Whether you are looking for a job, building a consulting practice or starting up a new company, becoming a person of influence can deliver great rewards – both personal and professional. Even though “who you know” still matters, it is now “who knows you” that matters most.
So, in a competitive networking environment, how do you stand out and become someone others want to know?
Here are my 10 ways to become a person of influence:
1. Blogging – A great way to put yourself out there in a way that you largely control. You can write as often as you want, but be consistent. Think about where you want to influence others (what industry or function) and create a blog topic where you have passion and some ongoing ideas about content. A great example of someone who does this well is Kevin Liebl who created a blog on leadership. He adds value to his network which is now growing every day. And you can have that too.
2. Twitter – Some of you have joined Twitter and found it to be a great value. A fun way to network with people, learn new trends and share ideas. It is all that. It can also be a place to build your personal brand and, as a result, build influence. The tweets you share, the links or interesting ideas you re-tweet and the conversations you have all play a role in either building influence or tearing it down. You can also build influence through lists. Create a great one that others follow and you are now someone of value. In this example of a networking focused Twitter account, I have added this Twitter account to two of my lists. Doing so (assuming every list you create doesn’t include 500 accounts), creates influence with the account owner and those who follow the list.
3. LinkedIn – There are many ways to build influence via LinkedIn. You can answer questions from others and you can be an active participant in your groups. Especially if you are helping others, you can become someone that others look to for advice and new ideas (= influence). Finally, you can start or offer to help manage a group. Group owners or moderators have just enough power to be dangerous. Used for good, you can create a group and hold the key to a valuable network. You can see an example on the Tim’s Strategy Group On LinkedIn. And you are welcome to join!
4. Start A Movement – What do you care about? Anything at all? If not, you might want to skip this one. But if you do have an interest in the world . . . ask yourself: is anyone doing anything about it? You could, you know. An extra two hours a day during your job search or in the evenings if you are working is enough to start a small movement. Just ask Sven Johnston who lives in Orange County and was tired of LinkedIn reflecting his location as “Greater Los Angeles”. He started “We Are Orange County!” to create a small groundswell. Guess what, it worked. You can read my post about his effort and its value for Sven: We Are Orange County But Sven Started It.
5. Create A Product - It can be anything, really. But ideally it is something that utilizes a natural skill of yours. It can be something that helps others, something to improve work flow at the office or improve safety for local elementary school. The basic act of creating is influential because so few people take the time do it. If you do it, you’ll stand out. A lot of great ideas come out of necessity. A recent one from me is a new feature here . . . The Career Expert Directory. There are now 40 experts across 7 categories. In case you need one. And it solved a problem for me. Now when someone asks if I know a resume writer, personal branding expert or career coach, I now point them to the new Career Expert Directory. All experts are pre-approved. By me.
6. Become A Subject Matter Expert – Neal Schaffer did this orginally focused on LinkedIn. He wrote a great book on LinkedIn. And now has expanded his influence into all aspects of social media. And is now building a successful social media consulting practice creating social media strategies for businesses. From relative obscurity to subject matter expert, speaker, blogger, consultant, etc in just a few years. What’s in your wallet?
7. Be A Super Connector – You probably know a few of these people already. But you could become one too. Everyone they meet is a potential new friend. And every time they meet you, they are thinking: who can I connect (name) with?” It’s not hard, it just takes time and desire. To have this kind of influence. Want an easy way? Download the Watchlyst™ – a free spreadsheet to keep track of the job search objectives of those in your network. If you are looking for work, you can also join my Watchlyst for Job Leads. I see a lot of jobs and may be able to send you a lead.
8. Become A Speaker – Of course if you absolutely hate speaking (or your Toastmasters membership ran out), you can also be a trainer or a one-on-one helper. To others looking for work or learning how to network. You get speaking engagements by being good at it, having great/innovative content and being ready when the call comes. Need a great speaker on networking for an upcoming corporate event, contact Thom Singer. An author, a powerful story teller and a great results-oriented business development leader. You can learn more about him at ThomSinger.com.
9. Write An E-Book – I launched one last year and have another launching this month. Both are free and you can see them free job seeker downloads page. There’s also a great one out there created by Ryon Harms over at McDermott & Bull’s Executive Network. Also free and available on the McDermott & Bull website. It doesn’t have to be on Amazon or in Barnes & Noble to get you noticed. But it has to be good and not a self-promotion or advertising piece.
10. Volunteer – I wrote about this topic a while back and it got a great response: On Volunteering During Job Search. So I know this is something a lot of you do or want to do in the future. So why not now? In transition? Volunteer at your local networking group. Think about how many people will come up and talk to you once you show off that fancy and official volunteer badge. It really works. And it puts you in a position to help others.
So, here’s your task for today. Pick one way to become a person of influence and get started. Unless, of course, you are already famous.
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Personal And Business Branding