How To Become A More Influential Person In Your Industry

We tend to look at politicians, celebrities or sports stars as being influential people because of who they are or what they have achieved in life. The different platforms we have available today, especially different social media channels, makes it a lot easier for them to seen as being important or influential.

How then, can a normal, everyday person become more influential?

First, we have to consider why it is beneficial to become a more influential person. Some of the benefits of becoming more influential include:

  • Being seen as someone who stands for something.
  • Being involved in making important decisions.
  • Being considered as a leader in an industry or community.
  • Being contacted for advice or guidance.

The good news for most of us is that becoming more influential isn’t only for those who are deemed to be a “natural,” or only for those select few who have been elevated into a position of influence by their job title. Influence is a skill which can be learned and mastered over time. And just like developing any other skill, the more focus and attention we give to it, the quicker we will improve.

One thing I wanted to be known for in my industry is working with teams, and transforming them into better functioning and more cohesive teams. One way I decided to increase my influence was to write a book on that topic, which was titled, Building High-Performing Teams. When I released the book, it became a Number 1 best-seller on Amazon, which also helped me become an authority on the subject of team building.

As a result, I’ve had other aspiring team leaders reach out to me for guidance and advice, plus I have also been able to share ideas on how to create better, more effective teams on my website and whenever I’ve had the opportunity to work with teams. Becoming more influential on the topic of teams helped me become more credible with those I work with.

Here are seven ways we can become a more influential person in our industry or community, which in turn, can assist us to make a bigger difference and bigger impact in what we do and how we do it.

  1. Be seen in your community or industry. We cannot become influential without being around other people. With so many social media channels available today, it is easy to hide behind a computer and make comments or share opinions just to get attention. That’s not influence. In order to build trust with others, we have to network with other industry leaders and colleagues. It’s in those forums that we have the opportunity to share our opinions and provide advice, which all enhances our ability to be more influential.
  2. Be a people connector. We tend to remember when and who introduced us to people we want to meet. If we are seen as a person who connects people, we tend to have more respect and influence with our peers, acquaintances and friends. Just asking a question like, “What is an important goal you are working on that I may be able to assist you with?” can be one way to determine how to connect people together.
  3. Make a good first impression. As the saying goes, “We don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.” Having self-confidence is critical if we want to have more influence with others. Making a good first impression also means keeping our word and following up on something we said we would.
  4. Show genuine interest in other people. Everyone has dreams and challenges. In order to get to know other people well, we have to ask them about what they want to accomplish in life. While most people may not have set goals, they all have an idea of what they want in life but may not be able to articulate it well. Influencers have the ability to get people to think about what they want. One way is to ask, “What does success or happiness look like for you?”
  5. Be generous with your resources, knowledge, experience and time. Having the belief “there is always more where that came from” is a powerful way to develop an abundant mindset. Influencers are willing to help out in any way they can, while ensuring they respect their own priorities and commitments. And when those we support achieve success, we also get to celebrate their successes with them.
  6. Support a worthy cause. One thing I have always admired are people who have used their fame to create foundations or thrown their support behind organisations making a positive difference in the world. While not everyone will have the opportunity or the resources to create their own foundation, they can do their part by giving what they can. Most times, it is simply volunteering their time to a worthy cause that can be a good starting point.
  7. Be an action taker. Influential people are always working towards something, whether it is a goal or project. It is hard to be considered as someone influential if we are not challenging ourselves to do new things or improving something that may not be working as well. Influencers take consistent action.

If we are considered more influential in our industry, we will command more respect from others who want to connect with us. If we choose not to become more influential in what we do, then while there is nothing wrong with that, we will be viewed as any other person in our industry, without having a point of differentiation.

Action Step: Decide on one thing you can do this week to become more influential in your industry. You could simply start off by connecting people you think will benefit from knowing each other.

Question: What can be another way we can become more influential in our industry?

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