As you work to grow your business, one of the ways you can gain a little more visibility and is to build your personal brand and become more influential online.

With the Internet becoming such an important part of our culture and society, as well as business, it’s vital that you build your influence online if you can.

Start with Your Network

One of the best things you can do to be more influential online is to build your network. Your relationships can be a big help to you moving forward. Identify people in your sphere who might help you reach new audiences. You do need to have something to offer in return, however. Pay attention to how you can build relationships that are mutually beneficial in some way.

Don’t forget that networking also extends to the world offline. Even as you work to build your online influence, you also need to pay attention to your offline network. You might be surprised at how the relationships you build offline can help you increase your influence in cyberspace.

Offer Something Useful

If you want to be more influential online, you need to offer something useful. You need to know what you offer and why, be willing to share helpful knowledge. Your tweets, Facebook posts, and other online interactions should be mostly useful.

The other day, I was the presenter at a networking event in my local area. After my presentation, someone approached me and asked how to use Twitter. “It doesn’t seem like it would be very useful for me to use Twitter,” he said. “It doesn’t seem practical for me to save something like a search and the try to go back to it.”

I told him that when he’s using Twitter as a personal branding technique, it’s not about how useful the network is to him. It’s about how useful he can be to the people following him. If you want to build influence online, you need to offer something that others can use and apply in their own lives.

Be Consistent and Authentic

Finally, make sure that you are consistent and authentic. All your influence online doesn’t count for much if you lose it because you are uncovered as a fraud. Pay attention to the way you present yourself online and offline. Are you consistent in who you are and what you offer? Are you authentic?

It’s important to be authentic in your online interactions. Remember that you are likely to meet some of your network in person, and you want to make sure that who you are online meshes well with who you really are. While you don’t want to get out there and be inappropriate, the reality is that you do need to make sure that you are being genuine to a certain degree.

Stop and think about how much of yourself you want to show, what makes sense for the situation, and then be consistent and authentic in your interactions. This will help you be more influential online, as well as build influence offline.

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I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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