I have a question for you. “Why does one person’s recommendation carry a lot of weight, when another person can give the same recommendation, yet few people take any notice?”
The answer, of course, is influence.
The recommendation of an influential person is powerful and in business it has a huge commercial value too. It’s why a sports star will get paid millions; just to be seen wearing and endorsing a brand like Nike or Adidas. Their influence is so strong that it changes the way people actually feel about the brands they endorse. As a result, the brand makes more sales.
Twitter & FriendFeed make measuring online influence easier
One of the great things about sites like Twitter and FriendFeed, is that they give you an insight into how influential some people are – online at least! On FriendFeed, I have seen people like Robert Scoble and Louis Gray generate hundreds and hundreds of comments; just by asking a quick question – such is their influence.
On Twitter, I have seen similar results. On Sunday, for example, Chris Brogan sent out the message below.
When I checked my blog stats for Sunday, I saw a significant spike in visitors here from Twitter. The interesting thing was the unusually high percentage of Chris’ ‘followers’, who clicked that link. It was around 400% higher than I usually see, when someone ReTweets my posts. In other words, Chris’ followers were 4 times more likely to click a link he sent, than I usually see. His Twitter followers clearly trust him to provide interesting links. Now, I am the first to admit that this was a snapshot, but I see similar patterns repeated all the time.
I have a friend, who has recommended my marketing services to seven of her contacts. All seven contacts called me and within just one call, all seven became clients. Each one told me how much they respected Sarah’s recommendation and endorsement of my services. In other words, before I even spoke to these people, Sarah’s recommendation had already reassured them that I would get the sales results they needed.
Influence, is a huge subject – way too big to cover in a single blog post. However, there’s a great tip I found years ago, which we can all use, in order to help us understand how to increase our commercial influence.
The tip is simply to study two types of people: Those who are highly influential and also those who lack influence.
You will quickly see that there are certain things, which people within each group have in common. For example, I find that people with commercial influence are usually far more knowledgeable in their field than their counterparts. They are also excellent at developing trust.
Okay – Now it’s your turn! Please share your thoughts regarding influence.