Digital Leadership interview #2 – Terry Brock

Hi Terry, it’s great to be connected and I’m very much looking forward to learning more about you and your view on Digital Leadership and our digital world. Terry and I connected on Facebook after a friend in common, Andy Lopata, mentioned Terry in a comment in one of my updates.

My status update was
“Yesterday at the ‘Digital Marketing Show’ I heard that the number of real and engaged connections you have in your social media networks is the new currency. Do you agree?”

Terry’s reply was:
“Hi Sofie. Yes, digital influence is important today. Many buying decisions are being made based on a score like the Klout Score. Good to look into it and know what it is about today and why it matters.” 

So let’s see what Terry has to say about digital leadership, influence and Klout.

How are you today Terry?
Doing very well and it is great to be with you, Sofie!

What is your background? How did you become a speaker and author? 
I have a background in radio, newspapers and television with an undergrad degree in that. My MBA is in marketing and I have been working with companies around the world since 1983 advising and helping with issues related to marketing, strategic deployment of technology and building business relationships.

I became a speaker as I found that speaking was a good tool for communicating information to help people change their lives in a positive sense. Just this year I celebrated my 30th anniversary as a professional speaker.

Where you are based?
Planet earth! 🙂  Well, for government purposes, I’m domiciled in Orlando Florida, but I really live on Delta Airlines, British Airlines, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines and various other Airlines around the world with stops at Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton and other hotels along the way. It is a fun lifestyle!

You are a professional speaker, I’ve listened to two of your videos online. What kind of audiences are you normally speaking for? Give me some examples.
Like many speakers, I speak to a variety of audiences. Recently I spoke for audiences in the credit union industry, insurance industry, funeral industry, and a group of entrepreneurs. The common theme is they are looking to build better relationships with their customers and stakeholders.

They want to deploy portable technology in the right way and make the best use of social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, Klout and more.

What is making social media so fascinating according to you? 
Social media is connecting people with people. It is not about blasting a message out to people with the old “Spray and Pray” method of marketing and advertising. Social media has turned traditional marketing upside down on its head! One person with a smart phone today can literally reach millions of people.

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That has not been possible before in history. Today a person who understands how to best use the technology can make a profound difference as never before. It is great to be alive today with all this cool technology and possibilities!

What is digital influence?
Digital Influence the the ability one has to create action by others. When you offer advice, how many people will respond to what you ask? What type of people respond and monitor what you’re doing? Klout is a way you can measure this. Instead of just using a “gut reaction” you find out in a quantitative way, how influential a person is.

Digital influence is becoming more and more important as more of our world operates digitally. Therefore, those who have more influence in the digital world will be able to yield even more influence. Yes, it has a compounding effect.

How do you describe a digital leader?
One who can influence the actions of others. A leader in the digital world is one who can put out, say, a Tweet on Twitter and have many others respond to it and comment about it. They Retweet the content of a digital leader much more than a regular user of Twitter. The same can be said of other platforms like Facebook, YouTube and other networks.

What does digital leadership and digital influence mean to you?
It is something we need to pay attention to and figure out the science behind it. This is no longer optional for marketers or thought leaders. It is important. It is like the old phrase goes, “What is important is what important people think is important.”

We have to focus on what important people (read buyers) say about areas that impact us. These are the people we should pay attention to and follow.

When we are measuring online influence there are many things that matter; engagement, reach and if anyone takes action from the message. How do you think we are going to measure online influence in the future?
In the future, and now, we are using tools like Klout to measure how influential someone is in the digital space. A Klout Score is much like the BMI (Body Mass Index) used in the medical community. The goal is not to hit a certain BMI but rather to have optimal health.

A Klout Score is not the ultimate goal. However, by embracing and doing those things that contribute to being a good social media citizen, you’ll see your Klout Score increase.  Klout Matters. It is a way to measure (at 12 billion data points per day) how effective you are in generating digital influence.

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Many businesses and organisations are lacking in knowledge about the digital tools, they feel overwhelmed and they don’t know where to start… If you would advice a medium size business (European size 100-250 people) how to get started with B2B social media marketing, what would you tell them? Most of the people in the business would rate themselves as beginners in the digital world.
That is understandable and it is all right. Social media is still new to many people and we’re all getting our “sea legs” as we go on it. We are finding key ways to make it work better. The most important element, and what we stress in our book, Klout Matters, is to engage with others. It is not about broadcasting (or “blasting”) your message out to a bunch of people.

Effective marketing today is about engaging with people as human beings first. Answer their questions. Build and earn the respect and trust of those with whom you want to do business. You enhance your reputation as a trusted advisor in your area of expertise. Then you make wonderful compelling offers to them on how they can get involved with you and your products.

Do this by listening to what they are encountering and engage them with helpful conversations. Find ways they can increase their business and connection in their communities.  This is really about helping, not selling. It is about connecting with people as human beings, not “targets” in your marketing plan!

Can leaders benefit from knowing more about how online influence works and how it can help them? If yes, why should leaders pay extra attention to this?
Can pilots benefit by learning better how to fly? Can athletes benefit by learning their sport and craft better? YES! It is now imperative for leaders in business to know about social media and digital influence and what works. This is where our world is today.

We have to focus on those areas that help us grow and become more of who we need to be. Leaders should pay extra attention to social media because it is vitally important today. If you lived in the year 1720 and wanted to do more business, you’d hang out where buyers are. This might be a local pub or gathering place.

Today, you still need to hang out where your customers are. Today that place is social media. Networks like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and more are where people hang out. Find where your communities hang out and be there for them. Don’t go there just to sell your stuff, but be there to help and assist. The sales will naturally follow if you do it right.

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You’ve written a book about Klout and online influence. What are the key messages in your book? 
Successful leaders today engage (key term) with their audience. They earn their likeability and trust first before engaging in commerce. There are ways you can build your digital influence as we site in the book. Give good advice on specific topics. Be the person who connects others. Use pictures, for instance, in a powerful way on Facebook and it will garnish more attention for you.

These and many other techniques can help you to build your connectiveness with others.

Do you know any organisations that are using Klout in an excellent way? Role models we should follow and learn from.
Many are making some incredible business advances. Chevy wanted to reach top influencers in the areas of cars and love of the environment. They went to Klout who worked with Chevrolet to give the use of their Chevy Volt for a long weekend to these key influencers. Chevy won. The users and influencers won. Klout won. All received what they wanted in a favorable, mutually-beneficial way.

American Airlines gave a free day pass to their prestigious Admirals Club for anyone who had a Klout Score of 55 or higher —— and you didn’t even have to fly American Airlines that day. This gave great exposure for American Airlines to those who fly a lot and would use their Admirals Club. The people receiving these awards won. American Airlines was able to connect with a key market and everyone came out much better.

Klout is a tool that helps you find out if what you’re doing in social media is right. Don’t obsess over it worrying about your daily score, but use it as a guide to keep doing social media activities right. This is the key.

Is there anything our readers can help you with? 
Come on over to our site, and visit. We have free videos and training there to help people learn more about social media, how to connect with customers and build your Klout Score. If someone has a question where I can help, please connect with me on my personal email,  I look forward to helping where I can.

Thank you Terry!!!

You can connect with Terry Brock: 

Terry Brock, MBA, CSP, CPAE

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