Catching an Uber can be a small science experiment in human behaviour.
Often the trip is more about the conversation not the destination. Starting the chat is not difficult and just requires asking a few questions.
How long have you been driving for Uber? Then it can segue into what got you started?
Then it’s sit back and hear their story.
I also have a few theories about the drivers motivation for working for Uber apart from earning a bit of cash.
They either love a chat, are feeling a bit lonely, or want to escape the boredom of sitting on the sofa or the home office for a few hours.
Bu I have detected this reason.
An excuse to escape the house where their partner (or kids) are driving them bat stir crazy! All they have to do is turn on the app and login and say. “Sorry, got to go to work”.
Its work when you want it, when you need it. Perfect.
But the chat can go two ways. Boring or fascinating.
And often the ride turns into a snapshot of the current status of their life story. This falls into 3 categories.
- Between jobs (code for un-employed)
- Topping up their day job with some extra cash
- Paying their bills while working on a startup
Many times I have heard about the desire and dream to start an online business or launch a startup.
Sometimes if they have some communication skills they will get around to ask what I do. I mix it up. Blogger will get them interested and the category of digital entrepreneur is sort of a good.
But the term “influencer” will have them curious. It’s a job description that didn’t exist even 5 years ago.
How did this happen?
Influencers are the modern digital version of the mass media celebrity, movie and sports stars. Before the social web the only way to measure influence was fluffy television data, newspaper column inches and box office revenue.
Today we have robots collating the data and telling us what and who is making ripples. These platforms tell us what content works as it is created and shared and online conversations are tracked.
Data has revealed the influencers.
Influencers can be categorised and include B2C influencers, B2B influencers and even Instagram and YouTube Influencers. “Insta Famous” is now a term.
How do you become a global influencer?
The answer to that question is maybe one you don’t want to hear. It starts with a passion about your topic and then its about 2 core activities that require relentless effort. Content creation and building tribes that share that content.
But the devil is in the detail.
1. Create consistent content
On the digital web “Content defines you but data measures you”. Most of our interactions are now performed on screens. Laptops, tablets and smart phones. People don’t know who you are but will judge you and connect with you based on your content.
So…..”Content defines you online”
2. Be real
People who aren’t authentic will be found out. There are many stories of those that have faked their story to try and grab online headlines.
The more authentic and open you are as a publisher will enable you to connect and touch people’s hearts and minds.
Vulnerability has power. It touches hearts and makes you real.
3. Grow an audience
Content that has no attention is a waste of your creation. It needs an audience. Building an audience on social networks before you need them will make your job of monetising your influence much easier.
The choice of platform will be personal and you don’t have to be great at dozens of them.
Influence can reside within different social platforms. The big three that resonate in the influencer stakes include Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
A good rule of thumb is to choose your top three to use and focus on the one that works best for you. For me that was Twitter.
The social networks connect us online and tweets and 140 character messages are sometimes the first connection we make with real people on the digital web. That is the “weak ties”
To take it to the next level requires face to face connection and interpersonal relationship building. That is “strong ties”
Attending conferences for me is not about the education but about people. Spending quality time with driven passionate individuals that want to make a difference. That is your tribe.
So network in the corridors, the coffee shops, restuarants and bars that surround that conference.
It’s who you know that really matters.
Influence isn’t a destination but many small steps.
To amplify your humanity and influence means a laser focus of scaling your message and content with technology. You need to invoke the power of the machines. They can be simple automation apps or platforms that will manage and control your marketing efforts from email to social.
Marketing automation platforms will become your best friend as it can automate the sequences of marketing and content..
6. Keep learning
Influencers can’t stop still and they should never stop learning. Continuous learning is a necessity as an online influencer.
The digital landscape keeps changing and your tools, tactics and insights need to keep evolving.
Creating the habit of a lifetime of learning will take you from average to exceptional.
7. Create the habit of “Deep Work”
Learning is one thing but influencers need to be creators.
Create the habit of time blocking a couple of hours a day to sit down and research and distill your thoughts and ideas onto video or a podcast or a blog post.
Don’t just get stuck in shallow work of “busyness” and responding to emails.
If you don’t create some focused legacy building work each day, you will get to the end of your day and wonder if it was even worth showing up.
8. Build distribution outside social networks
Many influencers just focus on social media but that is a risky venture.
If you want to play a long game then that can be dangerous. Make sure you have multiple channels where people can find your content. Build online distribution that creates a pervasive and ubiquitous network of paths to people’s social streams, inboxes, apps and search results.
Email and search are the some of the cornerstones of that equation.
9. Always be sharing
Oversharing is a thing. But one tweet is never enough.
Because the social networks and Google hate silence the task is never done. Create, share. Create, share and keep going. This will mean that you will need to automate some of your sharing. And tweeting every 15 minutes is one way not to be forgotten.
Another tactic that works well is creating evergreen content that can be shared many times before its relevance expires.
10. Create content of consequence
Blog posts are essential but ebooks and books are pillar content that says “This dude is the real deal”. It positions you as someone of authority and substance. That is content of consequence.
An online course is also premium content that places you at the centre of your industry and niche. Creating this requires discipline and a lot of learning.
Content of consequence will build a legacy and it changes the world.
Over to you
The journey itself is worth the effort but sometimes the daily grind may not seem fun from the trenches.
Achieving influence is a validation for your efforts and being asked to speak or appear on a panel can be a life changer. But the real benefit is making a difference and leaving a legacy.
Are you prepared to pay the price?