Early information, summarized well, unique perspectives, distribution.

I was fortunate this week to be a guest on CXO Talk, a video podcast hosted by analyst Michael Krigsman and marketing executive Vala Afshar.  It's a great show with really good guests.  I highly recommend it.  I was part of a round table about online influence, along with the CEOs of related companies Kred and Onalytica.   The full video is embedded below.

At the 21 minute mark, co-host Vala Afshar asks "how do I create influence online?  What do you have to be good at doing?"

I love answering that question in conversation and Little Bird helps answer the question through automation.

The following are five ways you can add value in influencer engagement online.  You'll notice that these are not ways to get influential people to talk about you or your company.  Nor are they tips like "give them free gifts."

These are tips on how to give influential people something truly important - valuable information, perspective and distribution.  Those are the kinds of things that ambitious people appreciate, they're the things that got them to the top of their field so far and they know that these are the kinds of value that will help them stay at the top.

Give people these things and you'll be welcomed into valuable relationships.  This is how I see it - if you disagree, please let me know so I can learn from your perspective.

Here are five ways you can add value to someone's life when you engage with them online:

Be the first place people learn about something important. They'll pay attention next time they see you, in case you can do it again. Little Bird helps you watch trusted experts in a field and pass their discoveries along to your own community online. (See the Share & Engage page in any report.) You'll be the first place that your community discovered the information from and you'll help that expert influencer gain access and social capital inside your community.  In other words, if you can be early to pass value along, then you'll be adding value in both directions.  People will appreciate it and your social capital will grow.

Explain something really well.  We're all super busy and anyone who can explain the most important part of something succinctly wins big points with everyone.  You can find good things to explain to your audience via Little Bird's content discovery and you can put them in context by searching for past research and perspective in each report's Search page. (That's where we help you search inside the archival content of subject matter experts and influencers.)  If you're sharing news about an influential person's work with your community online, they'll see that - so say it really well!

Bring together multiple perspectives.  Aggregation is an art.  Tell me what different credible people think about something important and you've added value to my day.  This can be really hard work, but it can be really valuable, too.

Offer unique insight.  Respond to what people are talking about with something unique - maybe something based on your own experience, something you read, or just a few minutes of thinking about it.  They say on the Internet no one knows you're a dog, but that's only relevant if you write like a dog.  Post something smart and uniquely interesting and ambitious people in your field will want to know who you are.

Be funny.  This one's easier said than done, but if you can be funny, that's a form of added value on the Internet.   You can push the "make me funny" button on any Little Bird report...just kidding, there is no magic button that will make you funnier than you already are.  There is, however, technology that can help you be more interesting. You're looking at it, and some of the ways that works are detailed above.

Thanks to Andrew Grill for the embed.