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7 Ultimate Strategies To Become Influential In Your Industry

7 Ultimate Strategies To Become Influential In Your Industry

Do you want to become influential in your industry or career? When people talk to others about the business you’re in, is yours the name that comes up as the expert in the field? Do others seek out your advice and follow your recommendations?

If you want that to be the case, you are going to have to work on a few different things that will skyrocket you to becoming an influencer. Every single leader in business has done these things, and by following the examples of the successful people that you look up to, you can become the person that people want to know and want to learn from. Here are seven things to do to become more influential within your field.

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1. Speak Out

You are never going to get noticed if you don’t speak up. You could have the most important thing in the world to say, but no one will hear it if you don’t make yourself heard above the crowd (both literally and metaphorically). You need to make sure that you find a forum to express yourself. Don’t let social pressure or individual criticism stop you from expressing your uniqueness. The people who stand out above the crowd are going to be the people that others want to follow and be influenced by.

2. Put Your Own Spin On Things

Just because some topic has already been discussed, doesn’t mean that it can’t be freshened up — you just have to do it the right way. Find out what sort of topics in your industry are growing stale and find a brand new way to look at them. Make people see the value in these old ideas and your fresh, innovative take on them as you consistently add value to the conversation.

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3. Learn To Speak in Public

Want someone to be influenced by you? Then get in front of them and teach them something valuable. When you’re a public speaker, even if you aren’t good at it to begin with, people will start to respect and notice you. As time goes on, you’ll get better and more confident when speaking to crowds, and that confidence will begin to bleed through into the rest of your interactions. It’s hard work, but leadership and becoming influential starts with getting noticed, making the circuit, and having your name recognized. It’s hard for haters and progress-interrupters to pull you down when you’ve built yourself a soapbox and established yourself as an expert — so get started!

4. Make Something Amazing And Learn From Kickstarter

You’ve probably heard of the crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter. People go on Kickstarter to raise money for their particular project or goal. You’ll notice that almost every single Kickstarter success actually has had something pretty amazing to show the people before they started, but you’ll also notice that what made these Kickstarters successful was the community they developedLearn from Kickstarter — they’re one of the greatest examples of the power of social proof, but they also demonstrate that quality wins out. These people made something first, and then the support they found on Kickstarter helped them make more. You can do the same thing with whatever industry you are in. Make something amazing, get others talking about it, and people will begin to listen to what you have to say — becoming influential 101.

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5. Give Value to Others Without Regard for Whether You’ll Get it Back

When you start off on your journey to become influential, you’re not going to be receiving much from others. That comes later, after they have seen you in action and have developed some respect and admiration for you. So, in the meantime, give to them as much as you can, especially if you don’t get anything back. You’re building a relationship, and while this tip in particular can feel drudgy and unimportant, the payoff at the end of the road is always worth it.

6. Become Influential By Teaming Up

A true leader’s strength comes from their ability to let go. Don’t be afraid to team up with others. You might want to be a leader and influence others in your field, but you don’t have to do it alone. Let me repeat that — you don’t have to do it alone.

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Often, learning when to delegate can let you become influential faster and more efficiently by letting you focus on doing what you do best, and letting go of the rest. When you work with others, you begin playing off each other’s strengths and compensating for relative weaknesses. Not only does this make your product far better, it encourages others to engage with you productively. When people see that you are willing get to work and get your hands dirty, they’re far more likely to cooperate with and look up to you — it’s just human nature! Working with a team on a project is an awesome opportunity for you to develop your leadership abilities. If you take the lead naturally and your teammates allow you to guide them, you’ll learn a great deal about influencing people and even more about how to deal with crises.

7. Remember Who Helped You On The Way Up

Finally, don’t forget about those people who helped you on the way up. These are the people who believed in you and helped you from day one, when they had no idea what (if anything) you could do for them. They might not expect a thank you, but you should take the time to acknowledge them anyways. Loyalty is a precious commodity in this world, so guard it closely. Becoming known as a person who remembers those who helped out will encourage others to help you in the future. Never pass up an opportunity to to pay it forward when you have an opportunity to do something to help someone.

Featured photo credit: johnhope14 via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

More About Continuous Growth

Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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