Not everyone is an Influencer, however as a business owner we can an influential spokesperson for our products, services and team. If you are a solopreneur or have a small team, promoting, marketing and sales may all fall on you, so how do you maximise your influence without investing a lot more time?
Here's 5 practical ways to be influential in your business
1. Share your expertise and credentials without even saying a word!
If you and your potential client have a reputable mutual connection, ask the mutual connection to kindly introduce you, either in person, message or email. Ask the mutual connection to kindly give some business context and share some ways you may be a good fit for your client. Depending on how well you know the mutual connection, you can coach them on what might be helpful to say.
For example: “Hi Casey, I’d like to introduce you to Nicki, she’s got a really interesting background in marketing, communications and leadership development training, I think she would be a great option for your new project team, here's her contact details.”
People are usually happy to make introductions, they just may need some prompting in what's relevant to share as they do so.
Is there someone who can help introduce you to a prospective client in this way?
2. ALWAYS ask for Client Reviews
Your social credibility is important for new clients. Great reviews are like gold for your business reputation, but they can be a hassle to get I know.
Create a system for building up your website reviews, google reviews, LinkedIn recommendations, LinkedIn reviews, Facebook and industry reviews. Maybe you have a wrap-up process when you complete a client project, can it also include an invitation to write a google review with some samples of what is helpful to write? Or do you have a feedback survey with a "leave a review" section? Or, depending on your client, do you have a follow up call and include a quick review question at the end which you can ask to quote.
Can you repurpose those raving reviews as a post on social media, a review carousel on your website or even a quote on your business card?
3. Become known as a valuable resource
You can be influential by providing value to your clients and peers. Maybe you have a starter resource, a download, an ebook, a free webinar, a sample product or free consultation.
If you can share a sample of your work that provides great value then you will be showcasing your skill, expertise and value.
Your free sample can also show you are genuinely wanting to be helpful, BUT, as many will tell you, create a sample that is packed with value but wanting your ideal clients to come back to check out services or keep connected with you until they are ready to buy. There's a point where too much value for free can lessen the value of your paid products or services.
Do you have a valuable free resource you can share? Check out the AdFriday posts in the Girls talk Business FB group, there are some great examples there.
4. Help your own community network on your behalf
It's great to have family, friends and neighbours who tell others what you do/ They can extend your network for you because they know you and are often proud of what you do, unfortunately, because they aren't in the actual business, they don't always get the details right. So how can you help them?
Practice a few sentences to keep them on script. Maybe it's an adaptation of your own networking"elevator pitch". If you can drop a coaching moment into a casual conversation it will probably come off received than a formal family training session.
For example: “My good friend coaches small businesses on how to connect with new clients on LinkedIn, she says it only takes a few sessions to start seeing them make great connections. She mentioned she works with service providers and smaller businesses who have large corporate clients, I'm not on LinkedIn myself but I could get her to chat with you if you like.”
Be known for what you do really well so you are appropriately referred by others, name dropped even, like an Influencer!
Can you casually share a few lines explaining what you do to your family and friends so they can accurately share these details with others?
Show your face! Be Seen!
You can't be influential if we don't know about you. Your business needs you to consistently be seen. Friend, we need you to show up! If I was to scan your preferred social media channel, could I see you in your posts?
Having a series of professional photos that you are confident sharing is hugely helpful for being influential and for promoting your business. Your images are an asset, you can use them on your website, in your social media, business cards, speaker and/or podcast guest profiles, networking profiles and more.
Do you have a set of professional images of you? Not just headshots, but some creative images too? If you are thinking about getting some images done, it's totally worth your time and investment. There are several photographers, including myself, in the Girls Talk Business directory, check out their style and talk with them, I'm sure they would be happy to chat.
Robert Cialdini, in his book Influence: Science and practice, shares 7 principles of persuasion which he refers to as the language of influence. As I was reading this book last week, these 5 points came to mind for hardworking small business owners and solopreneurs such as our Girls Talk Business community! Let me know if you have implemented some of these ideas, I'd love to hear how it goes!
I'm Nicki Osbaldiston, Marketing Mentor and LinkedIn Strategy Coach
I come from a background in Global Communications and Marketing and love working with local business owners to help build their online presence and increase their sales opportunities.
I also do brand photography shoots in my local north Auckland area.