Unfortunately, being popular online is slightly more difficult than being popular in high school. It takes more than a second-hand Corolla, a pony-tailed boyfriend and a massive CD collection to gain notoriety in the online entrepreneurial world. Annoying right? If only a Rachel Hair Cut and a pair of 501s would solve your business woes. That would be super convenient.
Thankfully there are some strategies you can use to get popular online…
…that don’t involve your parents going away for the weekend and letting you have a party with alcohol.
1. Guest write, don’t ghost write
Collaborating with other people is an excellent way to get popular online, BUT it has to be an actual collaboration. If you’re going to be creating content for a partnership, your name has to be on it. There’s no point in having your print, words, photos or music attached to a great project if no one knows it was you who was behind it.
2. Get linky with it
Na na na na na na na nana
Na na na na nana
Get linky with it!
One of the best ways to get popular online is to get genuine backlinks on other websites. If you’ve been paying attention to the ebbs and flows of the internet, you’ll know this is quite difficult these days. Why? Because people mainly share stuff on social media. This behaviour is a big problem because social media kind of sucks. When you share things on Facebook and Instagram, you’re at the mercy of Zuckerburg, who chooses what stuff is shown to whom and when. Backlinks are harder to get and more valuable than ever before, and they often get ignored when entrepreneurs are trying to build their online presence. This article outlines some excellent ways to get good backlinks.
Hot tip: Never pay for backlinks. It’s terrible behaviour, and Google will find out, and you’ll have to sit in the naughty corner. For real.
3. Create that OMG YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS impulse
Here are some things that do this…
You get the picture. This kind of content might not work within your business model but think about the kind of stuff that gets people excited and try to re-create it within your business. It could be through the product. Cadbury did this with their limited edition Caramilk chocolate flavour which sold out almost immediately in stores across Australia. Bars were selling on eBay for upwards of $50. Or when everyone started toasting slices of sweet potato and the internet acted like Nutella had just been invented. You could also do this through smart advertising like the Squarespace series with Keanu Reeves – you have to watch this it’s hilarious.
None of this is an easy task but if you nail it, it’s worth it.
4. Buy your customers a drink before you try to get them into bed
Engage first, then sell. No one likes being sold to. That’s why we all avert our eyes and start shuffling towards the wall whenever someone in a neon t-shirt and clipboard approaches us in the street. We all hate it.
It’s a similar situation when you try to cold sell to people who have no idea who you are or what you do. Use point #3 to engage your customers and once they’re involved, go for the sell. It’s literally like buying someone a drink before you try to get in their pants. It’s heaps classier than sidling up to someone and saying ‘Want a shag?’
5. Give away some things away to people with decent online followings
Fact: Everyone loves free shit. Have you ever seen 100 people get given a goody bag at a conference and nearly wet themselves with excitement over a free pen with company branding on it and USB stick that no one will ever use because no one uses USBs anymore?
A few tips…
– Be discerning with who you give things away to because you don’t want to devalue your product
– Don’t expect anything in return
– Be very, very grateful if someone spruiks your wares on their social media channels because they worked hard to get a decent audience and if they showcase your stuff for free that’s a big favour they’re doing
– Do consider paying for influencers to feature your products – you get more control, and you can ask for reports and stats when you pay for influencer marketing
6. Make some online business buddies
Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. It’s one of the best and most genuine ways to get popular online. Think about your friendship network – how many of your closest friends have you met through your existing friends? I’m betting it’s a quite a lot.
This logic also applies to businesses. For example, if an organic coffee company makes friends with a gluten-free cookie company, that’s a marriage made in heaven because they share a pretty substantial overlap in customer demographics. The kind of people who enjoy organic coffee are likely to enjoy natural, gluten-free baked goods. These two companies should exchange backlinks regularly on their site content, mention each other often on social media and collaborate on events and giveaways.
Once we know
That we are
We’re all stars
And we see that
We’re all in this together
And it shows
When we stand
Hand in hand
Make our dreams come true!
When in doubt, always trust High School Musical.
Pick five leaders in your industry or influencers who you’d like to get the attention of and strategically put yourself in front of them whenever you can. Don’t show up at their house at night dressed like a cat burglar with a telephoto lens camera but do pop up online and be useful for them. Here are some things you can do…
– Send them a useful article or link
– Offer to help them with a project they’re working on
– Comment regularly on their social content
– Publicly praise them in your online content
– Ask them a question that’s quick for them to answer
Remember to be useful to them. Give 70% more than you take.
8. Pick a fight
Don’t pick a fight (even though I just told you to). Write a blog post about something controversial in your industry and blow the lid wide open on something that bothers you. Any of the following would work.
5 Reasons Why Most Life Coaches Shouldn’t Be Life Coaches
7 Gross Ingredients You Didn’t Know You Were Washing Your Hair With
7 Lies Your Personal Trainer Tells You So You Keep Paying Them Money
There’s no need to call people out or name names but writing a post about bad practices in your industry can get some serious eyes on your business and give you a boost of credibility that will make people love you.
Hot tip: Make sure everything you say is well researched and accurate. If you lie, this whole thing goes in an awful direction.
9. Remember this handy acronym – WDIGOOT
Okay so that’s a rubbish acronym but what it stands for is super important.
What Do I Get Out Of This?
This is what your customer is thinking every time you do anything online for your business. As long as you always remember to think about what your customer is getting out of the situation, your online popularity will grow. It’s all about being useful. There’s no magic formula; it’s about providing value to your followers to turn them into customers.
Extra articles for you to read if you’re in the groove…
If your website needs a bit of loving but you’re still not sure if you should fork over the $$$ this guide is for you…