How To Become An Influencer In Your Industry

How to influence people
How to influence people

A major corporate, recently told me that I’m becoming an influencer in the personal finance space.

I won’t pretend I’m not happy to hear that but I’ve been thinking a lot about how to go from becoming an influencer to simply being an influencer.

Influencing people isn’t about being loud; it’s about being able to persuasively communicate soo that people buy into it and want to be part of the journey.

Sounds easy enough… Sigh and roll eyes*

How do you get people to buy into your vision?

Understand the value of relationships and that everyone has different styles of communication.

So you have to constantly communicate the same thing in different ways with people, in order for them to remember you.

Of course it’s also important to understand the communication style that works best for you and to master that style.

When Barack Obama decided to run for election in 2008, he realized that Gen Y would be his strongest supporters, so he did what no other politician was doing: he communicated with them via social media and mastered that communication style.

He used Facebook and Twitter to reach them. He enlisted hip hop musicians and spoken word poets to his campaign.

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How to become an influencer

  1. Be authentic

A friend once emailed me to offer advice that I should stop sharing my financial failures on the blog or on social media.

Instead I should focus on my successes and position myself as the expert.

Clearly I didn’t listen to that advice.

Because really – what’s so awesome about perfection?

If we want to influence people, we have to win their trust and to do that we have to be authentic and allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

So my advice - share your story with people. Be human and let others see you.

We learn and evolve through each other’s stories. Make the facts relatable to real life by sharing stories about your life, that people can relate to and let them jump to the conclusion themselves without trying to sell to them in any way.

  1. Understand your target audience

Understand your industry and the people you’re communicating with on a personal level and get to know what moves them.

Decide how you will communicate with people – are you going to do it through traditional media or social media?

You may be speaking to an audience of 1 or an audience of 1000, but the principle is the same: people respond to people that are similar to them.

Some people understand words and poetry, others understand numbers, some understand images, others understand body movement and some understand feelings.

  1. Listen

Great communicators are also great listeners; they read between the lines and speak to people’s hopes and dreams.

People are more than happy to tell you what they need and want from you, as long as you listen and are willing to change the way you think.

What are your thoughts? 

How do you think people become influencers?