An aspiring influencer needs hard work and consistency, combined with a focus on what is really working. Murray Newlands believes in staying true to what motivates you and is most valuable to your audience.
We spoke with entrepreneur advisor Murray Newlands about his thoughts on influence and motivation and and are excited to share them. In addition to advising entrepreneurs, Murray is an author of three marketing/PR books. He is regularly sought out for his social media and influencer marketing expertise, motivational guidance and media training for those looking to nail broadcast interviews. Newlands is the founder of Sighted.com and marketing agency Influence People, and a contributor to Inc.com, Forbes and Entrepreneur.com.
What was your main motivation behind changing careers and becoming a consultant and influencer?
I was doing marketing between UK and US, and I was dating a girl who was in America. I found out that you can get a green card as an alien of extraordinary ability if you become a business leader, so I set up a blog about marketing and that led me to becoming an influencer. As my success grew, that blog became more successful and I started to write for big successful publications. My social media took off, which led me to work as a consultant, opening up big opportunities. Luckily for me, that hard work and consistency paid off and I was able to get my green card and move to America, and life has been wonderful ever since.
You're an experienced influencer active on social media, an entrepreneur, a public speaker with appearances on television, and a contributor to many publications - do you believe an aspiring influencer should attempt to tackle multiple channels as you do, or start off on a smaller scale?
I think that an inspiring influencer needs to focus on one or two channels, but I still recommend trying multiple channels because different people succeed on different channels. Everyone has a different personality, different conversations, and different mediums which work in differing ways. If you are able to find what works for you, try and become the best influencer in that particular network and succeed in one or two. That will open opportunities elsewhere, because once you become an influencer on one network it’s easy to become influencer in another network as well.
Try different things but focus on one or two things that really work, and as you grow and succeed, you will have the opportunity to expand to different types of things. For me, blogging was the big thing first, then video and Twitter, and I have since expanded to different things. Once my blog saw major success, I started to have speaking opportunities, which helped me to start my business and then write for big publications as an extension for my own blog. This once again led to bigger audience, more influence and television appearances.
What is one way you think motivation in the workplace could be improved?
The thing about the motivation is to try to keep it in front of mind. How do you stay motivated? How do you remind yourself and remember to be motivated? One is often likely to get distracted or discouraged by so many things, and surrounding yourself with things that motivate you in life and also remind yourself to be motivated is one of the best ways to incorporate and improve motivation in the workplace. Also, try to remove yourself from places where you are trying to work but get distracted and engaged with other people scenarios, and try and focus on the positive things.
Another thing is to really focus is on what you are working on, what your company is working on and where your focus within the company is. There are lots of scenarios where your company has choices with what clients to work with. Happy clients tend to be easier to work with and they intend to stay with you longer, clients who are unhappy intend to be unhappy and they will take a lot of your time and make you unhappy as well, so try to work with people who are motivated. Happy clients tend to lead to a happy life for you as a consultant.
You mention that media training and preparation is necessary for those representing a company - with the rise of Employee Advocacy, do you think the same could be said regarding social media training for individual employees? Could this even contribute to employee motivation?
It’s very easy to get stacked in your day-to-day tasks, the things you need to get done and delivering them, and at the end, trying to walk away from them. However, if your company is fixing people’s problems and helping them with their life and work, and if you stay focused on "Yes, I’ll do my small part" but actually the overall result is making people’s lives better and making them happy, seeing that you are helping people and offering help in their lives can be very motivating. It can help you get through the hard times with your work as well as help you focus on providing great service or great products for those people whose life is changing.
In order to do that successfully, you need to work on the best ways to do that. I have produced a media training guide. I really try to provide the best information for people to engage with media and get those opportunities to make the most of it, how to really share the message of the company in the best way possible. Also I try to just take away some of the anxiety that people feel before getting engaged with media.
Do you think influence had become more valuable in the past few years to employers?
Yes, I think that influencer marketing has become increasing valuable to employers; we know that people trust influencers. Influencers are not just influencing the audience that they are in front of, but also engaging with other influencers and customers, and creating content. They are used to engage with the audience – customers or users – whatever you want to call them, and by working with those who know how to properly engage with others outside of the company can be really useful and powerful. That is why companies are seeking to recruit influencers and why companies look at or hope to look at what that potential employees will doing to advocate for the company they work for.
Interested in Employee Advocacy? Download our free guide for insights!