Responsibility of Influence

There are different types and levels of influence. We are not all Martin Luther King Jr. We don’t all have big speeches to give on a massive, global platform. Oh wait! Isn’t that what social media is…a massive global platform?

Gone are the days when your influence was only who you happened to see in-person that day. Now, people will post what they think, wear, eat, how they feel, where they’ve been, and how they got there…and on and on. It can literally shift how trends behave, and what brands and companies will benefit on a much grander scale. The audiences can potentially quickly grow to be in the millions…and many times, it is. The impact of one person’s choices, words, post, attitude, creativity, photo, video, beliefs, and viewpoint can literally make the difference whether people behave a certain way…or not. That is a huge deal! Let’s not take that for granted. Influence is powerful.

With all the ability to impact/influence comes great responsibility. What someone types out in a moment of emotion, frustration, inspiration, excitement, passion has the power to govern the trajectory of another person’s decisions and actions. While we all [definitely] need to take responsibility for how we are influenced, the influencers themselves have the responsibility to realize that every word, photo, video, post that gets released into the chasm that is social media can and does shift the needle on someone else’s “compass” in some way.

I use the word responsibility…because that is exactly what it is…a responsibility.


re·spon·si·bil·i·ty (noun) >> the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone. >> the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something. >> the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization.


We all have opinions, viewpoints, personal beliefs, etc….I get it. We are all human. Here is the “however.” Being an “influencer” means being a leader to a certain extent. True leaders play by a different rule book…a higher standard of choice and behavior of sorts. As an entrepreneur, I am the owner of my brand. I am the sole owner of the influence that I put out in the world. I must take a personal responsibility of that ownership. When we own our brand, we are leaders to our audience…no matter the size of the audience…no matter how many eyeballs and ears we have paying attention…we are leaders. We must take responsibility for that leadership.

A conceptual look at leadership and associated concepts.

Leadership means that the impact we have on others supersedes the impulse to voice and post anything and everything that comes to our own mind. Leadership means that we consider others BEFORE ourselves. How will what I am about to say potentially make others behave. Will it make them want better or feel worse? Will it breed anger/strife/frustration/resentment or will it inspire/motivate/strengthen/encourage? Every word matters. Every photo matters. Every action matters.

Are we to be authentic? Absolutely. Are we to be impulsive? No.

Authenticity does not equal impulsiveness. Authenticity means that if we decide to post about an issue that is driven in passion, it must also be respectful to your future self and others. We must ask ourselves…”when I look back on this post a year from now, will I cringe or be proud that I honored others and myself with my choices?” Does everything always need to be “fluffy” and “flowery?” No…but it does need to show ourselves and our audience respect. Even the toughest issues in our world can be approached with grace and consideration.

We are responsible for our words…whether we speak them, write them, or type them. Our words have the power to change someone’s life…for good or for bad. Choose carefully.

Here is my >> 5-5-5 Filter << to help with what to post on social.

Influencer Beyond the Number

What does it mean to have influence?

Do we really grasp the impact of having true influence?

This article talks about the main reasons that most seek out the “INFLUENCER” ‘title’ on social media and beyond:

Fame motive makes people want to be stars. It seems that, as ordinary users, our time on social media is spent on those who have thirst for popularity; those who are seeking more followers, likes, and comments and trying their best to get ahead of their competitors; those who work very hard to stand out from the crowd. They are called social media influencers.

For the sake of getting to the ‘heart’ of things, I would like to open the “chest” of social media and humanity as it currently stands. Our society within social media has become quite focused on numbers…followers…likes…etc. There has got to be more to social media than that, right?

Let’s break it down and have look at the definition of the word, influence.

in·flu·ence (noun) 
>> the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.


Now, let’s look at the words CHARACTER, DEVELOPMENT, & BEHAVIOR.
char·ac·ter (noun)
>> the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
de·vel·op·ment (noun)
>> the process of developing or being developed.
>> a specified state of growth or advancement.
>> a new and refined product or idea.
>> an event constituting a new stage in a changing situation.
be·hav·ior (noun)
>> the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially toward others.


Here is the big problem I see with the above excerpt. It’s ALL based on EGO. There is nothing in that explanation that points to the audience itself. What about the audience? The word INFLUENCER in itself points to the IMPACT one has on OTHERS, and yet the goal of the majority of influencers is the sole purpose of self-promotion and popularity. I am not saying you can never post another selfie. I post them…I get it. My goal with this post is grander than the topic of selfies. Stay with me.

This has been on my mind for a long time, and I have struggled with how to reconcile our society’s mindset as a whole around social media and the “influence” that we have on each other…micro and macro.

Let’s talk numbers.

Considering the impact that what we do/say has on others, let’s talk about numbers. Every ONE counts in our audience. Well, at least they are supposed to count.
Many people on social media have become obsessed with the “number of followers” they have…not necessarily the value of the audience or the content that the followers (no matter how many there are) consume.

When I am working with a client who expresses their desire for “more followers,” I often ask…
“How are you taking care of the followers that you DO have?”
and
“What value are you giving them that would make those individuals want to engage, and further share your content with others?”

REMEMBER:
There is (ideally) a person behind every single social media account following you. Those are people…with jobs, families, friends, interests, concerns, passions, beliefs…and their own circle of influence.

IMAGINE THIS:
All of the sudden, all those people who are following you are put into one physical room…all facing a stage that you are scheduled to stand on and give a keynote. The message you give will either change their lives for the better or for the worse.
What would you say?
What would you present visually?
How would you inspire?
How would you communicate your message?
How would your keynote make them feel?

Is your presentation memorable or forgettable?
Would that audience leave that presentation motivated to tell others about it positively or embarrassed that they showed up in the first place?
What would they say to others about their experience after they left?
Would they invite others to your next keynote?

Would they come back for more…on purpose?
The answers to these questions should help drive how we behave on social…how we influence.

Could you comfortably give an in-person keynote to 6,000 people like Brendon Burchard?

Using the above scenario in consideration of numbers, what if the size of the in-person audience was 50 people? 1,000 people? 10,000 people? 1 million people?
At what point is your ability to take care of that size audience more than you can manage emotionally, physically, financially?
Are you taking care of your 0-100 followers well?
Are they receiving value?
Are they being nurtured by your influence?
If they all (or most) became customers overnight, would you be able to handle the workflow?
If honoring others is our priority, are we serving our EXISTING audience well?

I never recommend my clients to “buy followers.” Why? Because we want real people to serve. We want to help real people. Often “buying followers” means buying a number. That number is not real. Those accounts will not engage like you are wanting and needing. They will not be true members of your tribe.

I personally don’t have a massive Instagram following, and I am completely happy with that. My goals are different than others. I want every single “follower” to be someone who has CHOSEN to take part in the community that my message attracts and supports. It’s incredibly important to me. I want to serve them all at my best and within my capabilities. I want to grow it at the pace that I can serve them well…always.

One of the #1 reasons businesses fail is they are not ready for the success they have. If we are in this for the “Infinite Game,” as Simon Sinek would put it, then we all must work diligently to build a strong foundation…even on social media.
Growth with constant consideration of each step is where sustainability thrives.

Honor your audience.
Support your audience.
Respect your audience.
Bring value to your audience.
Help your audience thrive.


These are the ways to grow with authenticity and integrity…and your future self will thank you!

Get Their Attention on Social

This is the elephant-in-the-room topic that so many entrepreneurs and small business owners wish they could avoid…and, understandably, many do avoid it all together.
What if all the mystery behind social media could be wiped away, and all you were left with was a powerful tool to connect with your audience and build relationships with them?
Well, that is EXACTLY what social media IS…a tool…a pathway…a channel to build relationships.
Just like building relationships with people in-person WELL is a learned skill…we must LEARN HOW to master and develop our “people” skills in a digital format.  You can do it! Your future-self will thank you for mastering this skill!

HOW do you get MORE ENGAGEMENT on your content?

READY FOR THE ANSWER?

There are lots of things you can do to get more engagement on social media, BUT let’s not “put the cart before the horse.” Oh dear… that is probably not the answer you wanted. Sorry…not sorry. I am an advocate for people to conquer in the most effective order. So, let’s conquer well!

The REAL question should be…

Is your IDEAL AUDIENCE even seeing your content in the first place?
How can we know they are?

Before you get the ENGAGEMENT, people MUST see your content in the first place. If they don’t see it, they will never interact with it. If they “see” it, yet, don’t stop scrolling long enough to read it/watch it etc, nor feel compelled to engaged with it, then you have lost the battle before it began. Let’s talk about that…

Here is the truth of the matter…
If people are not engaging with your content, then they are probably not even seeing it.
If they ARE seeing it and not engaging, then your content is not CONNECTING with them. 
Most likely, if they stop long enough to read and examine, then they will more likely actively-engage with it. If they don’t, then they don’t want to let their own audience know that they are connected with it. They are choosing NOT to align with it publicly for some reason, then there are a multitude of possible reasons that can be happening.
This is where the frustration lives…the land of not-knowing.
How can we know “the why?” 

This article in Hootsuite goes into great depth about the topic.

Think of engagement as a moment of alignment with something…for or opposed.

People love to give their opinion or point of view on things. If the content is too neutral and does not strike an emotion (one way or another), they will not engage.  It must evoke a FEELING (small or grand) in alignment with an already established truth or interest inside them. If it does not, they will not even stop scrolling, much less actively engage. 

That feeling can be as small as a moment of intrigue for entertainment purposes, or as large as connecting to a deep-seeded truth inside them for a cause that means a lot to them.

It really all comes down to knowing exactly WHO you are talking to….WHO you are trying to CONNECT with. If you do not know WHO you are targeting your content for…then you will land randomly.
If you have a brand that you are sharing with the world, it does not matter whether you are posting for personal or business, you should be posting with razor-like intention.

When a person LIKES/LOVES a post, they are saying to the world…”I endorse this post…I back it. I put my stamp of approval and alignment with it.” When they comment, it’s an even stronger feeling that drives that action. They want you and the world to know something about that post is important to them…good or bad. 

HERE’S AN ASSIGNMENT FOR YOU:

Every time you get on social from now on, be extra-present with how you personally interact on it.

  • What drives YOUR decision to interact with posts?
  • What makes YOU stop scrolling?
  • What makes YOU stop for a post, read it, but not engage?
  • What is your WHY for YOUR own engagement behaviors?
  • What are the types of posts that YOU never interact with?
  • Which types of posts are YOUR favorites to engage?
  • Be present with YOUR MINDSET when you are on social.
  • Make notes of those thought patterns and behaviors, if possible.
  • Do it over and over till you see a pattern growing. Then, consider what other social media users are also thinking and doing.
  • Consider your IDEAL AUDIENCE! Based on what you know about yourself…get into their mind as well. What would they align with on social?

We all want engagement…we all want to feel that we are making the impact. We need for our message to reach the eyeballs of the audience in order for that all to happen. 
Let’s fix the issue at the root…at the source of the problem.
Let’s INCREASE YOUR VISIBILITY, so that your ideal audience will see your message, and THEN ideally, feel compelled to engage with you. 

5 TIPS to INCREASE VISIBILITY on Social Media:

  • KNOW WHO you are talking to (your IDEAL audience)…and build your content using visuals & language that THOSE particular people relate with currently.
    (Image-Brand Academy to learn how)
  • CROSS-POLLINATE Posts to STORIES…consistently…on FB & IG
    (BeeBold with STORIES Workshop to learn how)
  • BE ACTIVE in Facebook groups of YOUR interests…post & speak natively in the groups. Check out this blog post to learn more.
  • GO ALL IN on 1-2 platforms…don’t spread yourself too thin. EDUCATE yourself about all that the platform provides.
    (Image-Brand Academy to learn how)
  • POST EYE-CATCHING VISUALS that are personalized to YOUR brand and personality…and have a CALL-TO-ACTION built in the caption [but refrain from using links…put those in the comment section]. 
    (Smartphone Photography Masterclass for Entrepreneurs to learn how)

Facebook Groups

ANSWER:
(1) It increases your network/community, and the amount of people who can get to know you via social media. It enlarges your circle of influence. Those people just might go check out your FB account, and show interest in what you are doing. They might even find your business page via your personal page and start to interact with it.
(2) It gives you a channel to contribute on a larger scale in the social communities…to build relationships with people you never would have met otherwise.

I know! I know! Facebook groups can be overwhelming.

So many of our “friends” add or invite us to Facebook groups every single day…sometimes, multiple times a day. It’s like someone enrolling you in clubs in which you never wanted to be member. Fun times!

Here is what is real…
We do not need to be in every group we are invited to, simply because it’s not an efficient use of our time and energy.
It IS important to build community and participate in online communities strategically and intentionally in order to grow our audience and enlarge our circle…especially if you are building a brand.

With our world being so digital-focused, now more than ever, we have a responsibility to our audience to meet them where they are, and to build relationship with them using the outlets we have at our fingertips. Facebook groups are large groups of people who rally behind one focus…one topic…one concept…with the purpose to educate, connect, inspire, and empower.

Remember in high school and college when there were groups that gathered together around like-interests? There were so many that we could not keep up with them all…nor should we. How did we manage all the interest groups? We joined only 1-3, and then poured all our energy in those few. Think debate club, sports groups, theatre groups, book clubs, drill team, artist groups…pretty much, name a topic, and there was probably a small or large group that met and spent time together surrounding that topic.

Well, let’s shift that into 2020 and social media….that is what Facebook groups are about…common interests groups.

As humans, we are tribal. We love to gather together and chat, collaborate, debate, and learn about things and topics that are of common ideas and interests. It’s what we do…it’s how we thrive. We have built incredibly strong bonds with others who have like-interests in our lives.
Why do you think people GO TO church?
They do it to gather together around one set of beliefs.
Why do you think Meetup.com was so popular?
The same reason…like interests.

Churches are even creating what’s call “Connect Groups” inside their own larger communities, because we are stronger together. We are more likely to connect if we have like-interests.

The saying, “birds of a feather flock together” is not a myth…it’s humanity. We find things we have in common and we gather around that commonality. It makes us feel safe, seen, considered, heard, validated…and it makes us feel like we belong to something larger than ourselves.
We don’t all have to look the same, but it’s in human-nature…and in nature, in general…that we have common ideals, interests, beliefs, etc.
We truly thrive off of community.

That is what Facebook groups are…communities.

If you want to enlarge your community online…join a Facebook group.
If you want to enlarge your influence online…join a Facebook group.
If you want to enlarge your ability to connect online…join a Facebook group.

Don’t just JOIN one….INTERACT regularly in the group.
That is why being a part of too many groups is not effective. You will get overwhelmed with the sheer scale of it, and then you won’t engage with the process at all.
That is counterproductive.
Can you imagine if you joined a debate group in school, and then never showed up…never participated in anything…never talked to anyone…never asked a question…never contributed??? That would be a waste of joining…it would be pointless.

It’s better to join one or 2, and actively participate with your time and resources than it is to “join” 50 and do nothing. The word join literally means to “link, connect, fasten together.” If you click “join” on a group, it means that you want to link, connect, and fasten together with others of like interests. It’s a VERB, not a noun. It’s something we DO…actively.
It will serve you and others well to put all your efforts in one place than to “do” nothing in lots of places.

GROUP PRO TIP: Go into your Group list, and LEAVE all the groups that you have been added to, but no longer find a connection with….even if it means leaving some that your friends started. You must be intentional with the group thing. Get your group list down as small as possible and as considered as possible.

Then, do the following steps.

Join 2-3 FACEBOOK groups within your own personal interest and start interacting in them…post in the group, comment on other’s post, and “like” other’s posts. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS reply back to people when they comment on your post. ALWAYS.

IMPORTANT > Do not sell or promote…simply act native to the group to contribute in a positive way. Build natural relationships. Remember…there are REAL people behind the social media accounts…well, at least, most of the time.

HOW TO…GET STARTED:

  • KNOW THYSELF:
    Make a list of 12 of your FAVORITE things. Write it down. It can be anything at all. A few of mine are food, travel, books, yellow, coffee, entrepreneurship…etc. Remember…if you like something, others probably do too…common interests.
  • PICK YOUR INTEREST:
    Pick ONE of your favorite things, and then join 2-3 groups surrounding the topic.
  • DO A GROUP SEARCH:
    1. Choose groups with the largest number of members in that category. It will give you a much-more engaged group in which to participate.
    2. Be specific with your search. For example…instead of searching “book club,” you might search “entrepreneur book club” or “mindset book club.” It will allow you to get very specific with the type of people in which you connect and engage.
    3. You can even search by location…the city or town in which you live, so you can connect with locals. For example…”entrepreneur book club Houston.”
    It’s all up to you.
  • POST IN THE GROUP:
    1. Choose a photo in that topic, and then post it in the group. Photos grab people’s attention and will stop them from scrolling if they connect to it and/or it’s unique.
    2. Write the caption to create curiosity for people to interact with you.
    Include a question or comment in the caption that encourages a call-to-action for them to comment/engage. Post at least once a week in the group.
  • CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY:
    When interacting in a group, for every post you make, click LIKE or LOVE on at least 2 other posts in the group, and comment on at least one other post prior to posting your content. This is a community effort, so be very free to contribute POSITIVELY into the community.

PRO TIP: Do not include hashtags or links in the caption. Group admins usually do not approve posts with hashtags or links.

Here is an example of a post I created for the “Houston Foodie Friends” group:

MOST IMPORTANTLY…
HAVE FUN with it!

Comment below and share which groups you decided to join…and what influenced that choice?