Why are certain people more influential than others. Were they born that way? Are they smarter than you or me? Do they know something others don’t? I am not sure there’s just one correct answer but after spending the summer doing more of the below activities, I have a better idea of how to spread your influence around the world.
The image below illustrates the ladder of participation in any medium. We all are one of these at any certain time; creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators,and inactives. Obviously, the higher one can get (and stay) on the ladder, the larger their influence will be with all the others around them.
Here’s how to kick as as an influencer:
Influencers read incessantly. They have a yearning to always know the latest news and insider perspective. They access the best publications to get a keen grasp on the the industry. Through constant monitoring, like an ear to the railroad tracks, one can get a feel for shifts in technology – seismic or slight as they may be. With an industry such as the technology space, things change daily and keeping up on the changes can be the difference between a first mover advantage and last to the party. Reading also sharpens the mind and helps with comprehension while expanding the knowledge base. Why wouldn’t anyone want to do that?
What does one do with all that knowledge and information they are collecting each day? Write about it! Although reading and mentally organising vasts amounts of information helps to increase personal bandwidth, putting thoughts together on screen in a cohesive manner only adds to personal comprehension of abstract concepts. Like an artist who throws various colours together to bring a painting to life, to each of us writing can be a piece of art that takes upon a life of its own. Each person has within them a unique perspective of the world, and writing provides a pedestal to stand in which we organise thoughts and inform others.
Writing your thoughts on a word doc is a start but it will not lead to becoming influential, you need a platform for publication. Blogging has become mainstream and it is quite easy to establish your own blog/site in which you can publish your words. This seems to be the biggest hurdle for most to overcome, as it can be overwhelming and intimidating to put yourself out there with little place to hide. Yet, that is the whole point… Creating authentic words, infusing a unique personality, adding to it a spice of your own creativity is what people crave most in today’s media. Most people don’t want another also-ran, bland, vanilla reporter regurgitating the facts of today’s news that can be found on a hundred other sites around the web. They want uniqueness. They want personality. They want to feel as if they know you as a blogger, writer or executive. They want to feel close and connected to someone influential. Trust me, they want to be inspired, so click ‘publish’.
Once published, influencers understand the only way their words are going to reach the masses of people is if they can get to where they are. Using the popular social platforms to their advantage, they get to work on spreading the information far and wide. Creating titles with Twitter in mind – with each tweet of the post the Title becomes the default twitter message – will only magnify the spread of each article. People around the world will read your words if you spend some time and think about how to best present the title to be shared.
Also, major publications are now allowing outside contributors (like myself) to harness their platform and add to the editorial strength of the brand. Any influencer knows they need to be where the masses of people are in order for them to find you and your words. Hop on the train before it’s too late! Finding the appropriate avenues of distribution will lead to a growing number of eager readers.
As you can see, all it takes for someone to massively improve their influence is read quality articles, write good content, actually publish the words and distribute it to a wide audience. Those are 4 quick ways one can kick arse as an influencer.
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