This video interview was recorded after my session at the Vocus User Group conference in June. About 100 people participated in the conversation on influence live, and they tell me more than 6,000 where in attendance for the free Vocus virtual conference last week.
There were really good questions at both events, and I am thankful that colleagues took the time off their busy schedules to attend.
As I said in the video, within the context of becoming attractive to customers, I think about influence in two kinds of ways:
- existing influence – people and communities that are already active in conversations about how your product helps them (not about the product, about their use, etc.). You can identify and may be able to enroll those groups on behalf of the brand. There is an elegant way of doing that: Help them do what they want to do.
- you're not sure if any exists — maybe no one is talking about you. In that case, the question becomes how you identify people who are passionate about something related to the problem your product or service solves, and help them build influence on your behalf.
The tools are helpful in giving you data points and leading indicators of what is latent in the network. You should *not* mistake the tools for the thing itself.
The thing itself is what you should focus on, so you can see what you have, how you can continue to have people that understand that, and you're not just trying to sell. Money is the least differentiated, the least tradeable asset. It's what you exchange instead of the asset that has value.