40+FAB Blog

Popularity is not influence

Popularity does not necessarily translate to influence and we sometimes seem to confuse the two. I heard of a social media influencer who had over 1 million followers and when they launched thier T-shirt brand, not even 1 follower bought a shirt. It’s hard to believe that statistic, but it actually buttresses the point that popularity is not influence.

To be popular is to be liked or admired by many people or by a particular person or group. When we watch those talent shows, we usually are endeared to some of the fledgling talent and we wish them well, out of sympathy or for thier effort. To be an influencer on the other hand is to have the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something.

So, someone can be popular, but because they are popular due to pity, they may not be in a position to affect anyone else’s character or development. Whereas, there are many unknown persons around the world who exert great influence over political leaders and indeed nations.

The best thing we can do is to work on our influence. Influence starts with you. If you develop your own character and behaviour, chances are someone will want to learn from you, then your influence grows from that point. You are more likely to get popular from being influential, than to get influential from being popular, so, work on your ability to influence starting with yourself.