Ivana Taylor ranked #21 out of 32, 955 Fast Company Influencers

In early July, I learned about the Fast Company’s Influencer Project. The idea was to do an experiment that would find the most influential person on the internet.

“What the Influence Project aims to do is remove some of the mystery behind the inherent passivity of social network numbers. This experiment will show what happens when an individual takes an audience at rest and applies an unbalanced force–through suggestion, advice or direction–that converts it into an army of action. That’s power that can be quantified and lead to an understanding that can be applied to both the largest and smallest of networks. No doubt it’s profound to address a million followers and get 100,000 of them to respond. But what does it mean when you have one hundred friends on Facebook and 97 of them click through to a site on your recommendation?”

Being a marketing person and an early adopter, I was curious and so I signed up. I passed my link on to my network via my blog, Twitter account and Imagine my surprise when I heard that I had actually ranked #21 out of over 30,000 people! There is a lesson here for small Business CEOs.

What Small Businesses Can Learn from The Influencer Project

  • Take a few minutes for a lot of exposure. In the world of social media promotions, a few minutes of your time can translate into exponential exposure for you and your company. It took me a total of 15 minutes to register on the influencer project, tweet it to my followers, post it on my Facebook page and write a short blog post about the project as a crowd sourcing example. These 15 minutes paid off big in exposure.
  • Don’t ignore projects or awards in your “brand area”. There has been some criticism of the project because there are some really influential and well connected people who didn’t rank very high or were not included. The flip response was that these people were so important that they didn’t need to waste their time with this effort. I disagree with this. While it’s important to manage your time, it’s also important to manage your brand. And when some kind of award or project comes up in your brand area — I think you need to be there.
  • Be first to get more share. The original rule of marketing — be first for the most market share – still rings true. In today’s fast paced social media world it’s important to be FIRST. This means that you will have to quickly sort through the social media sites, options, applications and trends fairly quickly. Register for all of them, then set time aside in your day to foster your?presence on these sites until you can see which ones bubble up to the top.

These are just a few things that I got out of this experiment. There are many more lessons to come as the magazine hits the stands and people start responding.

Pay Attention to the “Flack”

As with every new media outlet, you’re going to hear a lot of “flack” and people discounting the value of these tools or activities. It’s important to realize that the most important skill you need to have in this environment is a sense of openness to new tools and ideas.

If there is any one phrase that you should keep in mind — it’s “Snooze you lose.” ?Take time each day to explore opportunities to promote yourself and your business. If you do, you’ll find that you’ll be rewarded with new business opportunities.