Not only has the technological evolution over the past two decades changed the way we shop and sell, but it's also changed why we shop and why we sell. Our conversation about micro-influencers was the tip of the influence iceberg so, naturally, I wanted to get into the more nitty-gritty details about our evolution into influence.
What Is An Influencer, aka Social Media Star, aka Online Mogul?
COO/Founder, Elma Beganovich of Amra & Elma has one of the most beautifully curated visual brands and sets a high editorial standard for being an influencer. She has expanded her business to be one of New York City's top social media agency working with many different influencers and with that broader view, provided a great definition of an influencer.
An influencer is someone who has a following, yes, but that's just a start. As an agency, we look at and analyze the following, the content, the level of professionalism displayed in that content, and lastly, engagement. This is the formula that indicates whether or not an influencer is actually influencing.
Influencers and Sponsored Products Have A Serious Impact
When you look at some of the top influencers online, not only do they have a tribe of millions, they have an engaged tribe of millions. It's amazing how someone like Alex Rodriguez, a 24-year-old TEDx speaker, influencer, and CEO from south Florida, has been able to create a sense of community with a massively large group. If you ever wonder how a complete brand looks, look no further than Alex's influence. When all of the pieces align with your purpose, the brand feels complete. People crave that and will remain loyal.
It isn't only about the number of followers though. See, Alex has poured blood, sweat, and tears into capturing his audience, and as a result, he is not willing to sell them down the river for a paycheck. This means, when he actually speaks about a product for promotion, it's only because he really means it. His followers know this and so they take what he says to heart, and when he says "this is legit" they buy. In fact, they buy a lot, and they share, for free, because the person they follow loyally told them, and they want what he has.
Influence, Impact, and Leadership: The Future of Marketing
"Leading with authenticity, because it's all about impact." Alex's motto sums up his life as an influencer and the message he wants young people (especially in business) to really soak up. This is the shift to "why" I mentioned earlier. This is how I predict brands will find and remain successful in the future, as we evolve more into the "why" and less into over-consumption.
The 3 C's of Real Influence
If you want to make an impact and develop your influencer status, here are the top three things you need to focus on:
Consistency: In what you share, in the language and imagery you use, in the products you sponsor, or the people you host. Consistency is key, because it shows that your brand is genuine.
Care: If you are not in it for the right reasons, it will be nearly impossible for you to get others to care on the level of influence.
Content: There is so much bad content out there.... So much. Don't add to it. Not sharing is better than sharing bad content. Content has to be consistent with your message and brand, has to show you care, and has to be relevant to your following. If it does not check all three of those boxes, toss it.
Extra! Extra! The rising results from top influencer Jules Schroeder (host of my favorite inspirational podcast, The Unconventional Life Show), take the scope of being an influencer into whole new territories, literally.
What kind of rise in influence have you seen because of your events?
From the Unconventional Life international 5-day business accelerators that I host in exotic locations, I have seen my influence and reach grow tremendously. In the year that I have ran these events which were born out of a dream I had, I went from having no audience and a minimal online presence to being known as an authority amongst high-level entrepreneurs, creatives, and thought leaders. I have been flown to several countries for global speaking engagements like Portugal, Panama, and Iceland and been recognized as one of the top 27 women entrepreneurs changing the world in 2017 for these events that sell out every time in a matter of weeks. I am now on track to do 7-figures with my events company because of the influence I have accumulated from leveraging myself and my gifts as a master community builder.