October 4, 2022

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Radio Roundtable: What is influence, anyway?

Radio Roundtable: What is influence, anyway?

This week, host Jen Zingsheim was joined by co-host Doug Haslam and special guest/co-host emeritus Chip Griffin. The team takes a different approach this week, by discussing  posts written by Chris Brogan, C.C. Chapman, and Geoff Livingston and Olivier Blanchard that all fall into an over-arching theme touching on respect, influence, and personal branding.


This week’s show is 35 minutes in length.

Chip kicks off the discussion by separating out the concepts of public and private influence–and notes that a great many social media types are successfully blending the two, but there is a significant difference in how they are perceived. Doug states that part of the issue driving many of these discussions about influence is the presence of Klout as a measurement tool. But the over-reliance on things like influence scores has its downside too–sometimes it misses the mark completely.

Chip notes that where things really come together is how influence is used. Whether it is by giving advice or getting paid to speak, there’s a balance that needs to be struck. Jen says that perhaps individuals who are struggling with “pick my brain” fatigue might take a page from the agency playbook–set a percentage of time for free advice-giving (for agencies, this would equate to new business development), and the remaining percentage of time for paid effort (for agencies, billable hours) and stick with that formula. Doug says that we’re all witnessing the painful and public process of what it means to work to build an audience and then reaching the point that demands outstrip capacity and the need to say no starts to come up. Chip points out that if you’ve built up a personal brand as a business, you’ll quickly find yourself in trouble because individuals don’t scale.

Doug segues into a discussion of personal branding, and how that may meet a self esteem need–but where do situations like the ones just discussed fit in–when people are genuinely building a reputation, rather than trying to become “Internet-famous.” Chip says that setting aside those interested in ego boosting, a personal brand is the development of expertise on a topic, and makes the point that all of the things essential to building a corporate brand are just as important when building a personal brand. Jen asks if perhaps the rub in the personal branding issue is the presence of so-called “personal branding experts” who seem to prescribe a simple six-step formula to Internet fame, which is a bit of an oversell.

To wrap up the discussion, the three discuss the positive impact social media can have on charitable fundraising. Doug discusses how significant the impact of social media has been on his efforts to raise money for the Pan Mass Challenge.

And, since Jen forgot to ask, you can find Doug Haslam at Voce Communications, on his personal blog, or follow him on Twitter @dough. Chip can be found at Pardon The Disruption, or follow him on Twitter @chipgriffin.

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