Influence is about showing up consistently – then making a more valuable contribution to your target market than your competitors. The challenge is that consistency takes time. How much time depends on how smart you get.
Technology has completely shifted how, when and where we’re able to show up. From scheduling content, outsourcing the creation to measuring the results. There are now thousands of online tools available that can help you get really smart about how you amplify your influence. If you’re anything like me and run most of your life from an iPhone, most of these tools now also come with simple mobile interfaces. The irony is that – in the gold rush to help you stand out above the noise – there are now so many tools available it’s hard to know where to start.
So – to help you get consistent and smart with your time as an influencer – here are the Top 5 Tech Tools as tested by me and my team.
Flipboard has become my brain. Essentially it’s an online magazine that allows you save articles straight from your smart phone under a variety of different topics. Any time I find something interesting, I save it to the relevant Flipboard magazine and then once a week (usually early Monday morning over coffee) I go through everything and decide what to share. I have a magazine for content, one for possible podcast guests, one for industry events, and so on. You can either keep your magazines private – no one really needs to know about my obsession with tree houses for example – or public if you want to either share or collaborate.
Buffer is a great simple social media scheduling tool. There are tons out there at the moment, with varying degrees of functionality. However I’ve found Buffer has the easiest mobile interface. It basically allows you to create and then schedule posts across nearly every social media platform. In just half an hour (again usually a Monday morning) I can schedule the core posts for the week and then just top up as the week unfolds. It’s also handy if you have a team – who can just cue up the important business posts, you can then go in later to add your own words.
This website seriously changed my email life. It’s a free tool that takes your email address – scours your email account to find every single newsletter you’re currently subscribed to – then creates a long list from which you can directly unsubscribe en mass. However that’s not all. You then have the option to add the newsletters you have decided to keep to a ‘Rollup’ – which gets sent to you daily as one email containing a short summary of each newsletter. Hours of Inbox space given back. You’re welcome.
Outsourcing has to be one of the core tools to consistency. We use Fivver to find skilled people from around the world to help us streamline content – including low cost designers and copywriters. Creative jobs posted on Fivver can rage anywhere from $5-$50 per piece of work. Although very inexpensive, you do need to pay close attention to reviews and ask for examples of past work. All of my social media images were designed by an amazing woman we found on Fivver – who creates 10 social templates for under $50. We then take those templates and edit them in-house, which brings me to my next tool.
Canva has been a complete game changer for graphic design. A super-simple design platform – it offers a huge amount of quality free social media templates for those that want to post and run. However if you want to take it up a level – you can employ a designer to create your own templates, then upload those to the platform and change the text and images as you need them. Best of all you can do it all in the back of a cab in two minutes or less, which is my test for anything that claims to be time-efficient.
Still sound too much like hard work? Consider this. Companies and individuals that publish more than 11 pieces of content a month get around four times more leads than companies that publish four to five. Staying ahead of the ideas and trends in your space – and then making a consistent contribution – takes work. If it didn’t, everyone would do it. But if you can get the right schedule, team and tools in place, “I don’t have time” should never be an excuse.
Julie Masters is a globally recognised expert in influence, authority and thought leadership. She is the CEO and Founder of Influence Nation and Founder of ODE Management – responsible for launching and managing the careers of some of the worlds most respected thought leaders. Julie is also the host of the soon to be launched weekly podcast Inside Influence. An exploration of what it takes to find and own your voice – and then use it to drive a conversation, an idea, an industry or a Nation. To subscribe check out iTunes, Spotify or juliemasters.com.