Today I want to conduct a simple experiment about influence. You are my participants.
The Complexity of Influence
Many companies want to reach influencers because they believe that these individuals are capable of moving mountains. One good review from an influencer, and sales should spike, right?
But it’s not so simple is it? Influence can mean many different things.
- In some cases, influence means that a source was one of several hundred things someone clicked the like button for today.
- In some cases, influence means that a source of information was one of the 10.4 sources that the average consumer consults prior to making a purchase.
- In some cases, influence means that a source caused someone to immediately take an action in which they donated time, money, or effort.
Today I’m going to ask each of you to do 4 different things, all with varying levels of time commitment and complexity, all with varying price points, and I’ll bet I know which, if any, of these requests will be most successful.
Do something for yourself
Send me an email with the social media question that you’re dying to ask and I”ll enter you in a drawing to win a free copy of Jay Baer’s book Youtility. I’ll also answer your question. It’s free, it’ll only take a few minutes, and you might win something.
Do something for this blog
Share this blog post. It’s free, it’s quick, it’s easy.
Do something for ALL of us
Watch this 22:20 TED Talk by Allan Savory about How to fight desertification and reverse climate change.
And then follow this link, click the donate now button, and donate any amount you choose. You’ll be more informed, and you’ll make an impact on the growing problem of climate change, which affects all of us on planet earth.
Do something for us and for you
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- 80% of you will do NOTHING at all.
- Of the 20% of you that do ANYTHING, all but one or two of you will simply click the social sharing buttons.
- Of the one or two of you that go beyond nothing, that go beyond the social sharing, you will both send me an email with a question, and one of you will win the free book.
- I predict that approximately 1 visitor will watch the entire TED Talk, and not a single person will go and make a donation.
- Not a single person will buy a subscription to ScribeSEO.
- You won’t write the email because writing me an email takes both time and vulnerability. The majority of people want to fly under the radar, reading from a safe distance, where no one knows they have questions or insecurities. “I’ll get to it later.”
- You’ll share socially because clicking a button is free and easy. It literally takes a second. Even clicking every share button would take under a minute. “This I can handle, I’ll share for you, but I’m not parting with time or money.”
- You won’t watch the video or donate because watching a 22 minute video seems like an eternity. Yet tonight many will go home and watch 2 hours of TV. Furthermore, donating to this cause requires the pain of losing money, the belief that the donation will help affect change, and–in this case–the belief that global warming is real. “Even though this cause benefits all of us globally, it’s just not close enough to home.”
- You won’t subscribe to ScribeSEO because $97 seems like a lot of money to pay per month, plus it requires you to do the work. Yet you know that 96% of clicks happen on the first 6 Google results and you know an SEO consultant will cost more than $97/month and you know that your rankings suck. But…“It just seems like so much money and so much work.”
(Trust + Interest) / (Time + Effort + Money) = Influence
Influence is a result of the time, effort, and money it takes to do something relative to the amount of trust in the source plus the interest in the subject. Interest in the subject is heavily reliant upon who benefits from it and the likelihood of that the benefit occurs. The more it benefits you, and the more likely the outcome, the more interested you likely become.
The less time, effort, and/or money it takes to do something, the less trust and/or interest it takes to convince someone to take action.
The more time, effort, and/or money it takes to do something, the more trust and/or interest it takes to convince someone to take action.