Today, the influence that provides an edge in our world is determined by how well you’re known. Being known is not the same as being famous. It’s not about having millions of fans and red carpet appearances. Becoming known is about approaching your digital life with an intent that establishes the authority, reputation, and audience to achieve your goals.
But can anyone become known?
Does it take a special inborn talent to become known or is there a path that people can follow?
Through my research, I found that everybody I studied did the same four things, and I haven’t found a single exception. After I identified this 4-step process, I showed it to others who have had success becoming known and they all told me that I nailed it.
So, I’m very confident that this is the right process and I think that’s why this approach is helping so many people.
The four steps in brief:
1) You have to be really clear about what you want to become known for. Often, this is very different from following your passion. What I’ve found with many different people who are known in their industry is that they didn’t follow their passion. Rather, their passion followed them. First, they found something that they loved, but it didn’t have to be the thing they love most. I call it finding your sustainable interest. It may not have been their favorite thing to do, but it was something they enjoyed and was sustainable in the sense that it had an audience big enough to matter.
2) Now that you know the story you want to tell, the next step on the path is figuring out where you want to tell it. Is there a place that you can own in this very crowded world? Can you find a space that’s uncontested or at least underserved?
3) The third step is that you know your story and where you want to tell it, you have to think of what kind of content to create to fill that space and tell that story. And this is where a lot of people get overwhelmed because there seems to be so many options and so many choices. I point out to people that it doesn’t have to be overwhelming, because there are really only three major options — written content, audio content, and video content. So pick one of those. You don’t have to do everything. You don’t have to be everywhere. Just pick one. Master that. Create content consistently for a year or two to give yourself a chance to grow the audience.
4) The fourth step is creating an actionable audience. The important word here is actionable. A great myth in business today is that a large social media following can translate into success and influence. That is simply not true. A large social media audience is generally comprised of weak, relationale links. Just because someone follows you on Twitter or gives you a like on Facebook, doesn’t mean they are going to support you or buy something from you. So, you really have to leverage these weak relationale links and grow them into strong connections. Actionable connections.
Is personal branding something that is going to become mainstream?
I believe that in this fast-changing, busy, noisy world you can’t count on a lot. You can’t count on working for a company for 30 years or on anyone taking your hand and leading you up the corporate ladder or to your next success. You can’t wait for someone to pick you or lead you. You have to pick yourself. You have to lead yourself. And I think the only permanent, sustainable, competitive advantage we can have as individuals is to be known. Either you’re known or you’re not. And if you’re known and your competitors aren’t, you’re going to have an advantage over those who aren’t.
And, it’s not just about making money. Being known can prove beneficial for a wide range of personal and professional goals. Maybe you want to raise money for a charity. Maybe you want to write a book someday or explore opportunities for having a speaking career. Perhaps, you want to teach at a university or be invited to be on a board of some kind in the future. You’ll have an advantage if you’re known. I think being known can benefit anyone.
The tools and the process are out there. Anyone has the opportunity to do it. Will they actually be able to do it? That’s another question, because it takes a lot of work. It takes patience, it takes tenacity, and it may take years of effort before you see a payoff. Not everyone in this world is willing to put in that kind of effort.