The Influence Expert is one year old today- I wanted to give my thanks for the support everyone has shown me and to share some lessons from year 1.
I’m therefore putting together a mini campaign across social media. The hashtag is:
If you want to grow your influence and increase the impact you have on the world I’m giving a discount of more than 50% on one of my core packages.
If you want to take advantage, please contact me across social media or by email:
theinfluenceexpert (at) gmail.com
I want to thank so many people who have helped me this first year.
Everyone who has helped me on the journey, everyone who has inspired me and everyone who is part of The Influence Tribe, thank you so much for all the kind words, tips and advice.
There are a lot of things I have been pleased with in year 1 and some things that I should have done better or struggle with- I thought I would share them with you, with some reflections on each.
Things I have been pleased with:
Building my community- I’ve started building a community of people- The Influencer Tribe around the work I’m doing.
The process of reaching out to new people, understanding their hopes and their problems and how to help and support them, has been an amazing learning process.
It has offered me the chance to meet some brilliant new people who have taught me a lot like:
Having the chance to support people in an area I am passionate about has been so fulfilling. Getting supportive quotes like the below keep me going:
‘Alex supported my social change organisation through his work as The Influence Expert- helping me to get clarity about my plans, play to my strengths and think about the future strategies that will help grow my influence and increase the impact I can have on the issues I care about. I look forward to seeing his business develop and grow’
‘I first came across Alex on Twitter I think a couple of years ago and was impressed with his drive, determination, and passion for the charity sector. As well as taking time to connect with people and share his skills and passions, he also really resonates with me in terms of his mission and projects. He has made a huge difference already to the world, especially the charity and youth sector, and I know he’ll go on to do even bigger and better things!
Now as The Influence Expert he’s offered me honest and practical feedback on my own online influence, and how to improve it. He has a nuanced and considered understanding of influence, and uses this creatively to support others’
Lesson- Learning from other people has been the most amazing support in Year 1. I need to find new ways to do this.
My lucky work situation- I am currently a digital nomad (see this group that my wife and I run on LinkedIn).
Since The Influence Expert launched I have mainly spent time in 4 brilliant cities- London, Brighton (where I’m from), Berlin and now Lisbon. Being able to work, in new, inspiring places has made a real difference- giving me the time to think about my new business and how I want it to grow and develop.
Lesson- Wherever I live in the future I need to build in ways to make sure I have the space to think deeply about my business. I am also passionate about being an advocate for this lifestyle for other people.
Building my brand in this area- I have taken the time to start building my brand in this area. I have a long way to go to get to where I want it to be, but am happy with how things are going so far.
This includes things like building my social media profile and content, as well a building a foundation of ideas behind what I do. I have built up two video series, the Big Ideas video series and the One Minute Influence video series.
I managed to achieve consistency with the content I put out such as being on Periscope for week after week even when this proved tricky (in Berlin a couple of times when my internet wasn’t working I had to go into on the stairs of the apartment block to ‘borrow’ someone’s Wifi for a couple of minutes!).
Lesson- As The Influence Expert of course I am going to say that building your brand is important. In this case it has been essential, especially as I want to show the people learning from me that I am taking my own advice and walking the walk as well as talking the talk.
Accomplishing some key things I wanted to- Writing my first book was so important to me on a personal and a professional level.
Putting up my first, free online course was a big moment for me.
At the same time I have been successful in finding the time to achieve a few things away from my business like starting to get in slightly better shape.
Lesson- When there are things that really matter to me, I need to find the time to do them, however I manage to do that.
Trying new things- I’ve tried a lot of brand new things from running a competition for my business, to reaching out to potential clients in new ways.
Lesson- Trying new things is the only way I am going to learn so I need to keep trying!
Things I have struggled with:
Making my business sustainable- Like many small, early-stage businesses and people working freelance I struggle with sometimes having ‘too much’ paid work and at other times not having enough. I also struggle with the balance between doing the things that will benefit my business in the long term and things that need to be done in the short term. The balance of making my business more sustainable is the main thing I want to achieve in Year 2.
Lesson- I believe this will get better over time. I need to speak to people who are further along the business development timeline than I am.
Dealing with bureaucracy- This isn’t particularly related to my business, I have just disliked bureaucracy of any sort for as long as I can remember. Some bureaucracy is a crucial part of keeping a small business shipshape and I have just had to face up to that. I am gradually putting in systems which make things easier/less annoying for me!
Lesson- I will never truly escape bureaucracy so I need to keep designing systems to make things as efficient for myself as possible.
Packaging up what I do- Another thing that I really need to work on and have plans to be better at is learning how to ‘package up’ the work I do properly. There are two main reasons why I find this hard. One is just because I am working out the best ways that I can help people using the skills I have. The other is because (partly due to living in different places) I have a special imperative to make it easy for people to understand what I do and how they can engage with me- I don’t always have the opportunity to meet my clients and collaborators face to face.
Lesson- I know I need support in this area and have already started reaching out to wise people to help me.
Keeping all plates spinning- I have long been a person who has a wide range of professional interests and I run The Influence Expert while carrying on my other work as a social entrepreneur. Sometimes I don’t get the balance right and I want to improve over time.
Lesson- I can’t do everything and need to constantly re-define my priorities.
Moving at the pace I want– Sometimes (frequently!) I am impatient with myself- I want to achieve more and move things forward faster.
Lesson- I need to get better at determining the difference between when I am being reasonably impatient with myself- for example because I am procrastinating and when I should go a bit easier on myself and remember that some things take time.
I hope you found my reflections useful. Thanks again everyone for your support and make sure you get in touch by the 8th of March if you would like to take advantage of my special consulting offer!