What makes an influencer is a million dollar question given how the market for buying (and selling) influence is booming. I was pondering this when I saw a list of power women being launched. A search of “most powerful women” produces multiple lists, with a good overlap of names. The criteria are a bit fuzzy as we are confusing wealth and company revenue with being powerful and influential. I’m all for being powerful but it would help to define the word a little more clearly so that more women can work towards getting there.
On the other hand, search for influencers throws up a different bunch of names with hardly any overlap. Oops!
Is power what makes an influencer real
True power is being influential.
When you’re able to change the way people think about something, someone or some place you are influential. We have to go beyond just followers or wealth and talk about whether the person or brand is changing lives, and at what scale.
What makes an influencer a powerful brand
What makes an influencer brand is also power. If you’re not changing the way I do something or look at someone or something then you are not influential. When a brand like Swiggy tries to reposition how we refer to delivery folks through an ad it is making a stab at staying influential. Or when they try to make us see the city differently, it is a power play though we may not realize it.
Continuous influencing is required to stay powerful
Yes, they’ve already been influential in changing the way we purchase food, but that’s now in the past and the accepted new normal. To stay influential they have to continue to change the way we do things and think about things.
Ditto influencers. If they haven’t changed my mind recently, they are as useful as last season’s mangoes.
Clients often ask me whether it is necessary to have a weekly publishing schedule. If you wish to be an influencer, yes, because less often makes the likelihood that you will change perceptions rather slim.
To be an influencer, you have to change people’s minds and/or hearts. If you are a marketer then, to answer the question of what makes an influencer you have to ask yourself:
- Does this person or brand have a point of view
- In the recent past has the influencer changed their followers’ mind
- Is the “change of mind” related to an area that my brand is interested in
- How often does the influencer change people’s minds
- How many people do they change
As a marketer you might say that I want my influencer or brand to just say the same thing, over and over again! I don’t want it or them to change any minds. Then, my friend, you may as well resort to good old fashioned advertising which will communicate with consistency.
Also read: Influencer Marketing Framework