You know those people who seem effortlessly charismatic and knowledgeable about their craft?
Important people in their niche know their name, and prospects flock to them because they are an authority in their industry.
This is the definition of a Key Person of Influence – a term coined by Daniel Priestly, international speaker, entrepreneur and author of the bestselling book Becoming a Key Person of Influence.
So much of business success these days comes down to how you present yourself and who you know.
Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be born with it.
In his book, Priestly outlines the 5 P’s to becoming a Key Person of Influence.
In this post, I’m going to give you my spin on the 5 Ps, with 5 actionable steps to becoming a KPI in your own startup industry.
Over time, you’ll make a name for yourself, build a network and start attracting the attention of important stakeholders.
These could be:
- New customers
- Business partners/sponsors
- Publicity opportunities
Let’s break this down.
1. Define your Personal Brand (Profile)
Personal branding is a rapidly growing industry.
It’s similar to business coaching, but with more of a focus on how you are positioned to the public – that unique positioning is the value of a brand in the most literal sense.
Building your own personal brand is about crafting what you want to be known for, and how you want people to think about you.
Accurately defining your personal brand takes a lot of self awareness and a long term outlook.
a) Goals and vision
By getting clear on your personal vision and goals, it will become clearer what kind of personal brand you need to create to help you get there.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Why are you doing what you are doing?
- What is your purpose?
- What legacy do you want to leave behind?
- What kind of questions do you want people to ask you when you’re at networking events?
- If you were to imagine a conversation between 2 people and 1 of them asked who you were, how would you like the other person to respond?
“That’s [your name]. She started that company XYZ that is solving XYZ problem, and she recently got featured in Forbes list of 30 Under 30…etc”
You get the idea. Pick your big life goal and work backwards to cultivating the kind of personal brand you need to get there.
b) Ensure you create a visual identity to reflect your brand
Any visuals you use when promoting your personal brand should be consistent.
Just like how you wouldn’t use a different business logo for every method of communication, you should also ensure consistency with the photos you use.
Invest in getting professional head shots taken or at least use a good camera, nice backdrop and lighting to ensure your LinkedIn photo is professional.
2. Create a Website (Product)
Having an online presence is just as important as having a physical one. A website will serve as a point of reference and portfolio of YOU.
When people search for you in Google they can be directed to a website of YOU – your writing, events you’ve spoken at or attended, etc.
This will be so important for communicating your personal brand you’ve just shaped.
Don’t freak out, you really don’t need to have an IT degree to create a website anymore.
Create a simple website using SquareSpace or WordPress and have at the bare minumum:
- Home page – Define your own Unique Selling Proposition. Sell yourself!
- Portfolio of work/case studies (you need to be able to display how much effort goes into your work)
- About page – More detail on your story, how you got to where you are today, your vision and how you plan on getting there. You don’t need to have an elaborate rags to riches story, but be candid about what makes you tick. Don’t worry about it coming across canned or forced!
- Testimonials/Press – Essentially serves as social proof that other people think you’re a Key Person of Influence aswell.
3. Add value (Publish)
Great leaders and experts don’t hoard their knowledge, they share it!
It’s so easy to publish content through platforms like Medium or LinkedIn and share it with your network.
First, figure out how you want to share your knowledge.
Blogs, audio recordings, slide presentations, video…whatever medium you’re comfortable with that effectively communicates your tit bits of wisdom.
What wisdom, you ask?
Literally anything! Look at what the people you admire are publishing and think of what you can offer your audience to deepen their understanding or offer an alternate perspective.
Recommended: How To Use Content To Make Your App Stand Out In The Crowd
Don’t worry about whether you’re not a great writer or you don’t have fancy equipment for filming.
As long as the meat of what you’re sharing is valuable and unique, you will stand out.
Write a book
That might sound crazy but the value you will build is amazing. INC Magazine listed writing a book in its 6 Career Moves Smarter Than An MBA.
Self-publishing a book and pre-ordering a few hundred copies to send to important people is actually not as ridiculous as it sounds.
You can hand it out to important prospects instead of a business card and send it as gifts to clients.
You also get to put that you’re an author in your email signature and website…sounds good, hey?
4. Be Genuine and true (Pitch)
Learning how to pitch yourself is just as invaluable a skill as being able to pitch a product or service to an important client.
You need a compelling answer to that loaded question: “So what do you do?”.
Every smart business person knows that it doesn’t matter how great your business or product actually is. If you can’t sell it, it’s effectively worthless.
So, spend a bit of time coming up with a compelling spiel that tells the listener what you’re about, and what the benefit is of them joining you in some way.
You should be able to communicate this across different mediums, but with the same constant through line.
For example, can you talk passionately about your topic for 2 hours, like in a keynote speech?
Can you communicate it in the time it takes to get off an elevator?
How would you pitch yourself differently talking to someone who knows nothing about you and your industry, compared to someone who is more educated on the topic already?
The biggest thing to remember is don’t bullshit – You will get caught out!
5. Leverage off your current networks (Partnership)
No one gets anything done by themselves. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and use your support networks!
Who can you partner up with that has a big following, who can help give your product that much needed boost?
Align yourself with other KPIs and people who have access to audiences you want to get in front of. This will get you a lot further, a lot faster!
Keep in mind that partnerships are about creating Win Win situations.
Before you approach someone about a possible joint venture, sponsorship or ask for an introduction to one of their contacts, flip the script and think from their perspective.
Is there anyone YOU can introduce them to that would be beneficial to their business?
Is there any special offer on your product that you can give their customers?
These are the 5 P’s of becoming a Key Person of Influence in your niche, and they’re all incredibly cost-effective and actionable.
Here they are again:
- Build your personal Profile
- Create a website
- Add extra (free) value by publishing regularly
- Perfect your pitch
- Leverage your networks to forge new partnerships
Do a little each day to become a Key Person of Influence and you’ll attract new customers, get more free press and become the first point of call for any question about your area of expertise!
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- 5 Steps To Becoming A Key Person Of Influence In Your Startup Niche - January 5, 2016