But beneath the surface is a knowledge and service economy that is booming, full of incredible people and brands shaping platforms for big ideas, useful knowledge, and creative assistance.
How they’re doing it is blazing a trail forward (and also reflecting time-honored practices) for how to create influence in a noisy world. If it’s important to you to share ideas that you’re passionate about, get a solution that works in people’s hands, and make a difference in the lives of others, here’s what the Internet is teaching us about influence both online and offline.
Influencers are Creators
There’s an idea in the online community called the 1% Rule, which says that 1% of Internet users create new content, while the other 99% “lurk,” or just view or share the content that someone else creates. I’m no expert in this area, but I would tend to agree, because it works offline as well.
What do you think is the proportion of book readers to book writers? I recently heard the number that 80% of people want to write a book in their lifetime. Few actually do, because creating things is hard!
But that’s good news for you if you have something you think the world needs to know about or have a solution to offer. If you can take it out of your head and put it into motion, you’ve done something 99% of the rest of the world haven’t done. And people will notice.
Whether its bringing two things or ideas together, or designing something that doesn’t yet exist, influencers are creative creators.
Influencers are Givers
Were you ever told that the good guys always lose? The folks who gave of themselves and served others would always find themselves on the bottom of the ladder at the end of the day?
That may have been true, but watching the people and brands today that are getting the furthest ahead the fastest, they’re all extraordinary givers.
They give of their time, their knowledge, and their resources. Whether it’s an 80-page book, a two-hour online seminar, three blog posts a week, or an hour-long podcast, the people who are exerting influence are giving away a large quantity of their research and ideas for free.
How is this a good idea? Besides the benefit to others, a giving economy creates relationship. And relationship drives influence. Who do you think people go to over time when they have a real problem or want a focused solution? The influencer they’ve interacted with in the past over freely-shared content.
Influencers are Recognizers
Look at the top voices in their fields today, and you’ll probably find that they’re hyper-focused on recognizing and celebrating the work, ideas, and solutions of others. Whether it’s an interview, a shared article, or a collaborative effort, influencers are more than willing to give and share credit where it’s due. Especially with the advent of social media, celebration and recognition creates a buzz that is attractive to everybody and creates a healthy momentum.
So what does this look like in your life? Whatever you’re doing, whether online or offline, here are some tangible takeaways and food for thought:
- What are you doing to create something new or devise a solution to a problem? If you’re just pushing around the same resources or just kicking the can down the road, you’re the 99%. You don’t even have to create something from scratch per se – look around at other sectors or industries doing something well, and figure out how you can translate that practice or system in your own work. If you have an idea, write about it. A book outline? Get started. A message to share? Hop on Youtube or Periscope and start talking.
- What are you giving away every day? Is it your time, experience you’ve acquired, advice on paper? Strive to get in a habit of giving something tangible to the community around you. Givers are winners.
- What would it look like if you recognized genuinely one person you respect a day, for the next 7 days? If you’ve read a good book, celebrate the author. Perused a great article? Share it on social media and thank the writer for crafting it. Heard a life-changing message or talk? Honor the speaker.
What are you seeing are keys to influence? Did these hit the mark, or miss it? Share this to start a conversation about influence!