Goodbye, Influencers. Hello, Thought Leaders!

Our office is always quite a lovely and chaotic place to be in. Even though we (Taxumo) deal with one of the most tedious and complicated processes in a business or a freelancer’s life, our team still remains joyous and positive about this reality. We still have our daily banters and laughs. One of the things that we talked about recently was to urge one of us, Kuya Jojo, to be an influencer. And I really think that he could be one!

Photo by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash

Since we’re talking about influencers, I’d love to share my opinion on such a term.

I think that each one of us has the ability to “influence” another individual. Hey, I could influence my husband right this instant, but probably not when it comes to exercising… haha! The thing about influencing is that WE could ALL possibly do it given we have these things.

  1. Right audience: When I say the RIGHT audience, it means that the person has a receptive audience who trusts him/her. As you know, trust is built over time, and trusting a person stems from a previously established relationship or at least from borrowed trust from another person or entity (example: referred by another trusted friend, or they have mutual friends, etc.).
  2. Right message: RIGHT message means content that triggers a response from the audience, and this may be because it’s a shared, relatable experience. It may be something also that appeals to the emotion of the chosen audience.
  3. Right timing: If you want to get people to buy a cold drink, the perfect time will be on a hot day. If you want to get people to go to the gym, the perfect time to tell them will probably be after the holidays. Timing is very important in convincing people to do a certain action.
  4. Right “messenger”: Which I will expound on more below!

Now looking at people whom we consider influencers, you’ll notice that what differentiates any Tom, Dick and Harry from them is just basically the scale of their influence. But don’t mistake the scale of influence with the number of followers. One may have a massive amount of followers and yet, still have a minimal scale of influence.

The thing though about Influencer Marketing is that only a few get to see its benefits. And as a marketer, it’s mostly because of the lack of tracking of metrics and key performance indicators. Understandably so, we can’t tell the influencer to wear a shoe that she endorses and give a code to everyone who compliments her shoe. That would just be a bit too forced! But we all still try our best (brands, agencies, influencers) to work towards understanding how influencer marketing can work for all of us.

In this journey of understanding the world of influencers, many have become disappointed and disheartened.

My personal belief is that a lot of confusion stems from the fact that the term “influencers” itself is a bit unclear and confusing for many (since we always think it’s the number of followers). A lot of the content creators who strive to be “influencers” end up disheartened when they don’t easily get to their target number of people. A lot of brands and agencies are also disappointed because the influencer-strategy that they implemented didn’t result to achieving their target objectives.

Instead of striving to be Influencers, strive to be Thought Leaders. The reason why I like this term is that it involves not only gaining a number of followers, but going to the extent of being an authority or an expert in a certain field. People will naturally will flock to you because of what you know and the value that you can give them. With the exchange of values, a true relationship is built.

I also like this the term thought leaders, because it feels like these people are thought of to be partners of the brands who commission them. These people think of ways on how to improve the industry, improve the lives of their followers — basically, they truly and genuinely care.

Maybe the change of terminology will help, or maybe it won’t. These things actually make the world of marketing and advertising such a fun industry, don’t you think? 🙂

Hope I influenced you today. 🙂

5 Comments

  1. January 23, 2019 / 4:08 pm

    You did! You influenced me a lot, Ginger 🙂

  2. January 24, 2019 / 1:23 pm

    I think they just really have to be who they are. When marketing people enters the scene and forces or influences them to do something else, then they become marketers, or a little fake. It’s difficult. 😁
    I’ve been blogging for many years now for peronal reasons and I did not totally ride in the whole influencing thing, although I benefited from it, because some of the companies and the whole trend itself made creative people more like marketing people. 😁 It sucks. 😂 Those who truly love sharing ideas, the old fahioned bloggers and vloggers don’t really do it for the money. It is sad how everything has looked like about marketing.
    We are creatives. We are creative people. It honestly makes us cringe when we have to tell soemethibg is sponsored sometimes because people sometime don’t believe anymore. 😂

    • January 24, 2019 / 1:48 pm

      Nice, Gilian! Personally, I really feel more fulfilled after writing an article that comes from the heart. Perfect that you mentioned this! That’s one of the things that I want to encourage content creators to do this year — to write, take pictures, make videos, CREATE things that they truly want. Started it with the #Reboot2019 post that I created earlier this month.

      In general, we have all forgotten how it is to CREATE things. As a parent, I’ve been guilty of this, too! I encourage my daughter to be good in Enlish and Math and neglect Art, which teaches her how to use her hands and to be more imaginative and creative. We have been so used to things being given to us right away (especially since everything has gone digital) that we fail to invent and make things. We just listen to instructions and do things as we are told. That’s another story though on creativity.

      Monetizing something though is not a bad thing, too, since it helps you sustain creating things that you love the most, but truly going back to the essence of why we started the things that we’re doing is key 🙂 If a person has a certain skill that he/she can earn from (especially with those who are financially struggling), and they love it, then, well and good. Although, you’re right that it shouldn’t be the main reason why you #influence 🙂 haha!

  3. January 31, 2019 / 10:58 am

    I’ve learned a lot of things from you. And you really influenced me a lot.

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