Cheri Speak

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What Is An Influencer?

Lately the term Influencer is all the buzz, in both social and business circles. There can even be Influencers within families as well. Are you an Influencer?


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The dictionary says influence (in how it applies to this article) is:

  • an emanation of spiritual or moral force
  • the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command
  • corrupt interference with authority for personal gain
  • the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways (to sway opinion or beliefs)
  • one that exerts influence

To be an Influencer one would need to fall into one of the above definitions.


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Expected Influencers

Advertisers are a good example of Influencers. They spend money to specifically influence you the consumer to do business with them. By way of creative copy and/or visuals they try to paint a picture of who they are, what they are, and why should care and do business with them.

Employers are another good example of  Influencers. They exert their wishes, opinions, ethics and so on over their employees. At least in relation to how the employee conducts business while in their employ. The employer‘s influence can also extend into the employee’s personal life if clear protocols are in place for things like social media use and public behavior.

Clergy are also Influencers on their congregations. They lead sermons delivering messages of good and evil with the expectation their words will influence you to be good as well as spread the good word.


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Bad Influeners

We all know bribery is intended to influence another to bend to ones will. This is obviously illegal and although it happens all of the time and we are aware of it, it should never be an accepted practice.

In the entertainment and media industry bribery is called Payola and Plugola. This is when an advertiser or producer et al. gives money or gifts to a media outlet in order to get them to talk about or otherwise promote their business without actually buying advertising.

Jack Abramoff — also known as Casino Jack, is the most infamous Republican Lobbyist in United States history. He went to Federal prison for bribery during the presidency of George W. Bush. He was released almost two years ago claiming to be reformed. He also says he intends to bring about Lobbying reform on Capital Hill. He wrote a “tell-all” book called Capitol Punishment while in prison (I should note that I have read the book and he does not quite “tell-all”).

There are many examples of people who use influence for bad, those were just a couple as reminders.


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Peer Influencers

There is a different kind of Influencer as well. In a sense, we are all Influencers of this type to some degree. We are taught to “Lead by example”. Some people just seem to have a knack for influencing others whether they like it or not.

Everyday we influence those we interactive with. It doesn’t matter how we are interacting with them; it could be face-to-face, over the phone, or even on-line. Either way, we and they are influencing one another. It could be on anything from what restaurants are terrible to what internet groups to join to what we wear. We influence beliefs, behaviors, and opinions.


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Social Influencers

Those of us that participate in social media have a much wider pool of those we can and probably do influence in some way. Have you changed an opinion lately? You may have no idea!

Some of us have very “popular” blogs or other social networks. I myself have a combined digital reach of more than 20K direct connections. This may seem like a lot to some of you, but keep in mind there are others whose reach is in the millions.

You may find that you have a very popular blog, but question whether it’s contents really influence anyone in any way and you could be right to wonder. Popularity does not equal influence. Jennifer Mattern does a great job explaining this in her article, Popularity vs Influence in Blogging and Social Media.  In another great article, Seth Godin — the creator of Squidoo asks, Is a Famous Thinker Better Than a Great One? on his blog. I think it’s a brilliant question and his answer may surprise you.

2013-most-influential-blogger2013 Most Influential Blogger

Which brings me to the reason for all this pondering on Influencers. I have often been told I am a fantastic Leader in both my personal and professional life — including that as an activist. Today I was awarded the 2013 Most Influential Blogger Award by fellow blogger Obamacrat.

As many of you know I am not big on the “pass-em-around” for nothing awards. They seem to be like chain-letters and you have to divulge a bunch of random stuff about yourself and then pass it on to a bunch of other people, etc. etc. etc. Although I do appreciate it every time I get a “nomination” for one of these, I  much prefer to receive awards I have actually done something to deserve being recognized.

I feel this new award is one that I have earned and/or achieved based on the particular relationship Obamacrat and I have grown since our blogs crossed paths. Thank you Jueseppi, I appreciate the nod and your readership greatly — even when we disagree, and I will pay-it-forward in it’s own post. There are several Bloggers who have influenced me who deserve a nod themselves.

reality-blog-awardREALITY Blog Award

Charles over at Legends of Windemere is a faithful daily reader of Cheri Speak. He has been quite engaging and we often chat about the differences in writing. He is a fiction writer and I (for the most part) am obviously a non-fiction writer. Each has it’s own unique challenges and it is great to have someone to bounce ideas with when we are crossing over from time to time.

The other day Charles wanted to “thank me” for the help I offer him (and all of you) in many of my “how-to” articles. His expression of thanks was to bestow upon me the REALITY Award for Blogging. Thank you Charles. I will do the questions etc. on my Rewards of Awards page, but the acknowledgement seemed fitting to include here because your gift is a direct result of your perception of my being an Influencer.

Speakers-Ball-Blog-Challenge“Speaker’s Ball” Bloggers Challenge

Isn’t is funny how one thought can lead to the next? In my world it’s called a segue, and I am not referring to the electric scooter. Instead I am referring to some other blogging awards I created myself. What greater satisfaction is there for a writer than to have readers that appreciate what they do?  And what greater satisfaction for a reader than to have a writer that cares about what you appreciate? Right? So that being said I not only encourage all of you to participate, I would in fact love it if you did. The Speaker’s Ball Blog Challenge is a blog writing competition. All of the awards are earned. Can I influence you to check it out and maybe pass it on so others can learn about it?


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What Makes an Influential Blogger?

I don’t know what makes one blogger more influential than another. We all have different  tastes in what we like to read. Some of us read blogs for fun, others to get informed on issues, and still others to learn about one thing or another. As a blogger we write for all of those same reasons.

As a media and marketing person in addition to being a writer, influence is important. When dealing with clients it is important that I am able to influence them with my knowledge of the industry and what will be best for them. I also need to influence them with my character so they can trust in what I say and believe I do have their best interest at stake. In addition, I am currently writing a couple of books, one of which influence plays a big role in because it is about marketing.

As a blogger and writer I always hope to influence people to read what I write. Sometimes it’s the title and other times it’s the topic that influences you to click and read. Some of you just automatically read my work simply because I have already influenced you over time and you come here because you and I have built a great reader/writer relationship. Every time you hit any of the social share buttons or re-blog my work you in turn are influencing others on my behalf and I thank you for that.

Earlier in this piece, I stated I had a direct connection to over 20K people through my social media networks. I have worked hard to achieve that and each day I grown my reach and network. Each person I am connected to is with purpose. They are not blind connections just because I can.

Employers, clients, prospects, new readers and more want to know what a person is all about before they engage with them. There is a website called Klout that actually rates your influence. This might seem silly to some, but believe it or not in today’s world this site is being referenced by the important people in your financial life (bosses, clients, etc) and it matters. On a scale of 1 – 100  my Klout score is “60” which is said to be outstanding and puts me in the category considered to be “Thought Leaders”. Klout’s algorithms are not all about how many FaceBook friends or Twitter followers you have. It’s  pretty in-depth.


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“Thought Leader”

That seems like a heavy responsibility more so than a reward for what I do. I’m not certain that I want to lead anyone’s thoughts, open their minds maybe. I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes — one I will never forget and have always tried to live by. I first read it as a teenager; I believe it was on the inside cover of the S.E. Hinton Book, That Was Then This Is Now. It says,

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. ~ Albert Camus

Have I influenced you? If so how? Who else influences you in your life, your work, and your life interests?

14 comments on “What Is An Influencer?

  1. Jueseppi B.
    February 19, 2013

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    Great post Ms. Cheri. See… influenced me to reblog this!!!! 😆


  2. slepsnor
    February 19, 2013

    I just started using Klout and I’m at 49. Not really sure how else to use it, so I figure I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. As for you influencing me, you’ve taught me a lot about blogging and helped me make a stronger website. It’s really helped me with my confidence and it’s made blogging a lot more fun.

    I can’t even begin to list all of the people who have influenced me. I think of myself as a perpetual student when dealing with others and always look for new information that they can teach me.

    To bring up a point, I think one thing that differentiates an influencer from an influencee is a level of confidence. A person can influence others if he or she acts with utmost confidence that makes everyone else believe that they know what they’re doing. This doesn’t mean they’re always right, but they certainly gain more pull of people than someone who isn’t confident.


    • C. R.
      February 19, 2013

      You don’t have to do anything with Klout beyond setting it up. It does all the work, but people that matter in our industries do look at it so I am glad you have it. A publisher will care about your score 😉
      I enjoy our banter and I am glad that I have been able to help you. I love your blog.


      • slepsnor
        February 19, 2013

        Thanks. Hopefully my Klout goes up when I get published. I’m curious how they score it and why Pinterest isn’t part of it.


      • C. R.
        February 19, 2013

        click the link in my post it tells you how the algorithms work 😉


      • slepsnor
        February 19, 2013

        Ah, I can’t believe I missed that. It’s one of those days.


  3. ashadeofpen
    February 20, 2013

    amazing stuff 🙂


    • C. R.
      February 20, 2013

      Thank you! Anything particular you liked?


      • ashadeofpen
        February 20, 2013

        the overall presentation and the positive streak 🙂


  4. Kozo
    February 20, 2013

    Love the Camus quotation. I will gladly walk beside you and be your friend. Going to have to check out Klout. Thanks again for this valuable information, Cheri. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo


  5. Corner of Confessions
    February 21, 2013

    Oh Cheri, you have such a natural way of writing that we find ourselves following your suggestions before we even realized we’ve been influenced. It’s almost a hypnotic sort of way. I stopped watching the news and caring about happenings in the worlds, then i started reading your tell all articles of topics and you aren’t trying to convince anyone of anything , just presenting the issue and it gets the gears movie. I now skim through the newspaper everyday and browse the web to read articles. And all that tech mumble jumble. I now click around and add stuff after reading your articles on “how to”. I think if you wrote an article about, you can convince a ten year vegetarian to eat meat , you have that much of a natural way or persuasion .


    • C. R.
      February 21, 2013

      Thank you!! Wait til you see my special article for March 😉


  6. Pingback: Have a PEACE! « Cheri Speak

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