• Autus Team

Ten steps to becoming an industry influencer

Hardi Swart CFP® , Director of Autus Private Clients and Financial Planner of the Year 2019

Publication: March 2020, Financial Planning e-book


Becoming an influencer is the best

marketing strategy ever. But what is

an influencer and how do you become

one?

You’re an influencer if you’re seen as an expert in your field and you’ve got a sizable following. Influencers have authority, and their word is as good as gold. People recognise the value you bring to the table and are genuinely interested in what you have to say. Here are the ten key steps I’ve taken to becoming an influencer.

CRAFT YOUR NICHE OFFERING

To gain traction and be recognised as an

authority figure, people need to link

your name to a particular industry niche. My niche is family financial planning and the creation of inter-generational wealth. I didn’t just stumble upon this niche: it’s what I do every day and it’s where my passion lies.

DEFINE YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION

Your value proposition should encapsulate why someone should use your service. A clearly defined value proposition is an essential guide to all your business communication. It explains why people should do business with you and it must set you apart from the competition. My value proposition is that I regard my clients as friends for life.

CREATE A CAPTIVATING ELEVATOR PITCH

Sometimes it can be difficult to know what to say when you are in a networking situation. To avoid missed opportunities, write and rehearse an elevator pitch that succinctly explains your niche offering and value proposition. Successful networking

starts with nailing this pitch…But don’t forget to ask your new acquaintances about themselves when you’re done!

FIND YOUR STYLE AND BE AUTHENTIC

Now more than ever both colleagues and clients expect humanity and honesty in business. Authentic communication requires taking responsibility for your message and owning the response. Once you’ve settled on a communication style, you have to stick to it. In both word and deed.

GENERATE AND PUBLISH CONTENT

To establish a meaningful presence, you need to create plenty of insightful content. This is a surefire way of proving that you know your stuff and demonstrating the value you bring. Invest time in identifying relevant and interesting topics and presenting the information in a highly professional manner. Once you’re done, be sure to get a wordsmith to check your writing for errors and fluidity: falling at the last hurdle simply isn’t an option.

CREATE A STRONG ONLINE PRESENCE AND LEVERAGE SOCIAL MEDIA

Sharing your carefully crafted content has never been easier. I’d advise maintaining profiles on at least three different social media platforms. This increases your reach and allows you to establish a strong brand identity while networking with like-minded colleagues and clients. It may seem like a schlep, but the benefits easily justify the effort.

WRITE A BOOK

I’m also a huge advocate of writing a book. Being a published author provides a certain gravitas that sends your credibility through the roof and forces clients to take notice. An e-book is nice, but a bona fide printed book is even better. I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my first book…Watch this space.

INVEST IN YOURSELF AND BUILD YOUR OWN PROFESSIONAL PROFILE

Take the time and money to invest in your creativity, self-confidence, knowledge, health and relationships. Your future as an influencer depends on it. Once you’ve got that qualification, gained that experience or scaled that peak, be sure to tell the world about your professional development by employing marketing specialists.

FORGE PARTNERSHIPS

It may be a cliché, but when you’re faced with a challenge, two heads are always better than one. Harnessing the strengths and abilities of others from different corners of the industry is one of the most strategic ways to scale innovation and increase your reach.

NEVER DOUBT YOURSELF

Whenever I’m a little unsure of myself I turn to the same quote from Wilma Rudolph. “Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: the potential for greatness lives within each of us.” And then I get back to work.

THE BOTTOM LINE

You don’t become an influencer overnight. It takes a lot of hard work, consistent effort, and dogged persistence. And once you’ve made it, you need to keep your foot on the pedal to maintain your status. It might not be easy, but it’s definitely worthwhile. Once you’re an influencer, anything’s possible.


Article reference: (https://www.cover.co.za/financial-planner-of-the-year-awards-e-book/)

Hardi Swart, CFP®, is a Director of Autus Private Clients and 2019/20 Financial Planner of the year. Contact Hardi Swart at hardi@autus.co.za or 086 107 7789.

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