Five ways to increase your INFLUENCE in 2012

If being ‘the’ expert sounds like a lot of work, aside from what you may think – you don’t have to be updating your social media content or scanning the newspapers for 3-4 hours of your day (that’s my job!).

The following tips are a collection from some of the BEST minds in the fields of online marketing and Public Relations – summarized here in five, all-encompassing tips. It may help you just make a bit more use of your time in order to be more effective.

1. Whatever you say – make it valuable! Stop talking about your products and services and create valuable content for people to read, listen to and share. Even what you say – be a thought leader: in interviews, speeches and conversations: be transparent and most importantly – be consistent with your messaging and remember to talk about OTHERS.

2. Know your friends and your enemies. Align yourself with great strategic partners (think competitors!), ‘follow’ better people and then talk about that partnership. Make a point of connecting off line, meeting up in the real world and make things happen. Talk to people and get their input GOOD OR BAD about what it is you do. Your biggest critics could one day become your greatest allies – even though they don’t like you, they’ll still ‘follow’ you.

3. Tell a better story. People connect with storytelling – what’s yours? Think about your narrative strategy and let it permeate through your website, appearances and conversations. A good story can also be of interest to your local news source! Be honest and transparent, and let your passion shine through – it can build deeper relationships.

4. LEARN about online networks! Take a course, consult an expert, have a coffee with someone who knows it and learn how to make it work for your business. There may be opportunities on Facebook that you never knew existing – it may work for you and your business.

5. In the know – Be the first to know about news cycles that concern your industry then get active in other people’s communities. Be the starter of any conversations of interest, then make it clear how it relates to you and your business, through ENGAGEMENT, not just ‘telling’. Start these conversations using tools like web video, webinars, social networks and contacting news media with a relevant news story.

Finally – a last tip in the spirit of the New Year and the quiet holiday season.

Listen for the silence….

By lending an ear beyond the ‘chatter’ and reading outside of your segment of customers – you are better able to gain perspective and generate bigger ideas for your company or product to grow.

Have a wonderful and prosperous New Year!


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