I’m calling it a rule, but really it’s an idea: What would your life look like if you could only have an impact on a handful of people? What would you do differently in your work if you couldn’t help everyone? This next year, I’m answering that question and challenge you to do the same.
The best marketing you can do for your work is not to build an empire, but to find a few friends who care. We all want to reach the masses and see our work get into the mainstream. We want to have an “impact.” But the only way to reach the many is to first reach the few.
This is all marketing is: Finding a handful of misfits who appreciate your work before anyone else does, then giving those people the tools to help spread the message. The way we get a Harry Potter, Apple Computer, or Amanda Palmer is not by trying to reach everyone all at once. Quite the opposite in fact.
What I’ve learned since leaving the nonprofit world and starting a business, which included becoming an author, speaker, and digital entrepreneur, is that you can do a lot of good through business. I now believe that the best way for me to help people is through business. I don’t think that’s true for everyone, but it’s been true for me and for many of my friends. I know a lot of people who come from a ministry or a nonprofit background who are now doing more good in terms of the number of people they are able to help through for-profit enterprises.
How do you get busy, important people to notice you? In this age of connectedness, it’s easier than ever to meet your heroes and even partner with them—as long as you know how to do it.
People want to believe they are good at making their own decisions. From what they buy to who they vote for. It’s easy to see other people being influenced, but we have difficulty seeing it in ourselves.
We tend to hold a curmudgeonly attitude when it comes to being influenced or manipulated. And yet, everyone wants more influence. We hear a lot of people talking about how to become an influencer, and how to engage with influencers.
It’s seems like the Age of the Influencer.