In a recent post, I talked about the importance of Expanding Your Influence because I believe you need a WHY behind the changes you make in your life, just like I talked about here. I hope those left you wondering, what are some practical ways to expand your influence? It’s one thing to wish you were more “out there” or using your gifts and talents more strategically–it’s something else to actually have a plan. So I want to look at some
practical ways to expand your influence
First of all, these are assuming you…
- want to be seen
- want to be considered an expert and/or leader
- have a desire to add value
- are ready to “put yourself out there”
Hesitant? Here are some good reads for you:
Now some ideas or next steps:
- update your online and social media profiles and make it easy for people to contact you. Post an update if you’ve been absent for a while.
- put it on the calendar and send out a save the date for teaching a class within the next month.
- promote an event, cause or charity you care about, especially if and when you participate.
- reach out to someone to mentor or advise them.
- ask someone you admire to mentor or advise YOU.
- try out a new group or organization you’ve been stalking.
- attend a class, conference or workshop–either of like-minded people, or for something you’ve never tried before.
- pick up a book on leadership or personal development.
- support or participate in a vendor fair. Connect with at least 10 people.
- support local small businesses and entrepreneurs, both by promoting them and patronizing them. Remember artists, makers, authors, direct sales consultants, etc.
- explore what’s going on with your local government.
- elevate your image–wear something colorful, buy a new outfit or try a new hair style–enough that people will notice.
And some Tab’s Tips:
- Focus on one or two a month–whatever you feel you can realistically achieve. Remember…. you can’t do it all, so don’t over-commit!
- Know that expanding your circle of influence can take months or years before you see any results. You’re building relationships and making valuable connections–that doesn’t happen overnight.
- If a group, organization, mentor or project isn’t a good fit, it’s OK to walk away. You can even tell them up front, “I’m dipping my toes in the water.”
- Be aware that not everyone you meet is a fellow connector or giver. You will be sold to, taken advantage or or have your time wasted by people who have a “me first” mentality (or who just don’t get it yet–so maybe you’ll help them on their journey!).
- Go deep with a few groups or projects vs. shallow with many. For more networking tips, visit my post about choosing a networking group.
- Surround yourself with people who are also trying to expand their influence.
- Accept that making mistakes is part of the journey. The more “out there” you are, the bigger the potential for screw-ups–and that’s OK! As I often say, you have a choice: be comfortable or be influential!
- Self care is of the utmost importance when you are working to expand your influence. You cannot pour out from an empty vessel.
- Keep learning and growing…and share your journey! “Out there” people need to know they’re not alone.
- Expanding your influence isn’t selfish. As Bill Hybels always says, “Everyone wins when a leader gets better.”
Little makes me happier than seeing people expand their influence to more freely offer their gifts to the world! I’m so happy to be on this journey with you. Please let me know if I can assist you in any way, or make a connection for you!
How are you currently working to expand your influence? Or…what steps are you planning to take soon?
If you need a personalized strategy, consider a Strategy Tea! Visit work with me to get started.