How to be an influencer – a step-by-step guide

My name is Liz Lumley – Some people call me a ‘FinTech’ influencer.

If this is interesting to you, if you would like to be an ‘influencer’ in your chosen field, please read on.

If not, wait for the next post. (I have some very funny stories coming up about when I fell down a flight of stairs and ended up with my dress over my head at the feet of a giant tech company CEO and the one time I yelled ‘Go fuck yourselves’ to the investors of my magazine startup. Good times. 🙂 )

I became a influencer partly through circumstance – I was a journalist – my byline and face are on thousands of news pieces, features, event agendas and videos. However, some of it is by design. I decided to make my opinions and viewpoints public. (When you find yourself explaining to someone who claims to work in payments at a bank what the letters in PSD stand for – the sneer ‘but, you’re just a journalist’ starts to grate.)

Journalists trade on two main things:

  • Information
  • Trust

I needed information from people. In order to get that, I needed these people to trust me. And people trust and do business with people that they

(wait for it…)

Know

I needed people to know me. So the first tool I used was Twitter.

Twitter is best used when it is used as a real-time conversation tool. I met people all over the world – who knew me – before we ever met face to face.

  • “I follow you on Twitter, religiously”
  • “I think I just saw @LizLum on the Heathrow shuttle”
  • “OMG, you’re Liz Lumley…Can I get a selfie?” <==Yes, that did happen!

Influencer 3influencer 2

By all means, I am not pushing Twitter. You should find the social media channel that works best for you. Because…

  • Being an ‘influencer’ means being public
  • Unless you are a national newspaper columnist or have a million pound book deal already – That means:

 ‘Picking social media channel’

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Etc…

Once you find your channel

Use it – Regularly!

  • Post videos
  • Post blogs
  • Post photos
  • Send Tweets
  • Start conversations with people!

(Yes, there is not an ‘influencer pill’ you need to put in the graft)

Liz’s Influencer Social Media Commandments

  1. Thou shall always ‘be yourself’
  2. Thou shall be consistent with your message
  3. Thou shall always write your own posts <==Be authentic!
  4. Thou shall never attack people – attack ideas <==Lesson, truly learned, on that one.
  5. Thou shall only name people, if you are praising them
  6. Though shall never be afraid of ‘self-promotion’ <==RT that praise!
  7. Thou shall never rely on someone else to ‘raise your profile’ <==You need to put in the graft, it will show!
  8. Thou shall engage with those who engage with you
  9. Thou shall spread your influence to those who need it <==RT the cool and the interesting 🙂
  10. Thou shall never covet your neighbours ‘influence’ (This is not a competition)

If you follow those commandments

  • Your posts will find resonance with others
  • Your views and opinions will be brave and have merit
  • You will gain followers and eventually gain friends
  • Those ‘friends’ then do the work for you and RT and mention and ask you to speak at events and be quoted in papers and will recommend you to others. Without you ever having to ask.

Influences 4

My over arching philosophy

No one was ever influenced by a scheduled, approved PR ‘message’ ever ever ever…

…since the dawn of time

People respond to other people.

They respond to your real stories.

The respond to people (and do business with) those they feel they *know*.

Now, go forth, and Influence!

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