The Influence Diet

Of all the questions I’m asked, “how do I scale influence” has been the most common as of late. The concept is catching on–an acceptance that the center of power has subtly shifted from traditional organizations (AR/PR/IR) to a more distributed model of “citizen analysts.” (Term intentional, that’s a blog for a different day.)

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(The new media center of power: bloggers!)

My answer (as previously blogged, Get Up, Dress Up, Show Up) is as popular as responding to the question of how to lose weight. There is no pill, no restrictive food plan, no celebrity endorsed Ab-Blaster, no magic bullet.

Distributed marketing is just that, distributed. Reaching the niches takes time, research, persistence–that’s the Influence Diet. People are not robots, by definition, and influence is about relationships, not demand generation and click-thru rates.

Whereas traditional marketing and publicity relied on a strategy of a single rock in the pond, creating as large a splash as possible, sending the wave out as far as possible, influence marketing and the social media vehicles that support it are more like a thousand pebbles.

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There is no quick fix, it’s sweat equity. The good news, anyone can do it. That may also be the bad news, but it’s the future regardless. Are you prepared?

Three Influence Diet Tips:

1. Air cover. Anyone can start down the path to becoming an influencer by following the Get Up, Dress Up, Show up method, but to take it to the next level in the corplife world we live in, you’ll need someone up above you sanctioning the work. Do the work, document the results, pitch your case. Try the sales team first, they speak this language and always have.

2. Information. If you’re working with influencers, arm them with information. Make it accurate and timely. Trust smart people and accept that they’ll disagree with you sometimes.If they don’t or you don’t listen, you risk inoculation from hearing about your flaws and potential fixes.

3. Amplification. There is great value in promoting the wisdom of others. Step out of the way and help them be heard.

Inspiration for this article provided by a miniseries we have going on The Geek Whisperers. Check out these episodes, and look for some more healthy debate from colleagues across the PR/AR disciplines coming soon.

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