An Influencer Tribe Rocks

Those of us who love to write, on our blogs and on LinkedIn, do so to impact our networks in positive ways, usually relevant to our businesses.

Ask any author and they will tell you, “the greatest reward is having our target audience eager to read our ‘stuff’.” For me, a side effect of being an author is the positive impact my content has on the growth of my business.

I am no different than any other author. I write my content to help my target audience, to impact them, to get them to discover a new idea, a perspective or a tip that can help them in meaningful ways. This often creates business opportunities for me.

Unfortunately publishing content does not ensure our target audience will find, read and appreciate what we write. We need engagement on our content to get it indexed higher by Google and LinkedIn. This is one of our biggest challenges to getting our content discovered.

There are lots of tactics we use to ‘push’ our content out and to get it discovered by others. Some of these tactics work and some can be detrimental to our professional brands and to our networks.

Here are 4 that can work, however, could lead to diminished results over time.

Over-Sharing: This is when we repeatedly re-share the content on LinkedIn, LinkedIn Groups, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Groups, etc. One of the problems of over-sharing is that eventually, our networks become numb to these posts and then begin to ignore all of our posts on these venues. Over-sharing can also appear to be desperate and/or needy. Appearing needy can cause our networks to look in other directions for interesting or useful content.

Manic-Tagging: This is the act of tagging people on our social posts in an effort to draw their attention to our content. I see this happen often when new authors try to create a firestorm interest in their posts. They will tag as many people as they can on their post, often regardless of the relevance to the individuals they tag. Manic-tagging, especially when the content is irrelevant, can cause unhappiness for those you tag inappropriately and move them to also begin to ignore your future posts.

Click-Bait: This is when the author uses an irrelevant image, title or headline, as an attention grabber. Often the article is either irrelevant to the bait or the topic is so distant to the bait that the reader becomes disinterested in the article and again, future content you share.

Influencer Pods: This is a growing practice where a group of people agrees to share each other’s content. There are four potential problems with influencer pods:

1. The newsfeed algorithms of social media sites are designed to ‘feed’ you content similar to what you share and engage on. This will impact your newsfeed and flood it with the content you are sharing from the pod, and potentially reduce content you are more interested in.
2. If the pod you are involved is primarily people who are in the same industry or business you are in, then sharing content from your pod mates can distract your target audience from your own brand.
3. Sharing pod content that is not relevant to the work you do can cause your target audience to be confused as to what your true brand is. You want to be careful not to distract your target audience from your professional value by sharing too much irrelevant content.
4. Another potential problem with influencer pods is if you were to make a huge mistake sharing an article that may have a negative impact on your professional or personal brand. It’s important to vet the author, their purpose and their message before sharing their content.

Another problem with active influencer pods is often the authors become addicted to their content getting views from highly influential pod member’s networks. Sometimes they miss out on building a reputation and professional brand for themselves through their own networks.

A best practice that may provide more value is to create an Influencer Tribe.

Influencer Tribe: This is a group of people who are in your target audience and who have expressed appreciation for the content you share because it is relevant and useful to them. They trust, respect and like you enough and are happy to share your content with their networks, often with praise and unsolicited accolades.

One way to benefit from an influencer tribe is to personally invite them to review the content you publish and then if they appreciate the content, ask them to share it forward to their network.

I build influencer tribes through face to face conversations and/or through personal phone calls. I sometimes email them the content I would like them to review & share. You have to be respectful of their time and not overwhelm them with content, however, you also have to be consistent in order for them to stay aware of new relevant and useful content you publish.

One problem with an influencer tribe is over time even those who really appreciate you and your content will become less engaging and helpful because of other demands on their time. This requires you to keep looking for and inviting new members to your influencer tribe.

A benefit of using an influencer tribe is if you build your tribe correctly, your content will be relevant to their networks as well.

Building your brand and a dynamically growing network of people who trust, respect and like you for your ideas, perspectives, and content, takes a lot of work. However, it can be rewarding in many ways.

Success as an author occurs when you consistently publish meaningful, relevant and useful content your target audience looks for as quickly as you publish it.

I remember one of my favorite bloggers who published a post every Monday. I followed him for years and on one Monday I did not see his post. I called him to find out what had happened. He told me I was the third person to call him and that he had failed to hit the publish button on Sunday night. This author did not need to use Over-Sharing, Manic-Tagging, Click-Bait or an Influencer Pod to get his content read. He had organically built an influencer tribe by consistent publishing great content they wanted to read and then share forward.

Consider who your target audience is, what content they want to consume, and get serious consistently publishing content for them. You’ll see real organic success if you focus your content on their needs and interests. Who knows, you could also organically build your own influencer tribe.

Teddy

10 Ways to Engage on LinkedIn

Having an absolutely fabulous LinkedIn Profile is a great step towards using LinkedIn as a business tool. Congratulations if you have a fabulous profile.

Growing a highly relevant and meaningful LinkedIn Network is another great step towards creating value using LinkedIn as a business tool. Congratulations if you are building a great LinkedIn Network.

However, it’s engagement in and beyond LinkedIn that provides the greatest benefits.

Here are 10 ways to engage in LinkedIn (and beyond) and the benefits of each:

#10 – Birthday notifications. Many ask, “Why does LinkedIn think it’s useful to notify us of our connection’s birthdays?” I believe the LinkedIn birthday notifications are a great way to engage with our primary LinkedIn Connections.

I won’t acknowledge every birthday, however daily I look at these notifications to see if there is someone in the list I want to talk with, who may be using LinkedIn and will get my birthday note.

I also will not use the default button ‘Say Happy Birthday’  That is not real engagement, it’s just button pushing. I always go to their LinkedIn Profile and either send them a message, an email or I call them, depending on my relationship with them.

Done properly acknowledging a prospect or client’s birthday can be a good way to start or restart a conversation.

#9 – New Job/Role notifications. This notification can be inaccurate sometimes, however for my prospects and important clients, I will take the time to confirm the notification and then acknowledge the change in their career or business.

As with the birthday notification, I’ll either use a LinkedIn message, email or phone call based on my relationship with the connection.

I verify the job/role announcement from their LinkedIn Profile and depending on the change and my relationship with the LinkedIn Member, I will use either a LinkedIn message, email or phone call to contact them and chat about the change.

Again, this is a great way to start or restart a conversation with our LinkedIn Connections.

#8 – Like, Comment, or Share their Company Page content.  Typically LinkedIn Company Page content is published and monitored by the marketing department. However, I follow the LinkedIn Company pages of my prospects and my clients, mostly to stay aware of any business updates or activities of these companies.

Seeing interesting posts from my target companies gives me the opportunity to engage on this content and even to @mention my prospects or clients in comments or shares of the content, which will notify them when I do this.

This engagement can show my prospects and clients that I care enough to pay attention to their companies and as indicated before to create an opportunity to start or restart a beneficial conversation.

#7 – LinkedIn Messages. LinkedIn messaging is the least useful direct 1:1 communications method to engage with our LinkedIn Connections. However, these messages can still be useful engagement, when used properly.

I’ll test the response from a new LinkedIn Connection by sending them a LinkedIn message regarding a company success or press release I discover online. If they respond then I know they are paying attention to LinkedIn messages. If they don’t respond then I know LinkedIn messaging is not as important to them.

I try not to use LinkedIn messaging with a connection if they did not respond to my last message.

Some of our LinkedIn Connections will not engage in LinkedIn messaging. Some won’t use email or text messaging either. What we need to do is discover what communication method is the best for different LinkedIn Connections and when we need to message them, use the platform they prefer.

The benefit of LinkedIn messenger is it’s quick and easy, however only truly useful if the other person uses it as well.

#6 – Introduce your LinkedIn Connections to each other. Engagement with our LinkedIn Network should not be all about us or our business. Engaging with our connections in ways that help them is important to do. One way to do this is to make introductions.

I enjoy introducing my LinkedIn connections to each other, for meaningful reasons. Done properly these introductions can create business, career and/or community value for the LinkedIn Members we introduce to each other.

If you purposefully introduce two people to each other and something great comes from the introductions, these connections could be greatly appreciative, and they could reciprocate in the future. Remember though, never help someone else with the explicit expectations of something in return. This will not work well at all.

I usually make these introductions through email, not LinkedIn messaging.

#5 – Like, comment or share their personal shares/comments. When someone acknowledges us for the content we share by engaging on it, we are appreciative.

Furthermore, when we engage on our LinkedIn Connection’s content we create the opportunity to be discovered for our own expertise, skills, opinions, and perspectives.

There are three ways to engage directly on content we find in the LinkedIn newsfeed and in LinkedIn Groups:

1 – Like – Liking content and comments in the newsfeed or in Groups is a simple way to let your LinkedIn Connection know you saw and appreciate the content or comment.

2 – Comment –  Commenting on content or replying to a comment is a good way to actually join the conversation. Doing so creates the potential to be discovered as an authority in the conversation when you engage in meaningful and useful ways.

3 – Share – Sharing the content your LinkedIn Connections posts creates the potential for the rest of your LinkedIn Network to discover this content. This is a great way to provide value to the author of the content and to help your network at the same time.

You can also share your LinkedIn Connection’s content outside of LinkedIn as long as they made the post public. If there is a share button on the post, it’s public and shareable.

Remember, never engage on any content that could diminish your professional brand.

#4 – Immediately Engage upon connecting on LinkedIn. Just as when meeting someone new in real life, we don’t exchange business cards and then walk away. We should strive to strike up a conversation.

Networking on LinkedIn works best when we engage immediately. I do this a few different ways.

If I get an invite to connect from someone I do not know, I message them with this message:

“Hello {NAME}.

Thanks for the invite to connect.

Please remind me, have we met or talked yet, or has someone referred me to you.

If you are interested in LinkedIn training or coaching, please let me know what type of support you need, individual or group.

I look forward to your reply.

Thanks,

Teddy Burriss”
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BTW – I give them 1 week to respond to my query. If they don’t then I ignore the invitation to connect.

Once I accept the invitation from another LinkedIn Member, I follow up with a phone call, email or a LinkedIn message.

I’ll call the new connection if I can easily find their phone number and they are highly relevant to my business goals. I’ll make the conversation all about them until I get permission to talk about myself. I may invite them to a follow-up conversation if they would like.

If I don’t have a phone number, I’ll send hem an email again, making the conversation all about them, possibly with the offer to talk later if they would like.

If I don’t feel the new LinkedIn Connection is highly relevant to my business goals, I’ll send this LinkedIn message:

“Thanks for the LinkedIn Connection {name}. I appreciate this.  

Feel free to message me on LinkedIn with any question about using LinkedIn as a business tool. The questions I get, and answer, often allow me to create a blog post or video on a new topic.

Have a great day

Teddy Burriss
Burriss Consulting, Inc.
LinkedIn Coach & Trainer
skype: tlburriss
xxx-xxx-xxxx
me@me-again.com”
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The reason I invest this time in the initial messaging is so I can move a connection into a basic relationship, where possible and relevant.

#3 – Email Messages. Every engagement with our prospects or clients does not need to be done within LinkedIn. We need to communicate with our network in the ways they want. Today, email is still considered a primary business messaging tool.

Email messages can be useful for sharing ideas and information your LinkedIn network could benefit from seeing. Use email in the process of developing a relationship, prior to moving into the sales steps.

Again, remember to make the email message in context to your connection until you get permission to move the conversation to about you and your business. You could end the message with a call to action to continue the conversation later if they would like.

 

#2 – Phone Calls. I will periodically call my LinkedIn Connections if they are highly relevant to my business.

Sometimes if my call is the first one with a specific connection, I’ll start the conversation with these words: “Hi {Name}, I looked at my notes and do not see that we have talked yet, so I decided to call and say hello. Do you have just a moment?”

I’ll ask the other person a few questions about themselves, their company and their role in the business. If I don’t get invited to share about myself, I’ll end to a conversation with an offer to contact me directly if they ever want to talk about how I could help them in regards to my business.

I do this to ‘poke’ my LinkedIn connection and to look for opportunities to move my connections into a meaningful conversation, hopefully, business related.

#1 – Meet IRL (in real life). I firmly believe the best manner of engaging is what I call, knee cap to knee cap, i.e., face to face, or in person.

Therefore, where possible and relevant I’ll ask my prospects and clients to meet in person.

One way I do this is when I travel out of town, I’ll look to see who I know in that town and I’ll let them know I’m coming to town and ask if they have a few minutes to meet.

I’ve discovered for myself that asking 15-20 people each time I travel if they want to meet will usually get at least one person to accept the invite.

Summary:

There are two primary reasons I invest time in these activities.

The first reason is for relationship development with my most important viewers, aka prospects and clients. Engaging with them, about them and their business and/or their interests is a great way to nurture the relationship.

The second reason I invest time in these engagement activities is to develop my reputation in context to what I engage on. Getting into conversations with my prospects and clients and sharing my ideas and perspectives allows me to demonstrate my experiences and skills, thus position myself as an authority in the space I engage in.

Build a professional LinkedIn Profile.

Grow a highly relevant LinkedIn Network.

And, don’t forget to engage with your prospects and clients in many different ways, relevant to them and the work you do.

/Teddy

 

 

The Truth behind Your Facebook Content Privacy

The Truth behind Your Facebook Content Privacy

In an effort to correct lots of misleading Facebook Content Privacy statements, please read this information that originated from www.Facebook.com/help.

When posting any content (Status post, link to an article, Picture or Video) use the Audience button on the Status box to control who sees your content.

Your Facebook Content Privacy is completely under your control.

Beyond the Post Privacy settings – look at your Account Privacy settings as well.