Is Importance the same as Influence.

Stepping away from Gamification just for a week, whilst is search around for inspiration (suggestions in an email please), I want to quickly talk about something else that fascinates me – influence. More specifically, digital influence. After a great “putting the world to rights” session with friend and Gamification whizz Scott Sinclair (@sinclair300584), I had to come away and write about this.

I wrote about this a while back, talking about Klout and the like. However, this time my angle is a little different.

If you are important in your company, say a CEO, does that mean you automatically have digital influence? If you were to start tweeting, would you automagically have a gabillion followers?

Of course not, but that seems to be the way some people want it to work. They still think they can apply company hierarchy to the digital world.

Digital influence takes time. But that should not be a surprise. Becoming the CEO of a big company takes time. Lots of it in fact.

The thing is, the digital world is a new world. It is a world where the likes of me can have a voice in a way that our day to day jobs don’t allow. In the digital world, we have the influence. Why? Because we understand Social Media. We understand that the key word is Social. Force your CEO to tweet about something and you may as well get him to stand in an empty forest and shout about it. The concept of “Build it and they shall come” just doesn’t work.

Give it to someone who already has an engaged audience and to whom it has some relevance and instantly thousands of people could know about it. Then all their followers know about it and so on.

That said, followers are not the only thing. You can buy them. You need engaged people in your network. I’ve said it before. Give me 10 engaged people over 100 followers any day.

If you want to start to build digital influence you need to follow some really simple rules.

1. Stop trying to be influential.
2. Produce content that is original and interests you.
3. Share things you find interesting.
4. Talk to people who share your interests.
5. Be authentic.
6. Don’t just broadcast.
7. For gods sake don’t stalk people you think will make you seem more influential.

That last two are really important. Finding people that are already influential, who you have nothing in common with and trying to strike up false conversations, is just going to make you look bad. Authenticity is essential. Faking your way to the top is easy, staying there is almost impossible in the digital world. It just takes one question that you can’t answer to topple you.

Now I not saying that these ideas will make you influential, but they will certainly help make the process more enjoyable.

I’ve been finding the journey amazing and have made some great friends and contacts along the way.

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4 thoughts on “Is Importance the same as Influence.”

  1. Thanks for sharing this post from the archives. I’m just starting out on finding my way through this digital social landscape and what you said really rings true.
    I still come across ‘big shot’ people, who think the way into social media is to have their PAs write their tweets for them.

    Being and finding your authentic self online isn’t always the easiest thing, but outsourcing a fake one just seems even more pointless.


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