The word influencer gets thrown around a bunch these days, especially in the social media world. People want to be influencers because they see all the perks; free stuff, notoriety, money, and the ego boost. It’s important to be an influencer in the right way, otherwise, failure catches up to you, or the popularity of your subject matter shifts and you are no longer relevant. (One day there will be a game more popular than Fortnite.) Here are some ways to be a lasting influencer.
Being authentic means that your actions match your words. The “presenter” you are no different than the “regular” you when you are off the stage. This can be a challenge in today’s world of staged Instagram-worthy shots and online persona’s that we put out there. You should still change your presentation and communication style depending on your audience, just be sure to stay within the range that you are comfortable with. How you communicate is very important in communicating and influencing in an authentic way. I’m not going to wear a suit to speak to an outdoor adventure company, just the same as I wouldn’t wear shorts to meet a CEO. I can feel comfortable and match the environment in an authentic way. Similarly, choose your words wisely and match them to your audience while staying true to yourself.
Knowing that repetition is necessary but boring
Just as we talked about storytelling last week, you are going to need to communicate the same message over and over to influence others. The best YouTube channels are focused on one idea. (gaming, comedy, business, education, etc) You need to consistently and constantly retell the bigger story during times of change both in and out of the professional world. I’ll admit, it gets boring to tell the same story over and over and over again. Have the self-awareness to know that you’ll be ready to move on to another subject before your audience is. This will help you stay disciplined and focused on keeping that message playing on repeat until it’s time for a new song. How many times have you had to repeat yourself to a child or a new employee that was learning the job?
Be into other people’s stories more than you
We love ourselves. We are awesome after all. Use that knowledge to your advantage to spread your influence. People love to talk about themselves, and you can gain influence by simply listening. This has been a journey for me, but I now find a good bit of joy in learning others people’s stories and what motivates them. The result is that it makes me more likable on the front end and I didn’t have to do anything but be all in with the person in front of me.
Be a giver; help others grow their influence
Lastly, share your influence with others to help them grow their own network, influence, and career connections. Someone likely helped get you where you are in some form or fashion. They may not have put in the work, but they may have introduced you to the one that needed to see your work. Help others in the same way. This actually helps you too because it builds a large amount of personal equity in the relationship.
Be true to yourself, don’t give up on your message, love others’ stories more than your own and help them make connections. It’s a recipe for great influence.
Make a better tomorrow.