Why You Should Not Become An Influencer
There’s no hacking your way to influence. Regardless of the scale you hope to achieve by becoming an influencer, you must understand that influence isn’t about you. It’s about the people you’re talking to. Here's how to tell if your motivation is wrong.
If you heard about a breakthrough new service that could make you rich and famous overnight, would you want to learn more about it?
If your answer is YES, don’t waste your time with the rest of this article because you won’t like what you’re about to read.
Here’s why. Everyone’s looking for the next best thing. Searching for that special something. The magic hack. Anything to make them…
Sure, we have “hacking tools” that help us reach these higher states of being. If you’ve ever used an Instagram filter you know exactly what I mean by get-attractive-fast.
But when it comes to influencing and making a positive impact on others, short-cuts just don’t work. There’s no hacking your way to influence. Regardless of the scale you hope to achieve by becoming an influencer, you must understand 1 thing:
Influence isn’t about you. It’s about the people you’re talking to.
You must have the right motivation to become a successful influencer. Otherwise you’ll turn into a really bad spray tan on the eve of your best friend’s wedding in Maui. One. Big. Disappointment. We want to spare you from disappointment.
These are the reasons you should not become an influencer.
You should NOT become an influencer if your ‘WHY’ is wrong.
Why do you want to become an influencer? Acceptable answers to this question include:
- I want to grow my network to increase opportunities for my business.
- I want to use my expertise to help people.
- I’m really passionate about this topic and want to motivate others to be passionate about it too.
- I want to make a positive impact by raising awareness about this topic.
- I have a unique story to tell that could change the world.
Unacceptable answers to this question include:
Why? Because I want to get rich fast.
Influence isn’t something you take to the bank. (It isn’t a title to throw on yourself either.) You’re setting yourself up for defeat if that’s your intention because it won’t happen. You’ll go bust. Don’t treat influence like a Ponzi scheme.
Treat influence as the bridge to more opportunities instead. Your influence can raise awareness for a product or service you sell. It can help you build credibility and grow your business. It can increase the number of speaking engagements you get. The opportunities created through influence can generate wealth. Influence alone cannot.
Why? Because I want to get popular fast.
Do you really think the Pope, Jeff Bezos or Melinda Gates woke up one day and said, “If only I was massively popular and famous, then I could influence people and make a positive impact in the world?”
They didn’t. Those who seek fame for the sake of being famous do so with selfish ambitions.
If you’re in it for the fame, try Hollywood.
Why? Because I want to be trendy.
Trends die. Influence doesn’t. Many people think becoming an influencer is the trendy new thing to “do.” You can certainly approach influence this way, but you won’t like what you’re left with if you do.
It’s because trends have beginnings … and they have ends. Trends don’t last long. If they did, we wouldn’t call them trends. Approaching influence with a trend-mindset signals that you’re lazy and impatient.
Influence is not a bubble. You build influence over time.
You should NOT become an influencer if your ‘HOW’ is wrong.
“Hey Alexa, order me some influence.”
Admit it. The digital age makes your life more convenient. Running out of toilet paper or dish soap? Amazon has it on your doorstep tomorrow morning. Construction causing bad traffic on your way to an important meeting? Google gives you a faster route. Empty fridge? UberEATS.
When it comes to building influence — HOW-EVER — you can’t order that with same-day delivery. Not even 2-day shipping.
You cannot become an influencer if this is how you plan to do it:
How? I don’t want to keep my social media profiles up to date.
Has a friend ever told you about an amazing product they use that’s revolutionized their life? It sparks your interest so later that night you go looking for that amazing product on Google but can’t find it. You begin to think this amazing thing doesn’t exist. And if it does exist, you can’t find it on Google so it must not be as amazing as you thought. Bummer, right?
The same holds true for influencers. You are expected to show up online because that’s how we’ve been trained. It’s a blessing or a curse depending on how you view the glass.
It’s a curse if you aren’t up to the challenge of keeping your social profiles up to date. On Linkedin. On Instagram. On Facebook. On Medium.
It’s a blessing if you do it right.
The digital age makes our lives more convenient, but it also makes our lives more public. Influencers need to be visible and active online because your audience will determine their opinion of you based on what they see (or don’t see) on these platforms.
How? I don’t want to create content regularly.
Your content IS your message and your message IS your influence. You fundamentally cannot become an influencer without content. Your audience expects it from you, and they expect it consistently. As one of our favorite influencers, Marie Forleo, says:
Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently.
Successful influencers think about their audience more than they think about themselves, and they show their audience that they’re thinking OF them by consistently creating content FOR them.
How? I don’t want to be vulnerable.
There are 3 truths to becoming an influencer:
Truth #1: You need to be authentic.
Truth #2: Your message needs to be authentic.
Truth #3: You can’t be authentic without being vulnerable.
RELATED: How To Influence People Online
The reason is simple: Your audience is human. They want to connect with a human. In a time when our web browsers know more about us than our moms, the longing for human connection has never been stronger. Besides, your ‘fake’ is making everyone uncomfortable.
Influencers need to build real, human-to-human connections with their audience. A sure-fire way to break the connection and lose the trust of your audience is to show up inauthentically.
Guru. Thought Leader. Influencer. These are all perfectly fine titles to have when taken in context. And when taken in context, an influencer can be a catalyst for positive change. That means no shortcuts or hacks. It means you’re in it for something other than wealth or fame. You’re in it to be part of something greater.