Ryan Williams recently presented “Reinventing Your Career in The Influencer Economy” at the Innovate Pasadena Friday Coffee Meetup. You can watch a video of the presentation here.
After years of working in marketing at Disney, Machinima.com and State.com, I learned first hand that influencers are transforming media and technology. In 2014 I launched a podcast, The Ryno Lab, dedicated to interviewing the pioneers of what I call the Influencer Economy. I had a big vision to write a book, and the podcast helped me in three ways 1) network with influencers 2) grow and build a community 3) create a forum to talk with interesting people. I was a former stand-up comedian, so it was a lot of fun.
After speaking to more than a hundred artists, experts, and entrepreneurs–from world-famous YouTubers to New York Times best-selling authors to the most creative start-up founders and investors on the planet–I reverse engineered their careers, to understand the stories behind their success. I found the three primary steps to success in the Influencer Economy – 1) launch 2) share 3) thrive — can be applied to both business and life.
Step 1: Launch
One of the biggest takeaways from my conversations with leaders in the Influencer Economy is that they all just started and launched their ideas. As a creative entrepreneur, you’d rather make mistakes when no one is watching rather than when the bright lights on the big stage are focused on you and your work. You need to get your practice now before you get famous or well known in your field. Why? Because as the comedian and DJ Flula Borg, has said, unless you are famous like Kanye West, no one cares if you make mistakes. So just start. Hone your craft. Start making, creating, and producing. Be inspired. And launch. Remember, in the Influencer Economy, often the journey is just as important as the end result. Again, until you are famous, no one will care if you make mistakes.
Step 2: Collaborate
In the Influencer Economy, you want your idea to get seen and heard above the noise. To achieve that, I’ve learned firsthand from my podcast guests that you need to build a movement around your idea. A movement results from teaming up, or collaborating, with both your community and other influencers. Community collaboration is a bread and butter ingredient of the Influencer Economy. You work in tandem with your community and you grow one e-mail, one follower, and one fan at a time. Influencer collaboration is a secret sauce ingredient in the Influencer Economy. It is when you collaborate with an influencer in your field to make a product together or when someone with pull or influence supports you and your idea. Think of it as an endorsement, and that person’s involvement gives you “street cred” in your industry.
Step 3: Thrive
The leaders of the Influencer Economy have all launched their ideas, shared them with the world, and thrived. They have thrived because Step 3 is all about doing just that—opening doors for other people, making and meeting friends IRL (in real life), and giving your community ownership of your idea. Once you’ve achieved a degree of success in the digital age, you need to lead by giving to others. By opening doors and giving to others without expecting anything in return, you reap all sorts of benefits. Nearly 100 percent of my podcast guests are givers and more specifically, they give to both their peers and their community. Treating your peers and community with respect and being generous with them is paramount to your success.
Ryan Williams is a media strategist and professional speaker who coaches executives and entrepreneurs in how to reinvent their careers. He currently runs his own consulting business and is the author of the book “The Influencer Economy”. https://twitter.com/ryanjwill
Innovate Pasadena Friday Coffee Meetup – With close to 3,500 members and almost 200 attendees each week, Innovate Pasadena Friday Coffee Meetup (FCM) is one of the five largest tech meetups in the LA area. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the group’s 100% volunteer organization team, FCM has held over 150 events, graciously hosted by Cross Campus Pasadena. The free events are designed for the innovation community, and feature speakers on topics related to innovation, entrepreneurship and investing for startups. As part of the larger effort of Innovate Pasadena to enhance the local innovation and start-up ecosystem, FCM is open to anyone interested in networking and gaining the kind of knowledge that propels success. Sessions run 8:20 a.m. – 9:40 a.m. every Friday. Scheduled topics and more info are available at www.fridaycoffeemeetup.com.