7 Pillars of Being an Influence in Your Market Discover the characteristics you'll need to grow your brand.

By Gerard Adams

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


"Powerful people give freely, buying influence rather than things." -- Robert Greene

A little more than a year ago, I decided to start growing my personal brand. I knew when it came to business in this super-connected world, there was one key thing to remember -- people need to be sold on you before they can be sold on whatever it is you're selling. People don't buy products, they buy better versions of themselves. If you aren't who they want to be, they will not care about what you have to offer.

This influence has the power to connect you with the high level performers most people only dream of meeting. It could give you more authority in your field and awareness of your product or service. Most importantly, it could attract opportunities that can make your time here on earth magical. All of this is what I coined "social currency" because it truly has a power similar to our monetary currency.

I went after it head first, getting my name out there, posting constantly on all the top social platforms. Yes, I was gaining followers. But there was an issue -- my followers were silent. For whatever reason, they weren't engaged. They weren't passionate about what I was posting, and they didn't care about what I was doing next. It was clear to me then that I didn't know what I was doing.

So, what makes someone influential? What makes someone a leader in their field?

To figure this out, I dug deep and looked to the greats -- everyone from the influential Steve Jobs to Casey Neistat. I was in search of those key factors that made them the powerful leaders they were. And at the end of it all, it came down to seven pillars -- the seven pillars that, if mastered correctly, can make you a massive influencer in your market.

1. Trust.

How would you treat your business partner if you found out they stole money from you? You keep them out. You don't return their phone calls and if you're smart, you don't give them a second chance.

How about your best friend? You tell them all of your darkest secrets. You let them borrow money. You'd choose to hang out with them over anyone else, and you try the things they recommend.

Both of these scenarios are a play on trust. When trust is built, you and your followers can have a beautiful relationship. How do you build trust? Give people what they want. Figure out what those people in your market are looking for in a leader and, don't just say you'll do those things -- show proof (through content) that you are those things.

Related: 10 Ways to Build Trust and Credibility With Your Customers

2. Individuality.

Unfortunately, you're not the only person who knows the impact of influencer marketing. With so many people out there trying to make names for themselves, how do you stand out? Get crystal clear on your purpose. So clear that when anyone comes across your content, they can quickly understand what it is you're doing, why you're doing it, why you're the best at it and how it will improve their life.

Related: 8 Tips for Building Your Personal Brand in 2017

3. Value.

Legend has it that Steve Jobs used to go into board meetings at Apple with no shoes or socks on. How was he able to get away with it? He provided so much value to the company that he could get away with it. You create value by moving someone away from fear and into new possibilities. Create the value, and the currency will come.

4. Tribe.

Before big cities and towns were created, the human race was accustomed to working and living in tribes. That tribal desire to belong is still an integral part of our DNA. So start building a community. Let your audience know that they are part of your movement. Give your tribe a name, create inside jokes, catchphrases, and provide a clear understanding of the role they play in accomplishing your goal. This sense of comradery will bring you die-hard followers from all across the globe.

5. Promotion.

I've seen so many people get this one wrong. Never directly tell people how awesome you are. This will make you come off as cocky and arrogant. Be more discreet. Let them figure it out through your "rock bottom to rock star" story (shoutout to Ryan Blair). Or even better, give your tribe a platform to say it for you. This could be through testimonials, affiliation links or live meet ups -- just make sure to get it on camera.

6. Collaboration.

Shep Gordon, who managed big acts in the 70s like Alice Cooper and Janis Joplin, used to call it "guilt by association." Whenever he would be working with a new artist, he'd get his rock star buddies to come hang out with them in places he knew the paparazzi would be. This way, when the people would see a picture of the new guy with cool guys like John Lennon or Jimi Hendrix, they would automatically assume the new guy is cool too. So, reach out to those in your niche with bigger, or just different, followings and try to collaborate with them. This will bring awareness of you to fresh eyes through an authority figure they know and trust.

Related: 'Shark Tank' Funded Founders Share 3 Keys to Executing a Powerful Influencer Marketing Strategy

7. Communication.

Like I said earlier, we are living in a new, super-connected world. That separation between you and a celebrity or influencer has been blurred. To stay in the good heart's of people nowadays, you must be able to connect on a personal level. This mean keeping them updated with all of the new and exciting things you're doing. Most importantly, this means you must engage. Reply to every comment, shout out your biggest fans, and even do live meet ups when you can. Take it to the next level by creating projects that would require them to collaborate.

And there you go. If you're ready to jump into influencer marketing and make a difference through your name and your brand, start taking advantage of these seven pillars. You can dig deeper into the details on my website. Be sure to sign-up for the VIP list for my new program coming out this month rightfully titled "Social Currency." The simple, step-by-step process you'll discover is the same plan of attack I used to go from 100 to 100,000+ followers in less than a year.

Wavy Line
Gerard Adams

Entrepreneur, angel investor, self-made millionaire at 24

Gerard Adams is The Millennial Mentor™, inspiring the generation to leverage their passions for success and create the lifestyle they dream of. A serial entrepreneur, angel investor, self-made millionaire by the age of 24 and millennial himself, he is most popularly known as the co-founder of Elite Daily. To date, he has built, backed or invested in nine businesses across multiple industries that have all delivered over seven-figure profits. Gerard has recently developed a video series, Leaders Create Leaders, to offer a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Learn more at GerardAdams.com

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