The importance of influence

2018 was the year of the Instagram influencer. Never before have we seen #spon and #ad flash up so often on our feeds as the world’s biggest brands enlisted the help of the Instagram influencers to market their wares and services through big bucks campaigns.

But while the term ‘influencer’ may have come to be synonymous with the immaculately groomed and lithe limbed ladies doing it for the gram in the bouji pink velvet surrounds of Sketch and on the beaches of Bali, being a Key Person of Influence – to use the term coined by entrepreneur and author of bestselling book ‘Becoming a Key Person of Influence’ Daniel Priestly, is nothing new in business.

The difference is that while Instagrammers are paid to promote their various clients with social media posts, blogs and vlogs, as a business leader you are instead focusing on becoming the key person of influence in an industry as a whole. Cement your reputation as an expert and just like followers to our favourites Instagram accounts, the publicity and prospects will follow.

If Priestly’s book isn’t on your office book shelf, you’re missing a trick, because when it comes to doing business in 2019, it isn’t just what you know but who you know. Now get that Amazon order in, make a cuppa and raid the last of the Christmas chocolates, then cast an eye over these key takeaways from his approach in the meantime. They’re rules to live by if you’re going big on the business front this year and we know we are.


Time to get over your tendency to mumble your introductions because perfecting an engaging answer to the question ‘What do you do?’ is first up on Priestly’s list. Work on your elevator pitch, a hard-hitting, stutter-free statement of exactly who you are and what you do, short enough to deliver if you were ever asked in an elevator.


When you’ve got your sights set on becoming a Key Person of Influence, content is king. Prove you know your sh…tuff by publishing blogs and books, create LinkedIn articles and consider turning your hard to creating white paper reports on elements of your industry.


You know how lifting weights carries on burning fat for hours after you’ve left the gym, unlike cardio? Product ecosystems work along the same lines and they have the potential to earn you money while you sleep if you play your cards right.


Becoming a Key Person of Influence takes the theory that it’s not what you know but who you know a step further. Now, it’s not just who you know, but what they know about you. Make sure what they read does you justice.


Ed Sheeran and Beyonce. Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift. Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli. What’s the link? That ginger guy sure knows how to pick a partner. Key People of Influence know that new levels of greatness, or in Ed’s case more number one hits and many more millions in the bank, come quicker when you partner with other high performers.

And to think that so many of us thought that being influential in your industry was all down to if your face fits…

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