Presuming you already have a Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook account, how do you take the step to creating a community around you and your brand?
Pumping out lots of interesting content is great, but it's useless unless you have a consistently engaged audience. The first thing to remember is that your brand is only as good as the people who make it, so empower each and every one of those people to be the most successful people they can be. Here are 6 easy steps to follow to build an audience around you and your brand.
1. Follow your closest friends, family and business contacts on Twitter: That will probably number between 25-50 to begin with. Those people who know you, will follow you back and you will start to build an audience because they are genuinely interested in what you have to say.
2. After every meeting, connect with every participant on LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter + invite them to join your newsletter: Chances are, they will follow you back and it gives you another avenue with which to reach them with relevant content.
3. Build a newsletter: Your target audience might follow your content / discover it organically on LinkedIn, Twitter etc. but a newsletter is another great way to have a regular drumbeat of content delivered straight to their inbox. Of course, the big caveat with all newsletters is that the content has to be interesting! So, after meetings, you can invite the participants to join the newsletter and in your follow-up email say, "I've invited you to our newsletter as I thought you would be interested in staying up-to-date with our latest developments & news." At the very worst, they ignore you. At the best, you will stay forefront of their mind with regular and engaging content.
4. Run Events: A few times a year, run an event where you invite those key individuals along for a catch-up and a drink. See who you could introduce them to in your network / what would be mutually beneficial. It's a great way for them to like you and a nice example of Reciprocity at work.
5. Sell through your network and not to them (a quote I've pinched from Alex Low/Tim Hughes): Leverage the power of your network to facilitate useful introductions and conversations between your contacts. You will become a trusted person within your business circle - these people will then become your champions.
6. Focus: if you concentrate on one niche/industry, you will quickly become known within that circle. It will make any future conversations much easier, as people will begin to see your name popping up over & over again. For example, after a couple of years focusing on Professional Services, Passle is now very well known among this sector - this provides a form of social proof/verification & equally, creates a curiosity among those who do not know your product or services. "If everyone else is doing this thing, I should probably take a look."