Improve Your Influence

Statistics Matter

The term “influence” doesn’t mean a lot, and yet, it seems to be the holy grail for online social media people. Marketers coming to the fold worry quite a deal about reaching the influencers. The dogma, such as it is, says that anybody can be an influencer. Only, you and I know that we all feel like a nobody sometimes, and that we’re not all influential about the same things.

For instance, I trusted Mark Horvath to share good advice on the cameras he uses for his projects, and that’s why I bought my Canon Vixia HF S200: because Mark said It was a good one. Mark was/is much more influential to my choice than someone with 200,000 followers on Twitter (or similar). He certainly has more influence to me than most ads, because I know Mark’s a real guy that I know and have met.

Klout says this about my influence:

Klout Score

When I look for analysis, I get this:

  • Chris Brogan has built a very large and engaged network through high quality, trustworthy content.
  • Chris Brogan is very likely to have any message amplified and acted upon.
  • Chris Brogan is constantly engaged by very influential people.
  • Chris Brogan creates quality content that engages a very large audience on a level very few can achieve.

But what does that all mean? Or a better question: Can we improve our influence? Here are some thoughts.

It Starts With a Solid Platform

I should be clear. 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. And I put that helpfulness right out there to be seen on my website, my home base. Over and over, I gave more than anyone I knew, and I gave away my “secrets,” so that you could do it, too. But it wouldn’t matter one bit without the next step.

The next step of influence is awareness.

Get Seen

I joke with Steve Garfield all the time about his awesome book, Get Seen. I ask him, “How do you get seen?” And Steve answers, “Be there.”

That’s the secret. Be there. I had accounts on every social network early. (I’m in the first 11K to join Twitter.) And when I got there, I connected, communicated, and offered help. But we’ll get back to that. First? I was there. And I was active. And I was not just active, but I shared the spotlight.

I did the same thing in real space. I’m one of the rare social media types who’s actually met several thousand of the people he’s connected with online. And I’ve met quite the mix of influential people and up-and-comers. (Know where the real gain comes from? Spend time with the up-and-comers.)

So, I started with a platform, and then I showed up everywhere I could afford (and sometimes not afford) to go. But what did I do once I got there?

Share the Spotlight

One thing that helps one become influential is to work on helping others rise up. The more people you can support and help, the more people who will remember where they got that help, and who will extend some level of your influence, whether or not they choose to do so. I promote others far more often than I ever talk about my own accomplishments. Why? Because you didn’t come here to learn about me. You came here to improve your own efforts. I share as much as I can about other people, so that you understand what will give you the best chance to improve.

Sometimes, I talk about people like Tony Robbins, who I think has given us lots to learn. I talk about Tom Peters, a mentor of mine for decades, who continues to really light my mind up with new ideas, and as I tell him at every opportunity I get, who continues to get me in trouble, all these many years later.

Other times, I talk about aGlenda Watson Hyatt, who is helping bloggers and businesses figure out accessibility and helping them grow a market segment that we all are missing our chance to help. I point out Suzanne Vara, who is one of the most loyal, most energized, most dedicated person I’ve met. To me, there’s great value in what Glenda and Suzanne show you, and I’d rather you get to know them better.

Sharing the spotlight in this way, though, improves your influence. How? It shows people (you!) what I value, and it suggests that I’ll be quick to point you out when someone else needs what you offer.

Working The Numbers of Influence

I work really hard to get my RSS subscribers. I ask for more whenever I can. I also ask people to subscribe to my newsletter. I don’t work as hard on getting followers on Twitter. Instead, I work really hard on being relevant and useful and funny and quirky and worthwhile. I work on promoting other people and sharing what they’ve found. Why? Because I think that’s how to get numbers there. (Want more Twitter followers? Get More Twitter Followers today!)

I look at my stats via Google Analytics, via PostRank, via HootSuite, and from other sources, to see what works for me, what doesn’t. I work those numbers. I don’t just let them show up magically. I’m not using HubSpot on this site, but in future projects, that might be another way for me to improve my numbers and measurement, as well.

Influence Isn’t Handed Over

No one passes out influence. Yes, sometimes, someone very influential will tap you and you can benefit from this, but that’s rare. No one came and tapped my shoulder. And yet, I did something with each and every opportunity I was handed.

When I worked with Jeff Pulver, I worked hard to help his efforts, and I also did what I could to meet the people he put in front of me. I listened hard to his every lesson, and I learned from observing the kinds of people he spent his time with, who he gave his attention to, and where he put emphasis. Every step of the way, I gained influence.

Before Jeff, I worked on influence by learning things. Christopher S. Penn and I figured out how to run PodCamp, and we learned from that how to build networked relationships with important people in the podcasting and new media space.

After Jeff, I learned how to leverage every new opportunity I got into a chance to help someone else, a chance to promote someone else, and/or an opportunity to grow my business. Never once did someone hand me more influence. I earned it.

That’s the Silver Lining To This All

Don’t work on your Klout score. Work on understanding influence. Don’t work on how many followers you have, except insofar as you worry about how to feed them useful information that will grow your reach.

Do work on learning how to be most helpful to those in your segment of the universe that are growing. Do work on putting more resources in the hands of people who need to grow. Do work on never missing an opportunity to take a privilege and to extend it into something more than what you started with. And say thank-you a thousand times more than you are today.

And that, friends, is some of what I know about influence.

You?

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  • http://ClimbingEveryMountain.com Mary E. Ulrich

    I didn’t understand many of the references in this message but I do “get” the concept of “being helpful.” And Chis–you are the master.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      That’s all that matters, Mary. : )

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      That’s all that matters, Mary. : )

  • http://linkedin.com/in/joesorge Joe Sorge

    As one of those that you have shared your spotlight with Chris, I can attest to it’s power and its potential for influence in both directions. Another way that I’d describe this trait, particularly in you, is generosity. It was largely through your sharing of our work within your network that opportunities became available, ironically for many of us.

    Great post Chris, thank you for continually showing many of us the path.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I’m just glad you’re silly enough to partner with me. : )

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I’m just glad you’re silly enough to partner with me. : )

  • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

    This might be my favorite post of yours this year. Why? Let me count the ways.

    Okay, first, you shine the light on Suzanne. That’s always an easy cookie point.

    But your thoughts on Klout explain very well why I’ve never fully embraced it. I get a fair amount of teasing for it too. I have looked at Klout carefully and examined its potential as a tool – it says some interesting things and can give you some ideas on what you need to work on. But as a measure of influence? I just think it’s too easy to game. People are already learning the tricks to it and they are starting to tweet to their klout score rather than to others.

    I want to create a Smushometer, which would measure things like “How many times do people say thank you to you?” People laugh when I say that, but truly, that’s what spells influence to me. How many times do you react to a question mark? How many times do you find yourself saying “no problem!”

    That’s where the real influence is, and Klout doesn’t touch it.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I think it’s a far bigger measure.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I think it’s a far bigger measure.

  • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

    I think there is an epidemic of people paying attention to their Klout score. I have heard from people saying that it can help people understand their influence. I guess I am going to have to bookmark this post and share it with them.

    On Klout I have people who I don’t even read much less RT as my influencers. People who on a few occasions I interacted with and to this day I have no contact with them.

    Like many of us I have had the opportunity to learn about so many people by just reading your blog. The best example is that I visit your blog daily (if their are multiple updates I might come back more than once a day), and when I get the chance I visit other blogs of people you have introduced.

    Shining the spotlight on other people and your generosity makes me have great admiration for your actions and also come back to meet people that have similar interests as mine.

    Thanks to you I have been able to interact with Suzanne Vara and I enjoy reading her blog I was able to learn of Joe Sorge last week (tuesday) through the Pulse Network ( by the way I agree with his comment below.

    When I had the privilege of meeting you in person you introduced people to me that I would have not met if you would have not been there.

    I think many people need to apply these tips and get a real understanding on the basics of influence so they can be helpful instead of looking at statistics.

    Once again Like Joe said below thank you for guiding the many of us who read you.

  • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

    I think there is an epidemic of people paying attention to their Klout score. I have heard from people saying that it can help people understand their influence. I guess I am going to have to bookmark this post and share it with them.

    On Klout I have people who I don’t even read much less RT as my influencers. People who on a few occasions I interacted with and to this day I have no contact with them.

    Like many of us I have had the opportunity to learn about so many people by just reading your blog. The best example is that I visit your blog daily (if their are multiple updates I might come back more than once a day), and when I get the chance I visit other blogs of people you have introduced.

    Shining the spotlight on other people and your generosity makes me have great admiration for your actions and also come back to meet people that have similar interests as mine.

    Thanks to you I have been able to interact with Suzanne Vara and I enjoy reading her blog I was able to learn of Joe Sorge last week (tuesday) through the Pulse Network ( by the way I agree with his comment below.

    When I had the privilege of meeting you in person you introduced people to me that I would have not met if you would have not been there.

    I think many people need to apply these tips and get a real understanding on the basics of influence so they can be helpful instead of looking at statistics.

    Once again Like Joe said below thank you for guiding the many of us who read you.

  • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

    I think there is an epidemic of people paying attention to their Klout score. I have heard from people saying that it can help people understand their influence. I guess I am going to have to bookmark this post and share it with them.

    On Klout I have people who I don’t even read much less RT as my influencers. People who on a few occasions I interacted with and to this day I have no contact with them.

    Like many of us I have had the opportunity to learn about so many people by just reading your blog. The best example is that I visit your blog daily (if their are multiple updates I might come back more than once a day), and when I get the chance I visit other blogs of people you have introduced.

    Shining the spotlight on other people and your generosity makes me have great admiration for your actions and also come back to meet people that have similar interests as mine.

    Thanks to you I have been able to interact with Suzanne Vara and I enjoy reading her blog I was able to learn of Joe Sorge last week (tuesday) through the Pulse Network ( by the way I agree with his comment below.

    When I had the privilege of meeting you in person you introduced people to me that I would have not met if you would have not been there.

    I think many people need to apply these tips and get a real understanding on the basics of influence so they can be helpful instead of looking at statistics.

    Once again Like Joe said below thank you for guiding the many of us who read you.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I agree that the Klout score doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. It’s not really helping me figure out what’s what. Instead, I just think that you and I should meet more people, help more people, and continue to build a relationship. Oh, I’ll have your box in the mail today, sir. : )

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I agree that the Klout score doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. It’s not really helping me figure out what’s what. Instead, I just think that you and I should meet more people, help more people, and continue to build a relationship. Oh, I’ll have your box in the mail today, sir. : )

  • http://karate-kids.com.au Sensei Matt Klein

    This is a “how to” on success in social media. Am starting to realize it’s not the number of followers/friends you have, it’s the number of HELPFUL ones that is important. They become helpful followers in response to you helping them. Be Helpful–that is the key. Right on!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Bingo, Sensei.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Bingo, Sensei.

  • http://karate-kids.com.au Sensei Matt Klein

    This is a “how to” on success in social media. Am starting to realize it’s not the number of followers/friends you have, it’s the number of HELPFUL ones that is important. They become helpful followers in response to you helping them. Be Helpful–that is the key. Right on!

  • http://karate-kids.com.au Sensei Matt Klein

    This is a “how to” on success in social media. Am starting to realize it’s not the number of followers/friends you have, it’s the number of HELPFUL ones that is important. They become helpful followers in response to you helping them. Be Helpful–that is the key. Right on!

  • http://twitter.com/PaulFlanigan Paul Flanigan

    I have had my Klout account for some time, but am continuing to learn more about it. Something I have done for a long time is to personally welcome new followers to my own readers. I send out a tiny message welcoming the new follower, and I get a DM from them almost every single time. To me, this little exercise has generated more influence than anything else I have done online.

  • http://twitter.com/susangiurleo susangiurleo

    *Swoon* This rocks, Chris and I need to read it a few more times to get everything out of it. Imagine what, not just our businesses, but our whole lives would be like if we set out each day to be helpful, shine our light on others and made the effort to get to know people who have undiscovered gifts? Everybody wins and “influence” and “success” flows from that (however you define them). Now passing around to everyone I know in the health care world because we need this message more than you can know….

  • http://twitter.com/susangiurleo susangiurleo

    *Swoon* This rocks, Chris and I need to read it a few more times to get everything out of it. Imagine what, not just our businesses, but our whole lives would be like if we set out each day to be helpful, shine our light on others and made the effort to get to know people who have undiscovered gifts? Everybody wins and “influence” and “success” flows from that (however you define them). Now passing around to everyone I know in the health care world because we need this message more than you can know….

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Super happy you liked it, Susan. We try hard to share these things, don’t we?

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Super happy you liked it, Susan. We try hard to share these things, don’t we?

  • Anonymous

    Chris, I’ve been readying you consistently for the past few months and would have to be blind to miss the fact that you live your rule of 12 to 1 (others to self). Your promotion of others, encouraging words, free tools, outlines, strategies and just plain good stuff have been consistently helpful in my research. Links to the likes of Danny Brown, Liz Strauss, Christopher Penn, Robbie Vorhaus and many many others have been instrumental in a new awareness of this medium. Thank you.

    I’ve spent most of the past 30 years in the help others grow mold but can honestly say the thought of starting new in this arena has re-energized me in ways that little has in the past. Friends of mine will look a little nervous at this point because high levels of energy and/or enthusiasm are the norm for me.

    I currently oversee operations for a 40m/ yr health care company with products and services that could easily go regional and/or national. We are, the best I can describe it dabbling in social networking as a means for expansion but need some direction. I believe my role will be to learn then lead this initiative. I will continue to read all I can but also plan on seeking some level of coaching in the future. Any suggestions would be well received.

    Sorry for the long post… have a blessed Christmas.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Glad to hear it, Jim. All your skills are really important. I think that you’ll find your footing shortly, and given your role with your company, you’re certainly in alignment to figuring out how to be a trust agent for that world. Welcome aboard. : )

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Glad to hear it, Jim. All your skills are really important. I think that you’ll find your footing shortly, and given your role with your company, you’re certainly in alignment to figuring out how to be a trust agent for that world. Welcome aboard. : )

  • http://twitter.com/georgiawebgurl robin fay

    really excellent post — it’s not ALL about Klout which is refreshing. Sure, Klout is important, but there are other tools out there ;-)

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      It’s not really a tool thing for me. It’s just interesting to me how the web sees influence, but I see influence along some different lines.

  • http://waynemcevilly.com Wayne McEvilly

    Chris: I have an aversion for “long” blogposts – After all, we’re in today’s world right? (Last time I checked)-& that’s a world where We are in a Hurry – right? – Right!
    So why’d I read this one? Because it continually was SAYING SOMETHING (excuse the shout!) – & the something it was saying was something I liked hearing -
    But mostly, it earns my highest accolade:
    USEFUL
    I walk away with the idea “Good stuff – I can use this -
    Thanks-
    Wayne

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Hi Wayne–

      I write about one long one for every 16 really short ones. I’m glad you stuck it out with me. : )

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Luv this Chris.. you have to first Be There to benefit. Social media takes time and work.. not as easy as adding thousands of followers and sitting back and hoping people will flood your blog.

    I can add that to be influential, you first have to be helpful. The more you can help people with things they need the more influence you will have in that field.. and that influence will grow and be shared..

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I hope so, John. At least, that’s how I’m going at it.

      • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

        Me Too my friend.. There is no negative to helping people as much as you can. at some point it will come back around.

  • Jen Brentano

    Hey Chris ~ I love the idea you mention about actually making the connections. For me, my day is golden when I can connect with others. I love supporting others on their journey. I firmly believe that we are all uniquely designed and divinely created for something spectacular. Making those connections and supporting others just adds so much value to me and my life. Thanks for putting a framework around this great information.

  • Jen Brentano

    Hey Chris ~ I love the idea you mention about actually making the connections. For me, my day is golden when I can connect with others. I love supporting others on their journey. I firmly believe that we are all uniquely designed and divinely created for something spectacular. Making those connections and supporting others just adds so much value to me and my life. Thanks for putting a framework around this great information.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I quite agree, Jen. The more we can connect others, the better. : ) I’m glad you’re part of all this.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I quite agree, Jen. The more we can connect others, the better. : ) I’m glad you’re part of all this.

  • http://www.naomediacon.com Christopher A. Craft

    This is right on time my man. I spent a good chunk of time yesterday in between Sunday NFL researching Klout and influence. I walked away cementing my hunch that your social profile/influence grows as your involvement in real world “place-to-be” involvement increases. We’re not really grinding unless we’re out there grinding and networking with other influencers after a hand shake. Nice post Chris.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      You looked at Klout instead of NFL? Perish the thought. The Patriots need your eyeballs, Mr. Craft. : )

      • http://www.naomediacon.com Christopher A. Craft

        Haha… In BETWEEN NFL… Football (unfortunately sometimes) rules my Sundays. Plus, my eyeballs are mostly for my 12-2 Falcons sir.

  • http://www.naomediacon.com Christopher A. Craft

    This is right on time my man. I spent a good chunk of time yesterday in between Sunday NFL researching Klout and influence. I walked away cementing my hunch that your social profile/influence grows as your involvement in real world “place-to-be” involvement increases. We’re not really grinding unless we’re out there grinding and networking with other influencers after a hand shake. Nice post Chris.

  • http://www.TheFranchiseKingBlog.com The Franchise King

    Thanks, Chris. You’ve nailed it. This worked for you; being helpful.

    And, you are. Big Time.

    JL

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Always glad to hear from you, Joel. I hope 2011 is a great year.

  • http://www.TheFranchiseKingBlog.com The Franchise King

    Thanks, Chris. You’ve nailed it. This worked for you; being helpful.

    And, you are. Big Time.

    JL

  • http://www.pcmguy.com Larry Bruce (@pcmguy)

    WOW CB, thx for the insight. I work very hard to go by the principals I have learned from Trust Agents (on my 6th read or listen BTW) I have the hardest time with sharing the spot light, I think I get so caught up in trying to be the curator for the people that follow me I forget to send the props to the people that create that good content and the people I follow that share it.

    Thanks for snapping me back in line.

    Have Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Chris and thx for all that you have helped me with and shared of past 2 yrs.

    LB @pcmguy

  • http://www.pcmguy.com Larry Bruce (@pcmguy)

    WOW CB, thx for the insight. I work very hard to go by the principals I have learned from Trust Agents (on my 6th read or listen BTW) I have the hardest time with sharing the spot light, I think I get so caught up in trying to be the curator for the people that follow me I forget to send the props to the people that create that good content and the people I follow that share it.

    Thanks for snapping me back in line.

    Have Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Chris and thx for all that you have helped me with and shared of past 2 yrs.

    LB @pcmguy

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      It’s tricky stuff, Larry. We want so very much to show people that we know what’s on the go. However, I’ve learned that the person who knows the most is often the person who works the least to show us that he/she does.

      • http://www.pcmguy.com Larry Bruce (@pcmguy)

        Very true, thanks again CB and take care

      • http://www.pcmguy.com Larry Bruce (@pcmguy)

        Very true, thanks again CB and take care

  • http://twitter.com/RyanCritchett Ryan Critchett

    This is extraordinary Chris! You’re absolutely right on! I just learned a lot. I agree completely with being helpful. We did the smart thing, we got passionate. That creates everything else! Another great article.

  • http://210consulting.com/ Jeremy Blanton

    Chris you are very influential even in the way I conduct my business even though we never met in person. I consider you a mentor into my business and a gauge on how I do thinks. Great post and I agree with you on Klout. Never can a computer generated program determine how influential someone is to you the individual.

    Also, as you mentioned there are different influencers on different topics. As I would turn to you for influence on social media related items, I probably won’t be asking you for advice on buying a home in short sale. Instead I would turn to others who are influential in the real estate industry like Maya.

    Great stuff dude and I am excited to meet you in person here soon. If not before Vegas in March, at least I will there!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I’m glad you’re part of the team, Jeremy. Thank you for that. : )

  • Anonymous

    As always, great stuff.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Thanks, Amy.

  • Anonymous

    Great post Chris. It really underlines what social media is all about conversations and interaction. It’s not a popularity contest to see who has the most followers/friends.

  • Andrea Howe

    Chris, you say influence “seems to be the holy grail for online social media people” — I’d argue it’s the holy grail for people doing business, period. It’s also widely misunderstood. Charlie Green taught me the phenomenon of reciprocity (as in, the tendency to return a favor), which is the essence of what it takes to be influential. Give something (time, attention, listening, a piece of the spotlight), and people are more likely to give in return (assuming your giving is done freely, as an act of generosity, without attachment to a particular outcome). Your focus on being helpful, rather than being influential, is a perfect illustration of that. Thank you for your clarity and insight.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Charlie’s the superstar of the superstars. You’re right about what you say. Generosity without expectation is a very important detail.

      • Marilyn Carpenter

        Andrea – I’m with B2B Sales Leaders (middle market) in my work who get that their sellers need to become trusted, givers, and influencers – from the sellers they are today. It doesn’t happen overnight but when you get infused with helpful, authentic people like Chris – it helps to get there. I talk about money right off the bat with sales people and so I was riveted with one of the first posts I received from Chris – he was talking and thinking about money. It’s was kind of raw and so honest – my bonding time with Chris was nano. Big fan – thanks Chris.

      • Marilyn Carpenter

        Andrea – I’m with B2B Sales Leaders (middle market) in my work who get that their sellers need to become trusted, givers, and influencers – from the sellers they are today. It doesn’t happen overnight but when you get infused with helpful, authentic people like Chris – it helps to get there. I talk about money right off the bat with sales people and so I was riveted with one of the first posts I received from Chris – he was talking and thinking about money. It’s was kind of raw and so honest – my bonding time with Chris was nano. Big fan – thanks Chris.

  • Pingback: Tom Peters, the Chihuahua Story, and the Effect of Your Influence | Liz Strauss at Successful Blog

  • http://www.successful-blog.com Liz Strauss

    I’m with you, Chris, it’s the people and the relationships that determine our influence not some tool. That we live the beliefs and behaviors we want to inspire is possibly the most influential thing we can do. Thank you for this one.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Little bloggers grow up, I heard from a brilliant woman. : )

  • Anonymous

    It took me a long time to learn that filmmaking at its base is actually a service that I’m providing for someone else, and it’s always good to have a lesson like that reenforced sometimes.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Quite true, sir. It’s interesting, isn’t it? It *seems* like it should be your thing, but we’re always in support.

      • Anonymous

        That’s why I abhor the possessory credit, and never take it myself,
        actually…

        Well, I did once or twice, but only when I did everything :)

        • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

          There’s practically an entire book in that whole world, the word that happens after the last snip of film scrolls by. Isn’t there?

      • Anonymous

        That’s why I abhor the possessory credit, and never take it myself,
        actually…

        Well, I did once or twice, but only when I did everything :)

  • http://twitter.com/Mark_Harai Mark Harai

    I love how you think Chris… nice guys do finish first – you are proof of that – and I can’t think of a better way to create wealth for your family than serving and helping others. Definitely a rewarding and fulfilling purpose to live for – Cheers to you bro : )

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Sometimes, Mark. It takes some time, that’s for sure.

  • http://twitter.com/techcommdood Bill Swallow

    I never liked the term “influence” for this type of metric munging. You do build influence through connections (real world talk, not in a Klout way) but it’s about the quality of your interactions, built on trust. Influence is not a numbers game.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Agreed, Bill. It’s a strange thing, that word. Or so we both agree already.

    • Marilyn Carpenter

      I like Trusted Influencer –

  • Christina Pappas

    Like it or not there are ‘influencers’ and Chris, you are one of them. Your ideas, point of view and ‘thumbs up’ on products, services and even people means something to us. But its not because I checked your Klout score after you recommended something to me. Its because I Trust you based on all the goodness you have shared in the past. I am trying some new tactics like sharing resources without the iron-gate form in front and writing blog posts based on things I have tried and worked and simply answering questions I hear from customers.

    Was watching Miracle of 34th Street this weekend and couldn’t help thinking about Santa referring people to other stores other than Macy’s. Amazing marketing tactic from a Christmas movie made in the 1940s. Their sales (in the movie anyways) went up because they were seen as the store that helped people.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      It’s strange, eh? I’m just not a giant fan of thinking of myself as an influencer. I get that it happens, but I think that YOU are an influencer, too. You do a lot to connect people together, a lot to share people’s perspectives, and you help others find you.

      I’m a big fan of referring people to solutions that work. Maybe I’m Santa. I’m growing the beard. : )

  • http://twitter.com/richardT3o Richard Teo

    Thanks Chris for the great post :) Don’t really find that klout actually helps with the “influence” part haha :P

  • http://Cate.TV/ Cate.TV

    Great post Chris!!

    When I see the metrics of REACH ….. I know that it doesn’t measure the three most characteristics that I “look for” in regards to Influence …. to me true REACH = have you gained my RESPECT – even if I haven’t met you in person know that I see how you treat others on line …. I’m watching …. and do you – REACH BACK (promote) to others … if not …. you’ve only reached your limit!!! RANDOM FOLLOW …. to someone(s) you’ve never met and to whom no one has recommended to you to follow…. Practice Random Acts of Following – Be Respectful, Be limitless, Be Random ……

    My 3 R’s of Influence

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Exactly, Cate. Those are good metrics. : )

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Exactly, Cate. Those are good metrics. : )

  • http://www.blog.chrisehyoung.com/ Chris Eh Young

    Online or off, it’s never a bad idea to be helpful. Even if you never become influential to many, you’ll sleep every night with a clean conscience.

    Thanks for all your help and influence.

  • http://mydarabell.com/ Dara Bell

    Your right about influence. It does seem to the holy grail of business terms. I mentioned it in a blog post and it got more views. Is it magic word. Well thanbks for breaking it down here. I always like Cate Tv’s take too. To me reaching our and helping must be factored into influence.I am calling it Brand Altruism, being human and caring for living.

    Its kind of how I operate as I human around my city. I have had some trouble keeping to it this year but it is my intention to behave like this offline and on. I have established companies on this principle and will in the future. I would say I feel like Christina Pappas. Funny how you get ideas from the oddest places, me its often old adverts. Like the Olgivy Guniness ads.

    I think people like David Olgivy when he left Edinburgh for London all those years ago knew soething of influence. Olgivy (before New York) understood he had to reach ordinary Londoners when flyering for a local hotel. His direct approach influenced people. They knew they would get a friendly welcome at the hotel. The hotel was a success. It filled its guest room through familarity, humaneness and association. It ultimately allowed David to get to New York and set up Olgivy.

    Thanks for this post

    Dara

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I think you have it right, Dara. And you’ve also pointed out one of the people I admire a lot in this crazy business. Ogilvy had it right all that time ago.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I think you have it right, Dara. And you’ve also pointed out one of the people I admire a lot in this crazy business. Ogilvy had it right all that time ago.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I think you have it right, Dara. And you’ve also pointed out one of the people I admire a lot in this crazy business. Ogilvy had it right all that time ago.

  • http://matthewm.org Matt Medeiros

    Gaining the influence/followers/communities is the hardest thing about all this. Looking for the big break is something most of us work on daily.

    I’m not aimed at “making money with my blog” like a lot of people are. I am interested in helping others and possibly connecting them with my studio.

    One way I’m trying to do this is launching a new initiative I dub 2 Weeks 2 Learn. Where I consult small business owners for 2 weeks behind closed doors. Helping them with all their new media efforts and with any other questions they may have. When we come out and the snmoke clears – I hope to have a great story to tell and 2 new business owners that feel motivated to help others.

    And that’s what it’s all about – helping others.

  • http://matthewm.org Matt Medeiros

    Gaining the influence/followers/communities is the hardest thing about all this. Looking for the big break is something most of us work on daily.

    I’m not aimed at “making money with my blog” like a lot of people are. I am interested in helping others and possibly connecting them with my studio.

    One way I’m trying to do this is launching a new initiative I dub 2 Weeks 2 Learn. Where I consult small business owners for 2 weeks behind closed doors. Helping them with all their new media efforts and with any other questions they may have. When we come out and the snmoke clears – I hope to have a great story to tell and 2 new business owners that feel motivated to help others.

    And that’s what it’s all about – helping others.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Now that’s interesting. How do you think people crack that nut? How could you get the attention of the status quo? How will you move them over to your way of thinking? Hmmm. Might have to try this out myself.

      • http://matthewm.org Matt Medeiros

        As far as the status quo – well, you’re one of them!

        I try my hardest by commenting on professional blogs like these. I try to get your attention by sharing other points of view on your takes or write blog articles in re: to your topics.

        I try to be as real time as possible so that folks watching your data stream potentially sneak a peek at me. Again, I don’t do this by squatting on replicating your property – but by delving deeper in how it affects me or how I may wield the proverbial sword.

        Digital schmoozing is as much as I can do to hopefully get a pro like you to pay me a RT or link trackback. More recently, getting myself published on other blog posts by staying persistent as I possibly can.

        Commitment could sum it up as well.

        As for the 2 Weeks 2 Learn concept – Hell, I’d love to bounce ideas off of you or see what you come up with if you try it. I’ll drive to Boston, I’m 45min away :)

      • http://matthewm.org Matt Medeiros

        here’s another random tip. I DM’d David Meerman Scott today on an article I just wrote. He kindly tweeted it out.

        That kind of attention really helps and is super appreciated.

  • http://imageperceptions.com Ted Vieira

    I’ve always appreciated that being helpful is a marketable position. It’s what comes to many people naturally. Thank you, Chris, for constantly showing how people can use being helpful to develop their own brands (for lack of better word).

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Interesting way to put it, Ted. I guess I never thought if it as marketing my helpfulness, but you’re right.

  • http://ajleon.me ajleon

    It’s funny how “influence” or “influencer” has become a moniker with little to no meaning. I’m with you, Chris. There is a definitely a correlation between helpfulness and influence. Sometimes, Klout feels like the voting system for homecoming court in high school. :)

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      You’re more influential than lots of people I know. I’m just trying to catch up. : )

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      You’re more influential than lots of people I know. I’m just trying to catch up. : )

  • Anonymous

    I like what you said about being helpful. That comes naturally to me – helping others out and building them up. I like that I don’t have to push myself out in front to become an influencer.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Then you’ve got a great chance on that one, eh? : )

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Then you’ve got a great chance on that one, eh? : )

  • Susan

    Great post, Chris. Love how you do actually influence people by being you and helping others.

  • http://www.designdamage.com/blog Eric Tsai

    You’re exactly right Chris, people care more about themselves and you know what? It always comes back to being helpful and creating a sense of trust. Influence is just a way of saying I will give you my attention because I know you know something that may help me.

    I wonder if Honda got the “being helpful” idea from you :)

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      True that, Eric, about the other way of thinking about influence.

      I think Honda and Toyota have given the world a lot. : )

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      True that, Eric, about the other way of thinking about influence.

      I think Honda and Toyota have given the world a lot. : )

  • http://www.skypulsemedia.com/ Howie at Sky Pulse Media

    Funny I just blogged today how Klout is so completely wrong in most cases. This is a nice thoughtful post.

    The most critical issues is what is your goal? To push a message around? To get a sale? To get something seen? And since there is no way for these influence raters to know who you are, and with Twitter only being used by 6m-10million in the US each day and only 25m a month (uniques per Compete and flat for a whole year!) you are missing a ton of insight. Why is my Klout with my teeny network 50% higher than Suzy Welch, author and wife to Jack Welch who has 1.2 mil followers? Doesn’t make sense.

    BTW I want to state. I like the Klout people. Seriously. If anyone is to achieve this I hope its them. But I will be a detractor until they get it right. The best improvement was real time updating. But seriously Chris your Klout score should be about 50x higher than mine vs just 19points. Why is that? You have more comments here than I get total readers of my small blog each day. You have 150,000 more Twitter connections than me!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Influence can certainly be a lot of different words without meaning much, right? You’re not wrong, Howie. But then again, your influence in SOME places is way higher than mine, right? Twitter isn’t the only place.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Influence can certainly be a lot of different words without meaning much, right? You’re not wrong, Howie. But then again, your influence in SOME places is way higher than mine, right? Twitter isn’t the only place.

  • http://www.skypulsemedia.com/ Howie at Sky Pulse Media

    Funny I just blogged today how Klout is so completely wrong in most cases. This is a nice thoughtful post.

    The most critical issues is what is your goal? To push a message around? To get a sale? To get something seen? And since there is no way for these influence raters to know who you are, and with Twitter only being used by 6m-10million in the US each day and only 25m a month (uniques per Compete and flat for a whole year!) you are missing a ton of insight. Why is my Klout with my teeny network 50% higher than Suzy Welch, author and wife to Jack Welch who has 1.2 mil followers? Doesn’t make sense.

    BTW I want to state. I like the Klout people. Seriously. If anyone is to achieve this I hope its them. But I will be a detractor until they get it right. The best improvement was real time updating. But seriously Chris your Klout score should be about 50x higher than mine vs just 19points. Why is that? You have more comments here than I get total readers of my small blog each day. You have 150,000 more Twitter connections than me!

  • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

    Excellent article Chris! Good words for the social soul. If we focus on giving first and how we can help our audience achieve their objectives then by default we should be somewhat influential. The focus should not be on the scores but the value we offer our audiences. Inspire – Connect – Achieve is my belief.

    Thanks for always inspiring me to be better, do better and give more!

    Have a Happy Holiday!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Always happy to share, Pam. Thanks for your ideas. I like your three word mantra there. : )

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Always happy to share, Pam. Thanks for your ideas. I like your three word mantra there. : )

  • http://HeidiCohen.com Heidi Cohen

    Chris–I agree with your insights as well of those in some of the other comments. Influence as a metric can be difficult to assess. A person can be an expert, go-to person in a small niche that’s not interacting on social media.

    Klout as an assessment of social media standing overlooks non-Twitter and Facebook connections. It doesn’t include LinkedIn or other online media.For example President Obama has a lower Klout score than Justin Bieber, the only person who has 100 Klout! Yet no one would think that Justin Bieber was more powerful than the President of the US.

    Thank you for sharing,
    Happy marketing,
    Heidi Cohen

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Right. You’ve got a point about the other social networks not being counted. I’ve got 12K people on LinkedIn and lots of them are high up in their companies. I think that’s a lot more Klout than, say, a few Farmville friends.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Right. You’ve got a point about the other social networks not being counted. I’ve got 12K people on LinkedIn and lots of them are high up in their companies. I think that’s a lot more Klout than, say, a few Farmville friends.