Former Young Australian of the Year and global influencer, Sam Cawthorn, has just written about book about how to be an influencer called People Follow People and so here in this story, he gives us his Top 5 Tips on how to gain followers and become an influencer.
This book is the fifth Cawthorn has written and it’s a practical 12-step guide which shows you how you can become an influencer people actually want to follow.
Cawthorn became an influencer himself after a devastating car accident in 2006 left him with an amputated arm and a severe leg disability. But he didn’t let this set him back or stop him from reaching his goals.
Instead he turned his story into a triumph and went on to become a global influencer, a top-selling author of five books, winner of the Young Australian of the Year in 2009 and an in-demand speaker who has trained executives from major organisations including the United Nations, CommBank and BP.
So what do you need to do if you want to be an influencer?
When many people hear the word ‘influencer,’ they automatically conjure up images of suntanned, bikini models posing in front of a beach while sipping on a cocktail. But more recently, we’ve seen the definition of ‘influencer’ change with the introduction of wider social media platforms such as TikTok and YouTube.
A recent study in the UK revealed that among children aged 11-16 years, one in five (17%) dreams of becoming a social media influencer when they grow up. With all these changing definitions and a generation of people wanting to establish influence – how do you stand out from the crowd and become someone people actually want to follow?
Cawthorn says there’s been a significant change in the way people are viewing influencers in 2021 and he describes it this way:
“People are no longer obsessed with flawless Instagram snaps, perfect captions and unachievable standards, but instead are looking for influencers who demonstrate authenticity and genuine integrity in everything they do.”
Cawthorn believes our current interest in becoming influencers will only grow in future years, as people turn away from trusting big corporations and instead look to individuals who demonstrate what their values are and that they can stick to them.
In his new book, Cawthorn shares his top tips and advice, largely learnt from his own experience. The book also delves into the characteristics of some of the world’s best leaders and how you can harness their skill-set to win respect and continue with your own purpose.
So here are Cawthorn’s Top 5 Tips to becoming an influencer that people really want to follow:
- Build your character, not charisma
Big personalities don’t necessarily mean leadership material. While charisma is a great asset for influencers, over the coming years, consumers will be demanding even greater transparency. A person of strong character who lives and leads honestly and ethically, will outlast someone who only shows us the ‘highlight reel’ of their lives. A great example of this type of influencer, is former First-Lady, Michelle Obama. She championed many fantastic causes while she was First-Lady, yet was authentic, passionate and charismatic in her delivery – a winning combination and why she is beloved around the world.
- Build integrity before you build your brand
You brand is important, but it can only get you so far. If you want to be a genuine influencer who builds a loyal following – integrity is the key. A strong personal brand in combination with unwavering integrity will naturally attract people to you. A great example of someone who has build integrity alongside their brand is author and speaker Tim Ferris. Through his own dissatisfaction with being overworked, Tim developed the 4-Hour Work Week model and built his brand around his shortcomings – with his genuine values at the core of his business strategy.
- Be okay with being small
Unfortunately, social media has taught us that in order to be influential, you need to have a huge audience of followers. However, when it comes to real influence, bigger isn’t always better. As you grow your profile, do the small things well and give them your full attention – don’t skimp on engaging with your audience, communicate regularly and do your research before putting things into market. This will ensure your audience trust you and can grow with you. Author and TV Host Marie Forleo started her career knowing there was something big going to happen in her life. As a ‘self-made millionaire’ Forleo started her career ‘serving drinks, cleaning toilets and waiting tables’ so she can learn about communication and how to win the attention of others. The rest is history. Start small and the big will come.
- Prioritise Loyalty Over Opportunity
As an influencer, you will be known by your character and loyalty, particularly during crisis. Loyalty means you will stand by your team, your community and even your dreams when things become difficult. As an influencer, you will often have many opportunities on your doorstop but a great influencer knows that if you need to backstab, reject, or overlook those around you to reach it, you’re going in the wrong direction. Even though opportunities may come your way, true leaders will always make loyalty their first priority.
- Become a Powerful Storyteller
One of the greatest assets I have gained in my career, was being able to use my story to inspire and coach others. While people may believe you need connections, a huge bankroll, or a senior leadership position to have influence, in today’s day and age, this is no longer the case. Your greatest asset, and what will make you stand out from the crowd is not your expertise or rank…it’s your story. No one else on the planet has your story, or ability to share it, so build your following based on your own experiences and insight. You must learn how to share powerful stories to evoke emotions and win the buy-in of hearts and minds to your message.
To find out more about Sam Cawthorn’s tips to becoming an influencer, you can take a look at his latest book, People Follow People, by visiting this website.
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