen as an authority in your field, you have the power to affect people’s behavior. As an industry influencer, you have a strong relationship with your target market. They trust you, hang on your every word, and come to you when they need help.
That means you’ll also sell more products or services, attract even more media attention, and get requests for partnership opportunities.