Vine, a mobile application that features six-second videos on various forms of content has turned everyday people into well-known personalities.
Vine stars like KingBach, Simon Rex or Michael Persad have built strong personas among their peers by regularly posting humorous content. These entertainers were able to elevate themselves from regular members of the Vine community into pre-eminent personalities with huge followings. They've also become more relevant than their peers, have opened doors to new opportunities and have built competitive differentiators.
For entrepreneurs, experts, evangelists and professionals wanting to establish themselves as a leader in their industry, there's much to learn from these Vine celebrities. Here are three techniques professionals can use to become pre-emminent in their respective fields:
1. Become a visionary. Vine stars are masters at coming up with topics or characters that audiences follow religiously.
Simon Rex for example is looking to build his personal brand and launch a music career with an upcoming album. To keep a steady flow of fresh, entertaining content he invented multiple personas such as Twin Steven and Long Arm Rick that give him greater opportunities to get in front of his audience and promote his album.
For businesses, it's about finding a cause or topic that the market can rally behind.
In general, people follow leaders those who can offer them a better experience or life for them. As part of the strategy of pre-eminence, professionals need to provide a vision to the marketplace and lead them in the right direction.
For example, Garth Turner talks extensively about the state of real estate and makes recommendations on what people should do with their money. Because Mr. Turner has zeroed in on a theme that resonates with Canadians, he's attracted a great deal of attention which, in turn, he uses to sell books and sell out cross-country speaking tours.
As a business owner, find a theme or topic with which you can offer expertise and take a stand. Then take advantage of tools like blogs, social networking sites and speaking engagements to spread your message to the marketplace.
2. Become a columnist for a major publication. The aforementioned Vine stars mentioned increased their level of fame by attaching themselves to others who had greater fame than they did. For example, KingBach began creating Vine videos with Eric Dunn who has a very similar style to him but had a much greater following. This approach helped KingBach garner new attention and followers which raised his profile throughout the community. This approach helped them garner new attention and followers which raised their profile throughout the community.
For businesses, a great way to increase perceived influence in the marketplace is to focus on getting into a well-respected publication. By writing for respected news sources that are already influential, you'RE able to leverage that influence and greatly increase your credibility.
Writing for well-known publications also generally means you're not just some opinionated schmuck. Instead, you're someone with authority and influence; someone who can be trusted, otherwise known as a thought leader.
While you may not get into a top tier news source right away, start writing for more local news sources and build gradually as you find your groove and grow a following.
3. Dream 50. The Vine stars, didn't shoot to a million followers overnight. In other words, success came slowly. They started small and focused on building their reputation one video at a time. Brittany Furlan for example didn't become an overnight sensation after creating a few videos as many of her peers did. Instead, she needed to work harder and be more creative by developing hundreds of fresh, entertaining videos that helped build her following to what it is today. For business owners, taking baby steps is a great way to get the ball rolling.
The Dream 50 is a plan that my mentor and I created, which asks that businesses select 50 prospects that they would like to do business with. After that, they would communicate with these prospects on regular basis. The goal of this activity should be to educate the Dream 50 by providing them with valuable articles, statistics and related information that will help them make a decision in favour of what you are selling.
For example, if you sold custom software development services, you could educate your Dream 50 on the benefits of Agile development as opposed to Waterfall development. You could provide case studies highlighting successful software projects you undertook or even provide news articles on software projects gone wrong and how your approach will prevent such mistakes from happening.
The 50 companies on your list will soon learn your name, your level of expertise and how you can help them. You will build pre-eminence over time and will surely help your business in the end.
The strategy of pre-eminence is a powerful approach to building your reputation and increasing your credibility, but it takes a significant investment of time with little to no payback early on. But like the Vine superstars who started making videos just to entertain, your main goal with the strategy of pre-eminence should be simply to educate while expecting little in return from your marketplace.
Educate the market and eventually will reap the benefits of your hard work and time investment.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Ryan Caligiuri is the founder of Ryan Caligiuri International, a growth consultancy focused on developing programs that generate credibility, competitive advantages, leads/demand and new revenue streams for small- to medium-sized enterprises. Mr. Caligiuri is also the founder of The Growth Network a mentoring program that teaches entrepreneurs and marketers best practices, frameworks and strategies to become business growth generators.
Engage with Mr. Caligiuri on Twitter.
Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT