The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or the behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.
Ah, “Influencer”, the term we love to hate.
Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to have a positive impact? Or any kind of impact at all? The only issue is, what actually happens when you start to make an impact?
Over the past few months, I’ve been making some observations on how increased popularity is having an impact on certain people. There’s a pattern and interestingly enough, it’s not always positive, however, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
To me, influence is how I can make people feel better, it’s not all about me, and it’s about helping just one single person. It’s sharing something that just “hits the spot”, that makes someone’s day easier or makes someone feel less alone in this complicated journey will call life. Or even just making someone laugh, did you know that laughter is important for making friends and connecting with others? Again, influence…
So, let me talk about what happens when you start to make a difference –
*You make “Friends” – Sure, everyone is your friend when the sun is shining or when it has a financial impact or even when it’s beneficial from a business point of view. Time and time again I’ve seen people used as stepping stones for success, always around when something fun is on the agenda. Then, when our so-called friends disappear, it’s a little more than tough.
*We start to doubt ourselves – Being a freelancer means you’ll constantly be surfing a wave, sometimes you’ll feel untouchable. Then, on other days, you’ll be sat on the shore, wondering if anything will ever change. Use your failures to build success, for example, if something didn’t work, how can you learn? How can you be better?
“We humans have a bad habit of talking ourselves out of greatness.
*There becomes a level of responsibility – The second you make a mistake, there’s plenty of people who are going to remember that, far more than all the great stuff you wrote. It’s a fine line, unfortunately, the internet is a place that never forgets…
Enough with the negativity, how can we reign this in and improve our impact?
Firstly, you need to BELIEVE in yourself, because if you don’t who will? Secondly, don’t get tied up with numbers, work on building connections, and note down what people respond to. Are you making people laugh? Are you creating content that generates conversation? Are you USEFUL/IMFORMATIVE? Or just entertaining…?
There’s no one size fits all, no magic number and certainly no limits, unless you impose your own limits on yourself. I’m not a naturally confident person, there are times when frankly I’d rather run and hide away in the darkest corner. On the other hand, I’m kind and GENUINE, I’m willing to learn and I know from personal experience, we can reign in our doubts and expand, by simply changing our outlook.
FEAR stops us from making a difference because sometimes we’re so focused on making a mistake, we forget to show who we really are. The people who hold my focus the longest are slightly flawed, entertaining, unfiltered, and relatable. That doesn’t mean your focus is the same, by understanding your audience and own personal objectives, you’ll find more success.
Good things take TIME. If I cast my mind back 2/3 years, I had a tiny following, hardly any of my content was of real use or even creating any kind of impact and I only had one or two real friends. I was lost, unfulfilled and constantly wondering what the future would hold for me. I learned the hard way that I had to change, that I was responsible for who I wanted to become and it was going to be tough, but tough wasn’t impossible. I now have more friends than ever, I have conversations that make a difference, and I’ve expanded my mindset. I’ll never have a vast readership or a huge Instagram following (no matter how much I joke about it) but I have meaningful replies. I meet people who remember my content, people tell me that I’ve made them feel better and that they can relate, then behind closed doors, I cry because they don’t know how much that actually means to me.
Influence is whatever you want to make it. You can surround yourself with thousands of people who love you until the next fad comes along. You can surround yourself thing all the “things” and nothing of value, you can buy followers and fake a life people dream of. Or you can manifest something good, work harder, accept the bad days and the rejection and remember, you only need to influence ONE person to make an impact.
Suddenly, it all feels so much easier to achieve.