Top Tips to Becoming an Influencer
No matter your field, everyone wants to be heard and respected in their role. While many of us may aspire to be influential in our roles, most of us probably aren’t aware of what it takes to build the relationships that will enable us to reach that influential position in our organisation and industry.
As an influencer, those around you will look up to you for support, advice and direction. You will become a role model for younger members of your team who may be just starting out. You will be known as someone who can get the job done, while also putting their own spin on the work. To achieve this position in your industry, you need to be prepared to put in the hard work so you can respond to the pressures of being an influencer with clarity, honesty and flair.
What steps do you need to take to become a true influencer in your industry? The following are a few key steps to consider when you are ready to work towards this larger goal:
Make your presence known everywhere
First things first: try to be everywhere. This extends from being in the right place in the workplace at events and functions, right through to your presence online. Attend events where speakers and current influencers in your industry will be present. Write blogs on topics that are pertinent to your industry. Get into podcasts, interviews and prospective meetings with important clients.
By employing a hustling mindset to your approach, you will be well on your way to taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.
Think of your brand
Regardless of whether you are a sole trader or you are a larger organisation, it is becoming more pivotal to be able to stand out from the crowd. More often, highly positioned industry leaders are obtaining the status of influencer because they are thinking of themselves as more than the sum of their current or future positions. Instead, they are thinking of themselves as a brand.
This doesn’t necessarily mean having your own logo or vision statement that you broadcast upon meeting people. It means knowing what your values are as a professional and demonstrating these in everything you produce and engage with. It means having a sense of clarity and consistency in what you produce and how you go about doing it. Being your own brand is about embodying all the best parts of what you do and letting others know exactly what you value in your work and in your role.
Maintain your social presence
Whether you are social media savvy or completely lost in a sea of technological chatter, the power of social media looks like it is here to stay. Although it can seem like a time waster for many, social media is a platform that can add untold value to yourself as an industry leader.
If you use social media regularly and in the right way, you can tap into a network of people who share the same values as you and can bolster your own position with advice, support and even mentoring opportunities.
If you are on Facebook, join some authoritative groups that are popular in your industry. If you have a LinkedIn account, make sure it is updated regularly and you are contributing to conversations being initiated by those in your industry. To read more on the value of social media, read our previous post here.
Keep abreast of developments in your industry
No matter what stage of your career you are at, there is always something new and exciting to learn.
Self-education can be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal as a motivated industry leader. Make it a personal goal to remain at the forefront of new thinking in your industry. One way to do this is to make sure you are reading a lot of books related to the industry, along with some high quality motivational books to keep you on track.
Ask for recommendations from your colleagues, mentors and current industry leaders to point you in the right direction. They will be able to direct you towards pivotal material that changed their thinking or solidified important parts of their working habits that you can integrate into your own mindset and output.
Build on the relationships you have
Becoming an influencer often goes hand in hand with being an industry leader. It can take a lot of time, effort and self-motivation on your part to build on the relationships you already have to reach a point where you can call yourself an ‘industry leader’.
One of the key things to remember is that every industry is made up of one key defining element: people. If you wish to become an influencer in your industry, you need to remember that people are and most likely always will be the core of your business model.
Nurture the relationships you have with those around you. Seek out new ones with those of all levels of experience and expertise. Be open to new experiences and divergent opinions. By doing so, you are always growing as a person and as a professional. This trait of openness will ensure you are on the right path to becoming an influential force within your industry.