We are living in a world where influence is migrating from offline to online.

The ability to influence is also moving from local to global. Its reach is also transitioning to mobile devices.

Reputation and influence can now be gained faster and reach further than in any other time in history.

One definition of Influence is “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behavior of someone or something”

To be truly successful you must have the ability and power to influence.

Mass Media was the Platform

The development and popularity of movies and mass media over the past century has provided people such as politicians, business people and movie stars the platforms for creating and sustaining influence.

But we are still used to the traditional paradigms and ideas of influence. In the past it was vital to enrol at the “right” school or university, attend the right networking events or cocktail parties or belong to the right golf club

These are still important but the power of online influence and new media is starting to make itself felt as the social web shares ideas and content globally in real time.

The Web is now Defining “You”

Have you Googled yourself lately? What do you see?

Potential employers will Google you, they will check your Linked In profile. Do the results influence their decisions?

We now live in a knowledge economy and knowledge is easily displayed and spread online. Using the right online tools and with focus you can define and carve out a reputation online.

Why Should I create Online Influence?

There are many reasons to establish an online presence and build your “brand“, whether you are personal brand or a business brand.

  • Find a new career
  • Grow your existing profession
  • Connect with other influencers
  • Protect your reputation
  • Promote and sell products and services

To read and view more click here or on the image below to visit the Slideshare presentation “Online Reputation and Influence – How to Create, Grow and Maintain Influence on a Digital Social Web” that was a keynote that I presented at the BE-Wizard web conference in Italy.

Credibility First

Geoffrey Rush the Oscar winning actor said “In my career two things have been vital.. Credibility and Visibility

Being credible first is the foundation to any successful career or business. In an information age your online content is what people will judge you on because that is all they will see.

Content that is focused and relevant to the category or subject that you want to be seen as influential about is the first step in gaining credibility.

It must be remembered that influence resides within categories and specializations not generalisations.

The First Challenge

There are many challenges in the journey of establishing online influence.

The first challenge is focus which starts with the question “What do I want to be influential about?

Essentially it comes down to the intersection of your innate talents and what you are passionate about. For a lot of people this is sometimes the hardest part of the journey and it is a lesson in “self discovery”.

I would recommend that if you just have an inkling of what your talent and passion is about is to just start, as the Nike slogan goes “Just do it“.

True self discovery is in the “doing” not the procrastination. The feedback and the momentum of commencing and action will provide what you need to refine your direction as you move forward.

The other challenges are included in the presentation.

Where do you Start?

What has worked for me has been establishing my blog (or website) as my online content “influence” hub.

I own it and control it. Facebook can’t close me down!

It is your soap box to the world.

Once you have established a beachhead (blog or website) with defining content (it doesn’t have to be mountains of articles or videos) then the next stage is “visibility”

Visibility Requires Marketing

So how do gain that visibility?

The social media networks provide the free publishing and marketing tools to make your credibility “visible”. Other important elements in the art of creating visibility are covered in the presentation.

Also there is a twitter tool and secret that I cover that I have found to be very important in marketing your content and creating influence online.

How About You?

Have you taken control of your online presence and brand?

How have you established your online influence? Could you do better?

What have been the benefits for you? Look forward to hearing your stories.

Read more: 4 Tips to Increase Your Credibility as a Speaker