This is going to be a different-kinda post; but, I really wanted to express the message and showcase the dynamic of peer relations. You can find a lot of posts regarding influencers…
Rand Fishkin (post is on ‘going viral’ but influencers are a topic)
There are more posts out there; you’re welcome to share in the comments. Basically, the posts suggest you could leverage an influencer to gain better traction with your content. Of course, this makes sense. Would there be a difference in perception if I tweeted something or someone better known? I think so.
Honestly, I don’t like the concept. I think it’s a sound concept; but, I’d rather make connections (like with link building) because the relationship makes sense, not because I want something from someone. To me, there is a difference. It matters to me.
Do you know what also matters? It really makes a difference when an ‘influencer’ acts like one. Please, don’t assume I’m directing anyone to act in a certain manner. Be you; you’ll never hear me suggest differently. However, I used to be a teacher. I really respect the role and my ability to affect peoples’ external and internal lives.
The ‘influencer’ posts usually center on the extrinsic value of their relationship; however, I’m a man very interested in psychology and relations. I would like to discuss the internal value an influencer can bestow on a peer.
I would like to give two real examples:
Back in late February, Chris Winfield, wrote a great post on Moz, providing 92 ways to get and maximize press coverage. I really liked the post, having a past and interest in PR myself. I perused the comments as I always do with posts.
At a point, I noticed someone asked a question. I know sometimes authors don’t always get around to addressing all questions in comments (some people do an outstanding job – Dan Shure for one); so, I responded. The questioner was appreciative; but, what was so appreciated and an influence on me was Chris’ future comment under mine.
“I don’t have much to add to Anthony’s terrific response above…”
Wow! Wow! Chris Winfield observed my response and took notice of my PR acumen. I can’t even begin to find the words (and I’m a writer.) Sure, Chris didn’t award me the Pulitzer; but, small sentiments can make huge, influential impressions. Believe me. Moreover, afterward, Chris began following me on Twitter. (I was like, really? Are you sure you didn’t make a mistake? You know I’m just a…)
That’s not Chris’ attitude; he is ‘never too cool for school,’ and will offer a compliment when he sees something he likes:
I really don’t want to embarrass Chris or ‘flash around’ my online relationship with him. If he or other influencers are reading this, I want them to know you really have the power to positively influence others. That’s a very special gift. I hope you all notice; and, though like suggested above, I would never make suggestions or tell people how to behave, I do celebrate those who understand their positions as teachers and influencers (extrinsically and intrinsically).
About a week and a half ago, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post on being socially ironic. Don Rhoades, who you must follow and read, was exchanging Twitter banter with me regarding the post’s picture of J.J. Jameson
I, who’s one never to shy from witty banter, offered a jocose (or so I thought) response.
Julie said, now I “had to write it!” I’m sure she was pretty much kidding as well; but, I love writing. Additionally, if Julie Joyce, a peer I respect, gave me a window, me and my pen are gonna make that square opportunity into something (hopefully) hip. (Yeah, that was a Huey and the News ref.)
I was kinda busy last week; but, in the beginning of this one, I sat down and channeled my inner John Lydon for a ‘rotten post.’ I figured in the very least, Julie would think it was funny, as well as humorous that I took her up on her tweeted jesting.
I sent it over to Julie; and, this was a part of her response:
“I have to say that the post blew me away…seriously. VERY well written…”
I really can’t express what those sentiments mean to me and how much influence a peer’s words can have on another soul. Julie had mentioned she could probably post it on Friday; so, imagine my surprise when I popped on Twitter this morning to find people already tweeting the post! Fucking bloody awesome!! (Lydon’s words, not mine :) )
In conclusion, like I’ve been stating here, I would never ‘tell’ someone what to do; being someone who always thought the taste of authority was a bit bitter, I abstain from such notions. However, I’m a BIG people person and champion ‘the good’ in this world.
If you get anything from this, influencers, I ask you to please consider, whether you’re a Chris Winfield or a Charles Barkley, the value of intrinsic ‘influencing.’ Sometimes something as simple as a little tweet means the world to those who respect you.
A few years back, when I was on Facebook, some former students, now ‘adults,’ befriended their old geeky, sweater-vest wearing, argyle-sock rocking ‘teach.’ One girl, who I remembered to be particularly brilliant, artsy, and quiet, reminded me of a lunch-time conversation I had with her. Honestly, I don’t remember it verbatim; but I remember the personal topic. She told me (about four years later) she would never forget my kindness as long as she lived. Wow! Honestly, it made me tear to know I had such a positive influence on someone who looked up to me. That’s really special.
Thanks for reading – Anthony Pensabene