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Ready to become an influencer ?

 This is your first lesson of Influencer Inc, a free email course I created to help you build an online platform, land a book deal, get paid to speak, and maximize your influence with others.

You’ll receive an email from me with the next lesson every 24 hours (unless it's a Sunday--everyone needs a break sometimes). These lessons are quick and easy, so when they arrive I recommend you stop what you’re doing and take a few minutes to complete it right then so you don’t forget to do it later and so they don't pile up.

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

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You probably want to be an influencer because you heard a talk, read a book, or saw an article and thought “I could do that.” You’ve got the knowledge, experience, and information, you just don’t know how to get started. Perhaps you’ve asked yourself questions like these:

    How do I get paid to speak?
    How much should I charge as a speaking fee?
    How can I get into big name publications like Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur?
    How do I get a book deal?
    If I write a book should I find a publisher or self publish?
    Once I write a book, how do I get anyone to read it?
    Should I have my own website?
    How much should I pay for a website?
    If I build a website how do I get people to come to it?
    Is it worth my time to get followers on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram?
    Should I be doing video?
    How do I get started? I’m young. Can I be an influencer?
    I’m old. Can I be an influencer?
    I haven’t made millions of dollars. Can I be an influencer?
    How can I differentiate myself from other people speaking on similar topics?
    What should I start with first?

Does it feel like I’m inside your brain? That’s because I’ve been where you are today. To find the answers I spent years doing research and performing experiments to see what worked and what didn’t. I read hundreds of books and thousands of blog posts and articles. I watched videos and spoke to experts. I often wished someone would put all the answers in one place and tell me how to do it all the right way, right now.

Have you had the same wish?

The good news for me was that I figured it out. During the past few years I have…

    Been featured in publications like Time, Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, Fast Company, and Mashable.
    Been paid to speak.
    Spoken across the U.S. and in exotic locations like Dubai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore.
    Delivered a TEDx talk in front of over 1,000 people.
    Received a book deal and an advance with an established publisher.
    Been interviewed on national TV and radio.
    Improved my level of freedom and increased the number of opportunities available to me.

Perhaps the most tangible benefit I’ve received by becoming an influencer is that during a single 12-month period my digital marketing agency grew revenues by over 1,000%. How’s that for results?

I don’t say any of this to brag. I’m no better than you or anyone else, I’m just like you, except perhaps a few steps ahead when it comes to the business of being an influencer. But before I accomplished any of the above I was a complete unknown. I was also broke, in debt, and had a failing business. When I became an influencer that all changed in the ways I detailed above. Whether you’re a struggling entrepreneur or a successful executive, you will see similar improvements in your business, career, and legacy, if you follow the roadmap in these lessons to establish yourself as a thought leader and influencer. Even if you have weaknesses and challenges, you can turn “I can’t” into “I can.” I know you can do it because if I did it then anybody can do it.

Before we go any further, I want you to think about why you want to be an influencer. To paraphrase Nietzsche, he who has a good enough “why” can deal with any “how.”

In this first lesson we’ll work together to establish why you want to be an influencer. This will give you the motivation and momentum to glide through the rest of the lessons that focus on the “how” part of becoming an influencer. Working through the “why” will also help you find your focus, your special niche where you can be most effective.

Why you?

You may be thinking, “I want to believe I have something unique to offer, but who am I kidding? There are thousands of people who are already sharing the same stuff I want to share.”

Nonsense!

When I started my journey to becoming an influencer I had the same thought. I had recently started writing for Forbes, and I wanted to write about search engine optimization (SEO) because I know a lot about it and I see a lot of people and companies making mistakes with it. But what could I write that hadn’t already been written?

I decided to write an article about how to hire an SEO firm. It had already been done a hundred times before, but I wrote it anyway. I didn’t really know what I was doing with content back then, so the article wasn’t designed to get anyone to do anything, I just wanted to share what I knew based on my experiences and help people avoid mistakes that might cost them lots of time and money.

Once I published the article our email and phone line were flooded with inquiries from potential clients who wanted to hire us. That single article has generated millions of dollars of revenue for my agency. It didn’t matter that similar articles were all over the place--what mattered was that enough people found my article, were motivated by what I said, and contacted us.

So what if your ideas are already out there? It’s a big world with a lot of people who have never heard of all those other influencers you’ll be competing against. You’ll be the first person they find sharing the ideas you’re sharing. You can make a living doing this, and some of you will do very well financially. More importantly, there are people out there who need your story as only you can tell it. You will not only make a living, you will make a difference.

So...why do you want to be an influencer?

Making money and making a difference are the big goals, the ones you can see from 30,000 feet, but if we break those down to more detailed objectives here are more things you may want to do with your influence:

    Travel
    Network
    Teach
    Promote or sell a product or service
    Get a new job
    Start a new business
    Get a board seat
    Connect with investors
    Connect with investment opportunities
    Impress your friends and family
    Ink a book deal
    Grow a following on social media
    Show up in major media

These are all potential benefits that come from having influence, and there are many more. One of the best benefits that comes from having influence is more options in life, or freedom. When I get a call to speak somewhere I can take it or leave it. I can write a book or not write a book. I can work from home, or work from an office. Don’t get me wrong--I still work, although others have used influence to generate passive income. But I now have the choice to work or not work. I’m in control. I choose to keep working because when I offer something and people give me money for it I know I’m delivering value, I’m serving them, and I want to serve as many people as possible.

I’ll ask you one more time--why do you want to be an influencer?

Once you have an answer the next steps in the process of becoming an influencer will be easy, and when challenges arise you’ll be able to work through them.

Now here’s your first assignment. It will just take you a few minutes so I recommend you do it right now. Good luck!

By Josh Steimle

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