Three short years ago, when Chris Brogan and Julien Smith wrote their bestseller, Trust Agents,
being interesting and human on the Web was enough to build a
significant audience. But now, everybody has a platform. The problem is
that most of them are just making noise.
In The Impact Equation, Brogan and Smith show that to make people
truly care about what you have to say, you need more than just a good
idea, trust among your audience, or a certain number of followers. You
need a potent mix of all of the above and more. Here’s how they sum it
Impact = Contrast × (REACH+EXPOSURE+ARTICULATION+TRUST+ECHO)
CONTRAST: Does your idea stand out?
REACH: How many people do you connect to?
EXPOSURE: How often does your audience hear from you?
ARTICULATION: Is your idea clear enough?
TRUST: Do people believe you?
ECHO: Does your message resonate with your audience?
Use the Impact Equation to figure out what you’re doing right and wrong.
Apply it to a blog, a tweet, a video, or a mainstream-media advertising
campaign. Use it to explain why a feature in a national newspaper that
reaches millions might have less impact than a blog post that reaches a
thousand passionate subscribers.
Consider the phenomenally successful British singer Adele. For most
musicians, onstage banter basically consists of yelling “Hello,
Cleveland!” But Adele connects with her audience, pausing between songs
to discuss a falling-out with her friends, or the drama of a break up.
Each of these moments comes off as if she were talking directly with
you, and you can easily relate. Adele has Impact.
As the traditional channels for marketing, selling, and influencing
disappear and more people interact mainly online, the very nature of
attention is changing. The Impact Equation will give you the tools and metrics that guarantee your message will be heard.