The first tip in this series urged leadership bloggers to decide who they were writing for and to focus on this audience.
Subsequent tips have looked at how you do this with your writing and how you handle subsequent interaction. But there’s also the mechanics of getting those all-important eyeballs on your work.
Remember, though there’s a fair bit of new stuff in here, the aim is to reduce your overall workload and increase your influence. The pain of the learning curve (and there’s not much rocket-science here) has to be worth it in the end.
Here are a few options – all tips that are ultimately labour-saving ones (even if they don’t feel like it now). In some cases, if you suspect that the idea isn’t a good fit with your personal style, discard it.
- There are lots of ways of using Twitter, Facebook (profile and pages), LinkedIn (and LinkedIn Groups) to market your work. There are ways of automating links to posts, but remember that it’s easy to spot non-human behaviour here. If you use these services, be genuinely interactive.
- Do anything you can (without losing your dignity) to get other sites to link to your posts. This helps build search engine traffic. Linking to other sites from your posts helps as well (what goes around comes around)
- Use your site to get people to register – for emails, RSS feeds and other social media channels. Building ‘return visitors’ is important
- Put your blog URL in the signature of your email – if people are emailing you, it will probably help them (and you) if they know the general tenor of your thinking
- Put your blog address on your business card as well (same logic)
- Perhaps the firmest recommendation here (and a tactic that that’s generally under-used): If you blog on a particular subject, it may be worth inviting people who are interested in it to join a LinkedIn group on the subject. Autoposting your blog to this group provides a good way of building a conversation in a place that people visit more regularly than your own blog. If you’re doing this, use as much influence as you can (including links on your blog) to get people to join that group. LinkedIn’s powers are now beginning to be noticed…
Putting your views in a public blog – instead of discreet lobbying by letter / e-mail / face-to-face – can often carry more force. When you write publically, you’re almost obliged to align yourself with the general public interest. It’s consistent and transparent. It has integrity. This will say a lot about you.
And if doing the right thing isn’t a strong enough argument, bear in mind that your rivals will be moving in this direction even if you aren’t…..
The general advice I’d offer here is that blogging is about feeding the peripheral vision of the people who matter to you. It’s not about spamming people or over-promoting. It’s probably too much to expect everyone you want to influence to be reading every post you write anyway.
But you can let more of them know that you’re posting regularly – and what subject matter you’re interested in has a value in itself. It reminds them that – when the do need to know what your line is – they can find your thoughts easily. As long as the key colleagues / journalists/bloggers/industry analysts are following you, that’s all you need.
If your organisation has any kind of advocacy role – an interest in public policy – then sometimes, your staff can even email a link to key people when you say something that may be of interest to them. And a few friendly mavens and connectors can go a long way – remember this graphic from a few days ago?
Web-stats are useful here. You can track visitor numbers and how often people open your articles. It’s worth getting help from colleagues on this – and ask for regular advice on tactics to drive these number sup. But remember, numbers aren’t everything. If people read your posts on Facebook or LinkedIn, it often won’t even appear in your web-stats – but you’re still in their peripheral vision.