The Value Of Being An “Influencer”

Over the years I have made the argument that most, if not all of the so-called “Thought Leadership” espoused across social-media was either useless, recycled platitudes, or worse: convoluted, confusing, banal anecdotes.

I have also asserted that much of this “leadership” was being promoted, then held up as “real,” by nothing more than these so-called “influencers” playing an easily manipulated numbers game, that was easily gamed (and also purchased for very cheap money) as to make one appear as if people were “tuning in” to every thought these people may have.

“Millions of followers,” “Millions of subscribers,” across all the platforms was a vaunted metric. Allowing for comments were a key in the score game, commenting yourself on others sites and platforms were another, and on and on. And if you were not one following this dogma? “You just don’t get tech!”

To make sense of all this, there appeared what many inferred as a final arbiter of truth as to judge just how much “influence” these so-called “influencers” were having across the social media space. Remember when everyone was touting or worried about their “Klout® rating?”

The main stream media, for a while, was using this as some form of gauge as to rate whether a guest, for one reason or another, was either worth having, writing, or even addressing for their “insight” or opinion on the matters of the day. “What’s your Klout score?” was a question asked far more often than not for a while. And if you dared answered, “What’s a Klout score?” Either the phone line suddenly went dead, or your email was never returned – ever again.

So it was with great humor (and a bit of satisfaction) when I was asked about whether or not I would give a talk about the current social media climate and how it is, or is not delivering what it seemed was promised for businesses over the last decade. It was here when I was asked a question, then returned my answer, that this person seemed to question whether or not I had as good of an understanding of social media today since I don’t use it. Especially since this person was looking for a “thought leader” or “Influencer” that his audience would find credible.

It was here that I asked (knowing full well ahead of time) “So what you seem to be asking me is if I have some type of ‘Klout’ score or something that would make you feel better in your appraisal, do I have that somewhat correct?”

The reply, “Exactly, something like that would be perfect!”

That’s when I silently smiled inside and asked one last question which was this, “So what would it show you if I had a high-ranking score?”

Reply, “I guess it would help back up your credibility and your assertions for what is important, and what is not, on the web today.”

Then I replied, “Then we’ll let Klout speak for itself, I just so happen to have a link and a screenshot of what the latest ratings are showing, would you like me to forward them to you?”

The reply, “That would be great.”

“Fair enough,” I said, “Just give me a moment.” And here’s what I sent.

(Screenshot, source)

I’ve had the above screenshot in my files since it took place, When the above discussion was transpiring I kept thinking to myself, “How I could use it? “Then, the moment came.

Here was my included note in the reply. To wit:

“If for any reason you think my fee may be too high, I’m pretty sure the ‘influencers’ that are being told to ‘keep influencing’ with any prior high scores will be more than happy and possibly quite available to be hired for your event, probably for far less. maybe even free. But as far as my score is concerned, I don’t have one, nor ever tried to. As always the decision is yours. Let me know if you want to proceed any further.”

It appears my directness influenced a true buyer, which is truly all that matters. But as I always say:

“Until a check clears, it’s only a possibility.”

© 2018 Mark St.Cyr