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10 Ways to Build Your Influence with No Credibility, No List and No Contacts

Every expert you look up to started where you are. Every guru with a 100,000+ following started with none. It’s easy to compare where they are to where you are and to become discouraged. Typical negative thoughts include, “I could never do that”, “I’ve missed the boat”, “All the best ideas are taken” and “Someone is already doing what I want to do”. Most people quit at this stage. Don’t do that. We’ll show you how to overcome your negative thought patterns and give you a strategy for building influence from scratch.

Are you letting your mindset and lack of strategy defeat you?

  1. You become paralysed by the success of others. You see what they’ve accomplished and you think, “How can I compete?”
  2. You don’t have a clear strategy of how to start building influence. It’s a Catch-22 situation: without influence you struggle to build a following; without a following, you have no influence.
  3. Instead of starting, you over-think and over-strategise and this leads to fear and inaction.

The correct mindset and strategy for building influence from scratch

Get your mind right. The next time you look at an expert and think “I’m too late”, “I can’t reach their level of success”, “I wanted to do that” or “They’ve cornered the market” etc. remind yourself of the following:

  1. There are lots of songs, lots of singers; lots of books, lots of writers; lots of films, lots of directors. New celebrities appear all the time. Just because someone has gone before you and are doing what you planned to do does not mean you’re too late. In fact, it’s affirming your idea. You simply do it differently. How? Just by doing it your way, i.e. your personality, your content, your delivery, your brand, your product – simply the choices you make – is sufficient to make your product have a fighting chance in the market.
  2. Today’s leading experts started where you are. Every expert at some point looked at another expert and experienced the same doubts as you. However, they broke through, they found a way that worked for them, and so can you. What you see when you look at established experts is the culmination of years of hard work – it’s unrealistic to gauge your own success when starting out to someone who has has more experience and time under their belt.  But the beauty of this business of marketing and monetizing your knowledge is that success can be around the corner. There’s nothing stopping you coming up with a winning idea today which, if marketed properly, can make you serious money and build your authority overnight.

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
Arthur Ashe 

  1. Stop caring about what others are doing. Are you obsessed with the “competition”? Do you keep worrying about their every move? Are you letting their choices determine your choices? You can’t succeed like this as you will always be reacting, playing catch-up. You need to focus on your path, on your journey – and that will be different for all of us. By all means learn from others, have an interest in what they’re doing but don’t be awed or starstruck. Stop focusing externally and start focusing on how you can change your corner of the world by the service and value you provide others; the choices you make; and the actions you take. Stop chasing and start going your own way.
  2. Find those who share your core values and mission. Why do you do what you do? At first it’s probably for the money and there’s nothing wrong with that. But imagine for a moment that you’ve become successful and money is no longer your primary motivation. Why then would you do what you do? There is likely a higher purpose. Perhaps you hate to see people live unfulfilled lives; you’re sad when people never attempt their dreams; you want to see people put their unique gifts out into the world and so on. Solving this greater problem is your business’s mission. Your job is to create content that serves your target market and aligns with this higher vision. Spread it to everyone it might resonate with: these people will become your fans. This is where you can make greatest impact and build your influence.
  3. There is no competition. There is more than enough for everyone. Someone else’s win is not your loss. What if you stopped thinking of your competitors as such and starting seeing them as potential partners? As experts establish their influence, they reach out to similarly influential experts; they start to promote their products to each other’s email lists; they collaborate on new products and services; they make it easy for each other to succeed. Instead of seeing “competition” start seeing “potential allies”. You may not be able to work with them immediately but if you concentrate on creating your own credibility and influence you will have ample opportunity in the future.
  4. Create long-form content. Tim Ferriss swears by long-form content (10-15 pages when printed out) and companies like Quick Sprout specialise in it. Provide insanely useful, actionable information which will remain useful for the next couple of years (you can’t predict the future but do your best). Promote the content broadly on social media. Send it to podcasters and bloggers with an offer to be interviewed. Brand the content and post it on Slideshare or create an infographic. Start getting your name and expertise out into the world. By the way, we assure you, if you create useful content on a regular basis others will see you as an expert – it’s only that voice in your head that doubts you.
  5. Launch somethingSo, what’s the best way to go from someone with zero influence, zero list, zero contacts to someone with influence, credibility and authority? Create something and put it out there. It’s as simple as that. Just having a product in the market gives you authority. This is how it all starts. Create something and get it in front of your potential market. Until you start offering value to your target audience, you’re not in the game. You can’t build influence until you create something your prospects value. The more value you create, the more influence you have. This is how every leading expert started and how you can too.
         So, what should you create? That’s up to you. It could be a book, software, coaching, a course, a workshop, a membership website, a webinar… We’re big fans of online courses because they give you ample opportunity to build a relationship with your target audience over time and to demonstrate the quality and value of your offer. Create a free course; build an audience; generate buzz on social media; sign up free members; get social proof (e.g. testimonials, user numbers, word-of-mouth); improve your course based on feedback; charge new sign-ups a fee. Guess what? You’re on your way.
  6. Have marketing in place ready for your product launch. You should be doing this from Day 1 – before you’ve even created your product. Dig your well before you’re thirsty so that when you’re product is complete you have an established audience ready to buy immediately:
    Create a landing page to start building your email list.
    – Advertise using Facebook ads or Google ads
    – Promote on Twitter (you should be tweeting throughout the product creation process, building buzz)
    – Host a free Q&A webinar, solving problems for your target market
    – Set up an email sequence related to your product offer that you can send out to coincide with  your launch. For example, you may create a 10-day mini email course, “How to Set up a Home Video Studio to Achieve Big-Budget Quality” in preparation of launching your full product, “How to Be a Master Video Presenter and Sell More Courses at Higher Value”.
  7. It’s not the size of your list. We know people who have 10,000 subscribers on their list that perform worse than a list of a hundred names. It’s not the size of the list, it’s your relationship with the people on it. Treat every member of your list with respect; don’t take anyone for granted. When you’re just starting out, you can interact on a more personal level with your subscribers: you can follow them on social media; you can see what they’re creating; you can have conversations, exchange emails and so on. You can be more engaged with your tribe. Nurture your list: it’s like starting a fire – get a spark going and feed it with care and attention. Care for your list and they will support you and help you spread the word.
  8. Start. So what will you do next? Will today be another day of thinking about taking action? Of good intentions that never materialise into anything? Will today be filled with excuses, procrastination and quitting? Or will you take that first step? Launch a product. Implement a marketing plan. Start sharing your ideas, expertise and products with your target audience.

You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.
~ Henry Ford

Takeaway points

  1. All the experts you look up to today started where you are: no product, no list, no contacts, no influence. It’s possible.
  2. Launch something. That’s how it starts. Stop trying to see the entire journey and just take the first step.
  3. If you’re waiting for others to give you permission to be an expert, you could be waiting a long time.

Action steps

  1. Decide what product you’re going to launch.
  2. Start creating long-form content related to your product idea to share with your ideal customers.
  3. Enrol on our free course, Influence Accelerator: How to Build Credibility, Authority and Influence from Scratch. 

Photo credit: Andrew Stawarz via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

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