Hey you there,influencer…
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Hey you there,influencer…

So you consider yourself an “influencer” in our little online society. Why? Do you have your own blog? Do you have 5,000+ followers on Twitter and over 1,000+ close friends on your Facebook profile?

The reality is that today more and more people are realising it’s easy to get to where you are. Blogs can be set up with ease and at almost no cost, and the internet provides us all with so many cool things and interesting tidbits, that having a blog alone nowadays really doesn’t make anyone more special than the next.A Twitter or Facebook following is relatively easy to build up as well, just follow 10,000 people and I am assuming here, but it’s probably a safe bet that you’ll get at least 5,000 to follow you back.

Numbers are just one element

The reality is that having the numbers today is just one element of what allows anyone to be positioned as an influencer. And who is actually labeling you an influencer these days anyway?

Probably the PR agency that is sending you every relevant and non-relevant invitation to some client event, or sending you some random product to test, hoping that you will put in a good word for them to count as a positive tick when calculating return on coverage.

So-called influencers who surf the numbers wave will soon be in for a rude awakening when that wave crashes. The playing field is just way too open and accessible, and more people are starting to join our community, which is great. So what’s going to set you apart from the numbers warriors is your content.

Like many I’m sure, I just don’t have the time to listen to everything that is being broadcast, nor do I have the time to read through all the waffle. I put time into, and find value in those people who take the time to entertain me, provide me with interesting information that is packaged to fit in with my day.

I just don’t have hours to read your three posts a day of over 800 words each, and so I have become fickle in how I consume my content as well and whom I consider a true influencer. I don’t follow friends, I follow friends who have the formula right for me.

What is an influencer

I personally consider an influencer to be that person who can provide a tight, succinct post or article, so that after reading it I’ve walked away feeling like I’ve had my world enlightened, I have something worth sharing with my much smaller community or I’ve learnt something new.

This person has influenced or changed my day, and if this person has done that to little ol’ me, chances are they’ve done the same for a number of other people too. This person is a true influencer because they are making a change, not because they broadcast empty insights to thousands who really aren’t listening in any case.

It’s going to take a little while before we get those inflated numbers right, when people learn to feed the content they find of value and cut off those blogs, sites and people who don’t add any real worth.

It feels like we’re still very much in the middle of this amazing boom where people are discovering the wonderful world of Twitter and blogging, but soon I hope our online communities start to sweep aside the soil from the gold, so that the quality of online content improves and that the true influencers shine through. And this is not only aimed at the individuals, but also journalists and the agencies creating the content for their clients, if you’re going to put it out there, your efforts should be focused in making it worthwhile and interesting.

I understand that we have a lot of space to play with out there on the internet, but surely filling it with rubbish is a waste of everyone’s time.

*I’d like to make it clear that I do not and have never labeled myself an influencer, but I do have a few years under my belt now as a keen observer and participant in the social and digital communications space to have an opinion … and this is really only just my opinion.

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