In order to grow as a brand today, you need to have a strong, influential online presence. By consistently sharing your insights and advice with your online network and following, you can further develop your business and its goals. However, this is often easier said than done.

To help find out more about what works, we asked Young Entrepreneur Council members the following question:

Q. What is a good way to build up your influence online? Why does this approach work so well?

Their best answers are below:

1. Paid Social Marketing

The only proven strategy for building influences is to create content that informs or entertains your audience. Content alone isn’t enough though. It also has to be promoted to the right audiences. Paid social marketing is a useful strategy for getting your content in front of the right people while you’re building a new audience and working to establish influence. – Chris Madden, Matchnode

2. Thought Leadership Content

You can stand out online and establish yourself as a thought leader by creating blogs and other content that expresses a unique viewpoint. People want to hear about the latest news in their industry and will follow a thought leader who keeps them up to date on the latest trends and developments. Build your reputation as a thought leader to garner influence online. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

3. Building a Great Product

If you want to build your influence online, a high-quality, well-thought-out product is the most critical factor. Great blog posts and social shares are great, but if your product stinks, there’s a good chance that you’ll see very little positive influence online. Build something that people love to talk about if you want to see your influence soar. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

4. Guest-Posting Opportunities

Guest-posting on popular websites is a great way to improve your influence online. As people become more familiar with your content through your work on other websites, you’ll see your traffic and engagement rise through backlinks and word-of-mouth traffic. The key is to pitch to publications that have the same target audience you hope to reach. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

5. Being Vulnerable and Relatable

Everybody’s looking perfect already. We stand out by showing the reality of life and letting people know that we are relatable, we are still human, and it’s OK to be imperfect and weak at times. We find comfort and strength from one another, knowing that life is more than aiming for perfection — it’s the connection and kind of influence we have with others that really matter. – Daisy Jing, Banish

6. Actively Networking

Your network is one of the most important assets that you can leverage to boost your influence online. Use LinkedIn and other platforms to actively reach out to other people and add them to your network. Send personalized messages and find mutual interests. When you reach out to more people and connect with them, they’ll be more receptive to communication from you, building your influence. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Valuable Social Content

Your social platforms are a lucrative avenue to spread brand awareness and build a loyal following. Customers today want authentic relationships with the brands they invest in. When they see businesses interacting with customers and being friendly, it encourages them to check them out and perhaps make a purchase. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. Higher-Quality Content

Improve the quality of your content. The words that you submit online run akin to your online reputation, so they better be accurate, factual and helpful. If you steer your audience in the wrong direction, even once, they’ll be unlikely to return. This approach works well because it involves direct interaction with your audience. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

9. Top-Notch Social Ads

Social media is all about spreading the word about your awesome brand. We use social media sites to touch on an extensive base of customers. It allows us to reach people who are exploring, deciding and buying things online. When the word about your brand is out, just let the quality of content speak for itself. – Solomon ThimothyOneIMS

10. Online Communities

Joining an online community of other entrepreneurs will help you build your professional and social skills. When first starting out, you need ways to network and make connections, which is why online communities are so valuable for business owners. – Jared Atchison, WPForms


11. Consistent Audience Engagement

If you want to have influence in the digital world you must make yourself noticed, and for that, you must be constantly generating content and actively interacting with your audience and followers. Invest in it and be authentic at the moment of showing yourself to the world: these will be keys to grow exponentially. – Kevin Leyes, Team Leyes

12. Strong Domain Authority and Keyword Ranking

When you create original content, people refer and link to you. Research reports, e-books and articles targeted towards the keywords you want to rank for generate the most valuable traffic: intent-driven. Check your domain authority and which keywords you can rank for. Then create content on them. The result is high Google rankings without an “Ad” next to the search result that users skip. – Joey Bertschler, bitgrit

13. Original, Data-Backed Insights

Start an industry and niche-specific blog sharing original thoughts and data to back it. Anyone can regurgitate best-practices. However, the content that gets appreciated and shared the most challenges the norm. People will gravitate towards you and your website when you have actual case studies and data supporting it. – Matt Diggity, Diggity Marketing

14. Authenticity

Even though so much of the business we do these days is online, customers still want their interactions to be honest and meaningful. The best way to achieve this is through authenticity. Being transparent in your posts, videos and interactions with your followers show them you are who you say you are. The more authentic you can be, the greater your influence will become. – Rana Gujral, Behavioral Signals

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

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