You are an influencer. How can you use that for good?
Whether you realize it or not, you are a leader. If you are a CEO, startup founder, or real estate investor, you are definitely an influencer in a big way. Yet, even as someone who is still working a regular job, a neighbor, an unemployed person who spends time volunteering, or a parent, you are a leader and influencer. People notice what you do. How can you use that intentionally, and for good?
- Social Media
One of the easiest and best ways to build and flex your influence today is via social media. Most of us have at least a couple hundred connections on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Instagram. Some of you have thousands. Use this space and attention to inspire others and show what’s possible. Post and re-share motivational quotes. Then just be social. Start actual conversations, and reply to them.
We’ve been trashing our planet for centuries. It’s scary that despite all of the data and billions invested in taking better directions, many still don’t seem to be driven enough to change habits. Kids still love gas powered dirt bikes and ATVs, and trucks are still some of the top selling vehicles in America. And we keep mounting up the waste. Business owners and real estate investors are particularly in an important position of influence here. The best will take a proactive approach to recycling and upcycling materials. Today some of the most successful brands like Tesla, Timberland, and Adidas are all winning by incorporating greener practices. So, why not recycle and repurpose more materials when tearing down, renovating, and building houses? Why not do more of that as you grow your business? Who knows, it may actually become one of the best drivers of your own revenues and success.
- What You Wear
What you wear says a lot about you. Most of us care a lot about how we dress and are seen to dress. As an influencer it is one of the most powerful ways we influence others. So, what do our clothes say about us? What are they doing to influence more positive behavior, and to have a positive social impact? You can be trendy and fashionable and sustainable and a part of solving problems at the same time.
If you look at someone’s bank account you can instantly tell what they care about most. People are watching where you are spending and whether you are asking for money versus giving. If you believe others should be supporting good causes, lead the way and be an example. Don’t be shy about making some noise about it, providing you are doing that for the right reasons.
To get where you are today you’ve learned a lot. That’s true whether you are a business owner, an investor with a couple house flips under your belt, or just a parent who has been raising kids. Share what you’ve learned. People want to know. Sharing your knowledge is one of the best things you can give. You can do this through a blog, video course, book, or mentoring.
- Positive Peer Pressure
Virtually every issue we face today, and that the next generation will face tomorrow can be traced back to bad business. Whether it is medicine, finance, construction, or real estate; so many fall prey to the status quo because “everyone else is doing it,” every year. If you want to change the impact of your industry, and ensure its future is sustainable, don’t give into pressure to sacrifice your values and ethics. You don’t have to preach about it. Just stand for your values, and people will notice. Then you’ll be a business or businessperson who others are going to want to work with and refer to, even without you needing to sell them.
- Shop & Support
Carrying on from the above; what brands you shop and support, and don’t say a lot about you, and have a lot of influence on others. Are you influencing others to shop brands and support causes you like and are in line with your values, or are you actually working counterproductively? Sometimes this takes a little effort. Sometimes it takes investing a few extra minutes to search out better brands or to drive to their stores, or to like a causes’ social media posts. It can be well worth it.
Raise Awareness of Others Doing Great Things
One of the greatest benefits of being in a position of influence is to help others up. In addition to coaching them, shopping them, and supporting them online, you can simply help raise awareness for them. Often that’s what they need the most. And you may be surprised at what it can do for you. Refer them to others, maybe give them a shout out online, or give them an opportunity to sponsor something you are doing.
How will you use your influence for good?