7 Simple Ways to Boost Your Social Influence Every Day

April 5, 2016

How would you rate your influence and authority in your market?

If you haven’t given it serious thought, you really should.

In today’s hyper-connected business world, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. Your prospects are paying attention.

They’re paying attention to everything you do AND everything you don’t do – all the while forming opinions about you and your company.

Having influence and building your authority platform aren’t just things we talk about for fun. They’re more like the business equivalent of oxygen these days. If your business doesn’t have enough of them, it dies.

You’re Under Their Microscope

Gone are the days when you have the luxury of thinking that the world isn’t watching because you’re not a worldwide brand. Forget the idea that no one cares what you’re up to because you’re “just” a…

  • local insurance agent
  • business coach
  • plumbing contractor
  • financial advisor
  • tech consultant

You’re not “just” anything anymore, and if you don’t establish yourself as an influencer in your field, someone else will claim the title – pure and simple.

If you don’t establish yourself as an influencer in your field, someone else will claim the title . 
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Not to mention that consumers are uber-connected and much more in-the-know these days. They want to feel confident they’re dealing with reputable, trustworthy people.

Bottom line – they’re looking for credible experts and they WILL check you out before doing business with you.

When they do, you have to ask yourself what they’ll find when they type your name or your company’s name into that little Google or LinkedIn search box.

Will they find someone who has expertly positioned themselves as a leader in their industry – or will they find an unimpressive, vanilla, “meh” presence that sends them off in search of your competitors?

In all of the business-building programs and trainings we create here at LinkedSelling (and in both of my books) you’ll notice that building influence in your market is one of the first steps toward success. It’s the foundation.

It seems like a big job though, right? Maybe you feel like becoming an authority and wielding a ton of influence in your market is out of your reach or over your head.

Not so!

Like most big jobs, building influence and authority can be broken down into small, easy tasks that you can fit into your schedule on a daily or weekly basis.

7 Ways to Expand Your Influence

1: Actively Connect With Other Influencers
Influence is all about people, and one of the best (and fastest) ways to become an influencer is to connect with other people who are already influencers and authorities in their space.

I wish there was a fancy trick I could share with that I could say I’d “cracked the code” to, but this one is really pretty simple.

Here’s the secret…

Contact them.

That’s it. Magic, right?

See, most people never reach out to the influencers they admire because they assume “those kinds of people” are inaccessible. And that may be true for some, but overall, many of the uber-successful people you look up to are more accessible than you think.

For instance, Bill Gates used to publish his email address. I know for a fact that many well-known authors are accessible because I’ve enjoyed a coffee or cocktail with a few of them.

In 2016, between email and social media, you can pretty much reach out to just about anyone on the planet.

Of course, you’ll want to have something interesting and relevant to say to get their attention, but your chances of being seen by an influencer today are better than at any time in human history.

Make a point to actively connect with influencers you admire in your space. Ask a question about something they wrote, tell them how a specific piece of advice they gave helped you, invite them to coffee or lunch if it’s at all possible. (You’re picking up the tab, by the way.)

Influencers are people too, and as I mentioned earlier, most are more than generous with their time and knowledge if you approach it professionally. Reach out!

2: Be Active in Places Where Influencers Hang Out
You’ve heard the advice, “Go to where your prospects are.” It works for influencers, too. Influencers are active in online and offline communities. They get involved in things like…

  • Courses
  • Seminars
  • Community events
  • Groups

(hint: All these things exist and are equally effective both online and offline)

Sometimes the influencers you want to connect with are the people facilitating these types of things, and sometimes they’re attendees. People who are involved in courses, groups, and events are interested in constantly improving themselves and staying on top of their personal education.

These are the kind of people you want to be connected with, and by being involved in these types of events, you’ll have the opportunity to learn a ton and get WAY ahead of your competition while forging relationships with influencers who can help you succeed.

3: Borrow an Influencer’s Audience
Most influencers have mastered the ability to be seen in multiple places and spread their message by creating useful things. Blogs, podcasts, Web TV shows, and community groups, for instance.

And if there’s one thing someone who creates those types of things is in dire need of all the time, it’s something interesting to share. They have an ongoing need for guests and content.

Actively search out these types of influencers in your space, and when you find them…

  • Pitch an idea for a guest post on their blog
  • Offer to be interviewed for a blog, podcast, or Web TV show
  • Approach local community and civic groups (who ALWAYS need speakers)

When you actively pursue these opportunities you expand your reach by sharing your message with someone else’s audience who may never have heard of you otherwise. You also have the ability to forge a new relationship with the influencer you helped out!

4: Be Generous
When you’re growing a business and trying to build a reputation, it’s easy to get caught up in yourself and see everything in terms of “what will this do to benefit ME.”  It’s a natural mindset to fall into.

But consider the people who have influenced your life… the people you look up to the most. Are they focuses solely on themselves, or would you describe them as generous?

Influencers by and large are generous. They genuinely care about other people. They routinely do things like…

  • Noticing problems others are having and and fixing them – often without being asked and without compensation
  • Calling and checking on people
  • Making time for those who need their help
  • Sending impromptu notes or emails to check in, thank people, or encourage them

Remember that there’s a HUGE “giving” component to growing your influence. People tend to gravitate toward (and talk positively about) those who are sincerely generous. It’s the classic “get by giving” scenario, and if you give selflessly, the byproduct will be respect and influence.

5: Be a Student
If you want to gain influence, it makes sense that you should intentionally behave like an influencer, right?

Can you name a wildly successful person in ANY profession who isn’t on top of what’s happening in their industry? I can’t. Successful people (influencers and true authorities) are lifelong students of their space.

They hire coaches and mentors to make sure they stay on top of their game. They join relevant courses, they read web articles, subscribe to industry publications, and listen to podcasts.

Influencers invest their time and their money in their ongoing education. You should, too. 
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6: Become Known as a Resource
In addition to staying up with current trends and events, influencers take learning one step further by sharing their knowledge with others.

They share it in person and especially online – even if it’s not your content and even it doesn’t lead to a sale today. When you share truly useful content online, you establish yourself as someone in the know who wants to help.

A social media feed that’s all “me” becomes white noise. People recognize it as a marketing push and tune it out.

On the other hand, a social media feed that is a mix of industry discussion, shared relevant content from a variety of sources, and some of your own news or offers is seen as a resource.

7: Put it on the Calendar
Here’s the hard part. Or at least the part most people drop the ball on.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading this article and it’s given you some new ideas to try out. But here’s the thing…

If you don’t make time to actively DO these things on a regular basis, then you won’t get very far in building influence.

It takes time and a consistent effort. It needs to be on your calendar just like your weekly meetings, your to-do’s, and “pick up the kids.” Make it part of your day and part of your job.

Schedule blocks of time in your day to do all the things in this article. If a day here and there is so busy you can’t fit it in, that happens. But make it your goal to do at least something every work day to grow your influence.

Set a goal for contacts, emails, phone calls, coffee dates, or whatever else you’d like to measure as part of your influence-building campaign.

As you use these strategies more and more, you’ll notice more people paying attention and reaching out to you. You’ll actually see your influence building.

And once you start building influence and authority, all of your other marketing and sales efforts will become even more effective.

It’s not out of reach for you. Becoming an authority and an influencer is something you can make happen for you and your business. You just need to make the effort to do the work and claim it!

“Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.” — Jules Renard

Here’s How to Get Started

As is true with most new tasks, sometimes getting started is the hardest part. And in the realm of “building influence”, getting started means identifying the influencers you want to connect with.

Here are two resources that can help you identify influencers to connect with…

THE 2016 ULTIMATE DIRECTORY

Alex Mandossian & Steve Olsher, a couple friends of LinkedSelling, have created a directory that lists 241 of the most powerful digital influencers on the planet – complete with their photos, bios, areas of focus, and email addresses. It’s never been so easy to get on an influencer’s radar. It’s a fantastic resource, and you can get a free copy by clicking here.

LINKED UNIVERSITY
This isn’t a sales pitch, but seriously… if you want to learn how to identify your perfect prospects AND the biggest influencers in your market, LinkedSelling is THE go-to resource on the subject. The system that we teach in our workshops is PERFECT for learning how to use LinkedIn to target and genuinely connect with both influencers and warm prospects.

And if you are looking to finally start getting results from your digital marketing efforts, you really should take a look at what LinkedIn can do for your business by joining our Advanced LinkedIn Masterclass this Tuesday.

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