Do you ever wonder if there’s a trade secret for influence?
What makes people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Rand Fishkin, and Neil Patel skyrocket into stardom?
Surely, at the end of the day, their value comes from the stellar products and services they’ve pioneered – making a trustworthy name for themselves in their industries.
But what if there are commonalities in the execution of their ideas that make them as successful as they are?
I’m going to break down the commonalities that I have found that are universal themes to creating influence in your niche.
1. Confidence in Your Worth
People are sponges to personas they are presented with. Just like in personal companionship, people look for points of inspiration in their peers that they can glean from.
Making friends, as we all know, is something that seems automatic and doesn’t require rigid requirements of compatibility. It’s not like there’s a formal application to become a friend of someone.
Someone just needs to get a couple things right for you to resonate with them, and the rest is ultimately inconsequential.
One of the most contagious and magnetic traits a person can have is confidence. It’s a state of being that generates natural inspiration.
If someone can look directly into your eyes and express something right from the heart, without hesitation or questionability, they will radiate this sentiment – “take me seriously, I know what I’m talking about.” Most of the time, it does a number on the mind – making your audience suspend disbelief in your words and advice.
You may be broke as a joke and wearing oil-stained Wranglers, but if you display confidence in what you’re presenting with a keen explanatory prowess, you’ve got it in the bag.
On the flipside, many have taken this to heights it ought not to go, eventually arriving in the land of boastfulness and hubris. This is where a fine line must be maintained because most people detest cockiness. You have worth because you’ve created something beneficial and worthwhile. It wasn’t (hopefully) to toot your own horn and say, “take me seriously, other people do because I have cool accolades.”
Like most creative execution, it’s knowing when to hold em’ and when to fold em’. When it becomes topical and effective to express to your audience that you have experience in something, tell them!
If you express it confidently, all the while maintaining your genuine love for sharing knowledge, people will appreciate you and view you as an authoritative source of truth.
2. Tension and Resolution
This is a foundational premise for good storytelling, which we all know is how you captivate a person’s heart.
Like I previously mentioned, knowing when to hold em’ and when to fold em’ (my favorite saying) is critical to having an immersive presentation.
The greatest films and songs have arcs. They have moments of solace and peace, but they also have moments of riveting action or tragedy. All emotional elements make the story as a whole.
If you listened to a piece of classical music that was 100% peace and calm, it would put you to sleep. Moreover, if you listened to a piece that was 100% tension and fast paced melodies, it would make go insane (not far from the fate of some classical composers).
The same goes for good brand storytelling.
Your message must be comprised of something that tugs on your audience’s heartstrings. Something that gets your story to have an emotional response, rather than a logical one.
Draw them in with points of relation to their own personal lives. Get them to sympathize with the problems you had getting your business off the ground. Problems that are human. Problems that could happen to any of us. Then, take that failure and turn it into victory - everybody loves a good redemption story.
Do you see what you’re accomplishing by structuring a story this way? You’re highlighting the contrasts of your humble beginnings to your current state, which makes your current state seem all the more victorious. This arc you’ve established goes directly to the heart of your audience.
This creates a suspension of disbelief. This takes people on a journey through the life of someone that’s not so different than themselves.
Note: While you take them on this journey, make sure to include some comedic relief. People love to laugh. It breaks any notion of intimidation and apprehensiveness.
3. Attention to Detail
Finally, we arrive at the most impressive psychological trigger you can pull off when it comes to your media operation as a whole. If you can have your entire presentation meticulously planned and executed, it certainly can wow your audience with your consideration for professionalism.
To help me explain this, imagine watching a video from one of your favorite YouTube channels.
This person likely has a shotgun, condenser or lavaliere microphone. They may even have a 3 light setup in their studio. Heck, maybe they’re even reading a carefully devised script through a teleprompter.
They are likely filming from a DSLR or mirrorless camera, going right into Premiere or Final Cut for precise composition and editing.
Maybe after the basic video is edited, they bring it over into Adobe After Effects to throw in some on-screen visual aids.
You get the point. A whole lot of detail goes into making a media operation professional.
A successful YouTuber knows that quality execution is like a soft pillow to the eyes and ears of the viewer. It’s what separates them from the others. They may even be saying the same exact things as a channel with 2 subscribers, but since their execution has attention to detail for maximum retention – they ultimately win.
Take Brian Dean from Backlinko for example.
Not only is he an SEO mastermind, he’s also video content genius. His videos garner hundreds of thousands of views, simply because he is skillful in his craft and executes it well. His videos are engaging, helpful and aesthetically pleasing.
He knows that if his content was a 10 but his presentation was a 3, he’d have 0 influence (was that a math equation?)
Take me for example – a musician.
Back when my recordings sounded like a toothbrush on a stethoscope, it was hard to get people to appreciate the music (content).
Then I studied my butt off trying to emulate the quality to that of my favorite bands. I scoured forums day in and day out trying to get my hands on affordable gear that could turn my bedroom operation into studio quality mixes.
When I finally got comfortable with my mixes (years later), I noticed something start to happen.
People were coming out of the woodwork telling me how awesome the tracks sounded. I was blown away. I never thought I would receive some of the compliments people gave on my music.
This taught me a valuable lesson.
Master your story first. Get that content pitch perfect. Put every ounce of creative power into making your content valuable and exciting.
Then comes phase 2.
Master the execution of your content. Get that production pitch perfect. Put every ounce of creative power into making your production engaging and retaining.
Make attention to detail a keystone habit. A collection of small gold flakes can turn into a whole nugget eventually.
You may have never even noticed that some of these psychological triggers influence you.
The pros know how to captivate an audience with these techniques that get people to take them seriously.
Now it’s your turn.
Could your content use a tune-up? Is your story inspiring but just not reaching enough people?
I encourage you to take these observations I have found over the years that influencers have mastered and used them for your greatest potential.