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What Makes An Influencer – Hint It’s Not In The Numbers

This post originally appeared on as well as Linkedin on July 29, 2014.

I’ve been wrestling with the idea of influence on social media. For a while there, there seemed to be a formula, however flawed, for determining influence. It involved numbers:

  • Your Facebook Likes
  • Your subscriber count on Facebook
  • Your subscriber count on Youtube
  • Your Twitter Following
  • Your Kred Score
  • Your Peer Index Score
  • Your Kout Score
  • Linkedin Endorsements
  • and finally what you were writing about and your knowledge.

This, thankfully, is changing. I’ve seen many people, without huge followings or high Klout scores, become influencers in their respective spaces. Regardless of these arbitrary numbers, their content still gains traction and sometimes even goes viral. In my opinion, influence is about what you know and your willingness to share it. It’s putting yourself out there and providing value without necessarily looking for something in return — and passion for what you do. People like Chris Brogan and Gary Vaynerchuk have huge influence, they achieved it organically before all this Klout nonsense. You know why? Their knowledge, their willingness to share and their passion.

What do you think gives a person influence? Post your thoughts in the comment section below.

Seth Goldstein in the Creative Director at Goldstein Media LLC a Philadelphia-based interactive agency. You can find out more about him by visiting his page.