Modern business is increasingly about your ability to create relationships, build networks and establish a Circle of Influence. In this post, we explore how to build and leverage your circle of influence.
To begin let’s define what we mean by Circle of Influence.
We know most people select their service providers based on personal and professional referrals and this is supported by Hubspots graph below.
When you understand how people make buying decisions you can become very strategic about where you invest our time, energy and resources to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Marketing is no longer about the person with the loudest drum. It’s about the person with the clearest message.
The key to constructing an effective Circle of Influence.
The essence of an effective Circle of Influence is when you are connected as a go to expert with a group of people who have:
- Direct or indirect access to your target market.
- Know exactly what you are famous for.
- Are willing to actively tell people about the work you do.
If you are lacking in any one of these key areas, then creating a functioning circle of influence will be difficult.
To rapidly grow a business, it is critical to build relationships with people who are in or connected to your target market.
Many entrepreneurs waste enormous amounts of time in networks, groups and conversations with people who simply CANNOT provide them with a link to their target market. Or worse the entrepreneur is unsure who their ideal client is so therefore never gains any real traction or momentum.
A functioning circle of influence also requires that you are very clear about your area of expertise and more importantly that everyone in your circle knows what you are famous for.
Referrals, recommendations and introductions do not happen if people are unclear about what you can specifically do.
If there is a lack of certainty about your field of expertise it creates and air confusion that will greatly diminish people’s likelihood of talking about you to others.
A circle of influence is about having fans, people who will speak proudly about their affiliation or experiences with you and therefore be active rather than passive admirers.
If you want to move from having a group of clients, friends and associates who appreciate what you do and instead have a circle of influence who feel compelled to rave about you to others you will need to ensure you have 3 key components in place.
1. Be talented at what you do and have proof of your results.
It’s not enough to simply be ok, or adequate at what you do. While average providers may never upset anyone and generally meet the basic expectations of their market, they are unlikely to ever create a deep seeded desire to share the customer experience.
2. Build relationships and connections with the ‘right people’.
This maybe through a connection with another service provider, join an association, specific networks, or it could mean attending specific events, functions or programs. For a long time, people said, ‘success is not about what you know, but who you know’. Today, what matters even more is who knows you?
3. Make yourself easily shareable.
If your goal is to develop and grow a strong circle of influential people around you, you must ensure you provide people with the capacity to spread the word about you. If we do not make ourselves easy to share, then few if any, will go to the trouble.
Being sharable means having good viral tools, which add substantial value to the recipient. Once you have these your circle will gladly and willingly to share the ideas and insights you have with other people just like them.
Constructing Your Circle
A Circle of Influence is not something you stumble into or create by good fortune. It is a strategic planned process, that when properly designed will provide a solid platform for the ongoing, sharing and promotion of what you do, to highly targeted prospects, who will have a need for what you do and the means to pay for it.
If you have not yet started to build your Circle, I suggest you invest some time into its construction. If you have assembled circle, then look at what you need to do to enhance and improve its performance.
If you’d like to learn how to increase the number of referrals you generate, you can get a FREE report from America’s #1 Referral Coach, Bill Cates HERE