When I started out in this game back in 2010, there were the people we called, ‘experts‘ or ‘guru’s‘.
These turned into ’thought leaders’ as the years went on.
Nowadays we have ‘influencers’ and it seems this is now a mixed bag of guru’s, thought leaders, online personalities, celebrities and anyone with a super popular social media following!
So which one do you want to be?
Whatever your answer here’s the pathway to becoming an ‘influencer’ of sorts!
1. Know your niche.
We covered this back in Day 3 – What business are you in? So hopefully at this stage you’re super clear as to what niche you’re in.
These days with every man and his dog wanting to be an influencer, knowing the niche you’re in is super important. Just starting a social media account and saying ‘I want to be famous’, won’t cut it unless of course you bear a striking resemblance to Chris Hemsworth or Gal Gabot, in which case just posting inane photos of yourself half dressed may work!
(Sorry couldn’t resist a gratuitous pic of Chris here!)
If you’re here reading my posts however, I’m presuming you’re a tad more discerning than that and are likely going for the more ’thought leader’ level of influence.
In this case knowing your niche is even more important as people will look to you as the person that can help solve their challenges or meet their needs in someway.
So if you’re not there yet, please head back to Day 3 and get clear.
2. Know your market
We covered this in Day 4 – Your Ideal Customer.
As with every business model this is critical, so I won’t spend too much time here.
Knowing and understanding your market will ensure the content you create and the information you publish is bang on the money and resonates & talks to exactly the right person and that is what brands want to know.
If they are going to pay for you to endorse them or put their product or service in front of your audience is it the right audience?
Is it an audience that is likely to purchase their product?
They will only know that if you are uber clear on who your audience is and that audience is engaging with you.
So start as you mean to go on and get absolute clarity over your ideal target market from day 1.
3. Work out your USP.
What makes you different from everyone else in your niche?
This is a tough question to answer these days as it seems the market is saturated in every industry.
A friend of mine said a while back ’There are no unique messages anymore, only unique messengers’ and if you’re struggling to see how your business or niche stands out, focus on you personally.
What is quirky about you? What’s your story? What’s your superpower? Why would your target market listen to you over anyone else in your niche?
Head back to Day 5 – What makes you unique and run through that exercise to help you answer this question.
4. Choose your platform.
Are you going to be an Instagram celebrity, TikTok famous, a YouTuber, top of the podcast charts?
Please remember whilst you absolutely can be everywhere all at the same time with the power of repurposing and a team, unless you have a huge marketing agency, the chances are you will be best known for one platform.
So what will that platform be?
We go through this from Day 13 through to Day 21, so pick your content channel and laser focus on mastering that channel and building a huge audience there first before you begin to diversify your efforts across the web.
5. Become a prolific content publisher
When I first wrote this subhead it said – ‘become a prolific content creator’. But the fact is we don’t actually need to be creating content every minute of the day to become a thought leader or an influencer.
One thing the world does not need is content for contents sake! We have plenty of content!
What people do need however is guidance, support, encouragement and permission to be who they are, no matter what niche you’re in.
So how can you mix up your content with content that’s already out there and become a prolific content publisher with the intention of adding massive value into the marketplace?
See Day 13 – 15 for more detail on creating and publishing valuable content.
6. Engage, engage, engage
With the advent of the modern day ‘influencer’ came the desire for more followers, more likes, more subscribers, more page visits etc, without much thought as to why those numbers were important.
For your own sales funnel or for the potential of sponsorship, those numbers are only half the story.
You could have a million followers, but if when you post something only 2 people pay attention, those numbers are worthless.
Generating sales in any manner requires engagement.
Your audience need to be consuming your content, liking your posts, commenting, sharing and demonstrating the value they’re getting from you.
This is why purchasing followers in any way is a useless waste of money. It gets you nothing at the end of the day except a big follower count and zero engagement.
Focusing on all of the above, your niche, your audience, your usp, and the quality of the content you’re publishing will ensure you attract the right people to you ready to engage with you and your message.
7. Optimize for attention
I heard a great quote recently that resonated with me so much I wrote it up on my whiteboard at home;
‘If you optimize for attention, the money will come. If you optimize for money you’ll lose the attention.’
This was a quote by Nas, from Nas Daily.
He’s built a 7.2 million strong FB following by producing and publishing a daily video from around the world.
Now even though I urge you to plan for profit from the beginning so that you have a clear path to follow with your business, I am not encouraging you to be selling to your audience all the time.
In fact having gone through this 30 day guide, I’m sure you’ve found there’s very little focus on the actual sales part. Everything is about your brand, your market, your content and how you resonate and engage with your audience.
The reason for this is that through targeting the right market and providing them with consistent valuable content, the sales will come.
The least important part is a sexy sales page, the right headlines, what copy are you using etc.
In fact some of my best sales (multiple six figure launches) have come from very basic sales pages with a very excitable video from me!
Your route to sales is adding value.
Focus on that and the sales will take care of themselves.
In your route to becoming an Influencer or a Thought Leader one of the greatest skills you can acquire is the skill of inclusivity.
We live in an abundant world. It may not always feel like it but we do and there is enough of everything for everyone.
Collaborate my friend. Open your arms, your business, your thoughts to others within your niche and industry.
Share valuable information and relevant brands with your audience safe in the knowledge that the law of reciprocity is strong.
As someone who once wrapped their arms very tightly around their business, I can tell you from experience, inclusivity and collaboration is not only more fun and more rewarding it’s far more lucrative!!!
Collaboration is at the very heart of this business model from the co promotions and partnership deals you’ll do to grow, to the sponsorship deals and brand endorsements you’ll do as you grow.
Be open, be willing to share and always have your audiences best interest at heart and you won’t go far wrong.
Here’s some more excellent posts and resources to help you in your journey to become an influencer.