| Jan 4, 2023

How to Explode Your Reach for Outstanding Influence and Results

Marketer Becky Robinson’s new book offers four commitments to create lasting impact. One of these — generosity — is an unexpected differentiator.

In November 2022, Jimmy Donaldson (aka Mr Beast) surpassed Felix Kjellberg (aka PewDiePie) to become the most-followed individual on Youtube with 112 million subscribers. The achievement highlights the new reality that people and companies alike can build incredible audiences, but also that influencers and companies who work together can see their reach expand much more rapidly than if they worked alone.

But nobody starts out with 112 million subscribers. We interviewed Becky Robinson, founder and CEO of digital marketing agency Weaving Influence, to discuss her new book, “Reach,” and she noted that it’s not enough just to look at how many people see your content.

“Most people wanting to increase their reach overemphasize the size of the audience, which can be frustrating and discouraging,” she says. “People also want to be viral, but they don’t realize that one viral video can easily be watched and then forgotten.”

So what are the successful companies and brands doing to get to a megastar follower count and build influence that can be replicated? “By highlighting impact, I hoped to get readers thinking about what really matters and how to create repeatable actions that will, over time, bring both the outcome of a larger audience and lasting impact,” Robinson says. In “Reach,” she presents a four-part framework any individual or business can lean on. 

The Four Commitments

Robinson advises that companies and individuals who want to get their message to as many people as possible for the long haul follow these four key commitments:

  • Value: What makes your message memorable? What need is it going to meet, and why should you communicate the message now?
  • Consistency: People become willing to trust you when you produce messages on a reliable schedule and those messages have a predictable tone, look, or flow. Consistency is determined by procedures and setups that are sustainable for you, rather than for other people or businesses.
  • Longevity: Successful influencers or market leaders aren’t out for quick wins. They trust that they’ll get to the top of the mountain if they keep putting one foot in front of the other and climb a little every day.
  • Generosity: Those who achieve massive reach are so driven by their passion that they give away services or other assets for free. They share for the sake of sharing with an abundance mentality, and they are just as willing to receive assistance as they are to give it.

Warren Buffet famously proves a longevity mindset can work. He has served as the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway for half a century and is quoted as saying: “If you aren’t willing to own a stock for 10 years, don’t even think about owning it for 10 minutes.” Because a long-term way of thinking and interacting has earned him a net worth of $106 billion, millions of people see him as an investing guru. 

There are other examples of Robinson’s framework playing out in the real world: The World Economic Forum acknowledges how sharing code has become a competitive advantage in the software world. Robinson writes that Karin Hurt, CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, has been blogging multiple times a week since 2012 and attributes 80% of her business to consistent content marketing.

It’s Never Too Early

Robinson says it is possible to let generosity become a differentiator. By asking how you can give valuable ideas and expertise to others before they’re customers, you can address potential objections or fears proactively. Simple ways to do this include publishing shareable articles on your website, serving as a guest speaker, or hosting webinars or other events where people can ask questions and get free materials. 

But organizations have to ensure that there is always someone to handle this communication and distribution of value. Businesses need to look for and identify thought leaders they can mobilize to be advocates. The goal of expanding awareness should be infused into everything the company does so that anyone can pick up the torch for multigenerational staying power.

“There could be this expectation setting that this is how we do business,” Robinson says. “We create content that’s of value to the world as a means of drawing interested customers to us. [Give budget, time, and money] to allowing those people to also invest in building their own thought leadership so that, whether they represent my company or not, that’s going to be a value to them. [We’re] looking for, okay, who’s going to be the next voice.”


Navigating Personnel

Part of getting the consistency necessary for great reach starts with hiring. Proper vetting ensures that employees are aligned with an organization’s values and culture. Once candidates are hired, there’s room to connect the vision of the company to potential career growth

Many businesses don’t know how to articulate what being a thought leader means or what the benefits might be, which reveals a need to increase internal education around strategic planning. But Robinson recommends being upfront about what team members might gain from becoming thought leaders and collaborating to form a plan for how they can move forward in those types of roles. 

When a group faces a potentially dicey situation such as a merger or acquisition, open communication about the need to serve customers or clients becomes even more critical. It’s also important to be patient. To avoid squashing and discouraging others, Robinson says give people time and space to share their ideas, be open, and listen. Making requests, such as suggesting that the team revisit an idea in a few months, is often helpful.

Keeping Control of Your Message

Social media has become a crucial tool in connecting as an individual or brand. But as the instability around Twitter shows, different platforms are fickle. For this reason, Robinson advises leaders to invest first in a killer website they can direct. Social media can bring people to that website, but the website can be constant no matter what happens to other platforms. 

“It’s the difference between [talking] with someone at a coffee shop and inviting them to your home,” Robinson explains. “You want to provide enough value and be compelling enough [on social media] that people are interested to go back to your website for dinner.”

She suggests that as you try to entice people to visit your home base, direct your marketing budget to whatever platforms your customers go to and respond best on, proven by metrics. With enjoyment and authenticity connected to sustainability, work on platforms that feel good to you or your organization, too.

For the Best Reach, Close Your Online-Offline Gap

Most individuals and agencies that want a big reach want to do some good in the world. To that end, Robinson’s final advice stresses the need to work both offline and online, and to close the gap between how your story comes across in those arenas. There’s nothing wrong with adjusting your boundaries based on the platform you are using, but being comfortable wherever you are allows you to resonate better. 

“When you can tell the same story in online spaces as the one that you’re living in real life, that’s what’s going to open up the biggest possibility for lasting impact and larger audience.”

Wanda Thibodeaux
Wanda Thibodeaux

Opinion Contributor, Strixus

Wanda Marie Thibodeaux is a freelance writer, editor, and podcast host based in Eagan, MN. view profile


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