FYI, you don’t need 100,000 followers on social media to be an influencer. In fact, anyone can be an influencer, no matter how many followers they have on social media.
Think about it. When growing up, who were the people that influenced where you are in your life today? I can guess that when making your GCSE choices, you weren’t following influencer stars and asking their advice, were you?
If you chose to study medicine, maybe there are medical workers in your family that influenced your decision, or maybe you spent a lot of time in hospitals when you were young and this influenced your decision.
There are influencers all around you when you really start to think about it. And without even realizing it, you are probably an influencer to a lot of people yourself. 100,000 Instagram followers, or not.
Related post: Are Influencers Worth the Risk?
1. Someone’s inspiration
Real-life people can be real-life inspiration. Take a look at things like Slimming World and Weight Watchers. Susan in your local class might have lost 3st in three months, influencing everyone else in the class to jump on Susan’s bandwagon and ask for tips and advice.
In your small hometown, you may have left for the big bad world and got a job in a record company, going to all the top gigs all over the globe with a famous band or five. A lot of young people growing up in that small town may be following along with your career (although you don’t know it) and trying themselves to follow something similar, all because you made them feel like it was possible.
You could inspire a lot of people in a lot of different ways, and even if you inspire three people or three hundred, your influence can go a long way without you even realizing.
2. As an educator
If you sat down to think about all the people that have inspired you in your life, I would guess that some of those people have been teachers.
Teachers that were amazing at their jobs, took an interest in your future or helped you when it came to making tough life decisions.
Perhaps teachers inspired you to follow a certain career path, told you what you were good at, what you could achieve and knowing that they believed in you, you were more likely to believe in yourself.
3. Collaborating with others
Working with other people can be collaborative and inspiring. Brainstorming ideas, dreams and visions can influence and change your own. Maybe you come up with new ways to do things, new business ideas or new creative projects.
Collaborating with other people can be an inspirational time and ideas can bounce off one another to become more than just a thought or a ‘maybe some day’ idea.
As much as I love sitting down and mind-mapping my way into oblivion in a coffee shop, I also love talking through some ideas with other people. Saying my ideas and visions out loud and hearing them confirmed as practical and realistic is even better.
4. Your network
Like I said in the first point, you can influence those you don’t know when it comes to your career and life. Whether that’s people on LinkedIn, Twitter or those that read your blog, there can be others out there that are interested in what you do, and ask for your advice and tips.
An influencer isn’t always someone who promotes beauty products and the latest fashion trends and isn’t always someone who has millions of followers on social media.
There are people out there that I have messaged online because their career path is inspirational to me. I don’t know what kind of person they are or their social media handles but since I have them on my LinkedIn, being a part of their network has influenced me to apply for a certain job or try something new career-wise.
Take a look at your own network both online and in person, and think about how these people influence your career and where you are now with your job. Then think of how they are influencing where you want to go in the future.
5. Your morals and values
More than anything, who you are as a person can be influential to others. If you’re the type to always do the right thing, help others and give what you can, you might inspire others to do the same.
I follow a lot of people on social media who have very positive mindsets and always try to see the good in the world and in turn, I try to too. But I also notice the people I surround myself with, that their actions and values reflect on me and I, them.