The results are in: if you want to be successful in online business, then you need to show up online to grow your audience.
Now some people might argue this is really difficult and that it’s just *so* hard to stand out when there’s so many other people out there saying similar things.
But that’s just some people. Not you. Because you know that you can stand out. You know that it’s possible for you.
I’m going to tell you this up front, if you want to stand out on social media and start growing your tribe quickly, you can and you will. But it’s won’t be overnight and it’s not like snapping your fingers. But it IS possible and it can happen in just a couple of weeks.
I’ve spent three years building a successful online business (and before that I spent three years writing a personal blog) and have learned a lot about how to communicate, how to create messages and how to
really stand out. I just want to remind you of one thing before we get going:
What you have to say is important. Most people get caught up in their fears of being visible. They’re scared that what they have to say isn’t worth it or that it doesn’t matter or won’t make a difference. I beg of you to not fall into that trap. The world needs you. It needs your voice and your talents. You never know who you’re impacting and changing with your voice, your stories and your gifts. Please don’t hide that out because you have forgotten your own worth. What you have to say is so important. Let it be heard.
And without further ado, here are my 11 guidelines to standing out online and building your audience quickly.
1. Pick one place to show up and to grow your audience.
I know what you might be thinking. “But if I only show up one place then how can I reach tons of people and grow even faster?” This is what tends to happen when we try to be everywhere: we burn ourselves out.
We start getting inconsistent. We wear ourselves trying to be everywhere that we can’t focus on anything. In short, we give 1% to 100 things in stead of 100% to one thing.
The name of the game is consistency and it is just so hard to be consistent when you are pulled in a thousand directions. When you’re first starting out, you already have a million things to be juggling. Don’t add more on it by cramming on social media sites!
Here’s what to do:
Decide what platform you’re going to show up on (Make sure it’s one where your ideal clients hang out)
Grab your URLS for all your other platforms if you don’t have them already. Just because you have them doesn’t mean you have to use them. This just helps you for when you’re ready to move to the next platform. I like to mark them as private if I’m not using them yet and usually add a link to the platform I do use. Focus only on that one outlet.
(**My exception to this rule is a website and email list. I fully believe everyone should have both.)
2. Brainstorm your content beforehand
One of of the main reasons people struggle with visibility is because they can’t stay consistent and run out of content or they try to think of things on the fly and when they do, it’s not on brand, not thought out and not as compelling.
Sit down once a week or once a month and brainstorm topics to post. These topics should relate to your brand, your niche or you as a person (people love to relate to others!). I usually brainstorm 20-30 topics every week. I don’t post about all of them because I like to post whichever ones call to me in the moment but it’s good to have a list you can pull from!
Here are some examples of topics:
- Personal stories that your ideal clients can relate to
- Motivational quotes
- Recent lessons or experiences that happened to you that apply to your audience
- Tips, tricks or mini lessons regarding your niche
- Opinions, such as “Which photo from my recent photoshoot do you like best?” or “Which title do you like for this program or ”What would you rather hear about?”
- How-To posts (These are great if you’ve accomplished something because you can share your story as well as helping others. For example, How I Doubled My List or How I Booked 5 New Clients in 1 Day)
3. Keep your content consistent (in terms of messaging and timing)
Like I said before (and I’ll probably say again), consistency is the name of the game! You really want to make sure your posting on a regular schedule. Now you don’t have to post at the same time every day but sometimes it’s helpful to be able to set your alarm to remind you that it’s time to post and so you do end up posting at the same time. But you should get consistent in actually posting and I’m going to say it right now, you should post every day. Yes, even on the weekends. Yes, even when you’re busy. Yes, even when you feel like you’re out of content. Get in the habit of being present on your chosen social media platform every single day because that is really the KEY to gaining traction and growing your audience.
You also should keep your messages somewhat consistent, especially when it comes to what you do. I know it might seem hard or overwhelming because you probably do a million things very well but try to find one highly specific thing that you kick butt at that you can build your brand around. My coach calls it “The sign over the door.” What does your sign over the door say? I know you do lots of spectacular things but you want to be known for one thing in particular. People with niches tend to do better than generalists, especially when it comes to attracting clients. And trust me, you can be great at lots of things and work it into your business model but the easiest way to attract people is to be great at one thing and really hone it on and talk it up! Once you’ve attracted someone’s attention and are able to speak to them one on one to hear about their business, you can let them know all of the other things you can help them with but attract them with some specifics. It helps you be easily recognizable as an “expert” as well.
4. Learn to repurpose content
A little bit of content can go a long way if you repurpose it correctly and it can help you keep that content stream going strong. Great content can hold tons of valuable nuggets of information that you can use at different times so don’t just feel like just because you said it one time in one place, that you can never say it again!
I like to break up my emails into Facebook posts or I’ll turn an email into a blog after it’s been sent out. If you like doing video or Facebook Live, you can have someone on Fiverr create a transcript of it and then use the content for emails, tweets, Facebook posts or whatever your preferred platform is. Also, I’ll mix up the posts I put into Facebook groups. If I create an awesome post in a one group one day, I’ll wait a couple of days and post into another group!
Repurposing content is a trick all of the pros use to get tons of use out of their brilliant content!
5. Connect with others
Use your marketing platforms as places to connect with others is such an important and often forgotten about part of marketing! When I say connect with others, I do not mean, reach out to them just to pitch to them. I mean that you connect with them, get to know them, befriend them and support them. Things can grow so quickly when you have an awesome tribe of women who are supporting you!
I connect with women by consistently commenting on their posts. If I notice that someone posts all of the time and I really love what they’re saying, I send them a private message to say “Hi” and let them know that I love what they’re doing and would love to get to know them better. How does this help you? Well in addition to getting to know women who are in similar situations and can offer support and love to you on your journey, you’re widening your reach. Have you ever been listening to a podcast or video and have someone you love often handedly mention one of their friends and then you
went and looked up that person? It happens all of the time! When you connect in authentic and real ways, you’re spreading your reach and giving yourself more possibilities!
Also connecting with other like-minded women gives you a chance to partner up for future collaborations, grow an affiliate list (should you someday want one) or have the opportunity to be featured in a blog, as a guest expert or on a podcast! I got asked to be guest experts for two different courses within a couple of weeks just by getting to know other ladies and reaching out to them!
6. Brand your graphics
You want to make sure that you’re making it really easy for people to recognize you and you’re leaving a cohesive and recognizable mark on your online communities. It’s also an easy way to stand out. When people get accustomed to your graphics as your brand, they’ll easily recognize you amid all of the other posts.
You don’t have to be a graphic designer to pull this off either. Just keep it simple and pick one or two colors that you love and one or two fonts or use the same patterned backgrounds. You’ll look much more professional and your brand will become more memorable.
7. Use images of yourself
Using images of yourself is a powerful way to get yourself known. We connect to humans and stories, not text. So when you’re creating a post that’s personal or sharing part of your story, add in some fun or professional photos of you to go along with it. It’s reminding followers of who you are and the person behind the brand.
8. Always have your freebies listed in your URLs
This is such an important one! You always want to make sure you leave a trail for people to be able to follow you and find you. When people start noticing you online, they’re going to want to learn more about you and providing them with awesome value.
Your social profiles are the best place to give a really clear look at what you talk about, who you are and what problems you solve. It’s the itty bitty piece of real estate to let people know right off the bat what to expect from your social channels and where to find more of you. I suggest putting in your freebies because it gives you a super clear call to action. Most people just don’t want to “learn more” but they would LOVE to learn 10 ways to improve their website for instant sales (or whatever your specific opt in, freebie might be).
If you use Facebook, I recommend having a pinned image at the top of the page as a little “Welcome” to let them know where they can find out more about you.
9. Give tons of value away for free
If you want people to buy from you, you need to show them you are an expert. There is no better way to show off your expertise than by giving tons of value. The more value you give, the more people trust you as an expert and the more they trust you as an expert, the more they’ll come to you with their problems.
Often times they’ll think, “Whoa she’s sharing so much for free! I wonder how much more knowledge and insight I’ll get from her if I paid for it!"
Give away value more than you ask for a sale. It’s up to you what the ratio is. I do 70-20-10: 70% of the time I’m giving away value on marketing, messaging and business. 20% of the time I’m sharing my stories, my insights and motivation and 10% of the time I’m asking for the sale but make sure you’re giving more value than anything else!
10. Comment back when others comment
If someone takes the time to comment on what you’re doing, do not hesitate to comment back and grab onto that chance to connect with them more! Don’t leave them feeling left out in the open. You want people to know you care about them and appreciate their input and make them feel loved for giving to you. Keep the dialogue open! Be social!!
11. Be clear on your boundaries and when to step away to avoid burn out
BURN OUT IS A REAL THING. You cannot be ”on” 24/7. You cannot be connected 24/7. It’s bad for your social life and it’s bad for your creativity. It’s really easy to get sucked in to social media and get stuck spending all your time there. When that happens, you can end up getting sucked into the comparison game, reading everyone else’s post or feeling like you’re not good enough or your creativity can start shrinking when you are surrounded by everyone else’s message