Influence can’t be achieved through intimidation or coercion. It comes from within—from a person’s ability to inspire and motivate those around them.
Becoming an influential leader has nothing to do with titles and everything to do with gaining the admiration, confidence, and trust of those around you. It’s about how you engage with others and how your vision rallies people to you.
It may seem hard to nail down what exactly allows one person to hold sway over others, but these certain five traits are unique to these natural leaders.
Influence doesn’t happen by magic. It comes through intentional behavior and practices.
Influential people move through life with purpose—conscious of their words, wisdom, and how others perceive them. They focus on ways to create the impact they wish to have and how to achieve the outcomes they aim for.
“Someone who is influential,” said Diane Cohn, Wildeye CMO, “has a body of knowledge about a topic which they share with others, becoming a credible resource for that information. But it also has to be a topic that people care about.”
If you’re a makeup artist, it’s all about the makeup, the colors, how you apply them and all the different effects you can create. Or if your niche is personal finance, you are putting out content on how to increase earnings, save money or invest for retirement.
Audiences connect to those who know their craft and freely share valuable information.
Influence must be earned through integrity and honesty.
Influential people recognize that others will hold them up as an example to emulate. They know that their reputations are the foundation of their ability to influence and lead, understanding that they must be trusted if they hope to inspire others to adopt their ideas and support their vision.
“Being knowledgeable about something is important” said Diane, “but to truly influence others, you also have to be authentic, credible and worthy of someone’s trust.”
People are always evaluating—why should they listen to one person versus another?
If you’re an influencer, whether they read your writing, watch your videos or look at your pictures, people are making snap judgements. Does what you’re saying make sense? Do they relate to you? Can they trust you?
If the answer is yes, they will follow.
Being relatable means that audiences connect to an influencer through shared similarities. It’s a key quality that helps create trust, which melts people’s defenses and opens them to new ideas.
Influential people tend to relate to others in deep and meaningful ways, often seeking to bring people together to help them feel connected.
They typically have a purpose that others are attracted to, they add value to the groups they collaborate with, and they strive to have a positive impact on those around them.
Relatability also requires that they be somewhat open about their emotions. When they share their difficulties and how they cope, this often leads to an increase in likeability and influence.
As an influencer, people perceive you as being real when you admit to weaknesses or flaws.
Monitoring and adapting to new trends is key to staying relevant as an influencer.
Leveraging the right trends can help you reach new customers, make more sales, or capture a new audience, but the challenge is how to adapt while staying true to your brand.
The ability to evolve is critical for maintaining influential status, and there’s no better example of this than Madonna, the Queen of Pop. She’s the master of reinvention, evolving from True Blue’s yearning Marilyn Monroe figure to the scintillating sinner of Like A Prayer.
These days every top pop star approaches each album like a separate world with a distinct visual identity. It’s now very common to hear music fans referring to things like Ariana Grande’s Sweetener phase or The 1975’s Music for Car era. This has been Madonna’s game since 1979.
As an evolving influencer, you may lose some fans along the way, but you’ll retain the ride-or-die cohort and likely gain new ones if you’ve built a strong base and continue to create.
“I think a true influential person is someone who is able to reinvent themselves as needed and bring their audience with them so that it’s authentic,” said Diane. “The influencer is being who they need to be, but it’s still relevant and valuable for the audience.”
If people suddenly seem confused about your brand or what it represents, perhaps you pivoted too hard. Reach out to your fans to see where your message got lost and see if you can bring them around before too much damage is done.
But above all, stay true to your heart and walk your own path.
5) The Hustle Factor
The hustle factor is the consistency of putting content out there and building credibility.
Diane said, “You have to build your knowledge in whatever your niche is.”
You have to learn all the things you need to learn, but that’s not enough. You can’t just know a lot of things. You have to go through the effort and the time and commitment of putting that information out into the public realm.
Whether it’s creating a YouTube channel or an Instagram account, you have to be putting the content out there to share your knowledge.
With the majority of information on the internet being practically free, it is your job to figure out a game plan and figure out how to set yourself apart, but also make it entertaining.
The cliché saying of “success doesn’t happen overnight” couldn’t be more spot on when you want to be a person of influence.
“Consistency is what everybody says. Every influential person who’s built an audience has consistently worked for that every day of every week for years,” said Diane.
To build an audience, you have to keep creating.
Connecting Influencers to Their Fans
As an influencer, staying engaged and connected with fans is critical for continued success.
Billions of followers want to connect with millions of influencers, but they can’t because the influencers are inundated by too many requests.
Millions of influencers are looking for new ways to monetize. They want to connect with fans but want to do it conveniently and safely on their own terms.
Wildeye founders Diane and Ted Cohn created BidToTalk as a marketplace where you can bid or pay for private video calls with influencers.
Our service allows the influencer to get paid for their valuable time.
“If you want to ask an influencer a specific question that’s particular to your own circumstances, you don’t have to put it in a public comment. Our marketplace gives you the opportunity to ask the one person you’ve been following for years for their input on a private call,” said Diane.
Influencers, athletes, professionals, and personalities, or anyone who wants to share their knowledge will soon be able to auction specific time slots for video calls to the highest bidder, or they can charge a fixed fee to speak to fans during the time slots they publish on our platform.
Our technology handles search, bidding, scheduling, payment processing, security, and video calls. Wildeye’s primary purpose is to connect you with those you admire for potentially life-changing conversations.
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