Our Klout Stars series highlights top influencers and how they got to where they are today.
About: Ben Lang is the 18-year-old founder of EpicLaunch and MySchoolHelp. He’s now working on the marketing team at Wibiya, a platform for adding social features to your site. Ben sometimes contributes to Business Insider, Mashable and TechCrunch.
1.How did you get started in social media?
When I was 14 I started an eBay selling business and was looking for ways to gain more clients. I played around with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and started to understand how powerful they were in finding potential clients. Over the past few years I’ve continued to use social media as a means to stay connected to my network, build relationships and essentially learn about the world.
2. What role does social media play in your current job or industry?
Currently, at Wibiya, social media plays a huge role in my job. It’s the most powerful way for me to engage with our users and easily connect with the community we’ve built. Through different tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and now even Pinterest we engage the community in different ways and in the most effective manner possible. The fact that our product incorporates all of these social services on to one bar for anyone to customize and add to their site, makes it even more important for us to stay constantly be connected with out users through these channels.
3. What does influence mean to you? Who influences you the most online?
Influence to me means a huge amount of effective engagement with others. People such as Gary Vaynerchuck, Hiten Shah, Jack Dorsey, Eric Reis and Dharmesh Shah influence me every day by sharing fascinating content and responding to their followers through channels such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more.
4. What advice do you have for someone who wants to take their online presence to the next level?
The simplest way to get started is by finding influential and interesting people in your niche. Find their profiles on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, About.me, LinkedIn, Tumblr and all the rest and see what they’re doing. Who they’re talking to. What they’re sharing. Use them as inspiration.
Focus on what interests you and start sharing everything that comes up in that niche. Start a Tumblr or WordPress blog and share your experiences and what you learn. Build your authority by guest posting on other blogs in the same area.
Connect with people that are passionate about the same things as you. The more you progress the more influential you’ll become in your niche.
Connect with Ben on Twitter at @Benln