When it comes to influence, I like what Chris Brogan said in a recent post:
"I never set out to be influential. I set out to be helpful. That word, “helpful,” turns out to be ONE way out of several to be influential. Rich people often get to be influential, because money gives people improved reach, and improved options for decision-making. Because I didn’t have a ton of money, I ended up finding ways to be helpful instead."
In other words, influence is a lagging indicator, while helpfulness is a leading indicator. Helpfulness comes first, and influence will follow.
You may not have a lot of money or resources to get seen and be "influential," but you can always be helpful. As Zig Ziglar has said for many years, "you can get whatever you want if you just help enough people get what they want."