We’re officially into the second quarter of 2019. What have you done this year to push yourself out of your comfort zone and into the next level of success, motivation and financial freedom?

I spent this past weekend hosting and speaking at Cha-Ching, which brought out some of the worlds best speakers and international experts who shared the systems that they used to turn their own passions into successes. I can’t begin to describe the energy I felt being up on that stage. I was given the opportunity to speak to 3000 business people who were all there to take their careers to the next level. I’m more convinced than ever that if you want to be successful then you’ve got to get out there, meet like-minded people, network, learn, grow and take advantage of each and every tool that’s offered to you.

Another thing that I’m certain of after spending the weekend with global thought-leaders, is that if you want to grow your business or personal brand fast then you need to learn how to master social media.

Here’s my rationale: 

I’m sure that you’ve heard the term “influencers” being used in digital media circles in the past few years. Influencers are people on social media who have built a massive following by providing content that others are interested in. Many of these influencers are now more popular than modern celebrities or politicians. Why? Because their followers are interested in their opinions. In a recent study conducted by TapInfluence and Nielsen Catalina Solutions, it was shown that influencer marketing generates 11 times more ROI (return on investment) than traditional forms of marketing.

Where many people or wannabe-influencers go wrong, however, is trying to be everything to everyone. It’s so important to have a niche or a focus. If you’re a finance blogger, then write about financial products, investments and relevant topics to your industry. Likewise, if you were trying to become influential in the world of real estate, you wouldn’t start posting about your body progress at the gym or your cooking talents.

Different audiences exist for different people. Know what your audience wants. These days there are so many resources and tools that allow you to map out your audience and give you insight into their interests and likes.

Once you know what your audience is interested in, give them more of that! Regularly check in with them to make sure that they’re enjoying your content. If they’re not engaging with your content, then change it. There’s no sense in pushing out 20 self-help videos a week on Facebook or YouTube if no one is watching them, sharing them with their friends, or talking about them.

What’s also important when trying to influence people in the social media world is not to be too pushy or too “salesy”. In a nutshell? Don’t be annoying. Very few people enjoy the ‘in-your-face’ approach. And so if this approach doesn’t work in person, then why would it work on social media?

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all littered with in-your-face advertisements and lots of pop-ups begging you to click on their page, which can come across as quite desperate.

So how do you get around this? I would advise that you stop making sales pitches and start conversations instead. Since most people love talking about themselves, it makes sense that they’d want to join conversations that they are interested in and can engage with. While it’s hard to initially grab someone’s full attention in the cluttered social media space, once you have it, you’ll find that these people will eagerly share their opinions with you. Keep sharing great content, keep giving them unique insight and advice, and keep engaging with them.

Being genuinely interested in your followers’ opinions will show. What do your followers get from your social media pages? Are you educating them? Are you helping them make more informed decisions? Are you entertaining them? Make sure that your audience is getting something of value each and every time you post.

If you implement the above, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a thought leader in your industry, and who knows- maybe in a few years time, you’ll be on an international stage just like I was this past weekend, sharing your success story with the world.