A lot of people ask me how to become more popular online. Getting more readers, make people pay attention to you, getting talked about – those are justified questions. The digital sphere becomes more crowded every single day, and the less awesome you are or present yourself the less you are going to stand out.
Before we jump into the 3 major traits that rule my digital career, let me introduce the basic mindset:
By now it’s pretty obvious that we’re losing our privacy. It’s becoming more transparent than crystal glass. You can blame the biggies like Google and Facebook for that, but fact is – Everything you do or show of yourself is part of your marketing.
Every angry comment you make, that crappy Youtube video you upload, the spammy mail you send, or that Facebook pic that shows you vomiting on your sister’s spouse – it’s all spreading the message about what you are and what you (and your business) stands for.
Knowing this, you can start rocking your digital destiny with these magic bullets that dominate mine:
Craft your motive – the shining signal in a stormy ocean
Marketing geeks call this the USP ( Unique Selling Proposition ), but this is a such a lame term it doesn’t deserve to be in a h3 headline. A motive is better than USP, because it has the emotional power to connect with your audience.
If I enter your online presence, and I CAN’T immediately figure out what you stand for, you are in trouble.
Because we love to do business with like-minded people – the ones that believe what I (want to) believe.
It’s our human nature to like those that are like us, and that’s why similar people flock together. The same holds true for any small business. You want to do business with those that are on the same page as you. The most killer expertise and experience doesn’t matter if both of you can’t find a common denominator.
And the easiest way to see what you and your business stand for is to show us your motive.
Huh ? What the hell ?
A motive is the fire that keeps you going, it’s the signal on the coast that shines the way, it’s that spirit that bonds the right audience to you.
A motive simply says:” This is what I believe. If you believe the same, we should do business together !”
How To Craft Your Unique Motive
It took me months to find mine. It was clear to me, but I couldn’t find the right words to express it. As soon as I did, I rebranded my site from “Spread your influence” to “The world needs you”. This shift also brought me the biggest traffic in my digital career so far. When you get your motive right, you will attract the right people. Here are the major points of crafting it:
- make it inspirational and positive. Positive word choice is essential. Don’t say: “ I want people to lead a stress-free life”. Our brain doesn’t understand negation, ignores the “free” and visualizes the “stress” instead. Say :” I want people to live a healthy, serene life”.
NEVER write and talk about what you DON’T want. Show people what you want and where you want to take them !
Even good old Mother Tesera knew this: “ I’m never going to join an anti-war demonstration. But if you ever find a pro-peace demonstration, sign me up !”
- Paint a picture. No, not literally, but in the mind of the person you want to appeal to. I still see a lot of biz owners use jargon in their mission statement, and it makes me want to vomit in my mouth:
“We use systems to optimize your brand exposure and implement strategies to reach your target audience.”
Blah blah blah. Don’t sound like Robocop writing an instruction manual for a vacuum cleaner. You are not appealing to anyone with this abstract jabbering. Instead, use words that are EASY to visualize:
How would it feel to have a visible community of people excited about your brand, actively engaged and spreading your message to others?
( I got this from Laura Roeder )
- Make it short and snappy. ADD isn’t a malfunction anymore, it has become a lifestyle. If you need too many sentences to describe your motive, you are going to coma-tize the world around you. I had a client recently who talked about his motive. It took him over 15 minutes and too many phrases that even contradicted themselves. Meh ! The more you have to say, the less clear you are about your motive. The less words you need, the more you know about it. That’s why you HAVE to make it as concise as possible. Focus on the essence and hack away the fluff. Be a sniper, only needing one shiny bullet to pierce through the target. Apple only needs two words: “Think different”. How many do you need ?
- Repeat, repeat. Rinse, and repeat. As soon as I wake up, I tell myself:
The world needs me. Today, I’m going to inspire people to make things happen. I’m going to lit their ass on fire !
It’s super-essential that you repeat your motive – to yourself, to the people you work with and to the audience you create for. Write your motive on your about page, stick it on your fridge, and use it on every profile. The more you use it, the faster you will attract the like-minded audience you aim for. And the faster you will manifest your destiny. So, let me ask you again:
What the heck is your motive ?
Become a single person networking empire
Sure you can run into the digital jungle and do everything yourself, Rambo-style. But seriously, do you want to ? Why “schlepp” every single stone yourself when you can have like-minded friends help you with that ? You know the basics of connecting:
1) Find a like-minded go-getter.
2) Interact with him or her. Write a personal message, reply to their tweets and comment.
This is boring first grade style. If you want to connect with more influential peeps, you have to play the networking game a bit more creatively. Here’s what I do:
- Become a test object. Every online business owner offers consulting and digital products to get better at something. The greatest gift to them ? Showing that their stuff works. Johnny B. Truant offered to be Naomi Dunford’s test object – trying out her marketing course and implementing everything she told him to. He did it, became a successful biz owner himself and proved that Naomi knew what she was talking about. Can you say awesome ? I’m doing something similar with a fellow European blogger, and the results will be staggering.
- Do it together. Yeah, and not what YOU think, I mean a fruitful business relationship. How about an online series – like this one ? Do a webinar, create a product or just link to them via social media and writing.
- Get consulting for free. How ? Easy-peasy. Choose your target maverick, and tell them how great they are. And then ask them for an interview – after all you want to spread the awesome word about them. 90% of the time, they will jump into the boat. Why ? Because everyone loves to get their ego stroked. And better – everyone loves free marketing.
- Do something crazy – meet them in the REAL world. Wow, Mars, now you are going too far ! No, hear me out.
Nothing connects more than a juicy face-to-face interaction. I have met awesome people like Benny, Karol Gajda, and recently Farnoosh in my home town, and let me tell you, the experience was sweet-a-licious ! Whenever a like-minded maverick comes to a physical place near you, meet up. It’s SOO worth it.
- Buy their stuff. Mentioning people is awesome, but buying their stuff is awesomER. I remember buying Jonathan Mead’s paid-to-exist course and that lead to a connection that is still going strong today.
- Jeez, isn’t that enough already ? Of course you can always use the basics of digital connecting – promoting their content, and simply writing a personal message.
But I encourage you to do some of the more “unusual” methods, because they work. They REALLY work.
The One Thing That Makes You Stand Out
There’s a lot of incest going on in the blogosphere, and it’s getting ugly. Bloggers writing blog posts about blogging – meh !
It’s disgusting. It really is.
You know what separates a successful maverick from the lame-ass copycat ? The former makes things happen, the latter only writes about it.
Sure, you can optimize your SEO, carefully structure your copy and worry about formatting, but those are just details. Don’t get lost in minor things. Write only when you have a reason to write, and that means:
Do awesome shit in the real world (you still remember that place ?), and THEN write about it. Have a real reason to blog in the first place. This applies to every topic and niche:
- If you are in the self-help niche, don’t bombard people with lame-ass posts that you semi-copy from Zenhabits. Apply your own self-help principles in the real world and THEN talk / blog about it. If you write about being optimistic in dire circumstances, show us how YOU stayed optimistic when a tragedy hit you.
- if you are all about entrepreneurship, don’t show us pathetic list posts on running a successful business like everyone else. Show us how you made risky decisions today and what you learned from them.
- Don’t say somebody should do something in a certain way if you ARE NOT doing it yourself. The world doesn’t need another hypocrite.
And honestly - this approach applies to everything in life. Inhale the following mantra:
Practice what you preach.
Do you know why most people hate politicians ? Because they talk and talk and talk, and never act on their promises. Words that are not backed up by action are meaningless. Don’t become a politician, become an action-doer that hits the street running.
This simple, but hard to do principle will separate you from the thousand others of chatterers out there.
99% of the them will continue to TALK ABOUT stuff, while you stay busy with DOING stuff and sharing the story later.
If you want to be more popular online, do awesome shit and then share it.
That’s it. I’m finished.
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