How to Network: The Foundation of Influence

Courtesy of Kaboompics

In addition to writing and marketing, I have also worked in entertainment and if there is one thing that I have learned in that experience, it is that networking is everything. Knowing people and collaborating with them not only gives you new opportunities, but it also lays the foundation for future followers.

However, not everyone understands the importance of networking or are too shy to follow through with conversation. That is why we are giving you a few tips on how you can improve your networking skills

1. “You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.”-Benjamin Mee, “We Bought a Zoo”

 

Courtesy of Kaboompics

When I met Elie Wiesel for the first time, it was because of 20 seconds of insane courage. The goes with meeting people like President Muhammad Nasheed of the Maldives and interviewing Piper Kerman, the author of the book “Orange is the New Black.” If you see someone that you admire or who you have always wanted to work with, 20 seconds is all you need to say “hello” and make a first impression. Don’t let those 20 seconds leaves you in the dust.

Bonus Tip: If you’re really nervous meeting new people, have a go-to friend that will help introduce you and make sure the conversation doesn’t die. Think of “How I Met Your Mother” and Barney’s favorite game “Have…You Met Ted.”

2. Speaking of First Impressions

Always be ready for a good first impression. If you were to see me out, working on these blog posts, you would see me in a nice outfit (normally a nice blouse, heels, and my Lucky Brand jeans that I swear by) with my hair and makeup done. You only ever get one shot at making a first impression and you never know when it might happen. It might be at a conference or it might be at Starbucks in the morning. Always be ready and waiting to make that next, crucial connection.

Bonus Tip: Invest in a conversation piece. With a simple outfit, they grab attention and can start conversations. Mine is a pair of saddle shoes that no one can believe I got from Payless.

3. “Let Me Give You My Card.”

There is nothing more important than making sure that you leave a conversation with a person’s card and they leave with yours. Invest in nice, eye-catching business cards that stand out amongst the 50 other cards people get at conferences. Also, don’t forget to send a quick “Nice Meeting You” email after big events to keep the conversation going.

Bonus Tip: Don’t be afraid to get creative. Horror filmmaker, Lynne Hansen, leaves “I Make Films Like a Girl” buttons at every film festival she attends. By the end of the festival, everyone knows her name.
Courtesy of “I Make Films Like a Girl” Facebook page

4. Have to Go to Conversations Starts

Small talk sometimes is a good way to start a conversation, but are cliché and die off quickly. Prep some interesting topics in your field that will not only make you memorable but will also impress the other side of the conversation. If they think you know what you’re talking about, they will be more likely to come to you in a pinch.

Bonus Tip: Want to speak with the expert from that panel you loved? Don’t be afraid to wait on the edges after to speak one-on-one with them and ask in-depth questions about the topic. It shows your initiative.

 

Influence Marketing: What is an Influencer?

I mention the term “Influencer,” quite a bit on this website. Some of you might be wondering what an influencer even is?

The simple answer is the French term for “influencer.” However, the term has gained all new meaning in marketing. An “influencer” is a specific individual a company uses to market their product or service rather than targets a single market.

Influencers used to only be celebrities. Popular singers have their faces on magazines. Athletes pose for cereal boxes. You even see actors in weird perfume ads. (Honestly, those ads make no sense to me.)

With social media and YouTube being more diverse than ever, marketers have shifted their attention to these homemade celebrities to promote for them.

Imagine “The Joneses,” but with modern technology. You see an Instagrammer living the high life and wonder, “What do they have that I don’t?” They start promoting products and you think, “Oh, that’s why!”

Influencers can affect any market. Make-up companies send to samples to creators or popular make-up tutorials. Airlines send Instagrammers on elaborate vacations. Twitter gets people elected with the right following.

Our society’s attracted to living a certain way.  We’re pulled towards a certain aesthetic of life. Look back at popular trends: the rocker grunge of the 80s, the hippie movement of the 70s, the housewives of the 50s. Each of these trends inspires a specific aesthetic or image. An influencer brings that image to life. They make it real, tangible.

How do I become an influencer?

Becoming an influencer means a lot of hustle, developing contacts, learning social media, and, most of all, creating content. Here are just a few tips to achieving that “influencer” status.

-You need to find a niche, a market that needs YOUR brand to make it better.

-Use social media. This is more important than ever before. More people are using Facebook to look up business rating. Many customers use Twitter to ask questions or complain. If you don’t have a social media account already, get one TODAY!

-Create a “face.” As a writer, I love blogs. I love articles. I hate to admit it, but most people would rather watch a 3-minute video than read a whole article.  What is good about videos, though, is that fact that it gives your brand a face and a voice. It humanizes your product.

-Content, content, content. Content makes a huge difference in search engines. A website without content will rank lower on a Google search than one with content. Make videos. Write blogs posts. Work social media. Do everything listed above until someone sees you as a person who can influence a target demographic.

Don’t have time to do all of that. Luckily, I may know a person who can help you with that. Many companies hire outside content creators, like Write Mind Media, to develop a voice and an image that customers can trust. Don’t be shy. We’re here to help. 

Want to learn more about influencers?

Here are a few of our favorites!

Kalyn Nicholson: Lifestyle video blogger with over 1 million followers on YouTube.

Miranda Sings: Also known as Colleen Ballinger, her alter-ego’s YouTube channel has 7 million followers. Since her popularity on YouTube, she has produced a comedy tour, a Netflix series, and her own book.

Lilly Singh: Comedy Youtuber with 11 million followers. Recently published “How to be a Bawse.”

Todrick Hall: After failing on reality singing shows, this influencer thrived on YouTube with fun music videos. This led him to produce his own MTV show, a lead part on Broadway, and guest appearances on shows like “Ru Paul’s Drag Race.” Plus, a shout-out from Beyoncé!

Eh Bee Family: This family of four is a perfect example of influencer marketing. Their hilarious vines lead to major vacations and even a visit to the set of “Wonder Woman.”