For a few years now, when I tell people that I blog I’m usually asked 2 important questions:
- How can I start blogging?
- How can I make money blogging?
The first question is easy. Go to wordpress.com, create an account, and start writing. That’s all blogging is, really. The second question was best answered by Tom Hollingsworth (@networkingnerd):
How to make millions blogging? 1). Become a millionare 2). Start blogging
So, what does that have to do with being an influencer? Well, an influencer is someone that people trust in order to hear what they have to say about certain products. Bob Vila was an influencer. So was Chuck Norris. These people have proven that they know their stuff, so when they talk about products, you will probably listen.
The problem is, people seem to think that influencer’s should be measured based on the number of people that will listen (or have listened). Well, Jake Ludington believes it shouldn’t be measured this way. And he is right. As a blogger, you just care about how many people are reading, sharing, and enjoying your writing. Influencing someone, however, means that someone will actually act on what they learned. Maybe they tell a friend of theirs what they heard, which results in a purchase. Perhaps they will purchase something themselves.
Do I write to be an influencer? Certainly not. I’m a blogger. I don’t get to assign myself an “influencer” title. You, as a reader, give me that title, and ONLY on a per post basis. I’m only an influencer, if I helped you with a strategy or product that you needed. After that, I’m back to being a blogger again, until you make a decision based on another post I write.
What is Jake talking about? Consider this…… Let’s say EMC get’s Martha Stewart (who has 3 Million followers) post a few tweets about their Data Domain product. According to how we are measured by marketing, that should be a huge win! But, is it? Why not? Okay, that was a low blow, and an obvious use-case. Let’s see…. what hits closer to home. Ahhh…. what about TWiT? Would they be a good influencer for Data Domain? After all, they are a “tech” show will a HUGE following. I still say no, because the audience is mostly consumers, and not Enterprise Strategists for storage. It *does* build “awareness” of the product, but not “influence”.
Back to Jake’s post, he brings up several questions that make up a good “influencer”. To be an influencer, someone needs to trust that you know what you are talking about, and that you are targeting the correct audience to fulfill a sale or strategy at some point. Have a read on his post. Do you agree? Disagree?
Influencer Affinity image courtesy of Stefano Maggi via Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic