The following is an excerpt from Jason Falls‘ Winfluence: Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand, which will be released Feb. 23 via Entrepreneur Press. Pre-order your copy now via Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Bookshop
In my experience, the average Joe or Jane Consumer breaks down who they are influenced by into three main buckets:
1. People they know.
2. People who are like them.
3. People who are trying to convince them.
The “people they know” group includes family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and anyone else they identify with in their personal and professional life. These are individuals they have a real-world relationship with and trust intimately.
I don’t know my mayor or Oprah personally. They belong in the next group. “People who are like them” can mean they live in the same town; are similar in age, gender or another demographic; or share a common trait like supporting a certain sports team, musician or even product. This group can also apply to celebrities, politicians, media members or other notable individuals they identify with. The trust factor here derives from their sense of identity. They might trust a product recommendation or news, opinions or ideas they share, but they wouldn’t necessarily invite these people to dinner.
“People who are trying to convince them” includes anyone who doesn’t belong in the first two groups and is trying to sell, persuade, convince or otherwise influence them. Trust is hard to come by here. In fact, I would argue that if a consumer develops trust in someone from this group, that person or entity automatically moves into the second group. This is where your business starts from when approaching prospective customers. The trick, then, is to move into one of the first two groups. That’s a rudimentary explanation of what influence marketing is all about.