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The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise? Hardcover – October 25, 2012
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Brogan and Smith explain to entrepreneurs how to build ideas, how to move them through a platform so they will be seen and discussed, and then how to build a strong human element around those ideas so that people will know their participation is appreciated. They lead us to consider the source of our market as we combine the passion of those who matter to us with our passion so that all of us can leave our marks on the world. The book is designed around the equation IMPACT = C x (R + E + A + T + E). C represents being seen; R, whom you connect to; E, how often you connect; A, being understood instantly; T, why we trust someone; and E, the feeling of connection conveyed to our audience.The authors note, Build everything you do while understanding that things will permanently be changing. Excellent, thought-provoking book for entrepreneurs and other library patrons wanting to learn about Internet opportunities in the twenty-first century. --Mary Whaley
About the Author
CHRIS BROGAN and JULIEN SMITH are consultants and speakers who have worked with Fortune 500 companies, including PepsiCo, General Motors, American Express, and Microsoft. They have been involved in online communities and blogging for more than fifteen years. Their first book, Trust Agents, was a New York Times bestseller.
Follow us on Twitter @chrisbrogan, @julien
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Top Customer Reviews
The Impact Equation does a marvelous job of explaining how to build or expand your personal brand online. Refreshingly, it maintains a very strong human focus, rather than focusing upon specific tools and "nuts and bolts." Building influence and impact is an inexact science. There's no "do these 10 things and you'll be unstoppable" formula you can follow. Brogan and Smith acknowledge this, and focus instead on presenting a cohesive set of strategies and principles - a platform - that has proven to be successful.
As an experienced blogger and publisher of several websites for a decade now, I was pleasantly surprised to discover many fresh insights and ideas throughout The Impact Equation. Its conversational tone and numerous examples kept me engaged and turning the pages; I found myself devouring it with a highlighter and a pen, underscoring key concepts and jotting notes in the margin on how I plan to put them to work - always a great sign of a valuable business book!
Because I write extensively on creative thinking, brainstorming and visual mapping and love sharing awesome ideas, one of my favorite parts of the book was the authors' discussion of ideas. But not how to brainstorm ideas - that topic has been covered ad nauseum in numerous books and blogs. Rather, they concentrate on how to make your ideas stronger and more persuasive, a topic that has actually gotten surprisingly little coverage in other media.
Brogan and Smith emphasize that it's not enough to come up with great ideas; they need to be relentlessly refined and shaped to ensure that they have a deeper impact upon our target audiences. They need to stand out against an increasing volume of background noise; they need to connect to other knowledge and concepts that your audience already understands. Metaphor is one way to do this. There's actually something Darwinian about successful ideas - they not only fit tightly with their customers' needs but also are designed to be eminently sharable and spread easily in social channels.
"The best ideators aren't just creative; in fact, creativity is but a single aspect idea creation. The rest is a matter of fitting the idea into its environment in an effective way - finding ways for it to spread naturally and quickly and to live beyond its initial contact with its host."
Successful ideas have designs "that help them replicate effectively and take hold in the mind." And they emphasize that "an idea's reach is a consequence of its fit within the ecosystem of its time."
Clearly, I need to spend less time generating new ideas and giving more thought to how to shape, refine and improve the ones I've already created to ensure that they have a greater impact on the people whom I'm trying to influence.
The authors also talk extensively about sharing others' great ideas, rather than just promoting your own - a great way to grow one's influence. It's a "give before you get" philosophy that can't be emphasized enough. It's definitely time consuming but is well worth the investment. It's actually the only sustainable way to grow one's influence online. I've tried to practice this, but Brogan and Smith have challenged me to do even more in this important area.
The Impact Equation is a great read, filled with tons of valuable advice that can help you to expand your influence and impact, both on- and offline. I highly recommend it!
What I especially liked about this book is the way that the authors were able to take the most abstract parts of the social media marketing, such as trust, reliability, reach, and exposure and translate to concrete, digestible lessons. These lessons are delivered in the entertaining, yet highly insightful, laid-back style of the authors which really made it easier to understand what they were saying. A lot of books on social media marketing are so focused on proving their strategies and resources are the best that they seem to be too "dry", while others seem to be so abstract that you have no idea of what they are talking about.This book doesn't seem to have the problem.
As I said earlier, this book does not provide specific techniques on how to create your "impact" in social media (in most cases); instead they teach what goes into the mindset of creating that "impact". As an example, bloggers are always in a search for posts that go viral and increasing the number of followers they have.. A lot of other books that I have read would focus on techniques like content generation, link-building, web development, etc. in order to reach that goal. In this book, some of this is discussed, but their approach is to show you how you can implement time-tested principles of successful media experts to craft a message, develop an audience, and continue to spread your message. In this regard, I feel Chris Brogan's and Julien Smith's approach is more valuable. Instead of learning a quick marketing trick that may last only a few seconds, you learn principles and techniques that will last a lifetime on social media.
I recommend this book to anyone who has a role in social media as part of their job; however (as the authors pointed out) we are all content creators so I recommend it to any and everyone. As a freelancer, I am definitely adding it to my reference shelf and will be revisiting it throughout my career. Why? It's that kind of book you only come across every so often. We all will have some impact on the social media, be sure to use this book to help you make a good one.
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