What does your channel currently look like? Have you taken the time to look at your page and conceptualize what your feed looks like? Is your feed unique for each channel? Who is your demographic? Are you catering your page to look like what you think your target demographic wants? Do you even know what your target demographic wants?
The founder and CEO of Vaynermedia, Gary Vaynerchuk (@GaryVee), created a fantastic formula that allows him to effortlessly deliver premium content across all his channels that is catered specifically for each channel. He creates one large form of content, also known as pillar content, and then breaks it down into micro content. From there, he customizes the micro content for each channel and receives feedback from his community through comments. Using such feedback, he goes back and improves his content to then redistribute the content with targeted improvements.
A lot of influencers post without any data to back up their decision. What @GaryVee posts, on the other hand, are backed by data driven decisions. Have you ever posted something you thought was going to perform well yet the impressions garnered didn’t match your expectations? Perhaps afterward you posted something you originally didn’t want to publish it ended up performing better than all your latest posts. It’s like that sometimes. What you consider the most compelling won’t necessarily equate to what your following considers most compelling; and that’s okay, because we have data for that.
The platforms are here to help you, and as long as you play by their rules, you can win the game. The social network the next generation will use most likely does not exist today. This is why it is important to establish a presence across all channels—some in which you may not be active or for which you may have your preferred handle unavailable. First thing we must do first is an audit of your current state. Ask yourself:
- What channels are you currently active in?
Although my role is to provide you with the information and tools to fuel your knowledge, you must remember that knowledge without action will get you nowhere. It is preferable to stop reading this book and perform an action toward your growing role as an influencer and then come back than it is to continue reading it and apply nothing. There is no better time than now to go across the other channels in which you are not active and create a profile. If possible, link this profile to your other existing channels. My next question for you to consider.
- What does your feed look like on these channels?
When you look at the feed on your page what is the first impression it gives? Have you asked for feedback from complete strangers to see what they think of your page? A good friend reminded me once, as we were looking over a mutual friend’s mobile application, how unwise it is to ask for criticism from a friend. Though some people are blunt under circumstances, most friends don’t want to hurt you, and so they will stick to their positive observations and shy away from critiques.
It is important to get feedback about your feed’s look because that is the first impression new potential customers (followers) and brands (partners) will have of you and your business. Make sure that all your channels are cleaned up—yes, I’m talking about your embarrassing high school photos on Facebook and those blurry photos you posted 40 weeks ago. No need to delete, just archive. Now we’ll consider:
- Who is your target demographic?
Are you able to identify who the majority of people you are speaking too are? Knowing your audience is key. The words you choose to convince a man from an international country to buy something will be completely different from the words you choose to convince a housewife from the suburbs to make a purchase. I’ve seen people fail to profit due to not knowing their audience well enough. Think, for instance, of a female influencer who starts a bikini line to promote her million followers, not considering that 95% of them are male.
- How do you stand out from the crowd?
What makes you different? Are you just another influencer posting selfies with Drake lyric captions or talking about how much you want pizza for breakfast? Or are you an influencer with a purpose that has their brand aligned with certain verticals? These verticals can be anywhere from philanthropy to food or travel. There are plenty of influencers out there making a lot of money promoting bikini companies. They have aligned their brand with that company or product. What is your brand aligned with?
- How do you get sites and brands to notice you?
What is your current outbound reach method? If it’s anything similar to most of the influencers I know than most of your brand’s activity comes from the DMs (direct messages). This DM strategy is a great way of handling inbound leads which is a common practice in any business. Most businesses thrive when switching their lead source for new business to outbound, which we will cover more in the chapter about business development.
Your brand is the first impression that people have of you online. The beauty of this is that you have the ability to change the impression viewers have whenever to whatever. If you knew how many times I’ve rebranded myself, you might be surprised, until you realize that, in a world of so much quick change, staying the same just doesn’t feel right. We learn to figure out who we are, establish goals, and determine who we want to be by making micro-adjustments along the way. Micro-adjustments have macro effects. If you have two boats driving in the same direction and you turn one boat’s wheel slightly to the right in the course of the next 30 minutes these boats will hardly be visible to each other. Imagine the same effect but over the course of a year. Have macro perception with micro purpose driven tasks.
On each platform, your voice should naturally change. You don’t want to post the exact same content with the exact same copy (written words) across all platforms. It is best to cater said copy and its accompanying format specifically for the audience to whom you are speaking and cater to the customer journey. This will lead us to our first real marketing lesson of this book. Customer journey is determining the path that a customer took to get to where he or she is at in that moment. For example, one customer might come across your page through your link in your Twitter bio from the mobile application, taking them from your Twitter profile and then your mobile home page. Another user, however, may have seen your content on Facebook and clicked a link on a post to your page. This facebook user has a completely different journey, only seeing your one post (perhaps their friend shared it) and your desktop home page. Each journey has a viewing preference pet platform, which prefer formats and means of communication are varied and nuanced. You wouldn’t want to write a novel on Twitter where users are skimming posts with less than 140 characters, although if formatted properly you are able to utilize the thread feature.
Customer journeys are an important part of understanding your audience. There are several amazing tools out there that monitor and showcase your customer journey on an incredible dashboard which allows you to do true 1 to 1 marketing. Perhaps a simper step to take as an influencer is to simply optimize the customer journey by knowing the nuances and expectations of each platform to which you post.