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Don't Let Your Ego Grow Bigger Than Your Influence

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Don't Let Your Ego Grow Bigger Than Your Influence

Ego can be one of the biggest barriers to creating real influence. Instead of naturally earning influence, people feel like they — or their companies — can influence others simply because they have 100,000 Twitter followers or a cool badge on their website.

In reality, influence has to be earned. Don’t confuse an ego boost with actually positioning your company as an industry leader. Here are a few points that will help you on the road to real influence, rather than letting an ego boost cloud your success.

1. Twitter Followers: Just Smoke and Mirrors?

“How many Twitter followers do you have?” This is a question that comes up when gauging a person’s influence. Sites like Klout that measure social influence have favored the number as a factor in an influence score. While it’s fun to brag about (some of my employees like to compete over these numbers), there are people with 100,000 followers who have less influence than others with 500 followers.

Sites like TweetBig and Followerwonk can increase your number by following people and getting follow-backs. But is that real influence? Test it out by using Buffer. It tracks how many click-throughs and how much engagement you receive from each tweet. You may have 100,000 followers but nobody reading, sharing, or clicking on your tweets.

2. “As Seen In” vs. “Contributed to” or “Columnist”

When you buy a product or service, do you make your decision based on an “As Seen In” logo?  Take a closer look next time to see where exactly they were “seen.” Anyone can use a service like PRWeb or PR Newswire to publish a press release that sites like USA Today or ABC might pick up.

However, these press releases are often published on buried pages that no one will ever see. Some people even pay for an ad on one of these sites and use an “As Seen In” logo. One way to avoid being misled by these claims is to click on the icon and see where the link takes you. Many times, if they don’t have a link to the published example, they’re probably “faking it.” Otherwise, wouldn’t the company be proud of the mention and want to link to the feature?

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