How Influential Are You?

I’m writing today about a project that the Fast Company is running called the Influence project.

The concept of the project is to find the most influential people online. They measure this by giving each person taking part a unique link and asking them to promote it as much as possible. A click on that link is effectively a vote for you. My link is, it would be awesome if you could click it and support me. You should signup yourself and take part, what have you got to lose? 🙂

My interest in the project is seeing how social media can, influence, your influence and how we can pull together in tribes to support each other. Go back a few years and think how hard it was to convince others to support you? An email, possibly a link on your website is about as far as you could go. Lets face it, you couldn’t really tell people about a project and hope that they’d remember a link 🙂 Now we have social media platforms and we are busy building relationships on them but how strong are these connections? Are these people willing to support you or are they meaningless numbers, there to flatter our egos? This project allows us to find out.  So here are a few ways that I’ve asked people to help me:

  • I’ve sent the message out on twitter
  • I’ve added it to my facebook
  • I’ve added it to my LinkedIn
  • I’ve commented on other peoples blogs and helped them
  • I’ve just written this blog post to help raise awareness of the project 🙂

There is a discussion about the project going on over at the Social Media Devon group in LinkedIn so if you’re interested in finding out more then that’s a great place to start. I first found out about the project via a local friend of mine, James Barisic who has written about the project on his blog – socialholic. You can vote for James by the way on this link:

The Purpose of this Post

Social Media is fantastic for building relationships but people get carried away by the numbers – the number of followers, the number of fans, the number of connections. In my opinion it’s all irrelevant because we’re looking for meaningful relationships, the type that rally around you when you need them, the type that answer your questions when you have them and the type that pass your name onto others when they think you can be of help – this is the true value of social media.

When you’re building your networks, my advice is to build meaningful connections, don’t just follow everyone, don’t get caught up with tools that allow you to build your numbers unnaturally. Concentrate your efforts on engaging with other influencers in your industry, find local people to share experiences with and stick with it. Social media is not an event, it’s a process. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Why not signup for the influence project yourself and see how you get on and if you like my blog and tweets it would be awesome if you could take 10 seconds to vote for me by clicking the following link. 🙂

What’s your take on building numbers on social networks? What makes a person influential in your eyes?


  1. Alistair on 13th August 2010 at 9:56 am

    What a great idea and I will sure be encouraging all to click on my link at as well as your link!

    I think it will be very interesting to see the end results, and it will be good to see whether people click on my link as well as yours :)!

    • Banksy on 13th August 2010 at 10:45 am

      Thanks Al – I’ve already clicked on your link this morning 🙂

      The more of us that raise the awareness of it, the better in my opion

  2. Sue Windley (@DangerousMkting) on 13th August 2010 at 10:53 am

    Very interesting article, Al – mirrors the comments I made as a guest article last week. To me the key element of influence is QUALITY of those you influence, not just the numbers. It’s remembering that the same social rules apply in social media as they do in ‘real’ life, ie you will get out what you put in! I live by the ethic that I treat others in the same manner of how I want to be treated – and that’s my approach to influencing others in social media.

    • Banksy on 13th August 2010 at 11:34 am

      Hi Sue, Thanks for dropping in and commenting. I agree with your mantra of treat others as you wish to be treated, a great way of looking at life 🙂

      Who did you guest for last week – perhaps you’d like to do the same for sometime? 🙂

  3. Colin fribbens on 16th August 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I feel what makes a person infuencial to me is if i like them. I look for good qualitys in a person. Someone i can trust and give business to. Someone that is professional and friendly and not a conman or woman. Someone i would miss on a business or on a personal level if they were not around.

    • Banksy on 20th August 2010 at 1:46 pm

      Thanks Colin, it’s true Im sure that we are more influenced by people we admire and look up to – people we would be happy to pass business to. Thanks for commenting 🙂

Leave a Comment