sly : marketing

What it takes to build influence

I started blogging without focusing on what was important to me. I started marketing without relating it to my true passion. I quit my job, without thinking about the future.

I had no idea that what I was doing would make a huge dent in the Universe. My Universe. And, everything was connected.

my universe

I stopped everything I was doing. I was a solopreneur. But, I stopped and I started following the law of attraction:

I started relaxing. I started thinking. I wanted to be sure that I discovered my true passion. I understand what drives me. I made a choice, and I started journaling. I wrote stories, adding myself in various situations and adding what I wanted as part of the stories. I could feel what life would be like, when I ended up doing what I was suppose to be doing. Now, that I’m about to get there, I trust the Universe and the people next to me, and I am showing gratitude. I know that I’ll eventually get there.

What it takes to build influence

I am working harder than ever. I am more passionate than ever. And, doing what I do, I have discovered that there are at least three ways to build influence.

I haven’t been great at making connections. I remember when I wrote about how I watched Gary Vaynerchuk and Chris Brogan at a conference in Norway. I watched them, I listened to them speak, that was all I did. They were both just a few feet away from me. I could have talked to them, I could have been friends with them both – but I didn’t. I’m still not great. But, what I know now, is that if I want to build influence, I need to make connections.

I started blogging without focusing on relationships. I started blogging without paying attention to people. I know now, that every success story is really a story of community. I should have started supporting people, and finding people that believed in me and my success. If we build a tribe, we’re at the same time building influence.

We do build some influence by making connections and finding patrons, but in the end, the only way we’ll be sure to make a great impact and build influence in the long run, is to create great stuff. I believe that building relationships are the most important part of marketing, but without creating great stuff, we’ll never build true influence.

To build influence, online and offline, we need to make connections, find patrons and create great stuff. That’s it.

18 responses to “What it takes to build influence”

  1. Ed King says:

    “create great stuff” – Now that is a quote to live by !

    I’ve been networking for awhile, spent many years heavily involved in business groups and networking for a medium / large size company where I focused on sales and marketing.

    For me my struggle is conveying my passion through words, I met with a client who was purchasing a large collection of prints for new corporate home office and as the board was meeting with me they mentioned they could listen to me speak for hours. They mentioned they could feel my passion with my work, I had them sold with my passion before they even started to pick out any prints.

    I want to “create great stuff” and I want to learn how to connect a passion into words.. that’s where it gets tricky for me..

    I have to say you’re well on your way Jens – you make it look way to natural than most.

    • Hey Ed,

      Thank you for your kind words. For some it’s a lot easier to speak. For some it’s a lot easier to write. I believe that if we work hard enough and long enough on what we want to get done, we’ll eventually make it happen. So, just keep writing. It’s obvious to me that you’re passionate about what you do, and then it’s just a few more steps to find your method and keep going with it.

      I have been working hard to become a better speaker. I don’t feel comfortable, especially if I have to speak without a manuscript. That’s not something I do a lot. But, I feel that I’m passionate about what I do to, and what I believe in, and hopefully that’s something people who are listening to me understand and I hope they feel the passion too 🙂

  2. Jon Rhodes says:

    Yep. online business all boils down to people in the end. However when I was starting out, all I seemed to hear about was link building and SEO. People were given a very distant second consideration.

    Search engines will not buy your products or click on your ads. They will not follow you because they love your content. As soon as their algorithm is changed, they may drop you forever. People have far more loyalty if you are friends and help them with their goals.

    • Hi Jon,

      That’s exactly what I experienced. Like you said, when I started, it was all about building links and doing the “right” SEO.

      I am currently experiencing a manual spam action from Google, and at the moment, I’m “only” receiving traffic from my friends and the people who are following me. But, like you said, they are the ones buying my products and looking for what I’m writing.

      Thanks for your awesome comment.


  3. Susan Young says:

    Congratulations for taking such a big risk and believing in yourself! You are wise beyond your years. I look forward to following your success.

  4. Adrienne says:

    Hey Jens,

    I know you aren’t comfortable approaching people you don’t know. I also believe that because of a lot of the connections you’ve made online that you’re getting out of your shell a little bit more. I mean you started your business and started meeting with companies for goodness sakes. I thinks that’s very admirable of you.

    Building relationships online is to me one of the most important things we can do. I use to be so jealous of those people that I thought were in a click so to speak. They supported each other and little did I know that all I needed to do was to connect with people myself. I think you do a great job of that as well Jens so keep it up my friend.

    Glad you are leaving it up to the Universe with your positive attitude. It will all come together as it should.


    • Hey Adrienne,

      You’re absolutely right, I feel that I’m getting out of my shell a little bit more every single day. Now, I’ve come a long way, considering that I was used to staying alone inside an office, with the door closed 🙂

      Thanks Adrienne, have a wonderful weekend.

  5. Sri Varshan says:

    Hello Jens,
    Passion towards whatever you do itself is a law of attraction  and you are already half way through it. Just keep doing whatever you do and the rest will fall in place. Your leap of faith will definitely make you taste the fruits of success. I think I still have to learn a lot about connecting with people and hope I will. Wish you the very best and the universe may bring whatever you wish to your doorstep.

  6. metz says:

    The power to make people follow and obey you, that is called influence. 🙂

    We all wanted to be influential I deem and we have different reasons why. Well, the question is how?

    To be influential, you need to have the reasoning skills and communication skills. The ability to think logically, to analyze problems and identify logical solutions to them. Having faith in one’s own judgment, abilities, and rights; projecting firmness and steadfastness in one’s purpose, directions, and goals. Actually, there’s a lot to enumerate.

    Very informative post Jens!

    This comment was left in where this post was already “kingged” and shared for Internet marketers.

  7. Nwosu Mavtrevor Desmond says:

    Building influence is about connections, who you connect with and how many people you connect with. Connecting with people of influence will expose you to the people they influence and that way you can also influence them.

    Bearing in mind the being an influencer is about the number of people you can convince to carry out an action and they will, it could be social media shares, it could be other types of call to actions. Nice post all the same. I founf this post on and also left a comment there.

    • Hi Nwosu,

      That’s some very interesting thoughts. I’m also thinking that it’s not about the actual number, but the quality of people. For instance, if I influence one “important” person, that person might influence thousands.


  8. Dee Ankary says:

    Creating great stuff is unquestionably key to creating great relationships and building influence.

    I think it’s also critical to understand your counterpart, your audience or the “influencees”, as the power to influence lies in our ability to find the win-win.

    Love your writing, Jens.

    • Hi Dee,

      Thank you. Creating great stuff is important. I’m not sure if you’d ever be successful in the long run, without creating great stuff. When I’m working with clients, I always start by asking them about who their targeted audience is. Because, without knowing the audience, it’s hard to create great stuff.


  9. Same here, Jens…and I kept on repeating the mistake for most of my time with my first blog.

    Fortunately, I had people like Adrienne and you to guide me around (and it helped greatly). With my second blog, I invested a lot more into commenting and building relationships (it paid off…I saw a quicker growth, in terms of community, for my second blog).

    Here I am…with my third one…so far, I am having success with – built a lot of relationships (although I still feel I haven’t done enough. A part of me isn’t satisfied…telling me that I need to put more into marketing, other than commenting).

    Most of my time is spent on commenting, which is great for building relationships, not so much for traffic (we need traffic, don’t we?).

    I am thinking about putting some time into guest blogging (it should give my blog some more momentum..I don’t want to spend too much time with traffic to focus on other things :D).

    • This is an interesting questions Jeevan. I believe that building relationships are the key to success, but that alone might not help you with traffic. Comments are great, but the value of the backlink is not as important as it used to be. You’ll get some extra traffic, but I believe the real value is in the relationships you’re building with the comments and branding you’re doing by leaving great value, for other people to see.

      It’s been a long time since I did any guest posts, but I did receive extra traffic and the backlinks are usually good (if you’re writing the posts on high value blogs). I might focus more on writing unique blog posts, and even more on social media, trying my best to build a tribe of followers.


  10. Mark says:

    Good article, and the advice is spot on. Thank you for simplifying something others seem to over complicate.

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