Tag Archives: influence

Are You Restricting Your Influence?

I know you didn’t think I was done talking about influence, did you?


kevin hides by insunlight

Last week, Kristi retweeted an article someone else put together titled The 100 Most Powerful Women On Twitter. It was an interesting list for two reasons. One, I knew very few of the names on the list. Two, it was amazing seeing the high number of followers some of those people had that weren’t celebrities. The woman at #1 is super young, though super cute I must admit, and a singer whose music I’d never heard.

The list was compiled using Twitter Grader, which I’d written about back in September 2008. I hadn’t been to that site for awhile, so I decided to go over and check my rating. Out of 100, it says my rating is 99.3; I love that figure, and I decided to pop the badge onto the blog, which you can see there to the right just above the bird. However, it also said that out of around 7.6 million people, I rank around 49,500.

I thought about it a little bit, and then I realized that I have gone to some lengths to limit my opportunities for growth without realizing it. And I don’t just mean Twitter. But let’s start with Twitter.

I’m very strict with who I follow on Twitter. I’ve talked about some people who are twitter selfish, which irks the heck out of me. I’ve talked about people who only work on grabbing more twitter followers as if it’s only supposed to be a number’s game. And I talked about why I don’t follow some twitter folks. And I asked if people were being social with social media.

But I also talked about having a twitter marketing plan. One thing I never talked about in that post was how you might have to lower your standards a little bit to gain more followers without compromising all of your standards. For instance, something I could do is to start following more people with bonafides that aren’t quite as social as I like people to be because many of those folks retweet stuff they see, and maybe those folks would see some things I write and retweet them to their audiences. That would alter one of my standards, but it would be better than my going out and just following everyone I see, hoping they’ll follow me.

That sounds like an odd strategy, but I know it’s a working strategy a lot of people have, following someone with a lot of followers to hopefully get into their stream of consciousness. Frankly that seems like pandering to me, but people have done much worse to get noticed.

Then I thought about Facebook. With all the changes they’ve made, and my deciding I wanted to protect more of my privacy, I have my account set up so that if you’re not connected to someone who I’m connected with you can’t find me on Facebook. I don’t know too many people who’ve done that. Somehow, I still have almost 475 friends, but I don’t get those random former friends from my past finding me anymore; I’m not sure that’s a good thing, but I’m also not sure it’s a bad thing. Sure, there are some people who have more than 5,000 friends (it seems Facebook is always changing its rules on how many “friends” one is allowed to have), and I have a feeling I could have way more friends, but at what cost to some of my privacy, though we’ve talked here about there really being no privacy anymore?

Can you have influence online if you’re not Seth Godin and don’t make yourself more accessible? I think you can, but it takes a bit more work in other ways. You have to reach out to people you know in different ways. You have to find a way to have people thinking of you as an authority in some fashion. And you have to be as engaging as you can be and be ready to take advantage of opportunities when they come your way.

Hey, no one ever said working on being influential was easy!

Advantus Decorative Vision Motivational Poster

Advantus Decorative Vision Motivational Poster






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What Message Are You Trying To Project?

A strange thing happened to my wife and I last Saturday.

Some Saturday mornings, we decide to go to what’s known as the Regional Market of Central New York. People from all over central New York sell all sorts of things there like fruits and vegetables, candies and cakes, candles and perfumes, fish, clothes, foods, etc. My wife goes almost every Saturday. I’m kind of a part time guy; I invariably have a good time (when it’s warm weather), but you have to go early if you want to be close to everything, otherwise you could have a long walk coming.

This Saturday was going along like any other. I was saying hello to babies, being my naturally friendly self, while my wife was looking at produce that she and a friend were going to share later. This particular week there happened to be a Christian group booth in the middle of one of the display areas, and as we got there I got distracted by some honey roasted cashews on a table to my right. I’m not sure what my wife was doing, as she was slightly behind me, but I heard the man ask her if she would take a flyer he wanted to give her. She politely said no, and his response was “are you ready to die?”

Because I knew she wasn’t in danger I didn’t turn around, but kind of out loud I said “I’m thinking that’s not the best sales pitch I’ve ever heard.” The women in front of me heard it and laughed, and one of them turned around and gave me a high five. I accepted it, but I was thinking “what the heck was that all about?”

In the next display area we came to, a man was smiling and holding out his flyers. This time I said no thanks and walked on, but my wife decided to take his flyer. On the front was what you see in the image: Muslims for Peace. Later on, while sitting in the car while my wife went into a new hair salon to ask some questions, I pulled the flyer out and read through it, and found it somewhat illuminating.

No, I’m not about to go out and become a Muslim. However, I have to say that the two messages my wife and I got literally within minutes of each other were drastically striking and contrary. If my only experience ever with both Christianity and Islam had been these two men, you know which way my support would have gone. The way information was presented was way different, and even though I understand the message the Christian man wanted to convey to my wife, in a public forum with lots of other people around and one chance to make a good impression, he uttered a statement that could have been taken as a threat, but was definitely taken as one of strange intolerance for someone else’s position, all from deciding she didn’t want a flyer.

Lately here I’ve been talking about influence and social media marketing, but in the past on my other blog I’ve talked about consequences and perception. Giving people a reason to dislike you more because you said something wrong rather than stating an opinion someone else may or may not like is almost never worth it if you really care about getting business, making friends, etc. I’ve talked a lot about how social media can be your friend, but sometimes it can also hurt your online and offline business if your timing is bad and your words not quite correct. Of course, as I’ve always said, if you’re ready to deal with the consequences you can say anything you want.

Of course, I have no religion or faith, so I’m not going to be changing to anything any time soon. Still, if I were at Hogwarts I’d probably have given 50 points to some house and taken 50 points away from another. I wonder who ended up scoring better on the day once my wife and I left last Saturday.

Love Couture Love Peace Sequin Tunic






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Facebook Like Button For WordPress

In my continuing quest to work on spreading my influence, I figured I may as well add another thing to help figure out just what kind of influence I have, at least through this blog.

Back in June, before really thinking much about this project, I added Topsy, which allows people to retweet my blog posts if they like them without having to sign up for a service like TweetMeMe. This time I’ve installed the plugin called fbLikeButton. You have to put it in just like that, because there are a lot of plugins for the like button for Facebook. However, this one was the highest rated by people who have tried others, and I know why. It was the only one that didn’t require me to go to Facebook and set up a script to use it.

You’ll notice at the end of the post that the “like” button shows up just under my copyright notice. You have the choice of having it at the top or bottom or in both places, but I chose the bottom because it interfered with my “listen” button, and I figured having it at the end of the post make it easier for anyone who liked it and didn’t want to go back to the top. Of course, it would be nice if my Topsy allowed me to do that as well, but I think I like it just the same. You can also make it wider or thicker, so to speak, and you can select “recommend” instead of “like”; I stuck with the regular one. And if people click on it, their names and image will show at the end of your post as well; you get to determine if you want faces to show, and I decided to go that route for now.

What the like button does… heck, let’s just show what Facebook says it does:

When the user clicks the Like button on your site, a story appears in the user’s friends’ News Feed with a link back to your website.”

And there you are. I hope you “like” this post.
 

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Blog Ranking Systems; Do They Mean Anything?

Suffice it to say, I’ve been writing a lot lately about influence, especially influence online. In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that there are ways of tracking how one’s blog is working online. Now that I think about it, I’m not so sure that most of these are all that effective.

I’m not sure if y’all remember my post talking about Technorati’s new ranking system some time ago. Before they made the change, you knew that if you could get your blog into the top 100,000 that you were doing pretty well. Then they changed it and, at least for me, it became impossible to know what was good. However, at the time they made the change, this blog was ranked at 491, and since the high was 993, I figured I was at least in the top half. It’s been awhile since I took a look at Technorati, and where am I now? I’m at 128; what the hey?

I don’t know how Technorati works, but I can’t believe this blog has fallen in influence that far. A look at my Analytics stats says my traffic has drastically increased over the last six months, and my ranking fell? My Alexa rank has improved and my ranking fell? Now, comments have stayed the same, but do comments actually drive Technorati that much?

It’s reminded me of other blog ranking systems that at one time or another I’ve belonged to, including Sire’s Cool Blog Links, where out of not so many sites I’m ranked down in 6th place. What’s even weirder is that his blog is ranked 10th on that site, and his Alexa ranking is 30,000 points better than mine. Strange, right?

There have been other blog ranking sites that I’ve joined and unjoined over the years, mainly because the rankings seemed, well, arbitrary. On one I was in the top 50 out of 250 while in another I was sitting around 315 out of 400, and one other I was around 275 out of 500. What did any of them mean? I didn’t have a clue.

There’s also always the question as to whether the measure of a blog is the amount of comments it gets. I even debated another blogger through my blog when he stated he believed that people’s content stank if they weren’t getting a lot of comments. I love comments, as I feel it means I’ve connected with someone on a particular post, but Seth Godin gets people quoting him all the time and he doesn’t even allow comments; I’m thinking that’s proof that comments aren’t a measure of influence at all.

I believe blog ranking systems are fairly arbitrary in what they mean to bloggers in general. If there was one standard that all the systems agreed with, then it might mean something. I get locked into Alexa because it’s not a blog ranking, but a website ranking, and at least it gives you a real tool of comparison to use. Don’t get caught up in blog ranking systems as a true measure; use them for entertainment purposes only, and you won’t get caught up trying to rank for things you can’t control.

Iron Man 2 (Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy)








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Using Social Media To Grow Your Influence

I have a nice little series going on here concerning the topic of influence. I started out asking how influential we were online, and followed that up with what is influence and how can we use it. It’s time to go in a slightly different direction, that being how to grow influence, and since I’m trying to turn myself into the social media marketing guy, I’m going to use that as my premise for how I could possibly grow my influence. By the way, part of using social media marketing is also to grow your local influence, so I’m going to be considering that as well. I’ve been assuming this is all a part of marketing and branding myself at the same time; I hope you’re thinking along the same lines.

Before I go any further, I have to give credit where credit is due. Though I’ve been thinking about the subject for awhile, it never really hit my mind to start writing about it until this young lady named Mandee Widrick kind of started making it her business to grow her influence. Oddly enough, she’s trying to become what I’m trying to become, but I don’t see it as a sense of competition, hence I’m not afraid to talk about her. Anyway, she wrote a blog post titled Fast Company’s Influence Project, where a site is doing a project trying to help people figure out just how influential they are. You sign up, get a link, then you send your link out, trying to get people to click on it so that you can find out just how influential you are. I thought about it for a brief minute, then my mind said it was a lot like the Alexa Toolbar used to be considered, only I’d have to work at it. And I figured if I was going to work on something I’d rather work on my own stuff. Still, her site is good reading; so says I.

Back to the subject at hand; just how am I going to use social media to grow my influence? This time I’m going to start with talking about Facebook. Last Friday my business page finally hit 100 members, and I’m proud of that fact. I want it to continue growing, but I really worked on promoting that bad boy on Twitter and on Facebook itself. I’ve talked about it here, but not on my other blog, and I’ve totally forgotten to mention it on LinkedIn, so that’s coming as well. I’m going to begin using the fact that I’m up to 100 members as a promotional tool to get even more folks to join. Of course, I need to keep updating it with my information, which is mainly my blog postings, but I also need to occasionally pop something in there that touches upon a topic I discuss for business, which I try to do.

Next, I’m going to use this blog. Remember last week I said this blog was linked to around 14,000 other sites? Well, when I was going through that list a bit I saw I was on sites I knew nothing about. So I’m going to check those sites out, and if there’s a possibility to do so, I’m going to post a comment on those posts, and I’m going to then link some of them here so folks can see that I’m elsewhere in the blogosphere. I just hope they’re not scraped sites. lol Overall, however, I believe the mix of both business and personal topics has worked well with this blog.

I’ve already started a Twitter strategy, and I’m going to keep it going. This blog has a lot of topics on things such as SEO, blogging, and writing, some of them a couple of years old, and people have missed them. So, I’m going back, looking at them, and the better ones I’m popping on Twitter every once in a while. I’m doing the same thing for my business blog. I figure I have nearly 15,000 links between the two blogs, so why not use them? I’ve also popped an occasional oldie but goodie from my business blog onto my Facebook page; I just remembered that. And I’m posting links to articles I’ve written on other sites as well to Twitter; trying to show I’m a well rounded guy.

Here’s the thing about Twitter, if I may. It’s my best chance for growing my influence with the local people, who really don’t know what I’m all about. I talk to more of them all the time, and if in some fashion I can get them talking about me more, and not just because of the potential Syracuse wiki project, it can only turn out good.

As for LinkedIn, well, the best I can do is keep doing what I’ve been doing, which is going in every 3 or 4 days and posting something, anything to keep it live, and now I can post the thing about my Facebook business page; whew! And I’ve been trying to be a bit more active in some of the LinkedIn groups, which can be difficult because often there’s really nothing I’m in the mood to comment on. But it has to get done, as I work on this influence campaign.

Oh, there’s one final piece. One thing I haven’t really done is create a business profile of sorts. I have a bio page on my main site, and an about page on my second business site, but I need something a bit more business professional and direct that I can either print up or send as a pdf to potential clients. I need to work on that, with an image, and get that going, hoping to circumvent calls for a CV for interim projects. I hate producing a CV; I’m an incorporated business person after all, with a business license. But in this case we do what we have to do. But I’m not going to give up my humanity either; no, that’s not my daughter. 🙂

Have I covered everything? Probably not, but it’s a process that I’m going to begin. And though it’s going to be ongoing, I’m going to see if I can figure out a way to track progress over the next two months. This could be a great case study and could turn into a seminar of some type; let’s see what happens.

The Superman Syndrome — The Magic of Myth in the Pursuit of Power: The Positive Mental Moxie of Myth for Personal Growth








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