Key Influencers – Connect With Them to Grow Your Business
Did you know that fewer than five percent of people in any community or organization account for more than ninety-five percent of all positive events, growth, and happenings in that community or organization? These people are known as the “key influencers” and can be valuable to you and/or your business or personal goals.
This morning I met with a group of women from my Zonta Club in Santa Clarita. This is an amazing group of dedicated business women working towards the common goal of advancing the status of women around the world and I am honored to be among them. They are also extremely active in this community. We had a new Zontian with us today and I spent over an hour discussing with her how she could get her new business off the ground.
Anne (not her real name to protect her identity) is a former classroom teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, like I was. Even though she has lived in the Santa Clarita Valley for more than thirty years, the time constraints of her career kept her from volunteering or getting to know people very well over this period of time. When she resigned from teaching last year she decided to dedicate her life to empowering women through a variety of techniques she has used personally. I asked her how she was getting the word out about the Retreats and courses she wanted to offer and that’s when our discussion became a serious one.
Anne and I discussed how she could best use her time to network with the people who would not only understand what she wanted to do but would also be able to help her get in front of the exact people she wanted to serve. The goal is to position yourself as an expert, one day at a time. I told her that Zonta was the perfect place to start, but to also expand her reach throughout the community in a logical way. I then invited her to my Rotary Club meeting so that I could introduce her to the other members.
I work with people all over the world who have a message they wish to share with the world, and a huge part of this is connecting with the “key influencers” where you live. I recommend becoming a “local celebrity” so that you can begin at home and then move in concentric circles to the outer edges of the world. This strategy is quite effective and gives you both the credibility and the visibility to build a lucrative business and to make a name for yourself.
As we sat together on this crisp spring morning, Anne and I began to create a plan that would work well for her. Even though she has a standing commitment to a group related to her topic that meets every Wednesday evening through the end of the year, she agreed to consider missing it on the second Wednesday of each month in order to attend the monthly Zonta business meeting. This will keep her connected to these powerful women (AKA “key influencers”) with and from whom she can learn and grow. She also wants to do more public speaking and we brainstormed ideas on how to make this happen, first within the city and later to the world.
I also recommended that she consider joining Rotary, involving her husband by attending Friday night dinners at the Santa Clarita Elk’s Lodge, and looking for volunteer opportunities in our community. Attending one event every month, whether it’s social or for a non-profit puts you in front of people you might otherwise never have met. She now has a calendar that is quickly filling up with opportunities and she sees things quite differently than she did just twenty-four hours ago. Anything is possible when you have a solid plan and a mentor to guide you.
Networking and volunteering are both offline methods for connecting with your community and building a business. Online strategies include blogging, offering webinars and other online trainings, writing a book, and speaking at events around the world. Social media is also crucial to the mix, as it allows for you to connect with these key influencers much more frequently. Please let me know if you have further questions on anything I have discussed here.