Why Being an Influencer is Overrated

Happy New Year!

As we dive into 2018, we’re all sharing the same thoughts. What are we going to do differently this year? For me, my goal is to eat healthy. What’s yours? We all have them, even if that resolution is “not to have one.”

For some of my fellows working in social media and content marketing, you might be wondering –how can I boost my social media presence in order to become an influencer?

Why you might want to be an influencer

The reason you might want to be a social media influencer probably varies depending on what your desired outcome is. For me, one of the main benefits of being an influencer means increased blog traffic, which equates to increased leads, which equates to increased sales.

From this perspective, being an influencer sounds like a great idea. You have virtually thousands of people watching your content, eagerly waiting for that next post to come along. It’s like you’re a modern day Charles Dickens, only instead of David Copperfield, you’re writing about the bonuses of using Excel over Google Sheets.

Sounds like a great life, right?

Why so much content is crap

Unfortunately, a lot of other people think this is a pretty good idea as well. Which is why when you log onto LinkedIn, you are quickly inundated with articles written by “influencer’s” setting up outlandish scenarios that may or may not be true, all for the sake of doing exactly what I outlined above –increased traffic, means increased leads, which means increased sales.

My HubSpot workflows are very happy you are reading this blog/post/white paper, etc…

I don’t know about you, but the moment I read the opening lines of these posts, all formatted apparently in the same way because I guess that works, I lose all hope that I will actually gain anything from reading on.

And then there are the influencers who are constantly blasting people for being late to interviews, writing horrible cold emails, or making a cold call that sucked.

People who have been on the receiving end of one of these posts (me…cough…cough) know how painful it can be.

So the point is, who are we really helping?

Influencing for the common good, not for your good

So you’re probably thinking by now, given the slightly misnomered title of this post, that I hate all influencers.

Actually, I consider myself an influencer.

I’ve worked with many companies to help grow their presence, brand, and sales. I do it every day from my local coffee shop. It’s a great life, and it’s one that you could have, too. But if you’re going to do it, focus on the essentials that really matter, not on the trendy, low quality gorilla tactics that have become all too popular.

A few tips on how to be an influencer –being an influencer means helping people

How can I help my audience? How can I provide value? How can I show that I really just want what is best for the person reading my blog, and that the best thing for them would be to purchase my product, download my free trial, or sign up for a webinar?

The answer: give a shit about your reader.

People who give a shit are 100% more likely to succeed in life (that statistic is not at all based on science but 80% of statistics are made up anyways).

The point is, you’re going to have a lot better chance of succeeding if you can find a reason to care.

Way number two: create content that is worth reading

Next time you want to spend an hour posting the perfect social media story about that guy who showed up late to an appointment, or the really cool waterfall you just swam under in Hawaii, stop and think about what you are doing.

How is your audience going to be helped by what you are writing? Chances are, that if you are a small business built around online sales, you probably aren’t going to get a lot out of posting pics of bikini clad women or hating on the sales guy that ruined your morning.

So maybe just skip the cheap content and go for the gold.

Create content that your readers will engage with, that they can have a conversation with. Create it with your reader in mind, and be up-lifting. Show them how your product is the answer to their problem. If you can do this, you’ve won half the battle.

Building your personal brand starts with helping others.

People talk all the time about building your “personal brand.” Personally, I’m not really into manufacturing this. I think it happens naturally. My personal brand is the people I’ve helped create great content for. My personal brand is the excellence with which I take on each project and the way that I deliver.

You can do the same thing, I’m sure, and still grow a significant following. But you really don’t need to be the guy with 10k followers trying to pawn his self published book off on everyone who comes across his post.

You can be an influencer as a member of a team, an influencer in your field, market –whatever. It’s not always all about you.

Photo by melissa mjoen on Unsplash
Like what you read? Give Joseph Anderson a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.