You’re tricked into thinking you want more sales, more leads and more customers.

But, you don’t want more sales — you want more profit. You don’t want more leads — you want more calls. You don’t want more customers — you want more people to buy your stuff, come back again and again, and talk about how amazing you are with their friends.

This is how to become an influencer in your industry.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

With this outlook, it isn’t about the simple want of more, but rather your desire to have a greater impact (on their lives and yours). But, this doesn’t just happen. As human beings, we need intimacy and connection. We need to believe what we’re buying (and who we’re buying it from) is the real deal.

Yet, if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you dedicate most of your time and money toward getting more leads and sales, using the standard online marketing tricks to do so.

But, what if you didn’t? What if instead of spending so much money on lead generation, you spent it on getting in front of your audience more often? Not with the same ad or video, but with different pieces of content each time that ensure you remain top of mind, all the time.

While your competitors are busy putting people into one funnel after another, you can prove you are the most relevant person in your industry. You can seem to appear everywhere in their lives: their Facebook feed, inbox, YouTube, large publications, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

The best part is, this approach will save you money because you no longer focus on lead generation or webinar registrations, but instead on becoming “top of mind” (which is much cheaper).

So, if you want to know how to become an influencer and your industry’s “go-to” expert, this is how.

1. Value customers as human, not leads.

Your first step to becoming an omnipresent and relevant force is to treat your audience as human beings, not as leads. Your competitors have set the bar so low. You know this already, because every time you log into Facebook you’re bombarded with the same lead-gen driven messages.

There’s so much content these days that everyone panics. Your competitors worry about not getting leads and sales, and forget about why they want these leads and sales in the first place.

Related: 4 Ways to Market Your Business for Free

Not you; not if you want to know how to become an influencer in your industry. For this, you need to prove you are relevant — and this begins with building a meaningful connection with your audience. If every post, email and message you publish is about your products and services, you are not treating customers as humans. Share your story and life with them, ask them questions and invite them to share their own thoughts and feedback. Conversations are not a one-way street, so start speaking with your audience, not at them.

Once you have, you’re ready to take them down the rabbit hole.

2. Be relevant at the right time.

Here’s an idea — instead of manipulating your audience and using scarcity tactics, how about you hit them with the right message at the right time (and in the right place)? 

I’ve been guilty of this in the past. I’ve used every marketing tactic we’re told to use. And although they do work, they do not create the long term success you crave.

And let’s face it, people are onto us. They know there aren’t 100 seats in your webinar. They know you will take their money, even if the 24-hour deadline passes. They’re not idiots, and you need to stop treating them like they are.

Relevance begins with trust. Engage your audience, and spark conversations. Listen to what they say, and take note of when they are saying it. For instance, before I create any sort of guide, product or service, I ask my audience if they want it (and invite them to get early access). 

If engagement is high, I create it. If not, I create new content until I find the most relevant “thing” that will help them right now. With this approach, you won’t have to stoop to scarcity tactics ever again, which is when you’re ready for the next step.

Related: Use These 5 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan

3. Illuminate their pain.

Although you don’t need to use scarcity tactics, you do need to illuminate your audience’s pain, and explain why they feel it.

Unlike your competitors, you don’t have to manipulate them or build on their fear. You simply say they hurt, and that there’s an alternative. I often do this by writing a Facebook post that highlights some of the common issues and pains they may be feeling, and what I’ve personally done to change this. You don’t need to ram it down their throat. Be relevant and speak to them (not at them). They are not idiots, and if they are the right person for what you’re building, they will relate to what you’re saying.

Trust builds. Relevance explodes. And all the while, you remain a constant force in their lives who continues to give, give, give. You are now top of mind, which allows you to complete the final step.

Related: 10 Marketing Influencers That Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From

4. Show them you can help.

The final piece of the puzzle is to show your audience how you can help. You still need to sell. You still need to tell your audience when to buy. You still need to push your products and services, and you still need to place your audience into certain funnels. The difference now is, it’s easier to complete the process — in fact, you will often find they come direct to you and ask, “I’m ready … what’s the next step?”

This happens to me all the time. I publish a short post hinting at the offer when a product is almost live, and soon have people message me to ask how they can buy. They are ready to pull the trigger, and just need me to say how.

For most entrepreneurs, this is the hardest part of the process, but with this approach it becomes the easiest.

This is not rocket science. You don’t have to be a genius to do this. But, most people don’t (and most people won’t) because it doesn’t bring overnight success. But, overnight success does not exist!

So, stop begging for leads and treating your audience as idiots. Instead, treat them as human beings and provide a lot of value (often). Continue to show up with relevance every day, and give them the right message at the right time. Build trust and illuminate their pain, not with scarcity or fear, but with a solution to their problem. Finally, show them how you can help — they will do the rest.

This is how you become a big fish in a small pond, and this is how you become an omnipresent and relevant force that sets you apart from everyone else. With this approach, you become top of mind.

Related Video: Why Boosting Your Facebook Posts Is Just Throwing Money Down the Drain

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