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