Everybody’s An Influencer, So Treat Them Like One

I’m sending my newsletter to 20,000 influencers this week.

They don’t all have huge Twitter followings, don’t all showcase sponsored clothing on their Instagram accounts, and don’t cram their blog posts with affiliate links.

Some have 36 followers and their posts only get likes from their parents.

Some don’t even use social media (imagine that!).

But every single one of my For The Interested subscribers are influencers.

Because while our degree of influence and intention to wield it may vary, the truth is every person is an influencer.

We influence friends, family, co-workers, parents, children, strangers we meet and even people who simply view us from afar.

Our actions, attention, and money influence our culture, economy, and the world we inhabit.

The things we do, clothes we wear, work we create, products we buy, and stories we tell influence others in ways we can predict…and ways we can’t.

Too often the influence of the average person is overlooked.

As creators, marketers, and businesses embrace the power of “influencer marketing,” they trip over themselves to exploit the reach of a 12-year-old’s YouTube channel or a hipster barista’s Spotify playlist.

In our thirst for the influential few, we’ve lost sight of the influence of the many.

The average person may not have the resume of an influencer, but that person’s influence is still significant — and the growth of your audience depends on it.

True audience growth doesn’t come from the hat tip of a few influencers, it’s rooted in average people whose own influence is appreciated.

While those with large followings may be able to trigger a burst of awareness for you, it’s your ability to convert that awareness which ultimately determines the fate of your work.

It’s not the influencers you need, it’s the average.

When creators care as much about the person with 100 followers as they do the one with 100,000, incredible things happen.

👉 Gary Vaynerchuk’s empire didn’t begin by courting influencers. It began by engaging with every single person who commented on his content.

👉 Kevin Hart’s comedy career took off not after he landed his first movie role, but after he started collecting email addresses from every single person who saw him in a comedy club.

👉 Lady Gaga built a rabid fanbase of “Little Monsters” by creating innovative ways to communicate with them and making them feel heard.

When I reply to emails from For The Interested readers do you know what the most common reaction I get is?

“Wow, I can’t believe you actually replied.”

How sad is that? It shows how low the bar has become.

People who invite me into their inbox each week, who give my newsletter their attention, and who respect my advice enough to seek it out, are SHOCKED when I respond.

It shows how ignored the average person feels by creators these days.

It’s also the reason so many creators and companies fail to build loyal relationships with with their audience or customers.

If you only care about the influencers, then you miss the opportunity to become influential.

But the flip side is also true.

If you treat everybody as an influencer, there’s a good chance they’ll use their influence to spread the word about you and your work.

And when they do, amazing things can happen.