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I’ll admit it, I’m a Prince fan.

My brother, Christian Howes, who is one of the top jazz violinists in the world, taught me how to play Purple Rain on the guitar back when I was in college and I fell in love his epic song even more.

Throughout the song Prince screeches various Michael Jackson style notes and shreds his electric guitar to the point it sound like it is a weeping baby.  You have to admit every time this song comes on it would be OK if white doves flew by and you wouldn’t think it was a coincidence, right?

In the third verse Prince sings, “You say you want a leader, but you can’t seem to make up your mind,” and it reminded me a lot of what is happening in social media and throughout the online marketing world.  Instead of people saying they want a leader, I hear them saying they want to be a leader in a specific niche, but a lot of them can’t seem to make up their minds on exactly what they want to do.

Is This Your Situation?

I remember when I first started out I wasn’t sure what direction to take, what my blog should be about, what to speak on, etc.  I was a mess just trying to figure out where I belonged.  It’s tough sometimes because I see so many people out there just trying to fit in, or find their own voice out of the millions of others online.

No need to worry, there are so many opportunities to dominate a niche and become a leader online to the point it makes me sick.  Half of the time I feel overwhelmed from too many opportunities and it clutters my focus.  Here are some simple suggestions for Becoming a Leader Online.

(Although the Prince version is great, this is my favorite Purple Rain cover out there, by Martin Sexton)

Lead With Confidence

It’s tough when there are so many confident “experts” out there, right?  I mean, so many established bloggers who have thousands of articles and subscribers,  speak all over the world, publish books, and do interviews with major media.  However, they started out just like you.  They knew they wanted to get to a certain level, but started with zero subscribers.  This didn’t stop Chris Brogan or Brian Clark from writing their first articles and going through tons of mistakes to get to where they are today, did it?

If you were to ask them, they’d tell you they haven’t even begun to scratch the surface with their online presence and are always looking for ways to enhance what they already have.  What do they have?  Confidence.  It’s the first step to being a leader.  You can be quiet like Chris Garrett, or outspoken like Gary Vaynerchuck.  Either way works, but if you want to become a great leader then you have to have it (or at least fake it ’til you make it).

Breathe Your Passion

Passion is contagious.  Without it you are an average Joe who can only lead an average pack.  Every leader online has a strong drive for their topic or their niche, and this accelerates their success.

Praise Your People

I recently read The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo and it talks about how much praise Jobs gives to the employees of Apple, the partner companies they do business with, and the customers of Apple themselves.  During his presentations he doesn’t make it the “Steve Jobs Show”, instead he makes it about everyone else that makes Apple one of the best companies around.  You will notice that some of the biggest bloggers do this as well where they feature readers, customers, affiliates, guest writers, and others who have impacted their success.  Without your network, you wouldn’t be the type of leader you want to be.  Give them the promotion and credit they deserve.

Be Constant, Consistent and Captivating

The key to being a successful leader is to be consistent, constant, and captivating.  You don’t need to be a genius, or even have a PhD.  All you need to do is provide something valuable to a certain group of people, and do it over and over again.  Power houses like Ramit Sethi, Derek Halpern, Marie Forleo and Jonathan Fields have been providing something valuable consistently for a number of years.  Again, they started out with zero followers at one point in time as well.  The more consistent, constant, and captivating you are, the closer you will be to the kind of leader you want to be.

Make Up Your Mind

The biggest challenge people face is making a decision.  They aren’t sure what topic they want to cover, which theme to use on their blog, which social networking sites to build a network on, how many articles to publish, and so on.  Like Prince says, “it’s time to make up your mind”.  Figure out what you love the most and go for it.  Things will change, you will want to update your blog, join new social networks, and get a different head shot.  This will change, and that’s the only constant you can count on.  First you need to make up your mind and then take consistent action and adapt to the changes along the way just like all of the other leaders online have done as well.

It’s not easy trying to be a leader, and that’s why the successful leaders get all of the praise, the book deals, and the big dollars.  If you really want to be a leader then you need to have thick skin and realize that a lot of people will be drinking hatorade when you start to make a name for yourself.  Even the people you respect the most online have haters, and get negative criticism most likely on a daily basis.  This is a part of the obligation for being on the top.  Are you ready to make up your mind?


Want to step your game up and learn how to lead with confidence in your specific niche?  Then The School of Greatness might be a good fit for you.  Click here to learn more and see if you’ve got what it takes.

School of Greatness


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