First, why would you want you to be an influential person?
There are many reasons. Influential people can create change in communities and in industries. They are sought out for their expertise and their reputations as leaders.
Finally, and most importantly, influential people can parlay their ability to influence into success on both a personal and business level.
10 Steps to Becoming An Influential Person
Unfortunately, when many people think about influential people, they think about presidents, celebrities, and famous entrepreneurs. This can make the thought of becoming an influential person seem nearly impossible.
What is important to remember is that becoming an influential person doesn’t require that you reach celebrity status.
It is quite possible to become an influential person in your community or in your industry without becoming any kind of celebrity. Here are the 10 steps that you can take to make it happen.
1. Know Your Stuff
Influencers are experts. They keep up with the latest developments in their industry, and they know their craft inside and out. Whatever they do, they can be counted on for quality and expertise.
So, read the trade magazines, follow the blogs, take classes, and do whatever else is required to be at the top of your game.
2. Find Your Community And Get Active
You cannot become influential if nobody knows who you are. If there are Facebook groups for people in your line of work, join them.
Go to trade shows. Then, don’t just keep to yourself. Meet people. Talk to them. Those blogs you read; don’t simply read them. Leave comments. Follow the author on social media. Share relevant articles and posts on social media.
3. Help Others With Your Knowledge And Don’t Ask For Anything in Return
Now that you are an established member of your community, it’s time to do things to stand out. If you become aware of someone having a problem that you can solve, help them out.
Give them the information that they need, or walk them through the steps they need to follow. Give good advice. Then, don’t ask for payment in any form. Repeat this process over and over again.
4. Share Your Thoughts & Opinions
Start a blog. Now that people know who you are, and you’ve established a reputation as a source of help and information, it should be pretty easy to get followers.
Just be sure to publish lots of great content. A dormant blog won’t help you reach your goals. Don’t skip this step! Some of the most influential people of the 21st century are active bloggers.
5. Get Other People Talking About You
Once you have established your blog, make sure you include social share buttons. This will give people a way to share what you have written with others.
This will help generate conversation about the thoughts and opinions that you share. You may also want to allow comments on your blog posts. Whatever you do, make sure you are participating in some of these conversations.
6. Reach a Wider Audience
This is the point where you should do a bit of an evaluation.
Are you reaching everybody you can?
Are there any segments of your industry that you may be ignoring? It may be time to change things up a bit. You may need to expand your footprint on social media. If you are only on Facebook, it may be time to get on Instagram or Tumblr.
This is also a good time to jazz up your content. Record some videos and upload them to YouTube, and publish them on your blog. Learn to make Infographics and really make your content interesting. Offer to write a guest blog for another influencer, or write an article for a trade magazine.
Star a hashtag marketing campaign.
7. Develop a Brand
When people see your name, what do you want them to think.
Obviously, you want them to think of you as somebody who is an expert, who helps others, who educates, and who has opinions that really matter in your space.
However, that’s just the start. Your brand encompasses everything from your personal and professional reputation, to the images people see when they think of you.
You can develop your brand by doing a few of the following things:
- Being consistent in your writing style and interactions
- Using a customized theme on your blog or website
- Creating a personal logo
- Adding a head shot to your profiles and posting it on your website and blog
Adding an about page to your blog so your audience knows your story.
8. Publish an E-book
It’s time to take it up a step.
Give your followers a bigger piece of your knowledge than they will ever get reading your blog posts and following you on social media. Take all of the important knowledge and expertise that you have accumulated and write an E-book.
For many people, the simple fact that you have written and published an E-book will boost your reputation exponentially.
You can also attract more audience members by offering the E-book as premium content for subscribers, or use it in giveaways. Of course, you must remember to promote your book.
9. Be Opinionated And Controversial
The point of being an influential person is to become well-known and respected enough that you can generate change. This will never happen if the only opinions you share are likable to everybody, or they adhere to mainstream thought.
Don’t be afraid to point out the problems in your industry or to disagree (respectfully) with others. If you think something is wrong, in spite of it being popular, say something.
10. Pay it Backwards
At this point, it is safe to say that you are now an influential person. Yes, you put in a lot of hard work to get to this point, but you had help along the way.
All of the people who followed you on social media, who shared your posts, and talked about the things you had to say played a role in getting you to where you are now. So, go do what influential people do best.
Find somebody who is up and coming, and help them become an influential person as well.
To recap on the 10 steps to becoming an influential person in short:
- Know your stuff
- Find your community and get active
- Help others with your knowledge and don’t ask for anything in return
- Share your thoughts and opinions
- Get other people talking about you
- Reach a wider audience
- Develop a brand
- Publish an E-book
- Be opinionated and controversial
- Pay it backwards