I won’t say I’m someone who has a considerable influence in his market.
But I can 100% say that I influence 100 or so people.
And that’s something.
To be honest, I’m on the road to influencing 1000, 10.000, and even more early to mid-stage SaaS founders.
But today I won’t speak only from my personal experience.
I’ll speak about the learnings I got by interviewing people who influence hundreds of thousands of people.
So before I tell you how to build influence in your market, let’s first speak briefly about WHY you should focus on that.
Why do influence and thought leadership matter?
Today is easier to start a business than ever before.
Each week, not each day, you’re getting a new direct or indirect competitor.
It’s harder than ever before for people to choose the right vendor to work with.
There are thousands of CRMs.
Thousands of email marketing tools.
Thousands of lead databases.
So let me ask you a simple question:
How many of them do you know?
How many email marketing tools do you know from the first thought?
I don’t know for you, but I can barely mention five of them without thinking.
And guess what?
You would probably mention the same 5 I would mention as well.
Mailchimp, Klaviyo, ConvertKit, GetResponse, ActiveCampaign
And, why do you think that happens?
Because we as human beings are bombarded with millions of information each day.
So we can remember only a handful of them.
And the information we remember is usually information from people or companies with influence.
Inside our mental availability, there’s space for only 2-5 companies at most.
Around 3% of your market is ready to buy solutions like yours right now.
But what about the other 97%?
How do we make sure that, once they’re ready to buy, they’ll go, or at least consider going with us?
The answer is:
By positioning ourselves inside their mental availability.
That’s why building influence inside your market matters.
Now let’s talk about the actionable ways how to make an influence.
1. Find your enemies
To make someone engage with your content they need to identify themselves inside it.
That’s why I’m advising everyone I’m working with to identify their enemies.
By saying enemies, I don’t mean on your competition.
I mean things people are not aware of, outdated processes they’re using, etc.
When it comes to Contenthorse and me, our biggest enemy is a content marketing strategy optimized for traffic but not for conversions.
In other words, we fight against content that doesn’t bring real customers to SaaS companies.
We believe that the primary purpose of content marketing is to bring you more revenue.
And we fight against strategies that don’t make that goal happen.
So find your enemies. It will help your audience better identify themselves with your content.
2. Find your personality-content fit
There are different personality-content fits to choose from. Here are the two most common ones:
- Adventurer - you lead conversations from your own perspective. You’re the hero of your journey, and you’re sharing your own experiences, stories, learnings, and unique insights. It’s almost everything about your opinions and thoughts.
- Journalist - you seek out knowledge inside the world and share it with your audience.
3. Identify your storyline
We have our enemies, and we now have a personality-content fit.
Here are four specific storylines you can use in your storytelling.
- Loss and redemption - loss and redemption stories show the upside of going through difficult times and challenges. You start by telling some level of success you had accomplished, but you’ve lost it all because of some trial.
- Us versus them: This is a great way to engage with a particular group of people. “Us” in your audience are the people who do things you’re selling, making them successful, while “them” are those who don’t comply with what you need them to do. This storyline will draw your raving fans even closer to you.
- Before and after: These are stories of transformation, and they work great in almost every market. Fitness is the first example. But it can be applied to SaaS as well.
- Secret telling: What secrets do you know that your potential customers don’t? What are those unique nuggets known only to you? What makes your customers successful?
Now let’s move to the final part:
4. Share your story with the world
I know, most obvious one and yet very difficult.
The idea is to go out and produce content in places where your dream customers are hanging out.
Here’s how to find those places:
- Interview your customers - I explained a detailed process for this in episode #9 - How to find content-market fit
- Follow the thought leaders in your field and engage with them
- Speak on relevant podcasts and other speaking gigs. In the beginning, don’t ask for audience size. Don’t refuse any opportunity. Go on all of them.
How to exactly nail different content channels is a too broad a topic to talk about today, but let me say this:
If you’re pitching yourself to speak on other podcasts, go with a 2-3 sentence copy - shortly explaining why you’re an excellent fit for the hosts’ audience.
If you want to write a guest contribution to a leading industry blog, do the same.
These are the four steps towards building your influence inside your category.
Let me know your thoughts, and as always, if there’s anything I can do to help, I’m always one message away.