Be empathetic! If you receive messages telling you a sad story, I would recommend that you respond. I generally recommend influencers respond to the messages they receive. It is an act of gratitude for their loyalty, plus you can help them with a kind word.
We often use the term “Influencers” to describe people with significant social media followings on platforms like Instagram, Twitter TikTok, Youtube, Linkedin and Facebook. Influencers have become today’s media titans, sought after for everything from product placements to timely trends. What’s the difference between influence and impact? Fans and followers? Sizzle versus staying power?
In this interview series, called, “How To Cultivate Community In A Click to Connect World” we are talking to influencers about how they define success and what we all need to discover about the true nature of influence. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Eduard Andrei Vasile.
Eduard Andrei Vasile, teacher and personal development counselor, is known in Romania as “profukool”, which means “cool teacher”. He is appreciated for his interactive and engaging teaching and counseling methods. Eduard has launched a podcast and personal development website and helps young people find their way. Growing up with an abusive father, he decided to offer his help to those in need.
Thank you for making time to visit with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. How did you discover your career path and what got you to where you are today?
Being a teacher means influencing, so I can consider myself an influencer. Of course, I have an intense activity on social media and I try to help as many people in need as I can.
I have always had wonderful teachers, and my greatest desire has been to become one. One day, my grandmother saw an ad about looking for an English teacher at a private school and sent them an email. I did not hope or think that dreams can come true, at least not so easily. I became a teacher in primary education, later being a personal development counselor with a specialization in couple relationships and family relationships.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along the way that influences how you operate now?
The biggest lesson I learned was that people need to be listened to. We are all fed up with advice and books that often do not help us in real life. People need to see examples similar to their own, to know that they are not alone. Honesty and transparency have helped me a lot to become who I am today.
We’re all searching for some good news. How are you using your platform to make a positive social impact?
My favorite platform is Instagram and I publish articles and materials almost daily for the biggest lifestyle magazine in Romania, “Ce se întâmplă, doctore?”.
For example, I post a few reels a week trying to offer a different perspective on relationships. These are short but impactful materials. I received many messages in which the audience thanked me for being vulnerable and opening up to them, told them about my life, and gave them a glimmer of hope. We have access to all possible platforms, so we must use them to have a positive impact on others.
Many of our readers are influencers as well. Others have tried and have yet to succeed. What words of advice would you offer to aspiring influencers, knowing what you know now?
I think I would advise influencers to be themselves. Give up filters, because we already live in a world of filters. To be vulnerable, open, honest, and to present reality as it is, not as they would like it to be. It can be so frustrating to open an Instagram page and see perfect lives, expensive cars, and products you can’t afford. I think that affects us all. Sincerity will always be a treasure for everyone. People want to see people like them. On the other hand, it is natural to have contracts to conclude, to respect our collaborations. I just want to say that a little bit of naturalness will never hurt.
Success is often a matter of perspective. I’ve always resonated with Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” How do you see success — or define success — for yourself now?
The success for me at this moment is to receive a beautiful appreciation for the classes I have, what I post, and the results of the children. I’ve never been more fulfilled than that and I know that my message gets where it needs to go. We’re not perfect, and that’s what I want to say to everyone. We are human, we think differently and we are different. What could be more beautiful?
Success is different for everyone, but it’s amazing to me when I know I’ve helped even one person.
What are your strategies to make room for who and what matters most?
In life we know we have priorities. No matter how important and great our online work is, we must not forget the contact with reality and continue to be good people, good friends, good partners, and good children. I try to keep my balance. I think that’s the secret or the strategy I’m applying. I attach importance to all the elements that make up my life.
How do you reduce or mitigate stress?
I try never to put pressure on myself when I feel like I can’t, otherwise, failure is guaranteed. We all need rest, restful sleep, and beautiful moments offline. Let’s not forget offline. We must not forget our family, our friends who have been with us in difficult times, our partners. After all, life is here, not on screens.
I’m going to try a few of your tips, and I’m hopeful our readers will, too. Now it’s time for the big reveal — the moment our readers have been anticipating. What are your “five strategies to cultivate a large & engaged social media community?’ Please share a story or example for each.
1. Be honest. People who follow you also have needs, and limited budgets. Do not only present products or things that many can’t afford, but try to present an alternative for smaller budgets. From personal experience, I have realized that people are interested in what they can afford.
2. Be vulnerable. As I said, people need to identify with other people online. Tell them a story from your life, maybe a story that upset you, a less happy period, or even secrets from your life. Surely your sincerity will be appreciated by your audience.
3. Don’t just have a perfect life online. Even if you have it, we have to keep our balance. In a world where we can do so much good, let’s do it. We have to present the less beautiful parts of life, otherwise, our audience will wake up in unpleasant moments of life and will not know many solutions.
4. Get involved in volunteer work. Nowadays there are many fundraisers and everything is just a click away. Find a cause that resonates with you and dedicate yourself to it. You will see that your audience will trust and participate in these good deeds with you. Remember, we can help more than we could 10 years ago.
5. Be empathetic! If you receive messages telling you a sad story, I would recommend that you respond. I generally recommend influencers respond to the messages they receive. It is an act of gratitude for their loyalty, plus you can help them with a kind word.
What do you do to create a greater sense of connection and community among your fans?
I like to connect with users and even other influencers. It’s all about networking. I might know someone who can help X or read something interesting on page Y. These are just examples.
As for me, I try to be with all my followers and help them as much as I can. I even had personal development classes with my followers, free classes, just to bring something good into the lives of others. I think that matters a lot.
As an influencer, you are, by definition, a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I think I would like to have as many courses as possible on how to be an influencer and how to do good with this quality that you have. There aren’t that many courses, and the ones I’ve heard about don’t teach you the human needs that your audience has.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He, she or they might just see this. 🙂
I really want to meet Dolly Parton. All the acts of kindness she did impress me and I think having breakfast with her would be something I would never forget.
What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?
I can be followed on Instagram, @profukool, or read on www.bornandreborn.com. There I post personal development articles that I hope will reach as many people as possible and be useful to them. 🙂
Thank you for these thought provoking insights. Here’s to your continued success!