What is an influencer? How can you be one? What does it take? What shouldn’t you do?
I spoke to Dan Knowlton from Knowlton this week and asked him just that. It turns out it may not be as easy as I expected.
Influencer mistakes… and how to fix them
1. Don’t buy followers
It’s tempting, when you are starting out and you don’t have many people following your account buying followers may feel like the solution but it’s not.
According to Dan, there’s no point buying a truck load of followers that don’t know you and aren’t interested in what you do.
It’s pointless to build followers if you don’t know who they are and if they don’t help you achieve your goals.
Fun fact: You can buy Instagram Likes from vending machines in Russia.
2. Don’t be snobby about speaking for free
Exposure doesn’t pay the bills but it can be the mechanism to pay the bills. So if you get offered a speaking gig ask yourself if it may be a valuable way to reach your target market.
Weigh up the value you get in terms of exposure, audience growth, relationship building.
3. Go networking
We often think that influencing is an online only thing but you can build stronger relationships by going to meetings and networking with the people you meet online face to face.
So even if you hate networking, don’t ignore it.
4. Stop trying to be an influencer
Focus your time and energy on being better at what you do. When you do that you will be more influential in your industry.
Invest time in developing yourself. Audit how much time you are investing in learning. Think about how you are learning. Are you setting time aside to read, to go to industry events, to watch videos, do training courses? You should be spending a lot of time doing that.
What do you think?
What should you avoid when pursuing influencer status? What mistakes do influencers make?