by Debra Arko, Featured Contributor
HAVE YOU TRIED to get readers to ‘like’ your social posts? Do you aim to become a thought leader in your professional niche? If so, you know it’s not easy. It’s become a game of the best communicator wins.
The big secret is you don’t learn what the reader wants overnight. It’s a process of what seasoned authors call finding your voice. In social circles it would be better defined as what your audience wants to read. This article will help you define your content while giving you three steps to get the ball rolling.
The Defining Contribution – Content Clarity
Many authors believe each social network has its own language. This is true, however, your audience is likely the same on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for instance. Brand yourself with both your profession and personal interests. Combine the pet-advocate, attorney, and a gardener on all social platforms. Let your potential clients know you are the estate attorney with an animal loving heart who loves natural foods.
Did you notice the shift? Discuss the legal specialty you practice and give people something to connect with you on so they feel like a relationship is viable. Once they ‘feel’ a connection, they will start listening to what you have to say. They are looking for continuity and proof to trust you.
Let Them Know You’ve Been There Too
You can build this trust by being professional yet human. This is the opening conversation. It’s where you tell your story of having a similar experience of what they are likely going through. This is not a view of the past. People only want to know you can help them in some way.
It may sound self-centered because it is. When a person first begins reading a post it’s because the title usually caught their eye and they want to see how it may relate to them. Then they look at the author. If the topic resonates, now they start reading your social content, seeing your name, handle, or photo beside your posts.
Trust, however, is easily lost. You can lose it by going off on a personal tangent about your kid’s soccer game or how your husband loads the dishwasher. Things that might turn off someone who wants to know how your garden is doing and what the latest legal tips are. Personal, but not too personal. It is a fine balance.
The trick is the Segway.
Give them Knowledge – Give Them You
If you’re goal is to brand yourself, you’ll be well on your way. If you also want to generate new business through social media networking, you’ll need to ‘show them,’ not tell them.
Having your own blog with good content will help you stand out. It demonstrates you’re a good team player to share your knowledge and that of other creditable authors through your social posts. Add more personal layers, or segways, on your blog. Such as how that soccer match relates to a professional tip or idea.
Make it convenient to take the conversation offline. If you want to become a thought leader in your niche, expect to be easy to contact and let others know you want to talk to them. Having your email and phone on your blog and in your signature may not be enough, invite them to write or call you. You can have a public Gmail and Google voice number without giving up your privacy.
Review your message and make sure you are clear so others will be too. Share how you overcame the problem or succeeded. Finally, become a thought leader who is available through your own blog and offline. No business exists today solely online or offline; bring both together to brand yourself as a leader to your readers and clients.