The Power of Intrinsic ‘Influencers’

Posts by Anthony

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…

Eric Enge

Casey Henry

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:

Chris Winfield

@content_muse I like how you find good quotes from the stuff you tweet :)

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

Don Rhoades  Don Rhoades ‏@TheGonzoSEO

How to Be Socially Ironic Online … via @content_muse // +1000 for use of JJJ

But then, Julie Joyce, who I think is one of the best link builders and SEOchicks (their term, not mine  :p) this side of the galaxy, offered some banter of her own.

JulieJoyce  JulieJoyce@JulieJoyce

@content_muse @TheGonzoSEO some Sex Pistols or Clash would work, not that I’m trying to boss anyone around…

I, who’s one never to shy from witty banter, offered a jocose (or so I thought) response.

Anthony Pensabene  @JulieJoyce @TheGonzoSEO haha like ‘Writen Posts the Rotten Way’ … that would be an interesting piece..

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…”

Again, this was an occasion warranting the ‘happy dance’ of Balki and Cousin Larry or the ‘Carlton.’

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

14 thoughts on “The Power of Intrinsic ‘Influencers’

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Chris! do get some of your great hair tips from me.. :) Thanks for all, dude.

    1. Thanks, Julie! It was a coming-of-age experience for a young content muse to accept Balki was really Bronson Pinchot.. #putmebackinthematrix :)

  1. I remember when someone prominent in the SEO industry replied to one of my tweets. I was more giddy than a freshman being asked to senior prom. Great read and extra points for adding a picture of Carlton to your post! I hope all influencers take this post to heart.

    1. Thanks for the read and comments, Richard. I like your ending “to heart.” Not to come across as too kumbaya-ish, but it’s the inner electricity that those we respect inspire; that really makes an inner influence. It lights you up inside and makes you strive to be better because the value of encouragement and support transcends short-term ‘wins.’ When you can inspire rather than just physically do…that’s true power.

  2. This is a really great post- influencers have a lot of power to intrinsically motivate those that look up to them and value them without realizing it. When someone who is a leader/mentor/motivator/teacher to you takes the time to show that you’re important to them and they respect you, it’s one of those things that stands out in your mind and gives you a huge burst of happiness and purpose.

    Great read for the morning. Thanks! :)

    1. Great thoughts, Selena. It really is the ‘little’ things as you stated “that stand out in your mind.” I used to learn jiu-jitsu from one of the greatest guys on the planet. I can’t remember the days I was promoted so much or got another belt; but, I’ll never forget this.. I moved away from Jersey to live in Florida. About a month in, my teacher emailed me, he “wanted to know everything was well and I was happy; and, he missed me as a student..” That I’ll never forget.

      1. I can only imagine how happy that email made you feel. :)

        The extrinsic (promotions/belts) are definitely just added value to what you take away from that type of mentorship. I took Tae Kwon Do for years (I’m a black belt) and I never think back about how hard practice was, or how grueling the belt tests and competitions ended up being- I just remember the motivation that my instructor would instill in me every time I had practice, and the sense of peace and purpose I would take away from it.

        That’s one of my favorite types of influencers- the one that takes the time to truly be a mentor as well. It creates a strong bond that can’t be replicated.

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