Being well-known and liked by many gives you incredible influence. That influence wields great power and, as the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Sadly, many influencers are not responsible and take advantage of the power their wield.
After doing 500+ interviews, I’ve had the privilege of meeting the best-known people in health, coaching, fitness, marketing, sales, speaking, and just about every niche imaginable. My journey has allowed me to mingle with some of the famous people in the world today.
During that time I’ve had the privilege of becoming an influencer myself. Leading a community of thousands of podcasters, thousands of business owners, I’ve become someone many people look to for advice. During that journey, I met many influencers who showed me the dark side of mingling with famous people.
Working with people who have strong influence comes with certain burdens, challenges, and it has many potential pitfalls. One of those pitfalls is being taken advantage of and having someone take advantage of you for their selfish gain. Here is my list of 3 warning signs that an influencer is trying to take advantage of you:
1. They Try To Get Your Services For Free
With hundreds of interviews, a large email list, and thousands of members in my communities, I’ve heard of this kind of situation time and time again. I meet an influencer, they like and see the value of what I do. They ask if we can talk. When we chat, they immediately start bragging about their fame, status, and how great it is to be in their circle.
Next thing I know, they’re asking me if I would be willing to share my knowledge for free. Why? They say that it would benefit me. That having their testimonial and association would bring me hoards of clients and social proof. It will change my life to work with them.
As a young buck, I believed these promises. I helped many influencers in the hope that it would change and elevate my life. Sadly, 99% of the time I ended up working hard for someone who didn’t return the love. The result was my hard work, given away for free, with little to nothing in return.
If an influencer asks you for a free service, my advice to you is this: negotiate something so that both of you get something from this trade. The other option, the one that I suggest, is to run the other way.
2. They Ask For A Big Discount
Asking for a discount in exchange for the chance to work with them is not a good sign either. Every time I interacted with someone making this kind of pitch, I realized they’re full of hot air. It never amounts to anything.
Think of it this way – what kind of person tries getting a discount? What kind of person, who is considered successful, would try to get a huge discount? Sadly, most often it’s the kind of person who attempts to do and give back the least.
If you want my advice, don’t discount your services in hopes of landing a big fish. It rarely, if ever, turns out the way you want it to.
In my experience, the most difficult clients are the ones who pay the least.
3. They Promise A Lot
If a call starts with the well-known person telling you how well-connected they are, how important they are, and how they’re going to do a lot for you, it’s a bad sign. I’ve learned the hard way that future promises are like hot air and only made to excite you and give you false hope.
If you want the trade with someone to be worthwhile, don’t listen to future promises. Instead, ask for actionable right-now steps. Don’t focus on what you’ll get in the future unless there’s a concrete action plan.
If they say that they’ll invite you to all these fancy events, make all the introductions, and help you get all these advantages, ask for specific details. What events? What dates? What promises are made and how are they expected to be upheld? Make concrete plans before you give a discount, give your services, or give away the whole store.
Working with influencers can be helpful. In fact, it can change your life. It can also have a significant impact on your career, but only if you know how to manage and spot a ‘rotten influencer’ before any exchange happens. Follow the tips I’ve shared with you, remember these three warning signs, and stick to your guns because you too are on your way to becoming an influencer.