Kevin Hogan writes about “The Center of Influence” in his blog called “The Resource Center.” Here is an excerpt from his provocative article: (image credit to Kevin Hogan)
What most people who try to “be influential” miss is that they often tend to focus solely on the “Value Model” of Marketing or Selling. In other words – that people buy for value. This, of course, is a useful model. But in the strictest sense, it breaks down.
In my previous post, “Social Media ROI and Influence Marketing,” I quoted Danny Brown and Sam Fiorella. In their upcoming book on “Influence Marketing,” they point out that “marketing efforts developed with a focus on generating profits often fail to consider the customer experience (italics mine) and ends up negatively impacting the generation of revenue and/or profit.”
Social influence occurs when one’s emotions, opinions, or behaviors are affected by other human beings. Some people are more influential than others, both in terms of the quantity of people in their sphere of influence and the personal power of their affect on others.
Way back in 2008, a long way in internet time, Paul Gillin wrote the book pictured on the right. Paul was a visionary who understood that the marketing game had changed. The Canadian blog, “One Degree,” described connecting with social media influencers as “The Internet Marketer’s Secret Weapon.”
“One of the most important concepts in business networking is the idea of “Centers of Influence.” What is a Center of Influence or “COI”? A COI is a person who is in a position or business that tends to have great influence with prospects in your target market. These people have great potential to be among your best referral sources.
Acquiring Influence with Influential People
After connecting with “influencers”, remember to make a friend, be a friend.
The Senior Market Advisor blog has a helpful post about “Finding Your Centers of Influence,” including the following advice:
“To produce a meaningful, steady stream of referrals, you need 12 “core” COIs and about 100 potential COIs. A center of influence is a person who sees or knows a lot of people, must like you, and is willing to help you succeed. Those core COI people are the ones you’ll take to lunch regularly.
In his excellent blog, Personal Development for Smart People, Steve Pavlina wrote:
To escape mediocrity requires that you surround yourself with the exceptional. Steal time from your mediocre relationships, and invest it in building new relationships with people you find extraordinary. Join clubs and organizations you’re just barely qualified to join.
Apply for a job where you’ll be surrounded by highly competent people. Join a gym that intimidates you. Volunteer for assignments that allow you to work with higher caliber people, even if you do it for free.
Once you meet such people, find ways to do favors for them. Give, expecting nothing in return. Build the relationship first, even if it seems very unbalanced in the beginning.