As you plan and work towards your goals for the remainder of 2018, in addition to working with your management team and staff, you should be tapping into your circle of influence (COL) to help provide you with advice and guidance. (To recap, your circle of influence is your trusted network of individuals that you trust and confide in who have various expertise and experience that can help you with your business.)
However, in addition to your circle of influence, there are another group of individuals that you should seek to connect with and learn from. These are referred to as influencers.
What is an Influencer?
Influencers are leaders and experts within your niche or industry that provide advice, insights and perspectives that help to grow your business. These individuals are well regarded in their respective areas and share knowledge and provide inspiration through a variety of mechanisms such as blogs, books, magazines, speaking at live events.
As owners and managers in the B2B start-up and SME space, there are four influencers that we should be following when looking for ideas, insights and inspiration to help grow our businesses.
THE “FAB FOUR” Influencers For B2B SMEs and Start-ups to Watch
Katie Martell, www.katie-martell.com, Twitter @KatieMartell
Katie Martell is an on-demand B2B marketer who helps companies to understand B2B buyers better which is critical to B2B growth and success. She empowers companies to find the right ‘big idea’ to solve a problem and pulls together the right partners, tactics and technologies to make it happen.
Referred to as the “unapologetic marketing truth teller”, Katie’s website provides a range of insights, entertaining articles and videos that are relevant to start-ups and operators in B2B.
Some sample topics include:
• 7 Questions Every Investor Will Ask About Your Go to Market Strategy
• 4 Essentials of Startup Branding
• 30 Ways to Create B2B Buzz
In addition, Katie also produces “The World’s Best Newsletter” aka The Katie Martell Weekly in which she sends out new ideas, writings and interesting links on marketing and business.
Rivers Corbett, www.meetrivers.com Twitter @RiversCorbett
Rivers is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, Ted X Speaker, Entrepreneur in Residence and host of the popular Startup Canada podcast. This New Brunswick-based entrepreneur is an instrumental leader, educator and advocate for entrepreneurship. He has mentored hundreds of entrepreneurs to “be bold” and to “zig while everyone else zags” to build and grow successful businesses.
Through the Startup Canada podcast, Rivers speaks with the movers and shakers of Canada’s entrepreneurship community to provide insights and perspectives on topics ranging from finding your entrepreneurial mojo to why and how entrepreneurs can take their businesses globally.
Rivers is also the creator of the E-book/Video series, The 13 Fears of Entrepreneurs and How to Face them Head On – an excellent resource for all entrepreneurs regardless of what stage they may be at in their journey.
Sean Wise, Twitter @seanwise
Dr Sean Wise is an expert on start-ups and venture capital and a university professor in Entrepreneurship and Strategy at
the Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto.
Dr Wise has published five books including How to be a Business Superhero, How to Know If Your Business Idea Will Fly or Fail and most recently StartUp Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job. This book provides insights on how to evaluate your business idea as well as the 10 steps you must implement before you ditch your day job and hand in your resignation.
Wise is also the host of The Naked Entrepreneur which airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network. The show provides an honest, down to earth perspective on a wide array of topics relevant to entrepreneurs.
Michael Brenner, Twitter @BrennerMichael
Michael Brenner is an internationally renowned author and keynote speaker as well as CEO of the Marketing Insider Group. Michael helps companies reach, engage and convert new customers through compelling content and storytelling both of which are critical to success in B2B.
A true champion and advocate of customer centricity, Michael has written over 1000 articles for the likes of The Economist, Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine. Michael has also co-authored the best-selling book, The Content Formula and also publishes daily tweets that provide practical tips and ideas on developing, repurposing and improving your content strategy and execution to help you achieve your business objectives.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Review your key goals and priorities for the remainder of 2018
• What factors will be critical for success?
• Where might you/your company “get stuck”?
Examine these four influencers more closely. Where relevant, follow one or more these influencers and begin using their content.
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