How to Become an Influencer
April 1, 2021
To be an influencer, you must…
1. Just Be You
Forget all the “advice” you have received in the past about being “professional!” I am about to turn 39-years-old. So, if you are around my age, you probably heard our elders say things such as, “If you want a good job, you can’t have a tattoo.” Or, “You will never get hired with long hair and a beard.” Of course, I could go on with the many pieces of counsel we had heard throughout our years about “looking the part,” but you get the point.
As much as millennials get verbally beat up for “their ways,” the one thing I especially thank them for is crushing the judgmental stereotypes centered around professionalism.
When I first began Transform, the pressure was on to be professional. I bought a teleprompter, the perfect studio lights, camera, and microphone. It could take hours to produce one video, seeing how I had to write the content out, memorize how to read it, then record seven takes until it was nearly perfect. Then live videos came into play. Oh, boy! I was a nervous wreck… a basket case! I pushed the “go live” button, then about twenty seconds in, I panicked, secretly hit the “end” button, deleted the video, and created a post that read:
“I MUST BE HAVING TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES. I WILL TRY AGAIN LATER WHEN THE GO LIVE FEATURE IS WORKING BETTER. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.”
A man about 35 years my senior and whom I confided in, came along and said, “Elena, just be you!”
Say what?! Just be me? Hmmm… I never thought of that.
Truly, I never thought of that. I spent many hours watching other female speakers to decide which stage personality I wanted for myself. Did I want to be the soft-spoken motherly figure? Did I want to incorporate magic tricks, a dancing monkey, or the piano? Did I want to enhance my messages with jokes?
I honestly considered every one of those ideas I just mentioned. So, when Jack said, “Elena, just be you,” I had a lot to think about. Of course, I decided to take his wise counsel, and here I am. An influencer in nine countries!
2. Have a Personable Bio
Does your bio still read with a list of all your abbreviated credentials? Ph.D. / B. Ch. E. / M.P.A…. etc.
I truly do not mean to be harsh; however, nobody cares! We want experience! Think about it… Would you want a marriage counselor who has never been married to help you save your marriage? I certainly hope not!
I could go on about credentials for awhile, but would rather bring your focus to the grand slam homerun point below.
Bios are boring; therefore, most do not fully read them. Let us get to know you as a person. Instead of a typical bio, tell us 10 fun facts about you as a person and 10 fun facts about you as a businessperson. Let us get to know, like, and trust you by revealing the fun parts about you. Save your accomplishments to be showcased around your website. For example, obviously you wrote a book if you are selling a book on your website… so, no need to write it in your bio.
Are you speaking from stage? Well, your book is probably showcased on the stage, in the program, or on a table in the back of the room; so leave it out of the bio.
Go on! I dare you to write a bio that people will love reading and tell their friends about! Show off you personality. If you are funny, add humor to it. If you are direct, add some opinion to it. Okay now, go write a bio everyone wants to read!
3. Be Vulnerable
At first glance you may think this is similar to the “Just Be You” tip #1. But, it’s not! Being vulnerable as an Influencer means to reveal your secrets, show us your frustrated days, sad days, parenting days, celebration days, etc. Tell us that you spilled the milk, pissed off your spouse, or wrecked your car, and how you feel about them all. Let us into your emotions, not just your opinions and knowledge.
4. Create Your Audience Avatar
This is super easy to do… since your #1 goal is to Just Be You. Your audience avatar is you. Therefore, you must really know who you are at the depths of your soul.
- What do you like to do for fun?
- What do you like to read?
- What do you like to eat?
- Where do you like to vacation?
- How do you like to vacation?
- What are your business goals?
- What types of clients do you like to work with?
- What types of clients do you not like to work with?
- What are the business tasks you despise?
- What are the business tasks you love?
There should be about 100 questions on the list above, but I only gave you ten as examples. Now, understand, your audience may not be exactly like you. Remember, opposites attract. You will pull in the crowds who are like you, who want to be like you, and who admire people like you.
Take some time today to write down 100 great things about you. Do this as a business person and as an everyday person. If you are working to reach other businesspersons, create everything around your business persona. If you want to reach the everyday person, create everything around your everyday persona.
5. Interact with Your Audience
If you have been in business awhile, I am sure you understand the importance of engaging your audience. Yes, you want to bring your audience into your world through engagement, but don’t stop there. Take it the next step further by interacting with them.
For example, don’t just tell them to comment during your live video or on your blog post, let them know you are excited to converse with them when they comment and respond to their comment on your blog.
6. Share Your Resources
You have read to “be vulnerable” and to “just be you.” This is because people want to connect with you. You have also read about how some of your audience avatars want to be like you. A great way to capture all of these is to let them know where you shop and what you buy, and why. Bring us into your world, completely!
7. Plan Your Next Move
A world traveler without a map, simply becomes a wanderer.
Here is what we know:
- There are 365 days in a year.
- There are 52 weeks in a year.
- There are approximately 30 days in a month.
- There are seven days in a week.
If you want truly be an influencer, you need 365 days worth of content… or if you are posting two times a day on social media, you need 730 pieces of content to post. YIKES!
Start planning! Listen, I had already encouraged you to write 100 things about you as a business persona and 100 as an everyday persona. This means you have 200 topics. If you can pull 4 subtopics from those 200 topics, you have over one years worth!
For example, you love going out to eat. What are your favorite four restaurants? If you have 12 favorite restaurants, you can post your favorite restaurant on the first day of each month. For your blog you can write about it. For your vlog, you can go to the establishment. For your social media post, you can leave a link to your blog and vlog.
Get the point?
You have the content inside of you! Just plan it out!
HINT: Every day you should learn something new. Add each thing you learn to your list to teach at a later time, when you know even more on the topic. Or, go ahead and post what little you know on the topic as a quick tip.
8. Be Spontaneous
Those who are chained to their plans, will miss the yacht that is prepared to take them on a big adventure.
If you have followed me for some time, you more than likely have heard me teach against business plans more than I have encouraged them. However, you do need a plan, even if it is a loose plan. Just as there are rules that are meant to be broken, sometimes plans are meant to be broken too.
For example, you may decide this is the year you shut the world out and write your book. You are fully committed, when all of a sudden you are offered a chance to have your own radio show. Well, shit… you can’t possibly do both, or at least not at the speed you had planned.
But, thank God you have a plan because, yes, you will still write your book while hosting your radio show. Why? Because your followers are waiting on the book you promised! Maybe you will need to hire someone to help you get it all done, but keep your plans while keeping them loose enough to adjust your sale.
9. Be Soft, Yet Tough
I have encouraged you to “Just Be You” “Be Vulnerable” “Be Personable” “Interact with Your Audience” “Share Your Resources” and “Be Spontaneous.”
You are about to lay yourself upon the table in the slaughter house. Just as I said you will build a following who loves you, wants to be like you, and admires people like you, you will also encounter those who despise you… yes, they will hate everything you stand for. Some will despise you simply for the way you look and the sound of your voice.
You do not need everyone to love you. In fact, if you work to make everyone love you, in the end nobody will even like you. So, you must be tough. You must be able to accept people not liking you and accept them telling you everything they think is wrong with you. Because, trust me, they will let you know.
Don’t bite back… this is the soft part of this tip.
10. Laugh at Yourself
If there is anything I can promise you, it is this:
You will make mistakes. You will feel embarrassed at times. There will come a day when you fail at something you had your heart set on achieving.
IT’S OKAY! In fact, it’s normal! It means you are a human being.
Do you know what sucks more than making the mistakes? Your haters will work to tear you to pieces when you stumble. The sooner you accept these truths, the better you will handle them when they occur. A practice I have when I make a mistake, do something embarrassing, or fail, is to ask myself how would I respond to a friend if they had done what I have done. Then I respond to myself in the same manner.
Now, of course, if it is a heartbreaking failure, there would not be much laughing. However, those silly mistakes we make where we knew better than to make them, just laugh. Have fun with them. Don’t try to hide them from your followers. People do not want a perfect person to look up to; instead, they want a real human being who makes mistakes and gets embarrassed, but can laugh about it.
11. Be Seen & Heard… Everywhere!
If you have followed me for some time, you would have heard me say, “When I speak, success happens!” This is true for you, too! When you speak, success will happen. So, speak everywhere!
- Other people’s groups
- Other people’s pages
- Your groups and pages
12. Stay in Style
Let’s face this cold hard truth… People love to look at pretty things and people. So, do yourself up! Listen, there are not too many people who look great just rolling out of bed (and for you women, with no make up). If I had to guess a percentage, I’d say about 97% of people have to put effort into looking good and great. You are not alone.
Having a hairstyle from the 80’s and clothes from the 90’s will more than likely not serve you too well… people won’t enjoy looking at you. Beyond yourself, pay attention to the background of your video… people also want to look at all the pretty things that surround you.
HINT: CLICK HERE to see who I use as my stylist.
13. Know What’s in The News
Just as you must keep up on the latest fashion trends, you must know what the latest trends are in all realms. What is the hottest controversial topic? What is the #1 thing people currently want? What exciting new adventures and services are now available to people? What is the next big event? What is the best show currently airing? What is the wildest movie about to hit the theaters? What is the best investment for people?
What… do… people… want?!
Serve it to them on your silver platter!
You get the point… stay up to date on what is going on around you!
14. Disconnect to Refresh
As an influencer you will begin to feel as though the Paparazzi is living in your backyard. Even if nobody is responding to your efforts… crickets…
When you consistently put yourself out there for the world to hear and see, it will become exhausting. Yes, even for us who are extroverts.
Every December when I plan my year, I set my vacations. Vacations do not have to be a time of travel. Have you ever heard of Staycation? This is where you stay home for vacation. Whether a vacation or a staycation, turn everything off… even your notifications. Seriously, go into your phone, to the apps, and do not allow any of them to send you a notification. This way, you only look when you want to look. But please do not look! You are on a (Va)Staycation! Use this time to relax and indulge in self-care. This way you come back with fire under your feet ready to shake up the world again!
HINT: I take most Friday afternoons off and no less than one week per quarter.
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