thought leaders

4 Lessons From Social Media Thought Leaders to Help You Connect With Your Customers

The impact, success and revenue generated by leading social media influencers is astounding. The good news for aspiring entrepreneurs is, many of the skills and practices that successfully attract followers (who, ideally, become paying customers) are transferable and can be applied to your business.

Thought leadership is a multi-billion dollar industry. And in one way or another, every startup begins with a leader who has an idea, or in keeping with our premise, “a thought,” that led them to start their business venture. So in essence, every entrepreneur has the ability to become a “thought leader” in his or her own right.

The role of thought leadership can be applied to your business to speak to mindset, marketing and strategy as you build rapport with your ideal customer.

Here are four lessons learned from popular thought leaders that will help you to better communicate with your target customer in order to build your creditability and grow your business.

Take massive action

Tony Robbins, one of the pioneers of personal and business development, believes that the key to success is to get in motion and stay in motion. Or as he puts it, “Instead of taking action, you need to take massive action.”

Many thought leaders and coaches espouse some variation of Robbins’ rule.

Take for example, Mel Robbins’ (no relation to Tony) TEDx Talk, in which she introduced “The Five Second Rule,” which catapulted her career and stature as a thought leader.

The idea for the rule came to her from watching a rocket ship take off on television late one night. In her Talk, she shares how to count down and launch into action anytime you are facing fear or feeling stuck.


Make a move!

Simply put, do something and keep doing it until you get your desired results.

#StartUpHack: An action-driven mindset will help to counter paralyzing fear and stagnation brought on by overthinking every detail. Applied to your business, it will allow you to be both fluid and decisive.

Related: 8 Business Titans Reveal the Best Social Media Tactics to Promote Your Company

Don’t speak to everyone, speak to one specific person

What Tony Robbins did with television and the infomercial in the early days of personal development, Brendon Burchard has perfected with social media content and marketing.

Brendon has mastered the ability to make his followers feel as if their brilliant quirky cousin is helping them with their homework in an easy and relatable way. With over 5 million followers on Facebook alone, Brendon still manages to convey his message as if it was created specifically for one person.

The lesson here is to figure out what your customer needs, and convey to him or her why they need to get it from you.

The more detailed your customer persona, the better you are able to zero in on their “pain points” and speak to them in a manner that creates trust and rapport.

Of course, as with any relationship, you will be able to maintain and deepen the relationship by demonstrating commitment and providing value. Brendon’s unique twist on the old adage, “under-promise and over-deliver” is to bring you into his orbit with a free offer and then deliver added value, consistent communication, and free content.

By the time he puts forth an offer, it feels like a natural progression to enroll in a course or purchase a product from a trusted mentor. There’s plenty to learn from this method!

#StartUpHack: There are numerous ways to position yourself and your company as the go-to expert in your field. Perhaps it’s through a weekly blog or newsletter to your target customer. If you are a brick-and-mortar business, it could be monthly workshops or meet and greets that build trust a rapport with your ideal client. Either way, make sure your communications are targeted.

Know your target audience

Gary Vee (Vaynerchuck), fresh out of college in his early 20s, was an early adopter of email and online marketing, growing his father’s single brick-and-mortar store from $3 million to $60 million annually. Gary expanded the store he renamed to The Wine Library into a global business through email marketing, and, according to Gary, buying every wine-related word that he could when Google AdWords was in its infancy and the cost was very affordable.

Gary also launched a daily show on YouTube in 2006, barely a year after the platform launched, called Wine Library TV. After leaving the family business, he launched VaynerMedia, a juggernaut social media-focused digital agency serving Fortune 500 companies.

Vaynerchuk’s philosophy is, “Spot the next big shift and get there first.”

His constant interaction with his fans and followers is like a 24/7 focus group. He is passionate about figuring out what his target consumer is thinking and “where their attention is.”

#StartUpHack: According to Gary Vee, the best market research is going online and reading the comments of those who align with your startup’s target customer. Understanding where they are spending their time and the focus of the conversation will teach you what is important to your ideal client and how to “speak their language.”

Stand on your story, not in your story

Lisa Nichols has made her mark as a motivational speaker, coach and founder of Motivating the Masses, one of the top training and development companies in the world. Lisa is passionate about teaching her tribe how to utilize their challenges as a platform to stand and speak from, rather than an abyss to sink into.

Mindset makes all the difference.

Much like Tony Robbins, Lisa started out as a speaker. Her business has since expanded and she’s added best-selling author, corporate trainer and consultant, YouTube channel host and noted media personality to her resume.

However, it took her facing less than $12 dollars in her bank account and overcoming being a single mom with barely enough money to buy diapers for her baby son, to finding the “power of her voice” and allowed her to touch millions around the world with her inspirational words.

As entrepreneurs, we all have, or will face setbacks and disappointments.

For many of us, failure or betrayal is what drove us to start our own companies. Lisa has mastered the art of “turning your mess into your message.” Her dynamic speaking ability takes her audience on a thrilling roller coaster ride as she effortlessly moves from in your face coach challenging you, to your “sister in possibility” lovingly encouraging you to step into your greatness.

#StartUpHack: Take Nichols’ advice, and tell a story that is so compelling, your customers instantly fall in love with your product, your ideas, and your services.

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Do the research

Interestingly enough, my own brand and business evolved into becoming an online trainer and content creator without me even knowing I was doing so. After self-publishing my first book and the enthusiastic response that I received at my book signings, I decided to start posting videos.

When I realized that my videos had garnered over 100K views on Facebook, I realized that it was time to monetize. I also realized that I didn’t know what I didn’t know, so I set about studying the top players in the game, and the gurus who kept coming up in my Facebook feed.

#StartUpHack: Pick three to five online marketers from various industries and “opt-in” for their free offer. Pay attention to the language and the pacing of the emails you receive, keeping in mind what might resonate with your customers if you were to decide to communicate with your target audience in a similar way.

Stay connected

Digital marketing and social media engagement is rapidly becoming the way of the world. Even if you are committed to more conventional marketing, it makes sense to draw from the success of a billion-dollar (and growing) industry to find innovative and proven methods to provide value and engage more deeply with your customer.

Go forth and get your message out there and create your success!

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