The topic of influence and the existence of influencers isn’t a new concept. However, both terms have turned into buzz words over the last few years as multiple industries have been shaken up and gatekeepers have found themselves on the opposite side of the fence.
Spheres of influence have shifted and the barriers to entry for certain fields has diminished, creating a new class of influencer. Someone who can change whole industries with a small, highly engaged network.
So how do you find out if you’re an influencer?
This is a tweet from one of my followers on Twitter. When she tweeted this, I responded with a coy “thanks,” or a “you’re so sweet..” but then I started to try and figure out what I had done or been doing to make her feel that way.
So I called her bluff. I asked her why she thought I was an influencer.
Here’s the response, in her own words:
- You inspire change in thought and perception amongst a sizable audience.
- You can identify new trends or ideas.
- You effectively translate to your audience the pros and cons to utilizing a trend or idea.
- You surround yourself with fellow influencers.
- You engage in lively discussion with other influencers, which you strategically let your audience in on.
- You connect “average Joes and Janes” to fellow influencers, thus maximizing the influencing net.
- You offer definitive – versus vague – methods/techniques which your audience can employ in their daily lives.
- By knowing, owning, and honing your specific lane, you have become the go-to woman whose opinion people can trust and rely on.
Besides the obvious feelings of flattery, I was kind of in shock at how closely her list resembles some of the main character traits that are used to describe influencers.
But, let’s get back to the question at hand: How can YOU find out whether or not you’re an influencer.
At the surface level, you can read articles like this one or what Marcus wrote. And while you may find some similarities in your own life, the words we write have very little meaning if you’re still unsure of how influential the people in your own network think you are.
So that’s the answer.
Reflect on all of the work that you’re doing in your field of expertise and think about what you’ve done to positively impact or persuade your network to support certain brands, habits or ideals.
Have you noticed any type of shift in their behavior over time? Have your friends started wearing their shoes like you or have they started shopping a brand that you introduced them to?
Have you changed the way they think about certain things? Like politics? Or philanthropy?
Have you gotten them to share the content you create?
Or, perhaps to comment on a post like this one?
Have you asked them what they think?
If not. Do that. You’ll probably be surprised at what you find out…