The Secret to Building Influence

building influenceInfluence is a hot buzzword right now. It’s a particularly hot topic online on blogs and in social media. Organizations want to grow their online influence in an effort to get more people to buy their products or join their cause. Individuals want to grow their online influence because it provides opportunities to shape people’s opinions, not to mention the attention, job opportunities, and other perks that influencers often receive.

Because of the social media context of influence, I wrote a blog post for Christian Web Trends about what I believe is The Secret to Building Influence Online and Offline. (Think you know what it is? You may be surprised!)

However, building influence is also tremendously important offline, particularly as it relates to leadership, which is one of the main topics we discuss here on Live Intentionally. So, go read the post, and then come back and discuss what it means to your leadership.

Did you guess “the secret” before reading the post? Do you sometimes get caught up in more superficial, impersonal and passive ways of trying to build influence? How can you use this “secret” to build your influence in your current leadership roles?

2 Responses to “The Secret to Building Influence”

  1. I think it depends on what you mean by influence. What you talk about is the ability to influence lives. As Christians, that is one of our primary passions.

    Then there is worldly influence which is usually based on who you know, how big your voice is and how much power you have. Think of many of the annoying pop stars out there who are anything but helpful out there, but their ability to influence is tremendous.

    Bloggers and tweeters that have large followings can more easily influence a crowd just through their words, even if they don’t amount to much. Influence online is a numbers game.

    Now, if you have no audience and you are starting from scratch without a built in fan base, you have to provide value and be helpful.

    What I’m struggling with right now is finding what people consider useful and helpful as my follower numbers are very low, but the followers I have are extremely powerful influencers on and offline. So I just haven’t found the right message to appeal to a wider audience I guess.

    • It’s certainly easier to influence once you have a large following, but keep in mind that even the most influential leaders, bloggers, and artists started with zero influence.

      I’m not saying this is the case with you, but I’ve found a lot of bloggers are really more interested in expressing their own thoughts than actually helping people. Their hope is that if they just express themselves, there are people out there who need to hear what they’re saying, will stumble onto them, and be impacted by their posts.

      My suggestion is to follow the steps listed in the other blog post. Who do you care about and want to help? Go and find them, ask them what their struggles are, listen to them, and genuinely seek to understand. Then do what you believe will help them.

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