I was able to generate over 20 million views, sign up 25k+ people to my email list, was at one time the fastest growing writer on Quora, and had the most upvoted Quora answer. And I am here to show you how you can do the same.
When you market yourself – and/or your business – online you get to know the ins and the outs of different social media sites very quickly. You can tweet in your sleep and at this point, your Facebook page basically runs itself. And Instagram? You’re giving the Kardashians a run for their money.
But then new sites get thrown into the mix and you have to rethink your social media and lead generation strategy to consider incorporating them. I’ve played around with more social media sites than I can count at this point, all the way back to MySpace, and I’ve dismissed more than a few as a waste of time, at least where marketing and lead generation for my business is concerned. But every now and then I’ll go back, re-evaluate, and find that I was mistaken.
That’s what happened in the case of Quora.
Now, I have to preface this post with a bit of a disclaimer. Deepak Shukla used to be a bit of a Quora superstar. Actually, quite a lot of a Quora superstar. But, there’s a big BUT. Deepak Shukla is no longer on Quora. Well, Deepak Shukla‘s profile IS still on Quora, but Deepak Shukla‘s profile is banned. All my profile links are gone, but my answers are still there. Go ahead, look me up, you’ll find them. I even tried to get back on again using an old business profile. That failed, that got banned too.
Technically, I’m a huge Quora failure. So why the heck am I writing this book, and why should you listen to a word I have to say?
Well, people make mistakes. And people learn from them, and other people can learn from those mistakes too. While I may no longer be welcome on Quora (and I’m going to explain all about that in due course) many of my clients are, referred there by me. They’ve taken the advice I’ve been able to give them and become successful there themselves. They are landing big contracts, big sales and getting great leads from the site while also setting themselves up as authorities in their field. I do have lots of great advice to share. Including HOW NOT TO GET BANNED (like I did).
But, as Quora, despite being eight years old, and as of September 2018 being able to boast over 300 million active worldwide users, is still not that well-known, let’s start at the very beginning and take a look at exactly what it is in the first place.
What Is Quora?
Quora was founded in 2010 by Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever, both former Facebook employees. Although it has (obviously) evolved a lot over the last eight years (Cheever no longer works there, for example, he’s off starting a new business, although he retains an advisory role) at its core Quora is a site that allows its users to ask and answer questions. Simple right?
These questions can range from the hypothetical – and sometimes those are really weird – the business related, lifestyle-related and there are lots of opinion requests. It’s a lot like Reddit in the sense that you’ve got an upvoting system and the higher ranked your answer, the more people will see it. And chances are there is a subset of your audience that you never imagined that is hanging out on Quora.
There are some pretty famous folks answering questions on Quora too. Want to know what it’s like to win the Wimbledon tennis tournament? You can read answers authored by Pat Cash, the 1987 champion (you might remember him, he had a cool headband and jumped into the stands after he won)
(His profile is really good by the way, so remember what it looks like for later)
You’ll also find this bloke called Jimmy Wales answering a lot of questions. You know? The Wikipedia guy. Back when he was still POTUS, Barack Obama had a verified, and very active, profile too (you can still read it, it’s archived but there’s tons of great stuff there) And those are just a few of the ‘celebs’ you’ll find answering all kinds of questions on Quora. Then there are these creatures called Quora superstars. I used to be one of those. I’ll explain more about them in a while.
Getting Started On Quora
So, how do you get started? You create a basic Quora profile. But you do so carefully.
Use Your Real Name
You can’t use pseudonyms or aliases on Quora, you have to be yourself. And that’s a must for marketing anyway. I could have got right back onto Quora after being banned simply by using a fake name and a fake picture. But what the heck would have been the point of that? No one would have known it was me, and if they did, the profile would have been banned again. So other than stroking my ego because I did answer questions well, there’s no point in trying. So now I just help others. But, I digress, the point is you have to be your GENUINE SELF if you want Quora to work as a lead generation platform for you.
Use A Picture
Not every Quora user chooses to use a picture. Some use an avatar, some keep the grey face icon. I have no idea why they do that though, as if you are going to use Quora to market yourself people need to see who you are. So choose a good one and then get it up there right away.
Use Links In Your Description
This isn’t just for SEO purposes and helping you pop up on a Quora search, but also as a way to drive more clicks to whatever you want clicks driven to. You don’t want to – and should not – have a description full of links, but you want to make sure you put important links in your profile such as the homepage of your website, your other social accounts, or link to a page where people can contact you to learn more or potentially to hire you.
Create Multiple Bios
Quora will show your bio next to each question that you answer, so it’s important that your bios are optimized as much as possible. Although this won’t work for everyone some individuals have found success by creating multiple bios – me included – so that the bio that is more relevant to the question will pop up when you answer.
For example, if you plan on answering questions about SEO as well as design, you may want to create one bio for SEO and one for design so that you’re putting your best foot forward in the small amount of space you have to showcase your bio. This of course also means extra work when answering questions, so make sure you’re up for the task before you go creating more than one account.
Make the Most of Your 50-Character Headline
Keep in mind that Quora only shows the first 50 characters of your tagline alongside each question you answer, so you want to make sure that you’re mentioning the information you consider most important first – like a link to your website.
Choose Your Interests
Before your profile can go live Quora will prompt you to choose at least three interests. You can add more than this later, and they can always be changed. But, for now, choose three topics you actually know stuff about, because you’ll be answering questions on them soon enough.
Link Your Profile to Your Other Social Accounts
While Quora itself isn’t a social media platform it does make it easy to put links to your other social accounts on your Quora account. All you have to do is visit Settings on Quora and you can connect Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even a WordPress blog. You can share your answers on those sites once everything’s linked up if you want to, and doing so (sparingly) can be a great idea.
Your profile will change, over time, as you start to answer more questions. Once you’ve got a few under your belt, your profile will look a little something like this:
See how in a feed you can see my individual bios? If someone clicks on my profile they get lots of info about who I am and what I do that is not visible (without a click on see more) in that top box.
Quora encourages showing your personal brand as that is how you can blend into the Quora community, become a viewed writer, get referral traffic and generally use Quora as a lead generation tool.
Once you click any of the questions you’ve already answered or a new question that you intend to answer, the anatomy of a Quora post looks a little something like this: