Who inspires you in business? It’s likely someone who is a known entity in their field and thinks differently enough to stand out. For me, it’s people like Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk because they have built up influence and an audience within a very difficult vertical.
But like any good entrepreneur you are probably asking “HOW did they get such a strong and passionate following?”
The answer is actually more straight forward than it seems, you see most people believe the influence comes through the ability to persuade people into thinking or doing what you want – or worse yet into just telling them what they want to hear so they do an action that parallels with your goals. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, these personality types are influential because they have provided an enormous value to their prospective audience that resonated well, was shared with their friends and then capitalized in a way that was sticky (read: built their list).
Create killer content
Writing what you want to hear likely won’t get you the results you are looking for, what you want to write is something that resonates with your target audience. For instance, do you think President Obama really had a deep seated passion about every subject he campaigned about leading up to his election? Of course not, it’s just not human to be that personally invested in ALL the issues, but he definitely had an audience, the American public, who across all the segments was deeply invested in every issue.
Love him or hate him, it’s easy to agree upon the fact that his campaign was smooth because it was able to seemingly appeal to so many different audiences that felt like it was personalized, and when he hit that nerve people shared his message – and they shared it quickly.
You see in order to create killer content you must not try and please someone just like you, you need to please someone who wants to be just like you. Think about that for a moment and realize how non-ego centric that statement really is.
Make it sticky
Once you have grouped together your initial base audience and have found a way to inspire them to share your message, your content, your ideas – your brand; you need to find a way to create a sticky community for the new people who come across your content and message in order to inspire and influence them to an even greater community.
Making the experience sticky doesn’t even have to an email list (although in most written work it’s the most effective). For rich media and niche content streams such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook it’s all about bridging the connection to communicate at a later date. That comes by getting users to subscribe to your channel, follow or “like” you – respective of the network you are creating your content on. The most influential people are bringing their audience into the conversation and engagement across every medium possible to help them “spread the gospel” that is your content.
If you are able to find what motivates people, give them a compelling reason to share and then give them a strong call-to-action that connects them with your brand, content and message repeatedly in the future you will be able to create a snowball of influence. Those mechanics are what make the world leaders so effective getting where they want to go, it doesn’t have anything to do with being smarter or even having the best content. They simply know how to constantly leverage their resources to reach an ever expanding audience and strengthen the influence they have with their existing constituents.[Photo credit Zmags]