12 Most Effective Ways To Become Influential
Influence is one of the most powerful forms of intangibility we have. By its definition, influence is: The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself. Becoming truly influential is an art that takes time, dedication to others and a strong sense of self. Here are the 12 most effective ways to become influential:
1. Build Something
Product creation is one of the quickest ways to gain a mass following, which in turn drives your influence. If you have a hobby, idea or dream, start building it now. If you create something and it spreads, you will start to find more people paying attention to what you say and do. Starting small (yet dreaming big) allows your product and influence to grow organically which will be better for you in the long run.
2. Take Risks
Richard Branson is a risk taker. Often calculated, sometimes wild. Although he has had many successes and failures throughout his career, it’s the incredible risks that he has taken that inspire people to this very day. By taking risks you will move ahead of many ‘couch potatoes’ and leave them watching in awe.
3. Share Your Experiences
We learn valuable lessons about life from day 1. As we grow, we split off into multiple fields of interest and soak up knowledge at an incredible rate. By sharing that knowledge (and the experiences alongside) you will be able to connect and inspire people, and in many cases positively influence their future decisions.
4. Show Your Face
If your audience can’t see you, they can’t connect to you. If you show your face (or take it to the next step with video) you will have a much stronger chance of impacting with emotional influence. If a picture is worth 1000 words, then a video is worth 10,000. Having 10 times the connection of an image is powerful, and will certainly drive your network to start paying attention.
5. Stand For Something
The more influential you become the more positive and negative energy you will have directed at you. Make sure you stand for something and choose a side when opinions are thrown at you. The ones who avoid choosing a side will end up back in the sidelines soon enough.
6. Speak Confidently
Confidence is a powerful motivator for influence. Anyone with enough confidence can take over a room in a matter of seconds. But make sure your confidence continues into the unknown – when asked something you are unsure of, quickly reply with a confident, “I’m not quite sure, but I can track down someone who may be able to help.”
7. Be Nice
Being nice is highly underrated. A smile, comment, thanks and even a simple nod can go a long way in your day to day contact. Sure, you could flip this around and be a complete snob and earn influence by exclusivity, but due to the new inter-connected nature of our world it just won’t get you as far. Spend more time focusing on showing respect for others and it will come back to you tenfold.
8. Be Interactive
Building a network involves being interactive. Lady Gaga (love or hate) knows how to connect with her fans. She doesn’t just push messages out; she gets involved in discussions, goes to where her fans hang out and interacts on a personal level. To be influential, interact with your fans, followers and peers on their level or at least meet them halfway.
9. Take Action For Reaction
The few who take action in a new area to gather a reaction are often very inspirational. Take a new musical artist who decides to combine two genres to achieve an extremely different sound. The reaction that follows (whether negative or positive) creates a level of awareness around the artist, and inspires others to take similar paths. Regardless of what that artist decides to do from this point on, the influence has been planted and that artist now has a chance to take their dreams even further.
10. Be Everywhere
If you search for ‘Diesel Laws’ you will find a lot of different blogs, profiles, designs, music and more. Online, you have the opportunity to create a profile almost anywhere you want, and direct traffic back to your work, ideas and inspiration. The more you’re seen, the more chance you have to influence others through you’re writing, music, designs and art. But it can’t be just online – aim to branch out and go to offline events, spend time in public with friends and network as much as you can.
11. Give Free Advice
There is a great chance you have at least one skill in this world. Start giving away advice about that skill to those who are interested in learning. In a short amount of time, people will be drawn to you to find out more about that skill – which in turn drives awareness about your personal brand. Influence people by writing blogs of information, answering questions via video or even build a service to help others understand that skill.
12. Have An Entourage
As your influence grows, there will be people who will just want to be by your side every second of the day, just in case you drop some ‘gems’ of inspiration. This ‘entourage’ will grow naturally over time, and it will have a huge effect on how you are seen to the general public. Try to facilitate the reason for an entourage (through a similar skill or interest) and encourage others to add themselves to the group. If you don’t have an entourage, try to find a group of inspiring friends to spend time with in public (that are also inspired by you) and get seen.
Although confidence is a powerful motivator, it can often be abused. Make sure that when you speak with people who are inspired by your confidence, that you let them inspire you in return. If they feel comfortable approaching and talking with you, they will tell their friends about your humble confidence and honesty – which is very influential. Remember, you’re not better than anyone else; you’re just the one holding the microphone.
Featured image courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography licensed via creative commons.