Everyone’s an Influencer

influencerIt’s tempting to look at the A-list bloggers, the uber-Twitter users, the people with massive followings, and say, “That’s an influencer!

True – as far as it goes. But what do we say about everyone else?

The same thing.

Yes, someone with a big network and large reach has outsized potential influence because of the audience size. But the person just getting started on Twitter may be a friend of the CEO of the company you will be working at next. That blogger with a relatively modest following may have a cousin who will be President of the United States in 12 years.

And that’s one of the wonderful “soft” returns on Networked Communications. There is serendipity involved. Unpredictable and unanticipated connections happen.

Example: someone who had recently connected with me on Twitter, and with whom I had had little or no direct contact, knew that I was involved in pharma, and when someone from a biotech company approached her with a need, she thought of me and made the connection. Which resulted in a consulting engagement. She was an influencer, even with the most tenuous of connections. And, as regularly happens, we’re now in more regular contact.

Everyone’s an influencer. Including you.

But wait, there’s more…!

As I sit here early on this Friday morning, I look forward to a lunchtime tweetup with some of my networking partners-in-crime here in the North Jersey area. This is our fourth monthly meeting, an event that just started because someone (I think Aimee Evans) said, “We should all meet up!” So we did. And now, as I look forward to a backyard cookout and hangout time with these folks, I don’t really think of them so much as “influencers” any more. They’re colleagues, interesting professionals, moving along the continuum from avatars to initial acquaintances to budding friends. Yes, we may well be able to bring influence to bear to help each other in coming days…I would expect so. But there will be bright eyes, warm hugs, and encouraging words. There will be stories told and laughter shared. And that’s plenty good enough influence no matter what anybody’s network “reach” may be. (Update: picture of the NJ gang below)

NJ tweetup

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(Image credit)

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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

6 Responses to Everyone’s an Influencer

  1. What a lovely way to put these marvelous on/off line relationships into perspective. That’s the magic of this social networking stuff. You connect in a meaningful way with truly marvelous people.

    Thanks, Steve.

  2. Thanks for this, Steve. Sometimes these smaller “influencers” turn out to become your biggest fans because they can more actively manage their social networking relationships. I definitely suggest connecting up in the offline world to further online relationships. Makes all the difference.

    You rock as always, Steve!

  3. This is a great way to sum up many of the wonderful returns we get from our investment in social networking. Many of my best connections via these vehicles are with people who don’t necessarily have the biggest personal brands or largest following. But they get me and I get them – and while it may start with a smile from one of their updates one day, it often leads to collaboration and friendship. It is a rich reward indeed.

    Great post!

  4. What a nice and thoughtful post! I agree with you. Influence in social media is about generosity and willingness to move things towards common goals.

    As today with the #followpharma experience, I am often overwhelmed by the time and energy people I met online spend on helping me out, adding to my thinking and collaborating with me.

    I am not saying this is a perfect selfless world. Let’s face it, we all must have strong egos to put ourselves out there (on our blogs, on twitter etc). Yet, there is a common spirit that makes people share when “offline“ they might retain and collaborate without being afraid of losing control.

    Explaining this to pharmacos and helping them create these relationships with their online communities is going to be the challenge in bringing social media to life for them…

  5. Mark says:

    great post!

  6. I agree 100% I have found our best referrals come from clients with a small loyal but following. They tend to be more real and not the follow the band wagon type.

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