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Why Being an Influencer Is So Important:Lessons Learned from Russ Ruffino


On April 19, 2018, Constant Contact released the results of their most recent small business survey. In it, they revealed that 95 percent of all small business owners handle at least a portion of their own marketing efforts themselves. Some indicate that they do it all.

Additionally, of all of the digital options available, email marketing was the most used by small business owners, with 42 percent of the respondents indicating that they attempted to reach their target market by sending correspondence to their inbox.

Online advertising and website homepage promotion were utilized second most often, both at 39 percent, and social media came in last with 37 percent of the owners indicating that they use this particular tool to grow their online presence.

Lessons Learned from Russ Ruffino

While this may appear to suggest that spending time online isn’t important—especially if only about one-third of all business owners do it in an effort to promote their businesses—one look at some of the more successful professionals today says otherwise.

For instance, if you look at Russ Ruffino’s profile on Crunchbase, you’ll see that this founder of Clients on Demand (a multimillion dollar company that was just started in 2011) has a CB Rank of over 49,000. This rank is an algorithmic rank assigned to the top 100,000 most active people, which means that he is one of the most active people online.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that all of Ruffino’s success can be attributed to the time he spends digitally engaging with his customer base, but it can certainly lead into it. How? Because it makes him an influencer in his industry.

Influencer Marketing

Imagine being one of the most-followed people in your industry. Picture your posts getting thousands (if not millions) of likes and shares because people look up to you and trust what it is you have to say.

This is the power of influencer marketing, a form of marketing that the Influencer Marketing Hub calls “a hybrid of old and new marketing tools, taking the idea of the celebrity endorsement and placing it into a modern day content-driven marketing campaign.”

In short, influencers have earned a sort of celebrity status in their fields, making them the go-to person for questions…and product and service recommendations.

How to Develop Influencer Status

How do you develop this type of status yourself, better compelling your target market to buy from you?

According to Neil Patel, a known influencer in the digital marketing space, you first want to pick a niche, a portion of your market that you can start to dominate. Next, come up with a plan for the content you’re going to create to best reach that niche, also identifying the channels that you’ll use (which should be the same channels most of your clients use).

Patel says that it also helps to network with others in your industry by going to events related to your niche. Also, participate in off-site forums to increase your reach and, if you want to expand your reach beyond social media, consider creating a company blog.

Above all, whenever you are conversing with others in your field—in your niche—Patel suggests that you strive to add value to the conversation. One way to do this is to keep current on what is going on in your industry and talk about that. Another alternative is to share what you’ve learned along the way, and take the time to respond to comments so your customers know you’re listening.

Being an influencer can take your company places. Places where many only dream of going.


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