If you want to know how to share your message and make an impact, you’re in the right place. Four years ago, I had a message burning on my heart that I wanted to share. I had a vision of reaching young women online with the message that they were valued and had purpose. With no guidance and not a single clue what I was doing, I created an Instagram account (@sheislight) and began sharing consistent content every single day. I learned a lot about Instagram and quickly connected with a community of 40,000+ women from around the world. I created a website and email list, and committed to learning everything I could about online marketing. And now I want to help you.
I know that you’ve got a message burning on your heart that you want to share with the world, just like I did four years ago! But you’re here because you’ve got no idea how to share that message and grow your influence so you can make an impact. I’m spilling the beans on 5 keys to doing just this.
If you want to create a business or grow your influence, you need to have a message to share. This is the very first step. Without a refined message, you’re going to be shooting arrows randomly in the dark, hoping one will hit your target. A key message helps you get specific, and reach the right people.
A key message should reveal who you help and how you help them. For example, my key message is “Helping young women live with purpose.” Everything I do needs to fit within this message. When Whether I’m creating blog posts, Instagram posts, YouTube videos, emails or courses, I’m continually asking myself “Does this help young women live with purpose?” It’s within these boundaries that I create. If my content doesn’t speak to young women and point them toward purpose, then it needs to go. If it does, then it stays.
Often when we think of having one key message, we think this will restrict us. But a key message shouldn’t restrict you, it should provide clarity for what you do. Think of a key message like an umbrella, underneath this umbrella of “helping young women with purpose,” I have a range of topics I talk about. These include faith, relationships and calling. But these topics always align with my key message. So more broadly speaking, I help young women live with purpose when it comes to their faith, relationships and calling.
You can’t grow your influence without providing value. No one is going to listen to you if you never have anything to say. You need to start providing your best content for free – especially when you’re first starting out. Of course, you don’t need to give away every trick in your toolbox, but you do need to provide enough value so that people see you as someone who gives out killer advice or who creates amazing content or provides an invaluable service, so they keep coming back for more.
What does it look like to provide value? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to providing value. You need to take into account who your audience is and how they consume content, and what your product, service or content is. For example, if you’re a blogger who’s key message is to share fashion tips to help women feel confident in their appearance, you might share a weekly blog post and daily outfits on Instagram. If you’re a health blogger who shares simple recipes for busy mums, you might send out a weekly email with shopping lists and food preparation tips, and show up on Instagram Stories each day sharing your daily life. By sharing value with your audience, they will begin to know, trust and like you! This is essential to growing your biz, brand and influence.
If you’re going to provide value, then you’ve got to show up consistently, girl! I know you might be thinking “But I’m a busy mum and I’ve got to look after three kids under five.” Or “I’m a full-time college student with a crazy study load and extra activities on the side.” Or “I work around the clock at my full-time job, and by the time I get home, I’m too exhausted to do more work.” I hear you. But just because you’re sharing consistently, doesn’t mean you have to create consistently. You can (and should) prepare content in advance – whether that’s emails, Instagram posts, blog posts, videos or photos. You can practically schedule anything these days (yay!). Set aside specific time each month that you create content, and then schedule it for the following month. This will help you see the big picture for the month ahead, and give you time to breathe in between creating.
I can’t stress this point enough. If you want to grow your influence and make an impact online, you need to have an email list. Your email list is one of the only communication channels you actually own. Think about it this way: How would you communicate with your audience if Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and any other social media channel shut down tomorrow? You’d be in a lot of trouble – and the hard work you’d put in to growing your community (and providing value for them) would go to waste. If you haven’t got an email list, I want you to sign up to an email provider today. Commit to yourself, your business, and your community by making sure you can always show up via email. My favourite email provider is Convertkit. I’ve been using them for more than three years. It’s an amazing system that provides everything I need to tag (it automatically tags the topics people are interested in, by what they click on) and segment (it allows me to email only parts of my email list about a specific topic they might be interested in – without telling everyone). It’s a very handy system! You can check out Convertkit here. If you’re just getting started out, you might prefer to use a system like Mailchimp, which you can use for free (with limitations) up until 1,000 subscribers. The option is yours! Just promise me that you’ll start somewhere!
You can’t grow alone. The most effective, valuable and fun way to grow is to do it with others. I accidentally learned this very early on when I was starting my Instagram community, @sheislight in late 2015. I was excited to be creating content intentionally on Instagram, and started to reach out to other similar bloggers to say hi and get to know them. This led to collaborations, giveaways, support, growth, and friendship. If you’re starting out blogging about motherhood, connect with another lady who is starting out blogging about motherhood. Connecting doesn’t have to be weird. It’s simply getting to know someone else and seeing how you can provide them with support, and vice versa. Sure, some people might not be interested in getting to know you, but some will – and you might find you make an amazing friendship along the way. (I have found that time and time again!).