#61: Chirag Kulkarni, founder of Taco and contributing writer for ReadWrite, Fortune Magazine, and many others, gives a blueprint for building your influence

Chirag became a Huffington Post contributor around the age of 18 and had firmly established his expertise as a marketer within a couple of years. But this is no overnight success story. Chirag began his career at the age of 13, and in today’s episode, he spells out the best way to get started.

Listen to this episode on iTunes

What was your biggest insight from this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @influencer_inc.


An influencer is someone who has some sort of social clout and has the ability to move a group of people.

Taco began as a link-building service for large businesses.

Chirag started affiliate marketing at age 13 (he’s now 22), then moved into SEO, wrote about it on his blog, and got picked up by The Huffington Post after sending a cold email to Arianna Huffington saying that he wrote about digital marketing and meditation. They were interested in his writing about meditation, which not too many people wrote about at the time.

Chirag writes a weekly column for Entrepreneur, mostly about entrepreneurship for digital marketing.

He began public speaking when businesses wanted him to do workshops for them, teaching them about SEO and link building.

Advice for people starting out: think about your unique perspective and give as much as possible.
The younger generation has a perspective that others don’t.

Reasons people fail:

  • They’re chasing the wrong thing
  • They take shortcuts

If he had to start over, he would…

  • Discover what he had to offer, approach people who were offering that service, and tell them what they were doing wrong. Chances are, they would just pay him to fix those things.
  • Figure out who’s a couple of steps ahead. What are they doing? Pay for mentorship or just get advice from them.

Favorite Five

  • Book: The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
  • Influencer: James Altucher or Lewis Howes
  • Conference, group, or event: Summit Series
  • Preferred social network: Facebook
  • Tool that you can’t live without: Gmail and Intercom.io


  • Sean Kelly