What is an Influencer?

Hat tips to Dave McClure for posting this originally on his blog and Wayne Sutton for sharing it via Google Reader, which is how I discovered this remarkable video.

Are you an influencer?

Let’s face the truth: most people are sheep. If you’re trying to succeed at this online business thing, you’re not going to get very far being a sheep. Starting and trying to make an online business work in the first place takes guts, so keep running with that idea. I’m thinking most of us don’t think of ourselves as being influential, but if you have a blog, you’re heading in the right direction.

Even if you don’t feel very influential now, you can work on it deliberately. You can cultivate influence. Now, I”m not even all that terribly influential, but I can tell you what’s worked for me so far:

  • Discover your big uniqueness and make it your most observable, defining trait. For me, that’s being an easily understood, no-bullshit kinda guy. (New tagline? Blog Marketing without the Bullshit – LOL!)
  • Create and seek out platforms people ascribe to influencers, such as blogs & books, video, public speaking, and interviews. People tend to automatically assign authority to you when you appear in these media. This is why I never turn down interview requests and why we should all be seeking out guest post opportunities.
  • Keep an eye on the cutting edge of your field and spin its news into a relevant form for your audience and clients. I monitor hundreds of feeds in my reader and follow thousands on Twitter. I curate this material and present the good stuff back to my audience (like with this video).
  • Take a stand: let it be known what you stand for… and what you don’t stand for. I feel very strongly about how people can make their lives better by embracing online entrepreneurialism, and yet there’s a lot to dislike about online marketing. Which is why you see posts like this one but don’t see me going for the hard sell and getting all in your face.
  • Present your vision of a better way constantly in everything you create and publish. Encourage to your tribe. Note what that word really means: courage is the root word. To en-courage someone is to inspire them to act courageously. That’s what influencers do. A big part of what I do in my blog consulting is to encourage my clients to adopt much more audacious goals than they currently have.

What’s the one single next step you can take right now to increase your influence?