Bringing Everyone Together
This radio show aired on December 18, 2012 (Listen Now) and featured special guests Nita Black of MAPmomentum.com, Shelley Baur of Integrity Based Communications, and Virginia Roland of Ridgeway Business Center. Your host is Sherri Henley, founder and CEO of Business Over Coffee International.
How do we become an influencer once we've become successful? How do we cross that bridge, or bridge that gap, from success to influence? How do we make that difficult move?
Sherri believes that influence is also derived from the people we surround ourselves with. Trusting and respecting Shelley Baur's work, Sherri immediately trusted Nita Black as soon as Shelley recommended her.
"One of my roles is to be a connector," Shelley told Sherri. "We want to bring people we know, like, and trust together." Considering the motto of BOCI--bringing everyone together--it seems like Shelley is in the right place.
Even if you're not to Shelley's level just yet, she thinks that looking up to people and emulating their behavior can help guide you on this path. Take care to notice things in others that you don't have but want and work to develop these qualities. If possible, ask these people to mentor you in specific areas.
"Half of my life has been living by accident and default," Shelley admits. "But once success started happening, you wanna turn around and say, 'Wow, I can save somebody some time if I can help them learn what I learned over a longer period of time.'"
We want to do business with those we know, like, and trust. But it gets better! When you have influence in your network--that is, when those in your network trust your motivation and your integrity--your network is more likely to do business for you.
Though Shelley herself may never do business with Rising Fyre Productions in Memphis, TN, she says, they're stashed away in her mental Rolodex, as she calls it. She may just be at church, talking with some friends, but if they need a production company for a commercial, Rising Fyre will come to mind. Because she trusts them, she feels comfortable promoting them.
By developing your network with complete integrity, you can get your network to work for you. Does this sound selfish? No--it's only selfish if you wouldn't do the same for them! By getting your network to network, your business can literally go viral.
Don't underestimate the power of trust and integrity.
As an influencer, you'll be in high demand. Sherri acknowledges that this is a natural part of business, identifying "seasons" of influencers' work within a company. We shouldn't expect that one person will be involved with any one company forever, but rather, are along to make the most of their own season there.
Shelley seconds the notion, saying she'd rather "disappoint on the front end, than drop the ball later on because I have so much going on." She's right, isn't she? Think back to a time when someone said no to us with integrity--we may have been disappointed. Our feelings may have been a little hurt. Think now to a time when someone took on more than they could carry and ended up disappointing you after committing. Which was worse?
I'd venture to guess, along with these ladies, that it was the committed one who disappointed you more. Know your limits, and don't be afraid to be upfront about them.
Sherri goes one step further by reminding people, "When you enter, enter right. When you exit, exit right."
To be an influencer, you need to promote the other guy.
Nita believes in harnessing the power in numbers. You're looking for synergy within your team, remembering that one good idea is good, but several good ideas is great. There's more power in a group of influencers than you could manage on your own.
Nita recommends reading the renowned book by Jim Collins, Good to Great. Match your passion with what you really do well," she says. "Then think, who will pay you for this?" Keep your mind open here--people can pay you in dollars, or they can pay you in respect.
Author Cheryl Hurley is a professional social media and blogging consultant. Contact her for more information on helping you step into the future of marketing. She also runs lifestyle blog, The Stylist Quo, as well as online vintage shop, Stylist Quo Vintage.