Influence. It's a term we hear often in today's social media/digital/marketing-fueled world. Marketers and brands grapple with - what does it mean? how can it be measured? how can influencers be identified? how can we get them to support our brand?
On an individual level, many of us desire to be influential. That desire certainly precedes social media, but has been magnified with it's prevalence. We seek out ways to expand our reach and establish ourselves as thought leaders. We long for likes, retweets, and +1's.
Influence is something that's earned, not given.
If you're approaching influence from the standpoint of "how can it benefit me", chances are you'll fail. Influence is something you earn through the course of contributing to your respective field - helping others, giving ideas away, and contributing to the collective intellect of your industry. You do this not because you want to be influential. You do it because you want to be better, and you want to help others be better.
Realizing it's not about you is the first step in becoming influential.
So you want to be an influencer. Whether you follow Technorati for trends on what’s next in digital influence, or your aim is to be ‘discoverable’ as a social media influencer, you’re going to have to put in work to get there. The following 25 steps will get you on your way to being an influencer in your chosen field.
25 Steps To Becoming A Digital Influencer
- Be patient. This won’t happen overnight. It will take years of effort and commitment (yes, years).
- Don’t obsess over sites likeKlout, Kred, andPeerIndex. (Seriously, visiting once a day will not help your score).
- Be generous. Share your knowledge and expertise freely.
- Have a great idea? Give it away.
- Build Twitter lists of people in your field you admire. Learn from them.
- Proactively build a diverse network.
- Find blogs of thought leaders in your industry. Comment on them. Share them with your network.
- Don’t obsess over your social media follower numbers.
- Be a voracious reader of blogs, books, trends, etc in your industry. Share what you find.
- Obsess over your social media follower numbers (sigh).
- Remember not to obsess over your social media numbers.
- Join Twitter chats in your industry.
- Find conferences and events to attend. Make a point to meet some of your social media connections who will attend. Have coffee / beers / conversation with them.
- Be real. Don’t get so focused on your personal brand you lose the person. Personality counts (unless you’re a jerk).
- Don’t be a jerk.
- Join LinkedIn Groups in your field and share your wisdom.
- Look for any and all opportunities to speak at conferences (virtual counts).
- Start a blog (If you’re at least a decent writer, and have ideas to share.Guest bloggingcounts).
- Be generous. Share your knowledge and expertise freely (again).
- Join Quora. Follow and answer questions in your field of expertise.
Did I leave any off that you feel are important characteristics of a digital influencer? Share in the comments and let me know.