Why Influencer Lists Matter To Me (And Maybe To You Too?)

I saw the tweets starting last week for PPC Hero blog’s annual PPC Top Influencer List voting. I know, many of you will roll your eyes and/or maybe make some kind of comment about it being essentially a high school popularity contest. And, that is not completely untrue. But, it can also be so much more than that. Allow me to elaborate.

First, The Obvious…

I won’t pretend that it does not feel good to be considered a top practitioner or influencer in the industry, it absolutely does. Anyone who says that they don’t have any positive feeling about it isn’t being totally honest – validation, especially from your peers, is always a welcome event! For me though, it truly does go beyond just that part.

Making It On To A List Helps Small Practitioners

I should know, I am one! I came up at a time when the accepted wisdom was that you should always try to make yourself appear bigger than you were. At that time, working from your home was also something that was not to be shared. Times have thankfully really changed and it is completely possible to run a very successful consulting business from your home without having to act like you’re doing it any other way. I love that!

Being small can have its challenges at times though and being on influencer lists, particularly for smaller firms and consultants, can make a huge difference in the clients we are able to land. It can fully take away or at least seriously mitigate a potential client’s concern about working with a smaller outfit for their PPC needs if said consultant is regularly included on influencer or top practitioner lists.

It can help to land speaking engagements at the local, regional and national level. It sure doesn’t hurt when you’re pitching to a group to be a speaker at their event to be able to include your listing(s) as a credential.

It can also put consultants in better position to have work referred to them. The paid search industry is one of the most collaborative and generous I have ever seen or experienced. We are a supportive lot and I think try to help each other when we can as a general rule. Being considered an influencer can open doors to opportunities that might not have happened or been sent your way otherwise.

It Helps Me Help Others

One of the amazing benefits of being included on influencer lists is that it increases my ability to, well, influence things. It allows me to amplify the voices of others. If I can help someone start to gain traction by sharing one of their posts or retweeting something they said or shared, I’m applying whatever influence I may have in their direction. To me this is incredibly important and valuable, particularly for other women in the tech fields. I believe fully in lifting others up, as many before me have so generously done for me. Paying it forward makes the world a better place.

It also strengthens and adds gravitas to a reference or recommendation I might make on someone’s behalf – it helps me to open doors for others. I’m a small firm, so as much as I’d love to, I can’t hire everyone I meet who I think is fantastic when they are looking to make a move. What I can do though is help them to find opportunities and/or put in a good word for them when they are seeking that new opportunity. Being considered an influencer also amplifies this.

And, I can shine a light on things that matter to me. I can devote a certain percentage of my available working hours to work with nonprofits whose causes I believe in. I can be a mentor to others in the industry. If something needs to be said, I can say it and it may get some attention, a response or action.

I will continue to do all of these things, regardless of whether I “make the cut” for industry influencer lists, but being on them sure makes it easier to do.

Take A Minute To Vote

I do not have any affiliation with this list or the voting itself (I have been a guest author on the PPC Hero Blog) – this post is purely my opinion on the topic at large, inspired by the current voting. Here is the link to where you can vote for up to three paid search influencers and one up and coming person for the PPC Hero List. That up and coming slot could be such a boost for the people who make that part of the list. Maybe it gives them the confidence to finally pitch to speak at an event. Maybe it makes them ask for a bigger account or a promotion. Maybe it changes the dynamic of a team in a positive way. Maybe it makes them feel like they can look for a new opportunity or strike out on their own. Maybe it reminds them that they made the right career choice on a day when they’re having a rough go of it. You get the idea!

This post is a bit of a departure for me, not the sharing what I think part (if you have read just about anything else on this blog you will know I have zero issues sharing what I think about things!), but doing it from a more personal perspective. Honestly, I wasn’t totally sure I wanted to actually publish it, but in the end it seemed like something worth sharing. Hopefully, you agree… and if you feel so inclined, I’m not above asking for your vote!

As always, sound off in the comments or hit me up on Twitter (@NeptuneMoon).

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