In a little over two weeks, we will visualize, talk about, and experience why everyone is wrong about influence, except your customers. I will use simple language and examples to describe my thinking about this topic -- there is nothing contrived about true influence.
I've done a lot of research on this topic over the course of my career. I have found influence not to be attached to gender, nationality, scores, or tools. Although the external environment and internal organization of each of these data points affect relevance.
Attention and permission also have a role in influence. My friend Peter offered another insightful comment about yesterday's post (emphasis mine):
Audacity is almost a modern virtue. Though, in my experience, those who seek unsolicited counsel seldom know what to do with it nor realise what it signals about their character. It also misunderstands the modern professional. At the top of our game we sell clock speed not memory. Memory is cheap. It's even given away. Clock speed, the ability to make connections with meaning, is what matters. And they're never going to get access to that by treating me like a search engine.
A remark that helps me highlight one of the things that cannot be copied easily, according to Kevin Kelly -- interpretation. My interpretations of this conversation covered a lot of ground in the last couple of years.
- In forget influentials, in viral marketing context matters, I concluded (from evidence presented in the post): Let's say you are trying to build some buzz around your product or service:
- Focus less on who people influence and more on how people are influenced.
- Think more about networks, and network structure, rather than treating everyone as behaving independently (group dynamics).
- Move away from the idea that buzz can be engineered to achieve some pre-established outcome, and get better at measuring and reacting to buzz that arises naturally (observation from context).
- Asking what really affects behavior? I shared some informational guideposts and social influences to consider, given that what behavioral economics says is that emotion, context and situational factors influence our choices.
- In an early post unpacking Klout, true measure of influence? I wrote that true impact, of course, is the ability by someone to change someone else's attitude, opinion, or behavior. Pull is based on context.
- A post you may not have noticed about Fast Company's true influence at the time of the Influence Project storm. it was the first kernel of what became my proposed session for #SxSW-influence.
- Like it or not, you want influence speaks for itself
- Connecting with real influence in your communications was an invitation to reflect on whether you connect with it in the way you hire, form partnerships, and choose mentors and teachers
- The conversation about the Influencer Project, with ThoughtLead CEO Sam Rosen, gave us the motivation behind the shortest ever marketing conference
- My comments on a Forrester paper around why being a meaningful specific to build influence. How do you get to the care part? I suggested taking a look at what organization behaviors are sought and appreciated by your buyers. Things like: constant innovation and experimentation, like Apple; re-imagining the world, as in what if everyone took better care of themselves? what can you do to deliver a necessary message about health through entertainment, for example?; aligning around good, the ultimate universal meaning; presenting products as stories . And building meaning into your interactions -- whether they be with a person representing your business, or what your business does. For example: communicating deeper meaning people can opt into beyond a product or service; creating alliances with other products and services as part of a market ecosystem; sharing information and knowledge; being a true representation of your brand, believing in it yourself
- Why and how influence works gets a little bit more into the details of our upcoming discussion. While the question of how you measure influence is interesting and valid. As an attendee, I'd wonder, how do I get there in the first place? How do I create/identify/harness/enroll influence? What role does it play in my mix?
- Klout: you don't know what you don't know has a deeper meaning or layer -- you'll just have to remind me to tell you the story when you see me next.
- Then you'll also find out more of why everyone is now talking about Klout and many other tools I've listed in the post, and the 5 influence traps to avoid -- I put them in a post, so we can focus more on what you do to create and identify influence during the session.
- I also outlined some ways to up your score, double entendre included with the price, and how do you influence the influencers? Along with some hints as to why do people do what they do?
In the end, it's all open to interpretation. These are just highlights of what I've written about influence in the past couple of years. The best, as they say, is yet to come.
Tools provide useful data points, people provide useful information. I wanted to take the opportunity to thank a few people for their participation and encouraging remarks here. Specifically:
- Joe Fernandez, CEO, Klout
- Azeem Azhar, CEO, PeerIndex
- Gary Lee, CEO, mBLAST
- Jeff Katz, product manager, Twitalyzer
- Pierre-Loic Assayag, CEO @traackr
No need to draw complex charts or bring in the algorithm gurus. A corollary of "it can't hurt to ask" is "it can't hurt to share" -- my take is it depends on what is being shared. Trust your own observations and thinking. Come as you are, and we will have all the influence we need to have in the room to make the session stimulating, enlightening, and fun.