When you own any kind of business, your success depends on increasing your social influence or gaining exposure.
It’s a no-brainer, really…
With more exposure, more people see what you have to offer.
That equals more potential customers…
And more sales.
Now, there are a lot of techniques for increasing your social influence, but I’d like to focus on how you can get experts to spread your message for you…
You see, experts typically have a lot of social influence. They also have loyal followers and repeat visitors who are happy to share the messages they’re spreading. Just imagine your reach if you got several experts (and their followers) talking about your message. You could literally expose your business to tens of thousands of people—all potential customers—overnight.
Here are four ways to gain exposure—and social influence—through established experts:
1. Help First By Adding Value To Their Business
You likely follow certain experts because they give you great advice that helps your business. Get their attention by helping them first.
Link to them whenever possible, buy their products if you can, share their posts, promote them to your followers, and write reviews about them. This shows you’re reading their stuff, enjoying it, and paying it forward.
This might sound like a lot of work to make a connection, but keep in mind that every effort you make also helps you. If you comment on their blog, someone else might see it and click through to your site. If you share their helpful content with your followers, your followers appreciate you more. Every activity you do online, even if it seems like it’s for someone else, will increase your exposure and social influence.
Here’s a great example where someone mentioned CrazyEgg and got a retweet—and exposure to CrazyEgg’s 30,000+ followers:
What if you’re not sure what they need help with?
If you follow an expert who seems to have it all—traffic, social influence, income, exposure—it might feel like you can’t make a difference. But you can. Everyone can benefit from more exposure.
Here’s how to start
First, believe you have something to offer. This will instill a sense of confidence in your communications and help you come across as a fellow expert. (Begging for help and exposure will likely get you nowhere.)
Then, here are 6 simple ways to help the people who seem to have it all:
- Share helpful things you’ve learned that they’re not talking about.
- Offer to do small tasks or favors.
- Introduce them to others in your network. The connection could become beneficial for everyone.
- Write a testimonial for their product or service. (Hint: Include your URL in your signature for a link back.)
- Be an active member in their community. Comment on their blog posts and social updates. Try to add valuable insights to the conversation to get more attention.
- Create valuable content for them. (For this tip, you’ll want to research their site and come up with some topics that will be helpful for their audience. For your first post, you might offer to write for free in exchange for your author info and a link to your website. Later you might be able to transition into a paid guest blogger for them.)
Keep in mind, these tips don’t have to take a long time. Just 15-20 minutes per day can quickly increase your social influence and build your exposure as you connect with a lot of experts in your industry.
Here’s an example of an effective blog comment:
2. Interview Industry Leaders
Anytime an expert is working to spread the word about a new venture, they’re likely to accept an interview. They do this to reach larger groups of people for more sales and exposure. (In fact, this is a technique that many experts recommend to other experts who are trying to get exposure.)
Watch for any experts you follow to release a book or product or give a speech. Then, ask if you can interview them about their venture for your site.
During the interview be sure to ask questions about their project so they have a chance to promote it. Then, once you publish the interview, give them the link to share with their audience. (Many experts will because it helps increase their expert status and social influence.)
And another where Nerd Fitness interviews Tim:
What if you can’t get an interview?
If the expert you want to interview isn’t available, try writing a review instead. Again, share the link with them to share with their audience. If your review gets enough exposure, you’ll probably get an interview next time around.
(Hint: Use an affiliate link in your review to bring in extra income.)
3. Use Their Advice And Share Your Results
Experts usually sell information, and they always want to sell more of it. One of the best ways to get big names talking about you is to prove their advice works.
Let’s say one of the experts you follow publishes a blog post about how to get more website visitors. You took their advice, put it into action, and within a month you’ve doubled your visitors!
Why not take a few minutes to share your results with the expert who gave you the advice? Not only will they be flattered that you used their tips, but the fact that you saw results with their method validates them.
If they’re savvy, they’ll likely mention you—and your results—on their website because you are living proof that their system works. This technique not only gets the big name expert noticing and talking about you, but it also gets their visitors to notice and talk about you too.
Here’s the perfect example of someone sharing their results on TheRiseToTheTop.com. They even got a link back:
4. Diversify Your Reach
You might believe only highly successful people can benefit you. That’s not completely true. Even people with a few hundred visitors can give you exposure to a few hundred people you might not have met otherwise.
Here are a few of the people you want to connect with:
When you’re looking for experts to follow, don’t forget the up-and-comers. Hopefully they are also working to become experts and their reach will expand over time—expanding your social influence as well.
Also, connect with someone who is in the same place as you, someone who is at the same level of professional development. But, make sure they have big goals. This is someone you can learn and grow with, someone to keep you accountable. Plus, you can bounce ideas off of each other and maybe even partner up.
People just ahead of you
Another expert to befriend is someone slightly further ahead of you in your industry. This person has been where you are recently. They can give you advice and help you avoid the mistakes they made. Plus they’ll connect better with you because they were recently in your shoes.
People in your dream job
Be sure to find an expert who is where you want to be in 10 years. What are your major goals? Find someone who has these same goals and achieved them. Depending on who they are, they might already have a step-by-step course or they might be willing to spend half an hour on the phone with you. Why reinvent the wheel? Follow their advice.
Influencers in other industries
Finally, to diversify your networking, connect with someone highly successful in another industry. If you stay in one industry too long, you hear the same advice passed around and around. To get a fresh perspective, reach out to someone outside your industry. Experiment to see if there’s a way to make their advice work in your industry. (This could easily lead to a million dollar idea.)
A few final tips
Remember, when connecting with experts, they are real people—just like you. Don’t be intimidated, but keep in mind your goal is to help them, not annoy them.
You’re trying to build social influence through real relationships and that takes time. You can’t expect an expert to start promoting you overnight, but with the tips above, you can get them to notice and start interacting with you.
And you have to admit, that’s a good start.
What are your thoughts? Have you struggled with building your social influence? Or have you found a technique worth sharing? Let us know in the comments.