Women entrepreneurs, are you hiding?
5 Keys to Increase Your Online Visibility
Even if you’re a leader in “real life”, becoming more visible as a leader online can seem challenging at best, intimidating at worst.
In “real life”, every time you present your ideas, you’re in front of your audience. Visibility is a given. People can see you at your best as a leader, when you teach, guide, and advise.
But what happens when you take your leadership out of “real life” and put it online?
Finding your place as a leader in the online business world is a little like establishing yourself in an entirely new industry.
For a while it will seem like you’re a leader without a following.
You’ll probably feel shy or self-conscious about participating in a community forum on Facebook, Twitter, or a popular blog.
Yet, jumping in and being visible is exactly what it takes to begin making a difference with your ideas, and use your gifts to help others around the world.
The online business world is all about storytelling and relationships. The good news is that socially intelligent women leaders are uniquely suited for establishing and growing relationships – and for telling awesome stories.
5 ways to increase your online visibility.
1. Find an online forum that serves your target market (one that you love).
Even though it’s virtual, think of it as a gathering place for the community. Note: You want to be a part of the community that you serve. For example, if you work with women entrepreneurs, check out Gina DeVee’s Divine Living Radio Show Facebook Group.
2. Tell a good story.
Introduce yourself by telling a story about why you joined the forum. In your introduction, don’t sell anything. Don’t offer any free stuff. Just let yourself be seen by the people in the forum.
Note: It helps to tag a couple of your forum buddies in the body of your post so that they can make additional introductions and lend their support to your introduction.
How do you find buddies in the forum?
3. Get to know the other people in the forum.
People buy from those they know, like, and trust. The goal is to develop relationships.
- Don’t sell anything or offer free stuff. Not yet. That’s so 2009.
- Comment on other people’s posts in a way that adds to the conversation. Don’t just blurt out what you think – until they get to know you, anyway! That’s tantamount to walking into a conversation at a party and interrupting the flow of conversation with a non sequitur – something totally off topic.
- Imagine that person is standing right in front of you. Ask smart questions. Be warm and friendly. Compliment her cute shoes.
4. Don’t give unsolicited advice. Ever. (i.e., don’t be bossy or tell people what to do).
Here’s the thing. When you’re new to a group and you’re eager to establish yourself as an expert, giving advice can seem like the easiest, fastest way to accomplish your goal.
Look, I have a PhD in Psychology. I’m a former psychotherapist, and I almost never give advice. Why? Because the women I work with are smart and experienced. And they’ve probably tried everything I would have suggested anyway.
Think of this this way: do you like getting advice from people you barely know?
Probably not. In fact, you probably either ignore it OR if you’re feeling sassy, you might even do the opposite. If you don’t like unsolicited advice, chances are, your target market won’t like it either.
Do this instead:
Ask a question that extends the conversation. (For example, “I’m curious about what’s worked for you in the past.”)
If you MUST give advice, ask the person if she’d like to know what you think. Only give your advice when you’re asked.
5. Be consistent.
The online world is all about establishing connections and long-term relationships. Show up to the forum several times per week. Comment regularly. Post regularly. Be interested in other people’s ideas and projects. Ask good questions.
Of course, I’d love to hear from you. In the comments below, tell us:
- What’s one thing that you’ve done that’s effectively established yourself as a leader in an online forum?
- How do you handle unsolicited advice?
- What’s been your greatest challenge in establishing yourself as a leader in your field?
As always, thank you for adding your voice to the conversation. We love seeing you here!