5 Tips to Gain More Influence
Are you trying to grow your income and end up frustrated more times than not? Have you ever asked yourself, “How can I grow my personal book of business” but come up short on the delivery? Or, are you frustrated that your personal message continues to go unnoticed? You may not like the answer to these frustrations simply due to the fact that results won’t appear overnight, but gaining influence is key to achieving your ultimate vision of success. Without it, we miss out on so much opportunity, relationships, and fantastic life encounters that, when added up, make for one full life.
Gaining influence and bringing more like-minded people into your fold requires a bit of strategy and going out of your comfort zone. Most would benefit to think of themselves as a business and spend time mapping out an outreach campaign to grow your influence that focuses on the low hanging fruit first. This article is to help you tackle that low-hanging fruit and get started on growing your influence.
Before we dive into it, just keep one simple fact in mind: business will not find you; you must go find the business through good old fashioned hard work.
Now that doesn’t mean you can’t be strategic about it. Here are 5 tips from one entrepreneur to another about marketing yourself to become a key influencer within your community.
Dedicate 15 minutes per day to focus strictly on your personal branding and outreach strategy. We must be conscious of the opportunities in front of us but most days are just too hectic for our brains to grasp just what they are. This dedicated 15 minutes per day with no other distractions will start to shed light on ways you can grow your influence through your personal network, associations, and affiliations.
The end goal for each of these planning sessions is to grow your influence, so approach it from this angle and be creative about how to use your current resources to bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be. Maybe that is more social media followers, more clients, more subscribers, more attendees at events, or just additional income . . . you must bump up your effort in strategizing your outreach efforts.
Take a spider web approach to your social media interactions, daily. Everyone you have online relationships with should have a clear idea of what it is you do so they reach out to you when they need your product or service. And what better person to do business with than a friend that you’ve already established trust with?!
Social media is not about pumping out endless content and increasing followers/likes . . . nor is it all about simply liking posts and tweets. It’s all about engagement with folks where they’re at, right then and there! Focus on generating enough regular posts/tweets to reinforce your value statement (what product or service you provide) and then make it a point to comment and engage with your network online. People will reciprocate your interest by returning the favor and showing interest in your content.
Designate 2-10 ambassadors as your ground team to market for you, depending on the current strength of your network. Word of mouth continues to be one of the strongest methods of growing your trusted network, but you must train these people you select as your ambassadors to represent you accurately (check out how MG creates this environment). In order for you to be referred, you must be referable. That means refining your elevator pitch or unique value proposition so that others can recommend you without any of the information getting lost or distorted. The more simple the pitch, the easier it is for others to refer you. Don’t forget to train them on who your ideal referral is as well. If they don’t know exactly who you’re looking for, you will waste a lot of time with people outside of your mission.
Final note about ambassadors – this is a two-way street so don’t expect to set up referral networks without giving anything back. In most cases, the activity you get out of this focused effort is in direct relation to how much work you put in.
Dedicate an hour per day to reading material related to your field(s) of interest. Knowledge is power and you must never take the stance that you know everything there is to know about everything or that you just don’t have enough time to read. That is plain baloney! You won’t ever know everything and you have the time; you just need to make it a priority. Prioritize being an expert in your field through constant education. This expertise will cause you to stand out among your peers and associates. And you don’t have to focus only on your profession . . . be bold and branch out to other hobbies and interests as well. That will add to your excitement and passion for life, which only helps in the long run (here’s other ways to invest in your happiness). This should be exciting.
There are tons of different ways to access information to help give you the edge you need to grow your influence. Personally, I love to read articles in the morning, books on my train commute to work, and magazines at night. Find your mix (time of day) and medium (tablet, newspaper, magazine, etc) and commit to growing your knowledge each day.
Organize your personal life so it doesn’t kill your progress toward your goals. This tip is aimed at those who consistently find that social, familial, or communal pressures throw you off your game and cause all of this effort to grow your influence to be worthless. Without getting too deep, when we are depressed, lack fulfillment from our commitments, or feel under-valued by others, we cannot be effective in creating a movement worth following (read about overcoming challenges here).
After all, to gain influence, people must get excited about what you’re endeavoring to accomplish. So make a game plan to organize the resources at your disposal to get ahead of these pressures and instead take a proactive approach toward self-actualization*.
Self actualization: the achievement of one’s full potential through creativity, independence, spontaneity, and a grasp of the real world. – Dictionary.com