Retweeted by the enemy: Becoming a social influencer

As I stared at the Connect screen on Twitter I couldn't quite believe the reach my blog post had received. Accenture, my employer's number one competitor, had mentioned me and the post I'd just published with MyCustomer. Twice.

IBM and Dunn & Bradstreet have also done the same.

This success has been a long-time coming and is thanks to some incredible and generous editors at Econsultancy, Smart Insights and MyCustomer who gave my content a shot. In reaching this point (which is by no means the end or even the middle), I've learned some lessons. Allow me to share these lessons with as a set of principles that may help you in building your social presence.

Principle one: Build yourself as a brand

If it's not useful, interesting and of high quality I won't write it. This means that I don't write on schedule, I write when I want about subjects that I would be interested in. Don't sell out.

Principle two: Thinking and writing are of equal importance

One of my favourite writers is Seth Godin. Not because of how he writes but because of how he thinks. He applies principles or maths, philosophy and art to marketing and management to provide a fresh or new perspective. Learning to think with greater insight is more important than being able to write with greater flourish.

Priciple three: Be confident in your point of view

Take a stand. Be a contrarian in your industry. This is especially easy when vendors are pushing a concept heavily. The key thing though is to have thought through the opinion and to believe in it.

Principle four: Let your writing be your art

I do not write for retweets, mentions, likes, pay, comments, backlinks or job offers. It is my hobby and I value the freedom, honesty and creativity it allows me. Writing for these reasons is more motivating that any other reason and ensures that I remain true to the first principle.

I'm just enjoying the journey

There is no goal to my writing. I do not expect it to make me a certain amount of money or attention. I don't expect to reach a point where I say "I'm done, it's finished. My writing and thinking is complete!"

However that does not mean I don't have a purpose in writing. I believe strongly that marketing and business can be improved through the smart use of technology and the application of researched evidence. That's the message I want to spread.

What do you believe and when are you going to start spreading the message...