How To Connect With An Influencer
People skills are one of the most vital aspects to any business. Unless you are an assassin who receives targets via encrypted codes and payments via automatic transfers, dealing with people is just part of the way the world goes round. However, there are people skills, and then there are influencer skills, and this week’s Profitcast topic is cenetered around finding and engaging influencers.
An influencer, according to the article Brian cites as his inspiration for this topic, is someone who calls the shots, leads people with their mind, sees and does things that others cannot or will not, and have what it takes to succeed and lead. Every one of us looks to a different subset of influencers, and Brian uses the cast of Arrow at Heroes and Villains as his example. As you listen to Brian’s experience and advice, consider it through the lens of whomever you’d most like to connect with in order to enrich the content you provide.
I think one of the most important tips Brian brings to the table is this idea of recognizing that influencers have a constant influx of people like us seeking advice and time. It relates to his observations at Podcast Movement, in which someone he meets hands him a business card and starts rattling off their podcast venture and/or business without knowing the person with whom they are talking. It’s unhelpful, a waste of time, and provides little value to either member of the conversation. I have an analogy that helped me to think about the relationship between myself and an influencer in a more pragmatic way.
The value of a gear doesn’t come from its independent movement in proximity to another gear. Two gears rotating without intersecting have, in fact, no value whatsoever. There is energy expended, but no work gets done. Value comes when two gears work together in order to alter the relation between the speed of a driving mechanism (i.e. the pedals of a bike) and the speed of the driven parts (i.e. a bike wheel). Whether you want to say the influencer is the wheel or the pedal of a bike, therefore, is wholly dependent on the story, but it works in either direction. The point being: one action produces a result for the other, but without the intersecting teeth rotating at inverse directions… the effort is meaningless.
None of us are scared of doing the work required to be the torque which operates a gear. If we were scared, we wouldn’t be engaged in this conversation. We’re driven by our passion and want to surround ourselves with people who will push us to the extraordinary! While I’m not as extroverted and gung-ho as Brian is about interviewing actors from Arrow, I still see tremendous value in providing these types of relationships to the listeners of Arrow Squad. But Brian makes a great point: if we can’t offer value to actors and actresses, we can’t really expect them to be lasting influencers for our podcast. It takes more than just being an interesting, engaging or funny person to make an impact in the life of an influencer. We must provide value.
To return briefly to my gear analogy, there is an interesting relationship between two gears of different sizes. When two gears mesh, and one is smaller than the other, the observations we can make with our eyes will reveal that the large gear will produce more torque while the small gear is required to move faster than the large one. The analogous symbiotic relationship is extremely fascinating to me because the amount of work each cog does is actually relative to its size. The speed at which the larger and smaller cog rotate are proportionally identical; meaning, the speed to size ratio is the same.
If you and I are the small cogs in this analogy, and the influencer is the larger cog, then this observation is important for two reasons:
- It may seem like we are doing a lot of work just to build or maintain a relationship with an influencer, but because we are the smaller cog, the system requires us to move at a faster speed in order to capitalize on the torque of the larger cog.
- We may not be the only cog meshing with the larger cog; in order for us to stay functional and not prevent the whole system from collapsing, we must continue at the speed dictated by the larger cog.
In both cases, if we are not seeing the results of effort exerted, then there is a breakdown in the system and it is not a mutally beneficial relationship. As Brian says, it’s important to make sure you and your influencer fit, and you’re not just entering into a relationship because you think it will accelerate you forward. Why pedal a bike if you want to stay at home? Ha, does that work? Don’t answer that question if you’re into that whole stationary bike workout…
- How to contact influencers who can support your work (Everyday Power Blog)
- Jodey Smith
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