The Influencer Phenomenon.

If you aren’t playing in the world of influencer marketing, you aren’t in the game. But, do you know how to hit a home run?

Agencies are looking for the best personalities to advertise their brands, and they have an ocean of options to pick from. Everyone is an influencer these days: your friend who sells Arbonne, the local PTA mom, even the 12-year-old blogger down the street. The term “influencer” has become so wildly used that the connotation often induces an eye roll.

But the term “influencer” really does refer to so many people. Anyone who sells themselves as a brand, whether online or offline, whether celebrity or not, is an influencer. Government officials, professors, multi-level marketers, realtors, actors, comedians, musicians, and the list goes on and on. These professions require the consumer to buy-in to the person first, before they buy a product.

As consumers in the digital age become more distant from their fellow neighbors, they turn to personalities with whom they perceive a personal connection. They crave it like sugar because of the human biological tribe-seeking need. Of course, this connection often takes place on the internet, but it also takes place through other mediums like radio and television. It can even take place in person, and often does in the beginning stages of a career.

In fact, there are many offline opportunities for influencers to wield their power of persuasion over communities. Angelina Jolie, for instance, is a macro influencer, known world-wide for humanitarian causes, yet she doesn’t have any social media accounts. How does she connect?

True influencers, no matter how well-known and no matter what medium is used, are effective in their abilities to persuade. And persuasion only happens when the intended audience shares a connection with the persuader, even if that connection is only one-sided.

So, the very first questions you must ask as you run onto the field:

What is the shared identity with your target audience?

What are they going to connect with and how?

Answer these, and you’ll be off to a good start.

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