Freelance Success in 2017: Influence

What I’m listening to: Die Like a Rich Boy by Frightened Rabbit

Man, I’m glad last week is over. I had exactly two days of work and three days of travel. An unexpected trip that started out with panic (a family member was missing) and turned into a mini-vacation (not really missing, just doesn’t communicate well) had me on the road. A lot.

We logged 750 miles each way, with me checking emails constantly and trying to organize interviews without the benefit of my calendar. I was able to stay in touch, but thanks to another glitch with my Surface internet connection, I wasn’t able to go online and do any work. (Microsoft, please figure out why this keeps happening — your online help article didn’t help).

Friday was spent catching up on both work and emails. It was my week to launch my new marketing plan, so that had to be pushed until this week. You know, the week where I have other work to do.

I did get to read through some of my emails, and I came across an article that confirmed what I’ve been saying here for a while. The article talks about how B2B influencers create success without the old direct-email approach. These are successful social media users, and the article states it rather clearly — fewer than half of the tweets coming from influencers are promotional links.

Thank you.

While it’s okay to toot your own horn sometimes (and necessary), it’s not okay to make every damn thing about you. In fact, it’s pretty damn annoying.

Let’s look at one social media influencer’s account.

The Influencer: A career coach
Activity in the last 24 hours: 17 tweets, comprised of

  • 3 thank-you tweets

What’s missing?

Promotion. In 17 tweets, this top influencer did not promote herself one time. Not. One. Time.

And yet she’s a sought-after coach. Why? Because she knows what her followers want/need. Her tweets give relevant, useful information that position her followers to make smart career decisions.

She’s doing something else, too. She’s positioning herself as the source of great content. This influencer is now a trusted resource.

If any of her followers need a career coach, where do you think they’re going to turn?

Not only that, she’s interacting with quite a few people. Unlike some social media influencers, this one is reaching out regularly to her followers. She shares, thanks, interacts, and nurtures.

Be like her. Here’s how:

Champion others. Don’t think that promoting someone else takes away from your own business — far from it, as evidenced by this influencer’s actions. Be seen doing good for others.

Share wisely. Sharing what interests you is great. Better is sharing what relates to your business (or your social media goal). This influencer shared plenty of job and career advice. Share what’s important to you, but be thoughtful in your choices.

Be thankful. Our influencer had just three thank-you tweets, but each one had at least four names in them. Thanking people for sharing has this great side effect: they want to notice and share more of what you tweet. Even if they never share another thing, a thank-you leaves a wonderful impression.

Talk with your followers. I’ve had some great conversations with some of my followers (remember that we’re also their followers in many cases). It’s a wonderful way to nurture your relationships, and it has the added benefit of being seen by other followers — perhaps those whom you’ve been trying to get a conversation with.

Show up engaged. If there’s a Twitter  chat, be there and join the conversation. If there’s a hash tag conversation happening, join in. If there’s a trend or an event that others are excited about, again, join in. Make a concerted effort to be present and keep the conversation going.

Writers, what are the habits of influencers that you want to emulate?

How are social media users doing it wrong, in your opinion?

Have you seen any benefit to your engagement level in social media?




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