I was recently contacted by a prominent Asian training company and asked if I would like to deliver enlightened business training to thousands of entrepreneurs. Of course I said YES and as the details unfold, it’s becoming more and more apparent just how big and rich this opportunity really is and of course I’m honored to be part of it. I knew they weren’t intimately familiar with my work and when I asked how they found me, they said it was because of others who spoke highly of me and it caused them to pay attention. Having someone say “your reputation precedes you” is usually a clue that you are about to reap the rewards of being an influencer in your market. This applies to attracting clients, investors, contracts, speaking engagements, requests for media and many other welcomed opportunities.
Relax. You don’t have to win a Nobel or Pulitzer Prize or solve the world’s water problems to be thought of as an influencer. It means you’re considered either a go-to person, an expert, a connector, a trusted source, a person of integrity, a celebrity in your market or all of the above.
The sooner you plant the seeds of influence, the sooner you’ll be able to reap the rewards on an ongoing basis. Here are just a few “influencer” strategies you can use in YOUR business…
1. Influence by being an expert—share what you know with others.
Consistently share some helpful knowledge about things you know via social media, a newsletter, email, speaking, video, books, audio programs or whatever platform is most natural for you. You don’t have to know it all to do this either. There many who just won’t know what you know and who will appreciate and learn from you. One of the first things I do with my clients is to actually produce an audio product and move that into book format to position them as a powerful expert. Also, don’t forget to incorporate your past experiences into what you’re currently doing. I started my career as a pharmacist and ultimately wound up negotiating multi-million dollar homecare contracts with insurance companies as well as co-authoring patient care legislation in Arizona. I do my best to incorporate my experiences from 20 years ago into my current relevance.
2. Influence by being memorable—Let people get to know you.
I find the people who are most REAL, authentic, and colorful are the ones who create connection quickly and are remembered. Bottom line, don’t forget to share YOU and your wonderful spirit in your dealings with customers and prospects.
3. Influence by being a connector and building community.
Having the ability to connect people who should meet is just as valuable as having an expertise to share. If you love people, have an outgoing personality, and are a good networker, consider starting some type networking, Mastermind or Meetup group. You could also build community online using platforms such as Facebook, Yahoo Groups and Ning. Consider producing you r own events as opposed to just always speaking on other’s stages. You may just prefer to make individual connections. Bottom line, get the word out that you are a “master networker and connector” and you’re there to serve others.
4. Influence by having others talk about you.
Do good for others and others will talk about you! Bragging about yourself will never get as much mileage as others who sing your praises. Be sure to collect testimonials, both in writing and via video, and utilize them in your marketing efforts. Invite people to comment online and prepare case studies of how you’ve helped others with you talent. Also, ask those who are influential in their own right to make introductions on your behalf when needed. This works well when you desire to connect with investors, large contractual opportunities and speaking engagements.
5. Influence with media strategies.
Those who are interviewed in the media take on a whole new level of influence just by the fact that if a respected organization is interested in what you have to share, then you must be credible. I’ve experienced this first hand over the years after appearing on FoxTV News, ABC News, Success Magazine and hundreds of radio shows. Look at how you can incorporate more media exposure in all aspects of your business to increase your influence.