As a business owner I have wrestled with developing influencer traits. Key traits like being knowledgeable, Giver’s Gain (BNI terminology – that refers to the Law of Receptivity), boldness, smart, thankful, attentive etc. Uncounted famous leaders make it look simple. Yet knowing how to be a key influencer is not as clear as it looks. And yes, many of these people have influenced me, for instance, Seth Goden, Robert Kiyosaki, Pat Flynn, Oprah Winfrey. Every one of these leaders, whether they have a large, medium or small following are found throughout the various media platforms. Social media, podcast, TV, & radio are used by many influential leaders.
Yet there were many influencers in my life that never were on TV, the radio, much less online anywhere. My parents, teachers, business associates, friends, etc influenced everyday lives. What makes a person an influencer? Recently I was having a conversation with one of my business associates about this topic. Which led to looking at the types of influencers there are and what key characteristic famous and normal people of influence have.
How to be a key influencer:
Case for George Bailey
For example, the character George Bailey was not a famous person in the world of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. This movie is a great example of how every person influences other people in our lives. In ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, taking away one person, can and will drastically affect the other people in that missing person’s life.
It was evident that George Bailey influenced others in his life. What were George’s characteristics?
What characteristics shine through in famous and normal influencers? What are the keys to be influential?
As I wrote down a list of all the characteristics that I felt George, Seth, my parent and the other famous and everyday influencers had, I noticed that there were traits that did not apply to everyone. These I marked off the list.
My goal is to be influential. That I continue to gain readers for my blog, prospects and clients for my coaching and marketing strategies and continue to be an influence to others in my sphere. The one key identified that made George Bailey influential was that he acted selflessly on several occasions. He put others before himself.
Influence Trait: Giving
In business the 1st key for being influential is having a mindset of putting the prospect/client first. Also, instead of thinking ‘I need to sell this product/service to my clients’, change your mindset to ‘How can I help my clients and potential prospects with a problem they may have.’ Therefore, presenting your idea/ service/ product by educating your clients and showing them how it can help fix a problem.
One way to do this is give an item to the customers. Offer a free product, such as an ebook or a brochure that educates the clients with what to look for. It also has the happy stance of making you more visible to those people.
example: Frank Jacob of PSH Cleaning offers a free booklet that educates his clients and potential prospects on what to look for when hiring someone to clean their office space. In the book he tells what to look for and ask, when hiring a cleaning service and what they can expect for said cleaning service.
One of the areas I help my clients in are expos, festivals, fairs. For awhile I had been considering having a list of area events. After a conversation with client, friend and business associate, Doug Ford of Midsouth ProWash he asked if this was something I could do. That it would help him immensely, he went on to say he always seems a day late & dollar short when it came to vendor & sponsorship opportunities and he would really be interested in a heads up.
My Events list – went up recently, for vendor and sponsorship opportunities and has been a hit already. I will continue to expand this service in the future, looking at adding email notifications of new events in your preferred area, tools & resources for having profitable Events.
Influence Trait: Knowledge
Knowledge is having smarts, not being smart, but taking every opportunity to grow yourself and your business through gaining knowledge. Really who doesn’t know that, yet as business owners often putting that extra time in to work on ourselves or our business often is pushed to the side.
Well STOP doing that! Key influential people make the time to work on their personal and business development.
Again I know that knowledge is gained by experience, reading, studying, and familiarizing yourself with the topics you most want to gain knowledge from. Understanding why to be knowledgeable is easy, understanding how this can influence your sphere, not so much.
Therefore, I asked and here are what other influencers had to say.
Q. Why is being knowledgeable a key to be influential to your sphere?
A. patriciaweber (Inspiring and supporting introverts and baby boomers)
Recall the story of the Pied Piper leading rats out of the town of Hamelin with his magic flute. Your sphere may have a lot of their own rats – they want to avoid this or succeed at that. They have issues that your knowledge can help them with. Think of communicating your knowledge as your magic flute. If you have the right tune, at just the right time, people in your sphere will hear you. They will want to know more. They don’t really want those rats, they want freedom from them. If you aren’t knowledgeable, or don’t have a flute, those in your sphere who might otherwise benefit, will find someone else to follow – and reward them.
Knowledge is not automatic. It takes time and dedication to become knowledgeable in a given area or sphere. Collecting, building upon, and maintaining your knowledge around a given subject shows that you care enough to bother. Malcolm Gladwell popularized the idea that it takes 10,000 hours to truly master something. Even if you have not invested 10,000 hours, sinking your teeth into a topic and its intricacies is sure to earn you respect in your sphere.
A. Phil Turner (The 5 Currencies Guy)
Real knowledge is based on experience, on what you have done rather than what you have read about what others have done.
People want to read your story. People are only interested in unique stories that are based in real life. When you have the experience and knowledge you become the source that others quote, the expert that they ask.
When people see you have walked the walk, rather than read the book, their respect for you grows. They see that you are more than another online imitator. Respect, references = influential.
A. emmawhite6 (Bipolar Mum To 6 )
I have become the “go to person” when someone has a question about mental health, this is because I have knowledge about the subject, not only have I personal experience but I research and read as much as I can about the topic to constantly learn more.
This has allowed me to become an authority figure in this niche. I write in-depth articles which also include my personal experiences which readers can relate to, I reach out to them on a personal level.
I am able to target my reading audience because I have passion and a deep understanding about the topic and people are willing to share my content because they have grown to trust me. Being knowledgeable is important if you want to influence others.
A. Riverbedmarketing (Content Marketing Manager)
In online marketing, the tech savvy business owner has the power to compare you against competitors and other services without even speaking with you. With this age of technology, the power is truly in the consumer’s hands with mobile devices and the web at their fingertips.
You need to have the answers your consumer is looking for and confidently demonstrate that you are the solution to their problems. Otherwise, you’re simply a mobile search away from being dropped. It’s about trust and demonstrating that you have the answers that are sought after. As an influencer, it’s your job to determine what that is as it relates to your industry and own it.
There are a lot of factors that go into being a key influencer and by no means,ends or begins with the two discussed here. It’s your turn, what factors or characteristic do you feel are key to be an influencer?
Take time to live a life that inspires you!