Seattle Community

Edith Yeung
Event Organizer/Online Marketer
San Francisco, California
Greatly helpful
8.7
out of 10
7 votes

How to Find and Connect with Influencers in Your Industry

Whether you are running a music business, consulting company or an internet startup, you need the help from other people. Building a business in some way is not about what you know, it’s about who you know.
Written Sep 12, 2010, read 1639 times since then.
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Whether you are running a music business, consulting company or an internet startup, you need the help from other people.

Building a business in some way is not about what you know, it’s about who you know.

With the support of certain influencers in your industry, your business could take off beyond like no tomorrow!

Find out how you can identify the influencers for your business.

Type of Influencers and where to find them:

Learning from Malcolm Gladwell’s popular book The Tipping Point, he defines:

The Connectors: 

 Connectors are the ones who know everybody in your industry. They bring people together. They are the event organizers, conference producers, etc.

You can find them in the following sites:

The Maven: 

 Mavens are in the know of your industry. They are on top of things. They are usually excellent in research and like to gather all the latest industry news. They are the reporters and editors in your industry.

For the entrepreneurial world, I consider of them

The Officials

 Officials had the official title to influence people in your industry. Think the president of your trade association, government officials, committee members, etc.

Where to find them?

  • Local Chamber of Commerce
  • Local governments
  • Committee members of board members of your trade associations

The Authority: 

 Authorities are trusted people whom the communities look up to. They are the experts in your industry. They are also usually early adopters who give the most criticism to your products and services. However, once you win them over, they can also be the biggest supporters of your business.

They could play different roles depends on where you find them:

  • Speakers at conferences and events
  • Being referenced by multiple blog posts
  • Being quoted on traditional trade publications or magazines
  • Being re-tweeted by many on Twitter

The Socialite: 

 Socialites like to get involved with different communities. They love going to industry events and networking mixers. Sometimes you call them social butterflies. You see them everywhere. They enjoy passing information along to others.

You can easily find The Socialite and their RSVPs on some of these sites:

You found the influencers, how would you connect with them?

Here are 8 ideas how you could connect with the influencers in your industry:

  1. Read their blogs, tweets - understand what they care abou and understand how you can help the influencers 
  2. Meet them face to face 
  3. Offer help with their projects
  4. Offer them speaking opportunities
  5. Recognize them online
  6. Recognize them in events
  7. Befriend with the influencers - Treat them how you would like to be treated 
  8. Connect them with people they need or want to meet

Final thoughts:

At the end of day, you get to be real and honest with who you are.  And remember - the most important aspect of a successful business is not about what you know or how you do things (though those are obviously important elements).

The most important thing is to have great people (influencers) around you. This isn’t to be confused with just networking or a popularity contest. Instead, it’s about living a life and doing business with people you trust, like, and learn from.

The influencers for your business including your co-founder, investors, advisors, employees, customers, fans and partners–it is the WHO that will make or break your business.

They are the ones who will help make our entrepreneurial journey worth all the sweat we put in. They are the ones who will make or break your business.

And hopefully see you at BizTechDay Seattle 2010 on September 18 where you will meet someone who will change your business.

Good luck! 

Learn more about the author, Edith Yeung.

Comment on this article

  • Public Relations 
Chappaqua, New York 
Richard Berman
    Posted by Richard Berman, Chappaqua, New York | Sep 13, 2010

    Great article Edith which I was happy to rate highly. I think you might add LinkedIn to a site that provides great opportunities to meet significant people. Best, Rich

  • Recreational Musician Connector, Community Builder, and Program Director 
Seattle, Washington 
Tom  Tafelsky
    Posted by Tom Tafelsky, Seattle, Washington | Sep 13, 2010

    I really enjoyed this article, Edith. I'd read the Tipping Point a few years back but now as a solopreneur I think this information is more relevant than ever for helping build my business. Thanks for sharing!

  • President - Software Knowledge 
Nashville, Tennessee 
Steve Kozy
    Posted by Steve Kozy, Nashville, Tennessee | Sep 13, 2010

    Hi Edith,

    Excellent article. I knew it was going to be good when you started with "...you need the help from other people." Your links are good, and your final thoughts have such insight...

  • Search Engine Optimization Marketing Strategist, Web Designer, and Entrepreneur 
Kirkland, Washington 
Arnold Arnan
    Posted by Arnold Arnan, Kirkland, Washington | Sep 13, 2010

    Great insight. The importance of having connections with people of influence is undeniable. Thanks again for writing

  • Workshop Facilitator & Month Off Enthusiast 
Seattle, Washington 
Ruth Hartmann
    Posted by Ruth Hartmann, Seattle, Washington | Nov 27, 2010

    I also really enjoyed the article and specially that you provided specific action steps. Looking forward to reading your other articles as well.

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