Too many people ask me how to build influence when they haven’t even figured out the most obvious first step.
RULE #1: Don’t sell crap.
Whatever you’re selling…make it good. Whether it’s a product, service, or idea – put time, effort, and resources into making it the best you can make it. Don’t sell crap.
Quality SHOULD be the obvious starting point. Nobody’s buying into your solution if it isn’t good. The problem is: quality isn’t always the focus. We all get distracted sometimes. We all get tempted sometimes. We all get lazy sometimes.
I know that I was tempted to skimp while putting together my book, TRUE Influence.
- It started as a collection of my most popular blog posts. Do I just copy and paste them into Word and call it a book? Nope. Deepen the research. Interview the story subjects. Rewrite each chapter and add new ones. Organize everything into a coherent narrative. This book could have been compiled in a month. Instead, it took almost three years.
- What about editing? I’ve written several books and thousands of articles. I can do it myself, right? Nope. I sent advance copies to 75 people who I respect for feedback. I paid not one, but two professional editors from a major publishing house to go over every paragraph with a fine-toothed comb.
- Graphic design and layout is easy enough with modern word-processors, right? Nope. Pay the professionals and let them work their magic.
- Regarding format, I can just do a simple Kindle version, right? Nope. Having paperback, an audio version, and all electronic publishing formats available will be more convenient for readers.
- Oh and as for marketing…do I just quietly release the book on Amazon and maybe sell a few copies on my web site and at my live events? Nope. To launch this book the right way, I took three months to plan and execute everything from email to social media to guest posting. I hired a company to coordinate my podcast tour. I created a whole web site just for this book launch. I produced several new free bonus products as incentives for anyone who orders a copy. I called in dozens of personal favors for help spreading the word.
Because I did all that, it’s guaranteed to become an instant best seller, right???
RULE #2: Focus on the Process, NOT the Result.
A quality product won’t become an instant best seller just because it’s a quality product. “Good” is just the OBVIOUS STARTING POINT. It simply gets you in the game. (Tweet That)
If you’re in it for the long-haul like I am, then focus on the process, NOT the result. Don’t cut corners. Don’t skimp. Bring your A-game.
The results will take care of themselves.
At the end of the day, it’s simple: make stuff you’re proud of. Make it so good that not only will you want to show it off to everyone, but they’ll want to show it off too.
Without quality ideas or products, becoming more influential shouldn’t even be on your to-do list.