Risk & Business Magazine Cooke Insurance Magazine Summer 2018 | Page 20

ONLINE INFLUENCE 4 I Steps To Building An Online Influence n 2012, nobody knew who I was. But today, if you search “Dale Partridge” (using quotes) on Google, over 333,000 results come up in less than one half of a second. Jefferson Bethke pulls up 433,000, Michael Hyatt 421,000, Lewis Howes 321,000, Gary Vaynerchuk 506,000, Amy Porterfield 182,000, and Jeremy Cowart at 297,000. Now this measurement methodology only works well with unique names, but my point is the same. Understanding the art of online influence can catapult your personal brand almost overnight. What I’m about to discuss with you is an art. An art I’ve coined as “persona- marketing”. And when executed with a heart of authenticity rather than manufactured reality, it can become a contagious act in the arena of social media. I have defined persona-marketing as the act of building compounding influence around three things: 1. YOUR STORY 2. YOUR PERSONALITY 3. YOUR EXPERTISE In my experience, it’s far easier to follow a person than it is to follow a product, a blog, or a business. 20 The human mind always takes the path of least resistance, and when it has a choice between a product or a persona, it almost always chooses the latter. Because the foundation of influence is built on trust, and the fact that our minds find it difficult to put our confidence into a faceless business, the persona often wins the race when fighting for a consumer’s attention. While persona-marketing has been around for many years, it wasn’t until leaders like Tony Robbins, Dave Ramsey, Beth Moore, and John C. Maxwell had solidified the footing, that individual persona brands began to thrive. The next generation of thought leaders, change agents, consultants, and coaches are rising among us at a rapid pace. And while few ascend to the top, I find it only because they lack the understanding of this art. And of all the essential ingredients required for the persona- brand recipe, I have chosen to share what I believe are the four most important. But first, I would like to preface my thoughts with this proclamation: The world doesn’t need another voice leading people down a life of hollow aspirations. We don’t need more family- less men and women living for themselves, hoping to mask their selfishness and addiction to materialism and fame with a poor attempt at authenticity. Rather, we need men and women of firm conviction who stand for more than their ability to buy mansions and Lamborghinis. We need people with purpose, significance, and a total and absolute dedication to honor, respect, and the growth of future generations. 1. INCREDIBLY CLEAR. INCREDIBLY DIFFERENT. If anything has become evident in my success, it is that people don’t refer confusing. Our pride often leaves us believing we have mastered our message. We may believe our website and video and brand are compelling and complete. Wrong. On the contrary, we should have a constant heart of investment into education and counsel to help bring even more sharpness to our brand’s message. Clarity is not a destination, it is a habit. I tell my students at StartupCamp, the best businesses understand they sell only one thing. And that thing will vary from company to company and brand to brand. But the key to a consumer’s loyalty and followership is not variety or choice, it is clarity and focus. Lastly, we must not forget differentiation. While we fight confusion on one end, we must obliterate similarity on the other. The human mind was designed to only notice what is different. Those who expect to do the same as others and receive increased attention, are very misinformed.