Having “followers” in business is a good thing. And what are followers, exactly? Think of having fans interested in what you do, what you think and what you have to say. They would say positive things about and recommend your brand in a heartbeat. And they literally choose to “follow” you on social media because they value your insights.
Celebrity or Influencer?
Celebrity status is by degrees. There are local, national and worldwide celebrities. We can all be celebrities of sorts when we’re doing the kinds of things people celebrate as praiseworthy or valuable. If you’ve been in the same profession for 5 years or more and have a successful track record, the people who know this about you will value your thoughts and opinions about your industry. If you write about it publicly, you’ll attract a following of curious and likeminded people, and you’ll begin to influence their thinking. This is known as your “tribe” in business vernacular. To these folks, you’re known as an influencer which is akin to being a celebrity among that select group.
Can you attract people to an event or influence them to share your message? We all have a circle of influence which can wax and wane depending on our commitment to proactively offer value in every business situation. The more you engage people with value, the wider your influence grows in the market. That influence can fade quickly the moment you ease up and back off from proactive market engagement. I’ve seen this happen in my own business life repeatedly over the years which is why I keep writing blogs, columns and newsletters as well as attending events in my market, even creating them.
Innovation Gets Attention!
Last year I started a new local event series called “Networking in Motion” which keeps my brand and others’ in front of people like you. Having recruited a couple of influencers in my network – people who have their own tribe, we easily attract a dozen or more people to fun and “kinetic” business networking events. We build relationships and expand referral partnerships which you know are super valuable! So far, 3 successful events with another one coming up in early December! Stay tuned for details.
Would You Follow Yourself?
Whether you’re a buyer, seller, connector or just an observer, the amount you engage other businesspeople in meaningful conversations is usually in direct proportion to your current business success.
If people respect what you say, they are likely to follow you in the market, in your industry, at events, and it extends online. The key is to publish content and make sure it passes the value test! Do people get value and are they entertained when reading or listening, watching?
Proactive Market Engagement
Consider the ways in which you engage with people for the purpose of growing your business.
- How many networking events per month do you attend?
- Are you considered a “regular” in the groups you belong to?
- Do you sponsor or host events that bring businesspeople together?
- Do you lead workshops, seminars and educational events?
- Do you have an email list you regularly send newsletters and updates to your followers?
- Do you join boards and committees so you can contribute to and influence the groups you belong to?
- Do you invest time to build individual relationships with key players and influencers in your market?
- Well, do ya, punk? (See Dirty Harry)
Answer “yes” to as many of these questions as possible and you will develop followers who will help you succeed by advocating for your business success.
Real Followers do more than like and click!
Mere clicks on your links and likes or comments on your social pages indicate that some people are noticing your messages. It’s better to have engagement than not but how far does the engagement go? For some in your audience, it’s no more than a like, click or comment hoping they will get noticed on your profile.
Your real followers will take more actions on your behalf. They’ll make direct business referrals, share your posts to their networks, hire you for services and show up to your events, and they will invite their friends!
If you want real followers in the market, get out there and lead. Reread the section under Proactive Market Engagement and make plans to answer “yes” to the questions. If I can do it, so can you!