Who’s influencing you (you’re influencing who?)


According to Ed Keller’s fantastic book, The Influentials, one American in ten tells the other nine how to vote, where to eat, and what to buy. As marketers, part of our job is to identify who those 10% of Americans are, identify when and for what they’re actually influential, and gain leverage and influence with the influencers themselves.

And while Ed’s right – that the masses are influenced by a persuasive minority – I don’t buy that it’s just 10% of us who hold all of the influence power in our world. Rather, I believe each of us has our relative circles of relevance and influence with those around us.

Sure, there are some people who generally have greater influence than others. Either they’re knowledgeable and persuasive about a variety of topics, are particularly influential in a high-visibility topic, or are either in a position of power or have a particularly valuable channel through which to reach and influence a greater volume of people than the rest of us.

But the number of ways we’re influenced every day, all day long, is numerous, and we can likely name just as man sources of influence that impact our decisions, opinions and actions.

That means that even the influencers are being influenced by others. It means that each one of you has influence over others as well.

How you choose to focus, leverage or accelerate that influence could hold the secret to significant personal and professional success and satisfaction, in your life and career.