2020 was a pivotal year for the entire world. Entrepreneurs were faced with the reality that in-person business would almost come to a complete standstill for an uncertain period of time. Those that were positioned correctly, and fully embraced the digital-virtual worlds thrived and flourished during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this article, we discuss how I doubled-down on social media, quadrupling my audiences, doubling my online revenue, and managed to stay in business during COVID. We will discuss the use of a consistent posting schedule, optimal timing, hashtags, videos, and leveraging collaborations and partnerships to increase your niche influence.
We will then discuss how to build your personal brand and leverage your niche expertise to monetize your audience through digital products, and speaking engagements, webinars, virtual online summits, podcasts, and private Facebook groups.
Developing a personal brand
Make no doubt, in today’s Information Age, the idea of job security is obsolete. "Job security" is an idea from the Industrial Age. The only way to guarantee any income certainty is through developing multiple streams of income, and the only way is to be able to create those income streams through a unique, authentic, and strong personal brand.
An online brand is a must, and social media is an extremely powerful tool. The advantages include: leverage, infinite scalability, 24/7reach, decreased barriers to entry, and the ability to connect, network, educate, market, and sell your products and services to anyone worldwide, at any moment, at a fraction of what it would normally cost in the past.
Mechanics of increasing your influence:
In order to develop a large, unique, loyal following requires:
A proper market fit — a proper fit between your brand message, product, service, technology and your followers.
Depending upon your platform, followers, and content, post consistently at the proper times when your audience will be on the platform. Be sure to post across multiple social media channels including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, Medium, Clubhouse, and LinkedIn.
Research the top 10 hashtags and most searched terms for your audience, and include those in your posts, so that your posts can be easily searched for by your audience.
Be sure to tag influencers, partners, and collaborators so that they too can share your content with their audiences. This is turn exponentially grows your influence and reach.
Among Millenials and GenZ, the majority of content is consumed on smartphones, and is in the form of short bits and bytes of content in video and audio format. Additionally, this cohort favors on-demand and easily accessible content such as when commuting, going to the gym, shopping. Content such as podcasts and video posts as well as shorter-form content such as YouTube shorts, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram reels and stories fit into this content format. So keep this in mind when designing your content marketing strategy.
Leveraging collaborations with influencers and developing partnerships will greatly enhance your brand, influence, as well as reach. During the pandemic, I leveraged guest podcasting, webinars, virtual summits, and social media lives to gain more followers, and doubled my business revenue.
In addition to growing your social media following, every influencer should be building their email list, websites, blogs, and podcast. These are audiences that you “own” and are independent of social media platforms and algorithms. Be sure to have a call-to-action (CTA) — either email subscription, opt-in, or purchase in every post.
Monetizing your subscriber base
Once you develop your unique niche brand, along with your followers, and have a consistent social media growth across all channels, you are ready to monetize your following. Some of the ways of monetizing your subscriber base include:
Virtual online summits
Private Facebook groups
In conclusion, social media has given the creator the tools and leverage to be able to harness their creativity, leverage the internet, decentralize the creative process, build a unique audience and following, and create a life of time, financial, location, and emotional freedom.
Note: article originally published in the Annual FinCon Magazine, September 2021
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD is a physician and author of, “How I Quit My Lucrative Medical Career and Achieved Financial Freedom Using Real Estate”