Spread your Influence by Reinventing Yourself

Most people online have a problem: They have their platform, but barely get traffic and/or people who comment. Now in order to fix that, they follow every advice they can get their hands on.

The problem is: millions are doing the same thing, and now you are a walking commodity, just like everyone else. People ignore you, so what do you do ?

Reinvent yourself…

Everyone says you should be authentic online. But what does it mean anyways ? Most people say: be yourself. But I disagree a 150% percent. Why ? Because you are mish-mash product of your environment ! You were formed by your culture, parents and friends. How much of that is the real you, and how much is programmed from the outside ? Nobody knows. So how do you become real ? By following your inner desire to become your greatest version.

Gary Vayncherchuk is a prime example. Gary, the crazy-fire-passionate wine lover with an obsession for personal branding. Check out his first videos – they are totally boring. Then check a few months later, and you get the passionate dynamite you know from today. What happened ?

He reinvented himself, because he knew: If you are not over-the-top in one way or another, people will ignore you.


1. Give yourself a simple mental story

You are the story you tell yourself everyday. I have a wicked story, and it’s packed with delusions of grandeur.

“When I wake up, I’m a man in his twenties who’s just like other people. And then I tell myself: Heck, you are Mars Dorian. Get up and rock your digital destiny”

Mars Dorian is a role I used to play. But now the line is blurred: Actor and role have become one. I consider myself an artwork in progress, and I challenge you to think the same.

Become the actor and director of a digital movie that happens to be your destiny. Then live and breath that story.

2. If it feels right, it’s right

Tons of tips out there. You should blog like this, tweet like that, and write like him. So much advice, what will you do ? Confusing ? Actually it’s not.

This is how I do it: If I find a tip, and it feels sunny in my tummy, I follow it. But if I find an advice, and it doesn’t touch my soul, I throw it out, even when it comes from an authority.

The things that work for you are things that feel right. I reframe that: When it feels right, it will work for you. If the advice is used successfully by thousand other bloggers, but it makes you cringe inside, it’s completely useless.

This is one of the biggest revelations I have experienced so far.

4. Lick your edges

You have many many tendencies and foibles. Maybe you are obsessed with Pink. Or you like to cuss. Or you are geek-crazy about a certain topic and you keep writing about it. Whatever is wrong with you, stretch it.

I luv coming up with odd word combos. I luv being electric dynamite in my videos. I luv colorful comics and oversized pics.

All of these little extremes helped me to spread my online influence. Embrace your foibles, and stretch them. Stretch them gooood.

5. Love your audience

I luv it when people comment. I luv it when they ask me. And I luv it even more when I can help them. Really luv your audience and make it a promise to give them the ultimate experience. Answer their question and make their life kick-ass, at least for the time being.

6. Forget about the rules

There’s not one way to do something successfully online. For every successful method there’s a counterpart that works equally well. Hold on, there’s actually one rule:

Be as valuable as possible.

Lucky for you, valuable means different things to different people. If you have a super-funny blog and all you do is bashing celebrities, you will bring value to someone’s life – in the form of pure entertainment.


Most people get ignored online because they are ignor-able. They think they can be successful by copying someone else’s style. Uh-oh !

Forget about being yourself: Instead, create your very own character, and live and breath that role, always playing by your rules. This will drastically increase your influence, and attract people like a tractor-beam. Go on, create your own digital destiny !

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  • ian241

    Great post as ever Mars. I love your self confidence and your individuality. You are always a pleasure to read. Rock on!

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Ian,
      yeah – I found myself and now I'm just upgrading. The next post will have more practical advice. But sometimes I have to get more personal and reveal my inner thoughts ;)

  • http://www.making-your-own-website.com NA | Create Your First Website

    Awesome post Mars.

    “This is how I do it: If I find a tip, and it feels sunny in my tummy, I follow it. But if I find an advice, and it doesn’t touch my soul, I throw it out, even when it comes from an authority.”

    Great advice Mars. I would agree with this point. Sometimes this does happen, and we have to make decisions. This rule will make your decisions easier.

    “There’s not one way to do something successfully online.”

    I agree. There are many ways to earn online. There is no one 'correct' way in this business.

    What may work for one, may not work for the other.


    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      exactly Nabeel,
      I hope are you shaping your own awe-some online persona ! I don't see any pics from you – you like to remain hidden, eh ?

  • http://www.heavenandel.com Eleanor Edwards

    What amazes me and has me sitting here grinning at the awesomeness of what I think I have just discovered is that you've been playing this game since February? Is that right? I went on a hunt for some of your early stuff to see how you started out. I imagined that you learned the hard way just how important all this reinvention stuff is. And your archives stop at February. That has completely blown me away!

    It also excites me because as I've talked about before, I'm doing the Give A Brick thing along side my thing but having only found my thing this past couple of weeks, it still all feels quite new and daunting. But you're an inspiration because you're rocking the planet after just 5 months. I'm seriously impressed Mars!

    Off to rummage through the 'old' (chuckling at that) stuff to see what I've missed.


    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Yeah – February was my testing month. I didn't know what I was doing, and I seriously started blogging by the end of march.

      And hey, when a process feels daunting and gives you the shivers, you are on the right way, Eleanor ! Growth always feels exciting and scary at the same time. Please walk that road !

      BTW – The old stuff is terrible. I'm still working on my grammar, which beats my ass even in my native language. The real good stuff just started 2 months ago, Eleanor ;)

      • http://www.heavenandel.com Eleanor Edwards

        Have no fear, now I'm on this road, it would take a small hippopotamus with a large fork lift truck to get me off it. I'm having a blast!

        So you're seriously telling me you've been doing this properly for just 8 weeks?! That's mental! (In a good way) One thing I got from your very first month was the need for a logo. I can see it in my head. Just need to do it I guess. Now where have I heard that before? ;)

  • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

    This is awesome stuff – and has been a huge theme for me lately. I just keep stumbling across people talking about it! ;) I'm currently in the process of reinventing myself, taking some characteristics, some pieces of who I am and running with them to create something unique and ME online. I just love this stuff – it's so FREEing to be different, to be unique, and to be ME. :)

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Jess, Yes, it's liberation in essence. The more you do it, the better it gets:

      More and more people will follow you online, because they want to achieve what you have achieved. You can only make a massive splash online when you shape your character – and sharpen those edges. That's the place where live gets really exciting and fulfilling !

  • Ian

    and er – “sunny in my tummy!!??

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      haha, that's what happens if English is not your first language. You make customized word combos.

      • http://www.heavenandel.com Eleanor Edwards

        If 'sunny in my tummy' comes as a result of blogging in a second language, maybe I need to start a French language blog because the metaphor was fab!

  • Ryan

    Cool pic Mars :)

    That sunny in the tummy feeling never leads you wrong. It's your intuition. Listen to it. By tuning into silent counsel you will be you, not the version of you that others think of you, but you.

    Many are what they want others to think of them instead of being Unique and thinking, feeling and acting from their heart. It's like living someone else's life, which is absurd and tragic. Embrace your oddities and learn to accentuate them. Don't hold back or you won't move forward.


    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      thanks Ryan.

      It sounds easy, but it's not: the outside world wants you to fit in a certain shape, and nobody asks you if that's what you want. But the minute you taste your own potential, you know the magic that can happen. I'm getting closer to the character I want to be, not the one that my surrounds expects of me. ANd it does massively help with my online brand, because people crave that power to shape yourself.

  • annahaller

    I love your take on this Mars and you summed it up all in one sentence where you say to follow our inner desires to become our greatest version. That is just so powerful and as long as we continue to discover our inner desires and transform and create that in our lives that is when we can really be who we are.


    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Yeah, Anna !

      I believe the inner desire is there for a reason – you don't know where it comes from, it's just there. Maybe it's interested from the universe, wanting you to move in a certain direction. Wherever it comes from, I know by now that it's essential to follow, no matter where it will take you.

  • Ali Starbright

    Yes Mr. Mars. When it comes to “being yourself” I actually don't think that exists because 1- we are always changing 2-we carry so much garbage that we mistake for “us”. So I would much rather just not try to be what I'm not. When I take artificial restrictions away, I find I'm left with quite a lot of good stuff to play with. That's where I can start to be creative with myself and exmphasise the aspects that excite me and feel most special, valuable, awesome.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Exactly – we are stuffed with garbage from the outside. And wouldn't even worry about the restrictions – just follow your inner desire and create a (online) persona that fits it. There's just sooo much power in that, and I know the creativity that springs from it will let me do awe-some things online !

  • http://www.lselvon.com/ Louis

    Hi Mars,

    You are right about finding your own style and character. However there are those who have made online success by following the path of someone who is successful i.e getting a mentor. You are not wrong that there is more than one way to online success. Us as individual just need to find what works for us.


    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Louis,
      getting a mentor is grrreat – he can give you all the info based on his experience, and you can soak it all up and flavor it with your style. I believe the most effective strategy is to take everything that feels right for you, and ignore the rest. This way, you will shape the learning lessons after your inner desire.

      • http://www.lselvon.com/ Louis

        Agree 100% with you there.

  • Michel J. Gagnon

    Great post Mars. It took me a while to even have the courage to hit that “publish” button the first time. I wanted to make sure I would please everyone. That was obviously not the right path to take. It's nice to see that you found your style pretty early in the process. It makes the ride much more enjoyable.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Haha, it actually took me a while, Michel.
      In the beginning, I was just like – will I maybe offend someone ? Will everyone like it ?
      But I found out that this is an unhealthy way to think about your presence. I now imagine my favorite hardcore fan-reader, and I only write for him, in order to keep my edge. Toooo many people tone down on their style, and neglect that awesome potential they carry inside !

      • Michel J. Gagnon

        I definitely like the idea of writing for your hardcore fan. Nice way to ensure you keep on track.

  • srinirao

    I think that you really nailed it with this one. First is that story you tell yourself. We really have the ability to be the architect of our experience and I think it starts with that story. My other favorite part of this is that you should forget all the rules. There are so many “rules” for blogging, but at the end of the day it's about doing what works for you.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian


      The story becomes your life ;)
      It's so tempting to follow other people, when in fact you should only what pleases your heart.

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  • http://smakk.nl/ Arjan Salomons

    Hi Mars,

    I was -so- touched by this piece! Thank you very much, I'll put it in my bookmarks for when I'm out of touch with the real me :)

    • http://www.marsdorian.com MarsDorian

      Cool Arjan,

      If you are in the process of your re-creating yourself, you will never be out of touch. Take one hour every single for your reinvention,
      and create your ultimate persona !

  • http://www.brandonsutton.com Brandon101

    Right on Mars – definitely well timed info for me. I just did a total 180 with my blog and I'm going for it 100% (not the 50% I was doing before) with what I'm passionate about, regardless of whether or not there are tons of people out there talking about it. Thanks for the reminder that it's ok to go out on a limb and follow your heart. Oh, and your networking guide IS kick ass! :)

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Brandon,

      I'd say: go a 150% !
      Believe me, you get the true fans only if show your desired version – full motion with no censoring !
      And thanx for the feedback – I luved creating that guide ! But be brutally honest with me: What don't you like about it ? I want to always improve !

      • http://www.brandonsutton.com Brandon101

        Hey man – I had to think HARD about what I didn't like about it. I really thought the whole thing rocked! The only thing that I might play up even more is the Digital Karma slide – specifically the importance of consistency. I'm guilty of slacking off in this area and I see the consequences of it. Earlier in the year I was reading and commenting on a lot of blogs. I got 'too busy' and didn't do it very much for a while. Big mistake and something that I'm correcting now.

        But really, the guide is awesome! Thanks for sharing the info in a fun way. :)

        • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

          Brandon, thanks a lot for the feedback.
          I really appreciate it like the summer sun.
          The next one gets better.

  • eblogr

    Rules are meant to be broken :-)… so should some of the “Guru” rules that are made up as they go along…. good stuff

  • http://twitter.com/Murlu Murray Lunn

    Mars – knocking it out of the park man!

    Perhaps there is too much influence on the net.

    I think you've probably experienced the same thing: you see someone do something awesome or make something awesome, you want to try it but by the time you ever get around doing it you're already on the next “hot” thing.

    What this does is make you a red mage (boom FF reference) where you're able to come across as a lot of things but never a master of just one.


    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Murray,

      I believe that you should focus yourself in the beginning – become a black/white mage in the beginning, and absolutely master that skill tree. Once you make a name for yourself, people respect you, and you can spread. If you watch the big Digital Crusaders out there – most of them have started like this. Just find the words you want to dominate first, and go from there ;)
      You can always become a kick-ass red mage later !

  • Karengunton

    i luv (as you say) this post! i am going to paste it onto my wall beside my desk so i can remember not to be ignorable, and remember to question the ''rules”. thanks =)

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Karen,

      I'd even go further – forget about questioning the rules, create your own right from the beginning.
      If your major goal is to help/support/inspire people in one way or another, you can come up with any original idea to make that happen. Full online reinvention included ;)

  • http://oddlovescompany.com/blog/ Katybeth

    Hi Mars,
    Loved this line “Embrace your foibles, and stretch them…gooood” I think I'm going to have to steal it. I do love my audience…of-course how hard is it to love your mom?? Well maybe not just my mom. Knowing my readers and “friends' is important to me. It makes interactions more genuine.
    I have always thought, “being yourself” is overrated. Thanks for confirming this for me!
    Thank you!

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Heya Katy,

      being yourself is definitely overrated. Most people still don't where they are, so it's better to know where to go. It just takes the passion to melt the moon to accomplish that, but I*m sure you have that ;)

  • http://realsimplepeople.com/ John Sherry

    Your way is the only way Mars, I quite agree. It's best not to lease ideas from others but own them yourself and 'publish and be damned'. Do your thing and things tend to change for the better I have found. After all if you want to be noticed you can't just be one of the crowd. To have identity you have to be visible. Make it yours. Cool post hombre!

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Thanx John,
      getting inspired by others works brilliantly, if you mix that with your own style. But too many people are timid and want to play it safe – thus they copy exactly. I believe playing it safe is very dangerous game to play ;)

  • http://alidavies.com/ Ali Davies

    Your post raises a really important point here. And that is so many people are like sheep following what other people tell them the rules are. Hence a sea of sameness and mediocrity. I have only been blogging since Jan and still finding my voice (those damn corporate habits die hard!!!!). but have already got hacked off with the “do it this way, do it that way” brigade. My new measure is if it's “sunny in my tummy” it's in, everything else out. Thanks – LOVE that phrase.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Ali,

      that's awesome – I never belong to the corporate type, but I can imagine it's quite hard to get rid of it ;)

      It always comes down to focus – focus on your original style, and it will grow. People need to spend more time on building their brand – if they do it right, their digital destiny will take care of itself ;)

  • meganmatthieson

    Mars! Love it! You are so rocking this. I try to make my content the oversized version of me. Certainly some of my video. Or rather…they are the most POTENT side of me. My writing? The most naked. Thanks for this Mars!

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Nice, Megan,
      I have read some of your stuff – it's strange but in a good way. So you hired Danielle Laporte ?
      Nice ! I bet she gave you lots of fire lol ;)

  • http://twitter.com/TomVein Tom Vein

    Dude, I just found your blog and read through pretty much the whole site. Great information. Love it man! Keep up the awesome work!!

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  • http://twitter.com/hanaabaza Hana Abaza

    Also just found it and appreciate the tangible tips (a lot of noise floating around!) – fyi, totally stealing the line “sunny in my tummy”

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      haha, thanx Hana.
      I'm a sucker for creating my own lines :)

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