One thing is clear. In the online time, being able to stand out, be heard, and influence is valuable. Way more valuable than many want to admit. Whatever you do, you are measured by your ability to influence.
Influence is the capability to have an effect in the world, and make people hungry for what you say and do.
Influencer marketing thrives. In it, the effort is focused on influential people, rather than directly on the target market. The influencers have the reach, and they can change minds, move people, nudge them to do things. They build connections, they make you want to be them and be with them. They make you feel, they bring out your passion. To influence is to to create movements.
Influencers are in, influence is attractive.
True, there are people who get an allergic reaction of the word influence, and stop listening the moment someone is called an influencer. You cannot move everyone. Nobody can.
So why would you want to influence? You might want to have a successful business. You might want to become an authority, an expert of a subject. Gain sales. Perhaps you want a publishing deal for your upcoming book. Or spread a word of something, make people want your knowledge and skills. Are you looking for a new job, or a new client? Maybe you wish to change your career, or help other people with their careers. It could me that you want to learn from other people, and help them to learn new things too (if they want). It's possible you want to do good and change the world.
There are many reasons to influence, some more personal and self-serving than others. Although, influence is not always about getting something for yourself. It works best, when you want to share something yourself.
Influence is giving and sharing.
Reaching people, and convincing them to actually listen to you, is easier said than done. Presenting all the facts doesn't have much effect. Beliefs are held tightly on, no matter how you try to reason, and appeal in logic. You can show all the evidence, and still be ignored. You can explain how something has been proved, and still they won't believe you. You can make your point in all the possible ways, and still get laughed out of the room.
Trying to share your knowledge and ideas is usually greeted with defensiveness. A human brain doesn't like new stuff. All kinds of cognitive biases fire up. Maybe you aren't considered to have authority. Perhaps what you are saying is against the person's assumptions or experiences. Maybe something about you just rubs them the wrong way. Whatever it is, there's usually a mental block or another, which keeps people from getting into what you say and do. Learning is easy, unlearning is hard.
This doesn't mean you cannot influence. It just means you need to work on it, not to take it for granted.
Influence really has nothing to do with knowledge, expertise, or being right. Nor it has anything to do with posting selfies or inspirational quotes. It's not manipulation, it's not tricking people to do things for you. There's something else to it. Something simpler.
Despite how it may seem, influence isn't only for a few. It doesn't come to people somehow magically. You can influence too. If you don't already have authority, loyal followers, people who look up to you, it takes a bit more work. But even with authority, it doesn't just happen. Authority and influence is built and maintained. It's crafted with effort. It takes time, it takes persistence.
Influence is all about building authentic connections. Choose who you want to influence, build trust, and disarm them. You stop making everything about you. You make yourself someone the others can rely on. Work your way around the mental blocks that prevent people from listening you and taking in what you say.
Start influencing and change the world.