This week I’ve launched my BUILDING YOUR INFLUENCE diagnostic tool, developed from a 2017 blog ‘Dialing Up Your Influence’.
There are a lot of elements involved in creating the personal brand presence that we all need to stand out professionally. A lot of people struggle with confidence or simply don’t know where to start. I wanted to create a way in to help people understand;
- WHY building their influence is important
- WHERE they currently sit on the Influence Dial
- WHAT they need to DO, BE and BUILD to shift the needle
I’ve re-posted the blog here. Once you’ve read it, I’d love you to take the complimentary quiz and download your free PERSONALISED STRATEGY REPORT. It only takes a few minutes and could be just what you need to kickstart your future success and happiness.
It’s funny how mildly disturbing things often appear to be comfortably in the future. Stuff you know you need to do, but that is going to require work, discomfort and courage. Then one day, that future is the present. Shit!
It’s like that with this whole Influence thing. I’ve been banging on about it for years, often to be met by mildly bemused looks from the execs and consultants I was pitching to. One guy I worked with at a media agency a few years ago did nothing. He’s recently been promoted and now barely a day goes by without an excellent piece of on-point commentary on LinkedIn. I love it. But why did it take 3 years to action? Would that promotion have come sooner if he’d got disciplined about getting his great thinking out into the world years ago? I think so, I really do.
If you are getting increasingly spooked by mainstream commentary along the lines of ‘the new world of work’, ‘40% of roles to be replaced by robots!’ and ’the hollowing out of white-collar jobs’, chances are it’s time for you to shift your influence dial.
Building your influence is every bit as important as polishing your CV or building your network. The easiest place to start is by creating your own content and publishing it onto LinkedIn. No, it’s not novel and, yes, lots of people are already doing it. But estimates put that number at around 1% of members. That’s right, only 1% of LinkedIn users create their own content. Whilst it’s not a magic pill, investing in this skill and discipline makes you one in a hundred. In a land of same-same profiles, it’s a great way to stand out.
So where do you need to move your dial to and how?
You have no content and a ‘name, rank and number’ profile that looks like it has been extracted at knifepoint. You either have no picture or one grabbed from your 40th birthday party or passport. You are contactable via ‘in-mail’ only (part of your fortress mentality). You can’t see the point in writing anything about what you know, how you help people or what you think.
You are amazed when you are made redundant, passed over for promotion or told you have been unsuccessful in your consulting pitch.
Life stirs! You get that the game has changed. It’s no longer enough to be an expert. You have an inkling that articles like ‘Why Humanity is your Point of Difference’ may be onto something. You are both a little anxious and excited about stepping out and sticking your head above the parapet.
You are open to change. Let’s do it!
Congratulations. You’ve taken the plunge and written your first couple of LinkedIn articles. You’ve selected a really great image (definitely NOT ‘clip art’, ‘free from Google’ or anything with a goldfish or arrow in it!) With trepidation you hovered over the ‘Submit Article’ button and finally summoned the courage to press it.
“One small click for man, one giant connection for BRAND YOU.”
Maybe you’ve also posted your thoughts out to clients or added them to the company newsletter or blog. You get a couple of nice comments. You are surprised that the anticipated ridicule or “who the f**k do you think you are” smart-arse commentary does not materialize – at least not from the people who matter.
As pedestrian as this may sound, you are already in rarified company. You are standing out. Anyone looking at your LinkedIn profile will see that you have 1. something to say and 2. gone to the effort of saying it. That’s a point of difference. Don’t believe me? Check out the profiles of your boss, peers and reports. Which ones stand out? Why?
You are active on multiple fronts (and multiple fonts!). LinkedIn for sure - you are posting something unique at least every two weeks. In between, you’re curating and commenting on other relevant, quality pieces that you think will excite, educate or challenge the people and markets you want to serve.
You are probably also on Facebook and other platforms, possibly with a slightly different version of your thinking – perhaps less formal or more visual. Videos, podcasts and webinars are all in your repertoire or in your plans.
You’ll also have built a direct email list of contacts. If you are a consultant or entrepreneur this is your client database. If you are an employee you’ll be thinking about smart and elegant ways to leverage these contacts with respect. Less is more.
There are other many other ways to channel your influence such as speaking at internal or external events. Perhaps you are active in creating opportunities to showcase your talents by facilitating client forums or industry thought leadership conferences.
You understand the commercial importance of building your influence. You have created a strategic Influence-building plan that you execute with discipline and focus.
WOW. You are a ROCK STAR. You are AMPLIFIED PLUS. Far from shy, your market can expect to hear from you often and through multiple channels. Twitter, live videos, ‘here I am just about to go into my meeting/event/’ updates. Here I am in the Business Lounge just about to fly somewhere fabulous. Here’s my new book. Here’s my latest thinking/event/video….
Production values are superb. Everything is done to a high standard. Slick, fast, flawless and impressive. You are a professional influencer at the top of the game and have built a significant following. You are C-suite, Super Talent, or Rock Star consultant/speaker/guru. You get top billing when you speak at events as a ‘Head of Cool at ShinyTechCo’ or as a gun external ‘guru’.
You command attention and earn top dollar, be that salary or day rate.
There are many other channels through which you can grow your influence, but you get the point. I believe that everyone MUST be at least LEVEL 3 ACTIVE. That’s the price of turning up today. To do less is to risk irrelevance. You can rail against that, but why take the risk? For a modest investment of time and effort you can become one of the 1%.
I choose to play the game at LEVEL 4 AMPLIFIED. It suits me and who I am. As you may have detected, I sometimes find the LEVEL 5 AWESOME folk can be irritating and self-absorbed. That said, I know many who feel very comfortable in this space. I certainly don’t knock them. They do what they want, do it well and are handsomely rewarded. They may risk the odd negative comment, but no one doubts what they are about. Far better to be a bit too much than completely invisible.
What level you are at today?
What needs to change?
TIME TO TAKE THE TEST and find out!
Since 2010 Mark Hodgson has been successfully helping executives, coaches and consultants to build confidence, gain clarity in their message and position themselves as influential thought leaders who people want to work with.
He is the author of Time To Shine - Adapting who you are and what you know to succeed i... and a leading thinker and speaker on adapting our personal leadership to succeed in a volatile world. To book Mark as a speaker for your next event contact him here.
If you want to know more about working with Mark to activate this thinking in your world, check out the following options:
Time To Shine – Leader Workshop -> 1-day in-house programme for teams
Time To Shine – 60 or 90 Keynote speech ‘Why Humanity is our point of difference’
Time To Shine - Personal Mentoring Programme -> For organisational leaders, independent consultants, coaches and entrepreneurs.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +61 425 230 335 for details.
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