Consume to Create Content! Free Tools to Become an Influencer
Execute Your Dream to Perfection
You will need to start doing once you realize being an influencer allows you to share your journey, gain valuable skills, and elevate your career. Too many people have a dream but don’t actually do the work to attain their goals.
The open secret to reaching your goals and becoming an influencer is that it takes work . . . that is all.
Yet, do not be scared of work. When you love what you are doing it will not feel like work. Just read what Steve Jobs had to say.
“People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing and it’s totally true. And the reason is because it’s so hard that if you don’t, any rational person would give up. It’s really hard. And you have to do it over a sustained period of time. So if you don’t love it, if you’re not having fun doing it, you don’t really love it, you’re going to give up. And that’s what happens to most people, actually. If you really look at the ones that ended up, you know, being “successful” in the eyes of society and the ones that didn’t, oftentimes, it’s the ones [who] were successful loved what they did so they could persevere, you know, when it got really tough. And the ones that didn’t love it quit because they’re sane, right? Who would want to put up with this stuff if you don’t love it?”
Here is the moment where you make the difficult decision. Will you work to reach your dreams? Is your ideal future worth the effort? Will you share your journey and influence others
You have one life to live and nobody can answer those questions except for you. If you answered yes, keep reading. If you answered no, then feel free to stop.
How to Start Sharing Content
Now that you have chosen to be an influencer and do the necessary work you will be facing real obstacles. How to start? What do you say? How do you distribute your content?
Those are important issues and need to be overcome. Let’s look at how you can start with free tools for you to be efficient.
First, you need to start with what you know. You will be shocked at how many people are interested in your expertise. Do you have knowledge in graphic design, accounting, coding, physics, professional development, tax consulting, or something else?
We are all experts in something.
That is what you need to share with others. Tell them how you became an expert, how your audience can gain valuable skills, and continually share your journey of getting better daily. People love stories, and there are no better stories than the real life struggles of people becoming great at what they do.
As you are coming up with your initial content, think of the fundamental aspects of your expertise. Let’s imagine you are a fashion designer. Some of your first pieces of content would be:
- Fashion 101: what to wear and what not to wear
- Where to find the best deals
- How to determine your ideal style
- 5 biggest fashion mistakes people make
- 3 articles of clothes to make you more attractive in 10 minutes
All of those items are basic to a fashion designer, but something others desire to know. There is nothing too rudimentary. You are the expert and have forgotten most people don’t know the fundamentals of your expertise. Share those pieces of wisdom and build your audience’s skill set.
Doing so will allow you to build an audience and become a thought-leader in your industry. Just starting to share content automatically gives the perception that you know about a specific area.
Keep in mind that being an “expert” doesn’t mean you are the most knowledgeable person in the world about a topic. You can be a “relative expert” in a certain topic when compared to other people around you.
You just need to know a bit more about the person you are helping.
We may not be a world expert on the topic of networking (yet). There is so much we still have to learn. And that is why we stay in action and read every book we can find on the topic. Dale Carnegie and Keith Ferrazi are considered networking experts worldwide.
But we can be an expert in a smaller context.
There is a lot of people that would like to have an “All-Star” LinkedIn profile and get 3 or more daily profile views. Most people would like to write articles and have people find them through Google Search or LinkedIn pulse. Many would like to be invited to speak at an event about certain topics they are an “expert” at.
Over the past two years, both of us have achieved all those things. We may not be worldwide experts, but we are the expert in doing those things mentioned.
And we can help anyone that wants to do the same.
We have been keeping track of all the steps we’ve been taking, which allows us to share it with others that want to replicate those results.
You have probably done some things already that others would like to do but haven’t been able to do yet. To them, you are an expert.
Now you know how to start and what to say. Go do it!
Free Tools to Reach Your Goals
You have your topic to share your expertise. Now you just need to start putting content together. We are going to specifically look at writing articles for practical reasons.
Articles can be:
- Shared on LinkedIn, other free blogging platforms, sent to online publications
- Turned into an e-guide, e-course or webinar
- Used as a script for a podcast
- Turned into an outline for a video
- Divided into pieces for shorter articles
- Be shared multiple times, i.e. post your articles more than once
Writing is the foundation of all content so we need to start there. Do not be afraid to write.
We are all writers.
Think of the number of times you write in any given day. How many text messages, emails, and social media posts did you send today? This week? This year? The answer is likely thousands!
You are a writer and didn’t even know it. After you realize that fact. You will need some tools to get going. Here are our favorites.
- Google Docs: it should be obvious, but you need to write somewhere. We prefer Google Docs because it is easy to share with others during the editing process.
- Your MBA Purpose: obviously we are biased since we run this site but there are great free tools to get you started writing, see this article on a 5-minute technique on how to identify content for your first article.
- Grammarly and Hemingway Editor: both are freemium online applications that edit grammar for you! These have been lifesavers for us. We write multiple pieces of content a week and having an online tool to edit grammar is like having a personal editor.
- Unsplash: stunning photos enhance any written content. We use Unsplash for free HD photos. Here is a quick article on how to use the site.
- You: why would we put you as an important tool? The answer is simple, writing is dependent on your life. Ryan Holiday, being interviewed by Tim Ferriss, explained the best way to become a great writer and influencer is to live an interesting life. Being an expert is just the beginning, you also need to be interesting. Go on a trip, meet new people, try new things, start a side company, etc. When you are interesting people will listen to you.
If you are always learning… If you are always taking action, reading books, watching TED Talks, listening to podcasts… You will always have something valuable to talk about.
Most people don’t read books. If you are able to read a lot of books, and then share actionable information you got from those, that is valuable!
The key to producing valuable content is to always be consuming content, in any form.
With those tools, you can get your first article complete. Now it’s time to share with the world.
Share Your Journey Online
The anatomy of a great article:
- Amazing picture that gets attention
- Title that sparks interest
- A first line that hooks the reader
- It tells a story, preferably a personal one, that connects emotionally with the reader
- There is actionable information. An easy way for the ready to apply the information and get a result.
- A call to action and promotion of your brand (see how this is at the end, this is the LAST thing you should do)
Keep in mind when you write about something it doesn’t mean you created everything you are writing about. You can add your perspective, your opinion, or the actions you took, in relation to an idea or information already existent.
We sometimes may think “What am I going to write about if everything has already been said?”. Well not everyone may know about that.
Recently we read Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People. The book was written more than 70 years ago. It is the Bible of networking. Does that mean nobody else should write about that topic and the strategies and tactics discussed in the book? No, someone could apply the ideas to the Internet era. Or how you can use those principles in a different culture. Or share how those principles have helped you achieve something specific.
Once you start writing and building the habit, you will get better at it.
For example, we are now writing this guide about how to start writing and blogging. Are we the experts in this field? No, there are others we have learned from like Tim Ferriss and Neil Patel. But we have taken 2 to 3 steps in the journey of becoming an expert blogger.
And we can help someone who is at 0 and wants to take step 1. We want to help you take the first step in the right direction.
Our process is simple.
- Ideas: We keep track of topics we could write about. Usually, while we’re reading books or listening to podcasts we get ideas because we could use that same book or podcasts as a solid source. We keep a word document where we only write about possible ideas.
- Brainstorming: We then brainstorm the different ideas we have and decide which one should we tackle next.
- Outline: Afterward we work on the Outline, we do a draft of the structure that we think the article should have and make comments.
- Draft: We then start writing. Without thinking about grammar, about the story in general or structure. We set some possible sub-titles and then write everything we can about it.
- Editing: We edit the grammar, add the links, bold the most important ideas. We give shape to the story.
- Final Touches: We give a last proofread, check the links.
- We post.
The process is really that simple. Once you know the structure, then it is time to execute and be disciplined. Set aside time with no distractions and go through the stages. Do not try to do them all in one day, instead, break out the steps over multiple days.
Soon they will become a habit, and before you know it, you will be sharing a new piece of content every month, then biweekly, and could even share weekly.
Take some time to look over all of the above steps, free tools, and process. Block off some time on your calendar to get started. Doing so is the first step to becoming an influencer.
Influencing Yourself Before Influencing Others
But only if you really deserve it. Doing so you can trick yourself to make and break habits.
We want to share with you a methodology that can help you produce content consistently. By rewarding the behaviors you want to keep, and by breaking down overwhelming tasks into small steps.
We have already shared how we break the whole process of writing an article into different steps (Idea, Brainstorming, Outline, etc.).
Pair all those activities that you know you should do but don’t want to do, with something that you want to do but you know you shouldn’t do.
You could reward yourself with 10 minutes of social media once you finish each step of the process. And then you can have a big reward, like watching an episode of a TV series you like, once you finish writing the article.
Your brain will associate taking the time to go through each of the steps of writing the article with positive things. In no time you will actually be looking forward to creating content.
Another key thing is to be accountable. Have a deadline, decide how many content you will be producing each month. Stick to it.
In next week’s article, we will go even more tactical by showing screen shots and instructions of how to post on free blogging platforms including LinkedIn and Your MBA Purpose.
As you read this, you might have thought about some of your friends who either want to start sharing content or you know they should share their amazing journey. Encourage them by liking and sharing this. You may be able to help them.
This article was written by Matt Avery and Alejandro I. Sanoja.