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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Why I Follow…Jay Ehret

jay ehretHe’s bald. He’s smart. He’s friendly. And he’s not afraid to take a stand and be a little provocative.

I like Jay Ehret (@themarketingguy on Twitter) because he’s for real. Or I should say, fer real, since he’s from Texas. But he’s made me an honorary Texan since I love BBQ, so that really makes him OK.

Jay is active on Twitter, not only sharing valuable links, but also interacting quite naturally. That’s the best combo in my book.

Jay’s blog is the The Marketing Spot, and it’s well worth your while to subscribe and read regularly. Because he’s not some flash in the pan newbie with social media stars in his eyes. He knows the landscape. And he’s a great fellow. Sorry – feller.

That makes Jay my #FollowFriday recommendation for today. That is all.

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Why I Follow…Chris Brogan

EVERYONE follows Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) on Twitter. Well, there is that one fisherman in Papua New Guinea…but everyone else has already found Chris and subscribed to his tweets/blogs, right?

But why? I can’t speak for everyone else, but I’ll give you two reasons why I do. First, he exemplifies what social networking is all about. His tweets are a great variety of news, resources, one-on-one conversation, and funny commentary. And I like 140-character humor, which is my second point. The guy is funny. Here’s a comment of his from this morning that almost had me snorting coffee:

“I believe if you get in the “expert” line at the TSA and you’re a doofus, that’s automatic grounds to be tazed.”

If you’re going to get started with social networking, I think one of the best things you can do is find examples. Learn by how others do it. And Chris is unmatched in that regard. Plus he’s a friendly guy in real life, which counts for a lot.

So, that’s my #FollowFriday recommendation for this week. Why do you follow Chris Brogan? Or, better yet, why do you follow someone else? Share on your blog and on Twitter…

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Why I Follow…CK (Christina Kerley)

ckbiopicMany of the people I follow closely on Twitter are folks that I actually “met” through blogging. This month marks my 3-year milestone of actively blogging, and one of those who has been been a supportive cheerleader from early on is my friend CK (@ckEpiphany). She is my #FollowFriday recommendation for today.

Many others involved in social networking can say the same things I do about CK. She’s been a tremendous encouragement to countless folks getting started with social media, and that’s just who she is. An encourager.

I’ve had the privilege of meeting CK in real-life and hanging out several times at blogger events/tweetups, and she is fabulous at bringing people together and connecting them. She’s also an energetic what-you-see-is-what-you-get New York City gal, which is a breath of fresh air.

If you don’t know CK yet, you’re about to be enriched. Her blog is here. Read her stuff and chat her up. She’s a gem!

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Why I Follow…Kirsten Wright

For today’s FollowFriday recommendation, I return to the West Coast to spotlight another person I’ve never met, but certainly exchanged plenty of messages with – Kirsten Wright (@kirstenwright).

Kirsten has recently ventured out on her own as a freelancer; you can find her at Wright Creativity. I had no trouble discerning many months ago that she has a strong entrepreneurial streak (though only in her 20’s), and I like to see the kind of initiative and creative thinking that Kirsten has consistently displayed in her blogging and other networking efforts.

Kirsten open shares and dialogues on-line, as I’m sure she does in person – perhaps one day I’ll find myself in Orange County and finally get to meet her. She also worked with me on the design of my Twitter background, all done remotely, and she showed herself to be very customer-focused in that endeavor.

If you want to have a friend who likes to write and make nice designs, follow Kirsten. She’s a keeper…

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Why I Follow…Craig DeLarge

Once again, we come to a Friday on Twitter, and once again, I abstain from making a de-contextualized (is that a word??) list of recommended followers in favor of simply putting the spotlight on one.

Today – fellow pharma social media guy Craig DeLarge (@cadelarge on Twitter).

Thus far, it is rare to find people within pharma companies who openly and transparently network on-line. In fact, I can count the ones I know on one hand. Craig is one of the first I met, and he has been networking quite generously for a long time.

His blog (WiseWorking) is full of interesting ruminations. He tweets as well, but he’s one of those folks whose on-line presence is strongest on Facebook. I kinda use Facebook. Craig knocks it out of the park.

But the best thing is meeting him. He’s a wonderful conversationalist, a smart guy, full of ideas, and very personable. He lives out loud on-line – sharing very openly – and he’s that way in real life too. I had dinner with Craig and another fellow this week and we could have gone on for hours. I’m better off knowing Craig, and I expect that you will be, too. [Oh...and yesterday was his birthday, Facebook tells me. A belated Happy Birthday as well!]

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Why I Follow…Paul Chaney

For today’s FollowFriday recommendation, I present the Social Media Handyman – Paul Chaney (@pchaney on Twitter).

Why? Because Paul embodies what social networking is all about. He’s helpful. He shares generously. He’s human. And he’s a lot of fun to talk to when his voice is about gone in a Texas hat shop!

Paul’s a regular guy. One of his recent tweets sums it up well: @HeyAmarettoLove the “I’m over 40 and ok with it” statement on your page. I’m over 50 and, well, sorta ok with it.

If you want to learn more about social media, and get lots of useful links and insights, follow Paul. He’s pretty handy with this stuff…

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