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What Makes an Influencer?

Influence is the subject of some of important conversations lately. Each time we surface questions, answers and new thinking that starts to reshape the landscape for how businesses view, define, and embrace influence.

The socialization has democratized content and equalized influence. As such, we are at the inception of an an era when everyday people are presented with an opportunity to earn authority, trust, and leadership based on their actions and words.

I’ve partnered with Vocus to take the conversation to you. As I believe that we all have a voice in the shaping and direction of any topic, it’s up to you to help us make sense of the future of influence.

Take the Poll

Everything starts with a simple poll that explores the definition and perception of influence. It takes only a few minutes to complete and your answers will be reviewed in a live Webinar mid-September and also published in a report to be published by Vocus soon after.

Click here to take the poll now and together we’ll learn what makes an influencer.

Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook
Please consider reading, Engage!: It will help you find answers to your questions…

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98 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “What Makes an Influencer?”

  1. Hi Brian, there is a bug on question 12 – when you rank #They will follow/fan/like you back it de-selects the rank made on #They are famous.

  2. Interesting poll Brian. Looking forward to the results.

  3. Pete says:

    I'm having same issue. Selection de-selects previous one in #12.

  4. I liked the questions of the survey.
    I'm not sure the results will be fully usable because one had to really pay attention to get it done correctly.
    A great initiative and great great questions. I'm still reading Engage just now. So much content in there, Brian, I'm amazed how you got all this content written and in such a detailed manner, it's an amazing piece of work 🙂
    William Debauchez
    CEO, InternetCoachingCircle

    • briansolis says:

      Thank you William…It's a tough subject, but important. Thank you for the kind words on Engage…it's rewarding to hear that kind of feedback! Makes it all worth it…

  5. danperez says:

    Why are we constantly searching for the true meaning of influence? Especially “online” influence? Now we even have “a simple poll that explores the definition and perception of influence”. That's exactly what it is: perception. Because to really track influence is impossible, yes?

    Some of our greatest leaders were influenced by a mother or father who never got past the fifth grade. These same leaders went on to affect hundreds and thousands of lives with their literature, music, words, and actions. Real influencers just “do”…and through their actions and works, others are influenced to achieve a greater good in their lives and in the lives of others – usually unbeknownst to the influencer.

    People looking for titles like “Influencer” are just looking to get the many sheep out there to believe that they actually are an “Influencer” (whatever that actually means). Once the people believe it, they begin to follow, like, and sign up for blogs/newsletters. And then guess what? They buy the book, yes?

    I've seen a young spoken word artist here in Miami get her friends and family to fly to Haiti (with their own money) and stay where there is no running water or electricity (for weeks at a time) helping her build an orphanage for young girls. You wanna talk real influence?

    “Influencers”, “Thought Leaders”, “Change Agents”…lions, tigers & bears, oh my! Nuff said.

    • Doug says:

      Yikes DanPerez …. couldn't agree more. Thanks for posting the same thoughts I have about this in a more articulate manner than I could have done. There's something slightly (or not so slightly) insidious about the motives embedded in all of this “social networking about social networking.”

      Doug Sprei

    • danperez says:

      Thanks, Doug. I'm not surprised I've not gotten a response from Mr. Solis. It's much easier to reply when everyone agrees with you, regardless of how unremarkable (and in this case idiotic) the content is.

    • Derick Wade says:

      I’m disappointed to scroll down this particular comments page and notice Brian’s response to positive comments or questions about the poll/survey, but no response at all to any of the legitimate critiques danperez, doug and others have taken the time to post. I suppose the failure to “cause a desirable outcome” (in this case, positive and adulatory comments) may have Influenced the Influencer to ignore and disengage.

  6. Diane Lennox says:

    I like the questions. Just not the assumption that there is one answer or a clear order of preference. I subscribe to the school that says “measure whatever you measure, just don't call it something else.”

    Meaning: you can't measure “influence, because it lacks a clear definition. You measure elements that people debate the relative importance of – frequency, followers, links, conversions, tweets, re-tweets, likes, feeds, shares … you get it. Depending on what your objectives are, define influence for yourself as whatever comibination of those elements gets you where you want to go. Somebody else's definition of influence, regardless of the popularity of the index, may never work for my business.

  7. It would be interesting to replace the word “influencer” with “leader”

    Simple change. Different outlook. What do you think?

  8. I tend to agree, you can't really measure influence because it is perception. Earning trust, authority and leadership based on our words and actions, is something that many strive for in the online space, and yes, once someone comes out calling themselves an “influencer” they do actually get people to believe them and follow them. But I like the word leader better in this situation, not influencer. I agree with the poster that a real influencer is someone who is doing something for the greater good.

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