Aside from the respect we should give every person by default (until it’s proved they don’t deserve that respect) we’re talking about what you have to say and why anyone should care. From what you believe to how that translates into audience retention here are some things we should never forget in our effort to be the next top influencer.
What Is An Influencer?
The term “influencer” is thrown around a lot these days. If you have a following (in this case we’re talking social media and blogging) then you’re considered an Influencer. The higher the numbers, the better. At least, that’s the theory.
Evolution Of Influencing
From standing on a soap box in a village to television and radio we’ve always had people there to make their point known (I’m looking at you guy with the doomsday sign). Companies influence by way of marketing. The idea of influencing people is not new. The only difference is the reach that the tools of the day can provide. With things like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook beaming right into our pockets it’s no wonder why this has become such a marketing trend for big companies.
Do You Believe?
I have many beliefs. One that I’m most adamant about is living in balance with nature. I’ve been an environmentalist since before I was old enough to know what that meant. It regulates my daily behavior from Veganism, drinking Peet’s Coffee, using Canon (The Canon T7i and Pro printer are in my toolkit right now), and even down to the search engine and host I use.
The belief you will predominantly see on this blog is that you can do it. Whatever “it” is, you can do it – you are more capable than you think. Whatever your message make sure your audience can connect with you and what’s important.
More Is Better…
My niece brought this point home last year when I told her I was on Youtube. Her first question to me was “How many followers do you have?” never asking what the content was about. For her, being quite young, I understand this being the point of interest but it brings up a fundamental misunderstanding of what truly matters.
Quantity over Quality
The more followers you have, the better – everyone knows that. Disregard the fact that large amounts of followers could be bots, having a ‘following’ of people that don’t interact with you or your ideals doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. Take Facebook for example. I have over 500 friends but only interact with maybe 10 regularly. If I post something exciting (like my first published book) I may get 5 responses out of that 500. Writing that book was a BIG deal for me, it was literally a childhood dream. I self-published it years ago but I still remember the core individuals who were genuinely excited for me. They read it, they shared it, they reviewed it, they gave me honest feedback, and they encouraged me. These 5 quality people did more for my overall success than all the people I know on social media.
Disclaimer: I’m reworking some of the content in the book and it’s in dire need of a new cover. Though I’m impressed with what I did before I knew what design was I can see ALL sorts of ways that cover can be vastly superior, so don’t judge it too harshly :).
Where This Is Coming From
This post is inspired by an article I read about how hotels are having to contend with a new type of client…”Instagram Influencers”. The article talks about people with any kind of following considers themselves influencers and worthy of the ‘rights’ provided by being one of these self-proclaimed celebrities. They want week long, all expenses paid trips to these extravagant places in exchange for “exposure”. As a graphic designer, who has been offered “exposure” for my services I can tell you that this hit a nerve.
So Why You?
So why should anyone care about your influence? What does your voice say? What does it stand for? This is not a judgment if your sole purpose for followers is to make some money to pay the bills – we all gotta pay Uncle Sam! I will challenge you, however, to think what good you could do in this world with your level of influence. You can certainly make money doing something that’s important to you – just a thought. Me, I want to help other people succeed. If by doing so we share some good times (and even better, some amazing coffee) than I’m all about it. If I happen to influence people with some positive behaviors – that’s the most I could ever want.
Having a blog brings with it social responsibility. You have people that will listen to you, for better or for worse. You can be the voice of reason and higher thinking, perhaps being the instrument of great change. “With great power comes great responsibility” (nod to Spider-Man fans).
Your Following Trusts You
Don’t forget why you follow the people you do. They say things you believe in or need to hear. They provide a service and sense of growth (like tutorials, reviews, skills or even just encouragement). You are doing this for your own people. Harness that trust and nourish it like you would the love of a younger brother or sister. Being a blogger brings with it the responsibility to do good and to be good. You can make a difference with the platform you have – how will you leave the world better than when you found it?
As for me, I will continue my work to uplift and create. My time on this Earth is brief, as with us all. It is my hope that someone will hear my words, be touched by them and carry that energy on to the next person. We can make a difference, you and I – THAT, I truly believe.
Featured Image: Thanks to John Schnobrich!