Popularity has its perks. In high school, it was invitations to the best parties (well, all of the parties, really), hot dates for Prom and a legion of smart kids willing to do your homework for you.

In business, being popular creates the perception of credibility, opens up business opportunities and attracts new clients.

As many of us are transitioning the footprint of where we do business, we may once again be the new kid in school.  And even if you were popular in your last school, your reputation may not follow.

So, here’s the secret to fast-tracking popularity:

Become friends with the most popular kid in school (or whatever sandbox you are playing in today).

Popular people have influence, both amongst those who are popular and those who desperately want to be popular.  Instead of spending all of your time and effort winning over the masses, direct a focused campaign at that popular influencer.  If they think you are amazing, then unless you are truly a douchebag, others will think you are amazing. You will find yourself in the center of the sandbox (instead of standing alone in the corner) faster than you can imagine.

This is the quickest way to derive recognition, opportunities and a platform to exploit.  Then, it’s up to you to take the ball and run with it.  It won’t guarantee your success if you can’t walk the talk, but it will give your business a nice boost to begin.