When Oprah recommends a product or even mentions something on her website or in her magazine, the product sales goes parabolic. The effect she can have on a product’s image and awareness by others is tremendous.
As unfortunate as reality can sometimes be, there is a good chance that you may not be able to be a guest on Oprah’s network or featured in her magazine, but you can still use influence—albeit it probably won’t be Oprah’s—to get a pop in your awareness. How? This is how I got a boost from using LinkedIn.
How I Created My Own Oprah-Like Effect
I began blogging just over a year ago, in December of 2012. I started blogging to build a following and create an awareness of what we were doing.
In the first six months, we built a significant base of readers. In May 2013, I started following three groups on LinkedIn: Certified Financial Advisors, Independent Financial Advisors, and FAN – Financial Advisors Network. These three networks were started between 2008 and 2009. Certified Financial Advisors was started by Parag Ahir, Independent Financial Advisors was founded by Ash Bhatnagar and FAN – Financial Advisor Network was developed by Michael Sakraida. These groups now have more than 10,000 members each.
These are tough groups to follow, especially if you consistently comment and make posts. I chose these groups specifically, because we have an incredibly focused target market. These groups matched what we were looking for in a financial planner:
We are interested in working with financial advisors who do what they do best, know their strengths and want to improve what they are doing. Advisors work with us to provide process and procedures to turn their practice into a business with better sales and operations. We want to work with advisors that appreciate a systematic and structured approach to getting things done. Personally, we want to work with advisors that are positive, proactive and driven towards their vision.
Establishing a Presence to Increase Viewership
In May 2013, I began monitoring and making comments on posts in each of these three groups. Then in June, I started creating my own posts on LinkedIn. So big deal, I’m commenting and posting, right? Well, draw your own conclusion, but I would say it is a big deal.
As a result of my posts and comments on LinkedIn, we saw a 79% increase in average views per month on our site. In fact, from just May to June, we went from averaging roughly 500 views a month to 900 views! See the graph below.
The benefit of my posts and comments were, and continue to be, tremendous.
Why LinkedIn for the Oprah Effect?
The boost in views we received comes from two specific reasons. First and foremost, we put ourselves in front of a larger group of individuals who are focused on the target market we are going after. We can share our expertise with these like-minded individuals and drive them to resources and content we offer. Second, Centers of Influence (COI), the well-known individuals in the community, began picking up our content. We have attracted ambassadors who help get the word out about our content, resources, and expertise.
For starters, you have to begin by identifying LinkedIn groups that it makes sense for you to join. Then, focus on consistency. Marketing and, specifically, blogging is about consistency and discipline. As a sales trainer for financial advisors, I push consistency much more than having a perfect piece of writing. Set a time each week when you are going to monitor, review and begin making comments and posts.
By establishing your own routine on LinkedIn groups, you can create your own Oprah effect.
Help your business gain awareness by creating a presence through various forms of social media. Looking to focus in on your target market? Browse established groups on LinkedIn to find your niche and join the discussions. Developing a routine is a sure way to get people talking, leading to an increase in viewership and more prospective clients.