They say your net worth is equivalent to the five closest people in your network. This is also true for your level of influence, where your “net influence” is equivalent to the five closest people in your network. So how do you build a network of influential people and start becoming an influencer yourself?
Here are seven steps you need to follow to create real lasting relationships with influential people who will help you increase your net-influence:
Step 1: Know Yourself
Before you can build a relationship, you need to know who you are and the message you want to put out in the world. The worst thing you can do is to start trying to building relationships without any understanding of how that relationship is in line with your interests, goals and objectives.
Step 2: Know them
In order to connect and build a relationship with anyone, you need to understand who they are. This means going beyond the most common information people know about them and digging deeper into their posts, their conversations, their interviews and identifying what they’re really about.
What are some of their un-commonly known interests? What are some topics they consistently talk about that are important to them? What are some of the challenges they’re facing? The more you know about them, the better you can connect and add value to their lives.
“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard
Step 3: Show Up
Influencers are often omni-present, meaning that they’re seen and heard on several different channels and venues at the same time. So the more you can show up and add value, the more likely you are to be on their radar. Do some research on the type of content their posting on different social networks, find out which conferences they’re speaking at, listen to interviews and podcasts where they’re being featured on and just show up to support them in whatever they’re doing. Don’t worry, you won’t be considered a stalker if you do this. You’ll be seen as an advocate for their brand and message.
Step 4: Add “Remarkable” Value
Something you hear when discussing building relationships with influencers is the need to “add value”. But an important point that is often missed is that the value you put needs to be “remarkable”. Sometimes it can be as simple as posting engaging comments or questions on one of their social media posts, or as intricate as sending them a care package with something you heard they needed. If you’ve done your homework from Step 2 and know who they are and what makes them tick, then adding value shouldn’t be too difficult.
Step 5: Be human
There is something to be said about people who can act “human” on social media. It’s as if people lose their humanity and become these self-serving, egotistical, monsters who are “too cool for school” putting up a façade of the image they want to give instead of who they actually are. Real relationships come from being authentic, bringing your guard down, letting people in and showing both strengths and weaknesses.
“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Step 6: Be consistent
Building real relationships takes time. That’s why it’s important not to get discouraged and to remember that influencers have many people asking for their attention. So if building a relationship with them is important to you then you will need to be consistent and put in the time.
Step 7: Find opportunities to collaborate
Once you’ve had a few meaningful interactions with the influencer you’re trying to build a relationship with, now is the time to reach out with a collaboration offer. Remember this is not about you, it’s about them. So you need to focus your offer on helping them. This is your opportunity to take Step 4 to the next level and become someone remarkable in their lives.
Follow these steps and you’ll start building real relationships with people who will help you increase your “net influence”.