How do you build and establish your influence in an industry niche?
There is no framework for becoming an influencer in your niche or industry. There are different variable to becoming an influencer in any given field. However there are a few key things you should work on as you begin to establish influence.
First understand influence.
Influence matters. And as we continue to morph (at breakneck speed) into an interconnected, interdependent, increasingly global marketplace and workplace, it will matter more.
The ability to influence is one of the essential skills for leaders at all levels. Influence is not the number of followers or likes or engagement on social media but that certainly counts. It is your ability to change minds, shape opinions, move others to act? Influence can be positive or negative. You can influence people, events or things.
Influence is different from manipulation.
When it comes to manipulation, the goal is to introduce stress, anxiety, or discomfort to their target in an effort to achieve the desired goal.
"Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the behavior or perception of others through indirect, deceptive, or underhanded tactics. By advancing the interests of the manipulator, often at another's expense, such methods could be considered exploitative and devious." Wikipedia
Establish yourself as an Authority
How to develop and maximise your influence?
a) First understand your influencing style.
It all begins with self-awareness. What’s your dominant style? Do you assert, convince, negotiate, bridge or inspire? Do you tend to apply the same approach to every situation and individual? Understanding your natural inclination is a good place to start.
b) Identify your core values
I believe that one of the best way to make a positive impact on your target audience is to develop your own list of core values. It can be personal or for your business. As a business this will be reflected in your Vision Statement and culture.
Identifying your core values will help you grow your influence effectively.
It MUST be documented and well thought out.
This is one of the best things you can do as a parent, individual or an entrepreneur.
When you do this your message will get clearer. You'll have a more profound impact on your audience or target market.We have a blog post listing over 70 core values that you can choose from for yourself, your business and even for your family.
Click here to read.
It might seem so simple but daily reinforcement of the basics can and will take you all the way to the top. It is not enough to write these core values down, you must follow through.
Consistency is vital. Focus is vital. Repetition is vital.
Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organisation. These guiding principles dictate behaviour and can help people understand the difference between right and wrong. Core values can also help you as a business owner to determine if you are on the right path. They play a huge part in helping you fulfil your goals because they serve as an unwavering guide.
C) Identify your influence areas
Identify your skills
This simple exercise is about discovering what you are great at? Businesses use a swot analysis to do this but you can answer a few simple questions to discover these areas.
The key to building influence is asking yourself “What is my biggest strength?”
Think about it: so many people are in jobs they hate because they haven’t found that one true passion. They are good at a few things so that’s what they do here and there, but they aren’t sure what that one big thing they want to do for the rest of their lives could be.
It’s important to discover your strengths so you can narrow down what it is you want to do with your life.
What are your skills? List all your skill sets
Identify which ones you do best
Identify what people always ask you to help them do.Ask five to ten people who know you and ask them “What are my skills and abilities, and what are my weaknesses?”
Which of your skills are you consistently praised for?
What do you love doing?
If all you could do for the rest of your life was one job, add one value to people, what would it be?
D) Maximise your influence and Establish yourself as an authority
Refine and develop your specialties
Put your skills to use for free as a starting point
Teach: Don’t leave money on the table, if people come to you to do it for free all the time, think of monetising.
Find speaking opportunities.
Write a book. Even if it is an e-book.
Look for opportunities to write as a guest blogger on an influential blog.
Look for podcasts that target your audience and get invited to speak.
Attend industry events and network.
To establish yourself as an authority, you have to know what value you bring to the table and how you present that value in a way that attracts your core audience.