Let’s talk about Confidence and Influence: Photo by Elijah Macleod on Unsplash

Zeeka, my daughter, was dancing like crazy again last night. She has this habit of singing original songs with lyrics she invents. She then performs in front of her able and willing “audience”, which is no other than me and my husband, at least 2 times a week. Not an ounce of shyness or hesitation can be traced in her voice and actions.

She gave us singing lessons last night. And again, we had to comply when she said that we had to individually sing our own original songs. Of course, for the most part, me and my husband both giggled our way to the end of our song (and thought it silly to be doing this). Our 6 year old teacher was obviously disappointed and angry that we weren’t taking things seriously.

Confidence and Influence

I am amazed at the confidence of little children. This is something that led me to write about how can we, as bloggers, build confidence. First off, confidence is important in our line of work or in anything in life for that matter, since it leads to success. Having lack of confidence lead to doing nothing or inaction. Make sense, right?

When you are confident, you say yes to opportunities. You don’t let fear stop you from doing the things that you love doing and the things that you’re curious in trying. When you blog, your life is an open book for everyone to see. If you’re not confident enough, other people’s comments will affect you and may even affect your decisions.

I think it was apt to talk about confidence and influence in the same article, because if you want to influence someone, you yourself should be convinced by YOU. Dale Carnegie was right to link Confidence and Influence, but he talks about if from the point of view of public speaking. Let me write about though from the perspective of being a blogger.

Salespeople won’t be able to influence and close a deal if they themselves are not confident when it comes to explaining the product or service that they’re selling. In blogging, it’s the same thing. If you’re not convinced that people will read your blog post, then people will definitely not read it.

And persuading people or influencing people all boils down Aristotle’s Ethos, Pathos and Logos.

Ethos refers to the blogger’s character. And when reader’s read your blog for the first time, they “judge” you base on the filters that you use on pictures that you post, how many sentences are grammatically erroneous, your blog topics or what you love to write about, etc. All of these things. People are oftentimes looking for “someone” online — either to befriend, emulate, rekindle a relationship with, criticise, etc. So who are you to these people?

Pathos comes into the picture when the blogger uses emotions to influence an audience. The emotions that can use may be humor, pity, sadness, longing, happiness, envy (even), etc. People who have gone through a similar emotion or have experienced this emotion would likely read and follow your blogs. We know that we are rational creatures, but there are times that we make irrational decisions (I admittedly make lots of these! haha).

The last one is Logos or the use of reason. Sad to say, in influencing people, this is the least important. This is the reason why marketers, researchers, psychologists have tons of research about how people behave and act, because we often don’t act based on “logic and reason”. As my husband always says, we humans justify our decisions. Even if we make a wrong decision that puts us at harm, we still justify and give a whole list of reasons why we chose that.

So there you have it, aspiring and current bloggers. These are my own thoughts on confidence and influence. I hope that this post made you think about your own view on Influence. If you want to join the conversation, feel free to comment below.

By the way, we’re thinking of coming up with a blogging workshop. If you want to be invited to reserve a seat, feel free to fill this out: https://goo.gl/forms/JMUQ7PeAX4XHNBFn1

Thank you for the people who have already filled out the form! 🙂 You’ll hear from me soon!

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. 🙂

I have always been fascinated by how one becomes a key opinion leader (KOL) or an influencer. I had this short conversation with a friend who wants to start a blog so that she can be a KOL. But is being an influencer that simple? Is it just about starting a blog and writing content or posting pretty pictures on Instagram or Facebook?

Before I answer that, based on my own observations and opinion, let’s look at Influencer Marketing and understand where this new marketing phenomenon (if you want to call it a phenomenon) came to be.

The Evolution of Marketing

Marketing has greatly evolved from a decade ago. I remember that 10-15 years ago, the concept of customer-centric marketing came to be. From a product-centric perspective, marketers realized that they needed to truly understand the customer in order to stay ahead of the competition. Customers became more entrenched in their own decision-making process (researching, asking people about their experience with a certain product) since they wanted to get what they deserve with the money that they spend. Thus, marketers chose a specific niche to give value to, to focus efforts and to spread clear messages about what their proposition was.

After this focus on the customer and making customers happy, marketers found that they can use the entire experience to make the entire product experience memorable. This was then the birth of experiential marketing. With experiential marketing, word-of-mouth became the main objective of marketers. They needed people to talk about the product and tell other people about their personal experience with the brand or product.

With the advent of social media, anyone can now actually share their experience with products that they purchase and with experiences that they had with service. Way back in 2000, Malcolm Gladwell published a book called the Tipping Point, that talked about three archetypes: the salesperson, the connector and the maven. This is how Gladwell described Mavens.

A Maven is a person who has information on a lot of different products or prices or places. This person likes to initiate discussions with consumers and respond to requests … they like to be helpers in the marketplace. They distribute coupons. They take you shopping. They go shopping for you … This is the person who connects people to the marketplace and has the inside scoop on the marketplace.

I thought that his description was a great prelude to what we know key opinion leaders or influencers to be. As early as the year 2000, or even before that (no one knows), the concept of influencer marketing (I believe) was already being practiced but in small circles. Social Media paved the way for KOLs/Influencers to reach more people, once geographically impossible to reach.

What is Influencer Marketing?
As I’ve mentioned, I have this weird fascination for Influencer Marketing. I’ve always wondered how people become influencers. Influencer Marketing is using people with influence to talk about and sell your product and services. They say that for every $1 that you spend on an influencer, it comes back 20x in terms of revenue/sales. I don’t have exact figures for influencer marketing in the Philippines, but it may be true!

In the process of observing celebrity influencers, tier 1 influencers (yes, there are levels!), and other influencers no matter what level, I have come to realize these things about Influencer Marketing.

Who they are?
In terms of personality, I have seen that the effective influencers don’t wear any masks. They don’t pretend to be someone that they’re not. They tell it as it is. This is the reason why influencers come in all shapes, forms, sizes, etc. Banish all judgment on how you think influencers “should be or look like” because a template does not exist. They can be introverts or extroverts. It doesn’t matter. They are very authentic people, and honest about who they are and how they feel. This authenticity builds trust. This trust makes everything they say believable. It makes everything that they do aspirational, and all of the things that they do commands respect.

What did they say?
They are known and are effective when it comes to talking or spreading the word about a particular topic. And usually, these are topics that they are truly passionate about! They “talk”, “write”, “vlog”, “draw” with so much passion that the energy is felt by their audience. There is a certain charisma (I actually don’t know if it’s the right term) that draws people to stop, look and listen to this person.

What did they do?
Consistency is something you’ll notice they have. I’m not sure though if this stems from the being passionate about something that they believe in or something that they love doing. So if it’s blogging, they always have new and relevant content that contains experiences that resonates with their audience. If it’s posting in social media, they constantly post Instagram stories or status that slowly builds and tells a “story” about their life or about who they are as real people. They deeply engage with brands that they love, that help their “cause or advocacy”, and are proactive with reaching out to them.  They also engage only with brands that they authentically love!

Obviously, as an influencer, it took quite some time to get to that status, and it takes hard work and constant reiteration of what you believe in and what you stand for. And that “reiteration” is not a blatant, hard-sell kind of a thing. Since everything is authentic, the “message” is intertwined with the influencers lifestyle. It’s almost impossible to distinguish what is “sponsored” and what isn’t.

These are my thoughts on Influencer Marketing. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this? Think of an influencer that you know and tell me what makes you gravitate towards that person (leave your thoughts on the comment section below). Why do you think what he/she says and does make a huge impact or resonates with you?

Together, let’s analyze how influencers become influencers! 🙂