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According to our friends at Top Rank Marketing, 86% of B2B brands consider their influencer marketing successful, and 85% say they plan to increase their investment in influencers over the next twelve months.

And yet, these same brands continue to report that their biggest challenges lie in identifying and maintaining relationships with key influencers.

They’re struggling to find the perfect folks for their programs and, even when they do, all too often, brands don’t have the right program and processes in place to keep those influencers happy and engaged.

Where are they going wrong? What mistakes are these brands making that the rest of us can learn from and avoid?

That’s what we’re covering in today’s episode of Partnership Unpacked.

Welcome back to Partnership Unpacked, where I selfishly use this time to pick the brains of experts at strategic partnerships, channel programs, affiliates, influencer marketing, and relationship building… oh, and you get to learn too! Subscribe to learn how you can amplify your growth strategy – with a solid takeaway every episode from partnership experts in the industry.

Now, back in episode six with Goldie Chan, I mentioned that the idea for talking to her, a B2B influencer, on this show, came about due to a conversation I’d had with another influencer. He’d been sharing all these stories of not only the work he’d done with brands, but all the mistakes they’d made in their approaches and their campaigns… it was clear there were lessons to be learned from talking to these kinds of influencers in this format.

So that’s exactly what our guest today, my good friend Timothy Hughes, is going to talk to us about.

Tim is ranked as the number one most influential social selling person in the world, and is universally recognized as the world leading pioneer and innovator in this space.

He is the Co-Founder and CEO of DLA Ignite and co-author of three bestselling books, so I knew his incredible experience working with brands, and his tremendous business savvy, would make him the perfect influencer’s voice to bring to the show.

Partnership Unpacked host Mike Allton talked to Timothy Hughes about:

♉️ How brands should structure programs around B2B influencers

♉️ How to measure the success and ROI of B2B influencer marketing

♉️ How to get started as a B2B influencer

Learn more about Timothy Hughes

Resources & Brands mentioned in this episode

Full Notes & Transcript:

(Lightly edited)

B2B Influencer Marketing From The Influencer’s POV with Timothy Hughes

[00:00:00] Mike Allton: According to our friends at Top Rank Marketing, 86% of B2B brands consider their influencer marketing success. 85% say they plan to increase their investment in influencers over the next 12 months, and yet these same brands continue report that their biggest challenges line, identifying and maintaining relationships with key influencers.

They’re struggling to find the perfect folks for their programs and even when they do, all too often brands don’t have the right program and processes in place to keep those influencers happy and engaged. Where are they going wrong? What mistakes are these brands making that the rest of us can learn from and avoid?

That’s what we’re covering in today’s episode of Partnership Unpacked.

This is partnership unpacked your go-to guide to Growing your Business through partnerships quickly. I’m your host, Mike. Each episode unpacks the winning strategies and latest trends from influencer marketing to brand partnerships and ideas that you can apply your own business to grow exponentially.

And now the rest of today’s episode, welcome back to Partnership Unpacked where I. Selfishly used this time to pick the brains of experts at strategic partnerships, channel programs, affiliates, influencer marketing, in relationship building. Oh, and you get to learn, too. Subscribe to learn how you could amplify your growth strategy with a solid takeaway.

Every episode from partnership experts in the industry. Now back in episode six with Goldie Chan, I mentioned that the idea for talking to her, a B2B influencer on this show came about due to a conversation I’d had with another influencer. He’d been sharing all these stories of not only the work he’d done with brands, but all the mistakes they’d made in their approaches and their campaigns, and it was clear there were lessons to be learned from talking to these kinds of influencers in this.

So that’s exactly what our guest today, my good friend Timothy Hughes is going to talk to us about. Tim is ranked as the number one most influential social selling person in the world and is universally recognized as the world-leading pioneer and innovator in this space. He’s the co-founder and c e o of d l a, ignite and his co-author of three.

Bestselling books, so I knew his incredible experience working with brands and his tremendous business set. It would make him the perfect influencer’s voice to bring to the show. Hey Tim, welcome to the show.

[00:02:38] Timothy Hughes: Hello, Mike. It’s wonderful to be here. What an amazing introduction. Thank you so much. [00:02:43] Mike Allton: It’s my pleasure. [00:02:44] Timothy Hughes: I didn’t know I’d, I’d done all those things. I just thought it was just . [00:02:48] Mike Allton: I didn’t actually verify. I trust, I trusted you. I trusted the bio . So I’d love to start just by letting you share more about how you got into socials. Selling in the first place and kind of your journey toward becoming the influencer in that space. [00:03:04] Timothy Hughes: Yeah, great question, Mike. My background is sales. I’m a salesperson. I’ve been in B2B enterprise sales for 25 years, and way back in probably 20 13, 20 14, I realized something was going on with social media and didn’t know what it was, started playing around with it, and it just so happened. I bumped into somebody as you do online, and I ended up getting a book deal and we had a book deal within three months.

So Matt and I basically wrote the first book on social selling, which came out in 2016. And then it was pretty much then I decided that’s what I wanted to do and I wanted to, I quit corporate life and I in a cushy job in a big software company and sets up my own company with my business partner, Adam Gray.

And what we do is we help organizations transform to using digital. Through sales. So that’s social selling, but also about how they use digital in the the sales method rather than using the analog techniques that we did back in the 1980s and 1990s.

[00:04:04] Mike Allton: That’s fascinating. And if we go back and we think about when you were just starting out in this social selling space, Think about the point where you first kind of realized, oh, I’m an influencer.

Maybe didn’t come to you that way, but there was a point where you were an influencer. What was your first client gig as an influencer? And kind of talk to us about how that worked.

[00:04:25] Timothy Hughes: It all started when I actually first started appearing on lists, so I, I was number, the number 30th or something like that, social selling influencer in the world back in 2014 on a Forbes.

I mean, I was like nobody. And there I am in Forbes on this like top 30 list and it was, Where did that come from? And then 2015, at that point, I decided I wanted to be number one. So I started working in 2015. I then became number two, and then 2016 I became number one. And actually one of the reasons why I became number one was when I was number two, everyone said, oh, it’s really interesting.

You’re number two. So who’s number one was, it was like, you know, no one was interested in the fact that I, but I’ve worked really hard for this. But at that point I started getting approached by, There was a number of social media listing tools. That clearly were listening to what was going on and seeing that I had influence and approached me.

And there was one Christmas when I got, uh, I was still working for the corporate company, which was, there was a certain amount of tension starting to Mm, before at this point. And I started getting like I would do something and then, I would get, I got like bottles of wine for Christmas and, and it was like, this is going back to 2015.

So it was just about, there was still a mail room there. It’s like, it’s the mail room here. What’s that? There’s a parcel for you. Is that, what is it? Why don’t we dunno? And I would trip into London, people may realize I have a different accent and I’d go into London and there’d be like this big bar and it was like bottles of.

It was bizarre cuz I didn’t see myself as an influencer. You know, when I wrote my first book, social Selling Infant Bars and Change Makers, the first edition, I kind of thought, well I actually wrote it because I wanted my dad, who unfortunately has passed away, but at the time, you know, he had dementia and he was just about going into that and I wanted to basically, See him and show him, look, your son actually, you know, he thought he was an idiot and he didn’t, and he wasn’t gonna do anything in his life.

He’s actually got a book. So suddenly getting all this interest was, was interesting.

[00:06:31] Mike Allton: Yeah. I love that you mentioned the list because you know, I’ve, I’ve been on list, you know, content marketing list and you know, social media blog and so on, and I know often there’s a perception. Popularity contests because often they are, often they’re not researched and that sort of thing, and yet clearly there’s value, particularly when it’s a list on a publication like Forbes.

Like I mentioned in the introduction, we had Goldie Chan on in the previous episode. You know, she’s been on lists like that. She’s a contributing author to Forbes, so there’s prestige on that kind of. I’d love to know more about. Okay, so once you got to that number one ranking, what happened next?

[00:07:11] Timothy Hughes: Well, lists are an interesting thing because I mean, there are lists and there’s lists as you’re probably aware.

You know, there are lists that are created by mates. I remember a guy created a list. And the top seven people were from ibm. And I actually called him out and I said, you know this, and I’ve looked, these people don’t have any influence at all. And he dmd me and said, don’t say anything. I’m going for a job at IBM , and I’ve created the list.

So it’s like, and he got the job. And, you know, people create lists because they’re affiliates or because they’re mates. I remember seeing a, a list that he created of his mates and even put himself on the list, which was kind of, but when you get lists coming out from people like Brand 24 where it’s an actually a tool that’s used for measuring social media influence, that’s when I think people sit up and.

Those lists are what often people are using to check which influences are want. So there’s a, there’s a number of places, you know, there’s Analytica and Analytica actually have their own portal where I’m on the portal. That was one of the first 15 people in the world to go on there where you put up your details.

There’s thinkers, Thinkers 360, which is another portal I’m on, which is places where you can find influencers, but there’s also the lists as well. And again, I think people work through the lists and it’s those lists that generally get me speaker events. And so therefore, it’s important to be on them. But I’m always interested to see when I’m not on them.

Because obviously when I’m not on them, the lists are rubbish.

[00:08:39] Mike Allton: Right? Of course. , we all know that. Right? And for everyone listening, we already had our first big takeaway from the show, which is that if you want to get hired by a big name brand, publish a list. That makes their top executives look great.

You’ll land themselves ab. Absolutely.

[00:08:54] Timothy Hughes: Yeah. Yeah. Put the top 50 influential people at IBM m and then, you know? [00:08:58] Mike Allton: Yeah. There you go. There you go. Just make sure you put the right people at the top of the list. Cuz if you put Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Wrong guy. You’re not gonna go limiting. Yeah. So Tim, tell me about, and when you’re thinking about all the influencer marketing campaigns that you have done in the past, what’s been your favorite and what made it your favorite? [00:09:17] Timothy Hughes: My favorite is where the brand came to me and they said they want, it was about working with me and I will contradict myself because I actually think that the brand should actually say, we’re thinking of doing this and actually have an idea. Cuz I have, I have had people pitch to me and say just, they just turned up on a Zoom call and said how.

And the convers, how much for what am I writing a blog or you could sponsor my next book and all the different things in between, you know, what are you gonna do? And, and they said, actually we don’t know, which is fine, but. What’s really good is actually understanding what it is that they’re trying to achieve and how I can add value.

So one of the things that often happens is that there’s, I think there’s an expectation from infants and marketing that it is in effect paid media. And I get a lot of people that come to me and say, what I want you to do, you know, we make glasses, cases, and what we want you to do is to go onto the internet and.

This glasses case is the best glasses case that you’ll ever buy, and it’s just an advert. And if they actually looked at any of my information or read any of my blog, they’re fine. I actually don’t believe advertising works for start, cause I don’t believe anybody looks at it and going out on just being, it’s just what people do.

You know, Kim Kashian, it’s paid. Yeah, you know, she’s paid to wear a pair of shoes or you know, they basically give her the shoes to wear the Oscars or something like that. And that’s not what people like Mir about. You know, there’s lots of influencers out there. Excellent people. Many of them are my friends, and I know most of influencers, and they’re.

Interesting people. They’re people that have ethics. They’re people that have deep beliefs. They’re also people that have deep technical skills or knowledge in particular areas. And what you’re doing is that you are hiring in effect the expertise, you know, I’ve now been in social media for 10 years. I’ve been in social selling for, this is our seventh year as a company, so there is nobody in the world, and I’m a very modest Bri.

There’s nobody in the world that knows more about social selling and digitally enabling companies than me. And what they or should be doing is tapping into that knowledge. And coming to me and saying, this is what we’re trying to do. How can we use that? And, you know, coming to me and saying, we’ve got some research, we are not sure what to do with it.

Would you write the report? That would be fantastic because you, you would go on a journey to understand and that can be a co-creation, you know what we’re thinking of this. Oh, okay. Right. And so it’s about, really about looking at the person and I’m thinking lots of, lots of friends I have who are influencers who are just so amazing at what they.

And tapping into that, and I, I saw one recently, you know, I won’t won’t describe it cuz you’ll know who it is, but they just wrote a blog about how great a piece of Google software. And I just thought, and I don’t believe that brands will actually get in any, you know, may you, you’ll make one or two sales because someone will say, Tim says this glasses case is great, so we’re gonna go out and buy one.

But really, I don’t believe it.

[00:12:31] Mike Allton: Yeah, and that’s kind of leading into my next question. You’ve already kind of touched on some of the what not to do, right. But what , what is the absolute worst influencer campaign that either you were involved in and then realized at the end this was, this was just rubbish.

I shouldn’t have done this. Or you could just tell from the start, I don’t want to have anything to do with this brand or this.

[00:12:54] Timothy Hughes: Well, because of the fact that I get approached a lot by people and a lot of the conversations, you know, I’m happy to listen and I’m not happy to talk to people because I believe it’s important to build network.

But I get a lot of people coming to me and basically it’s what they’re asking for is paid media. It’s an advert. I remember I was approached by. A large software house and they wanted me to go to their conference and they actually said to me, we want need to come to the conference, but we are not sure when you come to conference, what do you wanna do?

So why don’t you put in a proposal and say what you’re gonna do for how much? So I basically put forward a proposal and they said, yeah, okay. That’s brilliant. And really what, what it was, it was about going around and interviewing people and saying, what do you think of the. And we made sure that we were, but there was particular people that I wanted to interview and we put those up and that was fine.

And then the person in the organization changed. So the deal that we’d done about this is about a co-creation. And the person changed and there was a reorganization and they said, you haven’t written about how great the event was. And I said, well, the event wasn’t great. It was boring. Well, you did this pitch products and most people slept all the way through it.

And the seniors, US VP couldn’t even bother to fly over from the states. And they said, oh boy, you still gotta write something. How great the show is. How great the show is. Like it’s. And it was just, you know, just sitting there and writing something. You know, we went to this show and wasn’t it great?

Really, nobody believes that. I mean, we were inoculated from that 20 years ago. You know, everybody goes to the market and says, buy my product because we’re great. Nobody believes it.

[00:14:34] Mike Allton: Yeah. I mean, that’s why we had, back when we had to watch commercials on tv, we had actors who had to say they were obligated to say, I’m not a doctor.

I play one on tv, or I was paid to endorse this product or whatever, you know, because unfortunately some people were actually believing that such and such a doctor believed in this drug, or a dentist believed in this toothpaste. Well,

[00:14:53] Timothy Hughes: yeah, yeah, yeah. We, you know, there’s, and with adverts, you know, there’s some fantastic adverts in the past where actors basically played parts, which many of us can remember.

But what we know is the fact that they’re just actors. And I think most people just go, well, yeah, that’s interesting. Anyway.

[00:15:10] Mike Allton: Yeah. So the key to what you just said is that any kind of influencer marketing campaign by definition’s gotta be authentic in order to be successful. Yes. In actually influencing anybody else they have to buy into whatever it is that’s being said. [00:15:26] Timothy Hughes: Yeah. And as I said, there’s so many people with so many skills and tap into it. Use those skills. [00:15:32] Mike Allton: Yeah. Yeah. So we gotta be authentic. Now, if we’re thinking about the B2B brand who is, before they even get to the campaign level, right? They’re going to have some kind of a program in place for influencer marketing.

How would you suggest that they structure that? How should they be approaching influencer marketing, kind of at a high level?

[00:15:51] Timothy Hughes: So I get approached a lot through marketing agencies and I was approached just before Christmas for a marketing agency and it was a massive company and the massive company. Was having a product launch January, February of 2023 and the agency came to me with a brief and the brief was rubbish.

Hmm. You know, they said, well, can you do this? And it’s like, well, yeah, I can do it, but this just doesn’t get you what you want. Now the problem that I have is, is the marketing agency actually. Taking this information and giving it to the actual client because it’s unlikely that they’re gonna say, well, actually, we’ve actually been giving you bad advice that this influencer actually wants to do something else.

Now, I didn’t get the work and I wasn’t surprised because, you know, it’s like there was just so many fundamental things in the advice that they were coming back and asking me about, saying, you know, they’ve given some thoughts about me. During earned media rather than paved media, which was good, but it was like, that’s not gonna get you.

And I said, is this short term or do you want seo? Because if you do that, what you’re asking, you don’t get any SEO benefit. And what we could do is that we could take, rather than just write an article, why don’t we come up with a subject matter, like a business process? And why don’t we take that and do an article, a blog, and a TikTok.

Or a video that we can place on other platforms. Now, as I say, because I’m talking to a third party in this marketing agency, I don’t know if that ever was taken through and presented to the client.

[00:17:29] Mike Allton: Yeah, I’ve definitely worked and said and taught. A very similar tactic where if you’re gonna work with an influencer, it needs to result in assets that you’re gonna be able to reuse and repurpose over time.

It’s gotta lead to their strengths of course. So that could mean a blog or a podcast or a video or a TikTok, but what’s the long-term value? What’s the purpose? Who are we trying to reach? You know, those are questions Yes. To be asked. Yeah.

[00:17:56] Timothy Hughes: And it wasn’t clear, you know, it was, it was a case of, you know, can you produce an article and how much, and it was.

Right. Okay. What’s the objective here? Yeah. You know, okay, so you’re launching a product. I can understand that. But if you’re launching a product, you know, what we wanna do is we wanna make sure that we’re getting the reach in the different places. And there’s some fundamentals here within, you know, to do with seo.

Making sure that we are reaching different platforms you are missing here. But , I never got a job.

[00:18:23] Mike Allton: Okay. So let’s think about the jobs that you have had and the successful campaigns that you’ve worked on. Cause I’d love to know how, in your experience you’ve measured that success. How do we know whether or not we’re actually seeing, or how does the brand know if we’re seeing ROI from their investment in you as an influencer? [00:18:42] Timothy Hughes: Well, I measure it by paying my mortgage and putting food on the table, . So, you know, I don’t, I don’t get a salary at the end of the month, like people in corporate. So, you know, it’s, I live my life based on my wits and my expertise, and that’s what people are buying. So therefore, you know, for me it’s important and for my family that I own a living.

So that’s how I measure it. I think that the way the brand should be measuring it, What they’re gonna be doing is reaching people that they’re not talking to at the moment. And that isn’t just about visibility because ultimately what you sell and what I sell requires a conversation. So we need to be building conversations cuz conversations create sales.

So it’s. Using, traditionally organizations are not into and talking to the people that they need to influence, whether that’s the companies, whether that’s, there may be consultants, there may be other influencers that they’re trying to reach. And really what you’re trying to do is, it’s, for me, influencer marketing.

Well, you can use influencer marketing down the funnel to reconfirm people’s purchases, but for me, influencer marketing usually is a top of funnel activity and it’s about trying to get to people, decision makers or even middle tier people to say, have you heard this person? And rather than doing it with me going, Hey, have I got this glasses case?

And isn’t it wonderful? Look, Which no one’s gonna listen to. If I do an interview of one of your executives on my podcast, what will happen is that the people that listen to my podcast will come along. Now, the person that I interview isn’t gonna do a pitch. The person that I interview will be doing what all of my podcast guests are doing, which is sharing a piece of.

Advice and education just as I’m, I’m doing now. But what they’re doing is that you are, you are in effect is getting that, that executive into your target market homes and say, I never thought about them as an organization. That’s interesting. That person’s got an, you know, that person’s clearly an expert.

These people obviously know what they’re talking about. And then you’ve got that, that visibility. But also you also need to think about how you’re gonna take it on and start the conversation. Kind of a different, different conversation for a different day. We need to be building conversations.

[00:21:08] Mike Allton: That’s fantastic advice.

Tim, in a perfect segue to this quick message, I wanna drop in from our C M O at a Gopaul Darrell pre about how brands are missing an opportunity to measure their ROI from another key marketing channel.

It’s the Arctic Triumph. Can you imagine if you’re in charge, if you’re the c. Of marketing Paris, what are your main channels?

Wow. There’s the arc of triumph. There’s the Eiffel Tower. There’s the Lou. Those are your channels you’re gonna use to drive tourism dollars in. Okay, now, but you’re not the CMO of Paris. In fact, you’re the CMO of your company product service. So what are your main channels? So I’m gonna guess. There things like pay per click, maybe trade shows, events, maybe content.

Those are all pretty predictable, right? Let me ask you this question. Are you treating social media as a main channel? By the way, only 1.8% of you today measure social media and can prove an ROI in that investment. HubSpot and Gartner say, social media’s the number one channel to invest in this year. Are you doing it?

If not, I can tell you. You’re not doing it because you don’t have the tools, you don’t have the mentality, and that’s okay. We’ve got you covered. You changed the mentality. We’ll give you the tool of Holz tracks all the ROI for you. One place to manage all your social media activity, your number one channel, change your success.

Treat social media as a channel one CMO to another. My name is Daryl. I’m with the Holz. I’ll talk.

One question I always like to ask all of my guests, I wanna know how important have relationships been to your success in your career?

[00:22:51] Timothy Hughes: Relationships are are key. I’ve just answered a post on LinkedIn where someone, colleague of mine, basically, who’s talking about someone getting a job. And, uh, I tell the story of when I got a job between college and university.

I had a long summer and I wanted to get some, do some work. And I got a job as a, as a electrician’s mate. And it was a great summer. Drove the van and also learn loads of things like being able to go up ladders and drill and stuff like that. Which skills that I still use today. And, uh, the company was my mom’s cousin’s.

Purely from network, purely from the job wasn’t advertised, the job wasn’t available, and the job I got was purely from within. My network. And relationships and network are now critical and if anyone is gonna do anything today, they need to invest in theirselves and and invest in a network. Look at the number of layoffs that are taking place right now.

Where do you think people are finding their jobs? They’re finding in the network? You have to invest in yourself, and it’s to do with relationships. We’re talking about influence. I know a lot of influencers. I’ve spent a lot of time connecting with influencers. I mean, you know, you and I, I don’t, I can’t remember where we’ve met, but we probably were on a list somewhere.

Yeah. . And one of us probably reached out to us and said, we’re on a list. Hey, let’s connect. And then it kind of went and, and I connected you on Facebook, so I kind of now know what’s going on in your life and stuff like that, which is beautiful. And those relationships are so, so that’s, so I. , it’s your asset.

It’s your, it’s your gold.

[00:24:24] Mike Allton: Obviously. Couldn’t agree more. I have the role that I have at a Agora Pulse due to relationships that I had friends that I’d made all those years ago. Yes, I’m approaching five years now at, at this company and wow. I was hired because of, of friendships and relationships. And I also say I also love the fact, Tim, that almost every question you’re answering it with a.

I just wanna call.

[00:24:46] Timothy Hughes: Oh, thank you. Your CMO inspired me to, you know, with his Paris story. I mean, that was beautiful, wasn’t it? ? I mean, I love that. [00:24:54] Mike Allton: Daryl’s great. I gotta tell you, I, I love working for Daryl. You’re a storyteller. Yeah, he is. And he’s, he’s got a great natural conversational presence. He makes everyone feel very comfortable whether they’re in person or on video.

He’s terrific. So, I got a question for you, Tim. I would love to know, for the folks in the audience, They don’t yet think of themselves as an influencer, but now it’s occurring to them. Maybe I am or I could. A B2B influencer, what advice would you have for somebody like that who wants to become a B2B influencer?

[00:25:26] Timothy Hughes: Well, we all have influence. You know, if someone says to you, you know, what’s that restaurant like? Or Have you seen the avatar film? What’s it like? And then you, you may actually be influencing about whether someone goes to that restaurant or watches the film. So we have all have influence. I think that the first thing you need have to remember is probably it won’t arrive.

All in one go though sometimes you look around and, you know, all of a sudden I’m getting these bottles of wine at Christmas and I don’t really where, where know where it’s coming from. It it, you know, I have been talking to brands and actually it’s hard work. You know, there may be people that you see suddenly arriving on the scene, but what that saying, you know, it took me five years to become an overnight sensation.

Yep, that’s right. Uh, and you know everybody, I know all the influence. I know who are friends, work hard. And I’ve interviewed a whole load on my podcast. You know, for example, I know the person who’s the number one person for FinTech worldwide and has been for years. And I said to him, so how much effort does this take?

And he says, you know how much effort it takes? I said, yeah, I do. But I said, I want you to tell me. And he said, I work up this seven days a week. I’m constantly looking for content to share. I’m constantly looking for people to network, network with. I’m constantly looking for things that are taking place.

Now, I’m a great believer in the every day is a school day. I’m constantly looking for new knowledge, and that for me is probably if you want to be an influencer. That for me is critical. Now, I’m also an innovator. I have to innovate to stay ahead of the competition. In fact, When we first started, our two main competitors no longer exist.

They don’t, they gave up. Hmm. We out innovated them. And, you know, as a, in a, as a, in a business that you work with, you’ve gotta keep innovating, but that also means that you’ve gotta keep learning. And that’s a critical thing for me is the, you know, I read body books again.

[00:27:27] Mike Allton: Wow. I love that you’ve brought this up because it’s something you actually said at the very beginning of the show when you talked about how you were first list.

As an influencer, you weren’t number one, you were way down the list and you made it or something. Work hard to get to number two, and then you continue to work hard to get to number one, and you’ve said it again, and I’m, I’m kind of pulling this out and drawing this out because I know a lot of the folks listening are.

CMOs or other executives in their brand, and they’ve been thinking about the idea of creating their own personal brand about being an influencer in their space and helping their brand, which is fantastic. That’s why my CMO is out there talking because it works, it’s great and it requires hard. Work.

You’re not gonna become an influencer simply because you’re the C M O of X, Y, Z brand. You have to exert authority and influence in the industry.

[00:28:18] Timothy Hughes: Yeah, yeah. It’s about exerting that authority and it’s about having digital relevance. Yeah. Because what happens on in the physical analog world, Isn’t, isn’t what’s being measured.

It’s what’s happening in the digital world, which is what your C M O said. It’s about getting that measurement and that’s about having that relevance and you know, being a thought leader means you need to come up with thoughts and leading ones at that. Now all of us. All of us stand on the shoulders of giants.

You know, there’s lots of people that have influenced me and have been mentors. You know, Ted Rubin has been so generous with his time and help with me. He was, you know, he’s a classic person who helped me, and part of that is because I showed him, well, I’m hoping that I showed him that I was looking to learn.

You know, I didn’t come to him and say, I’m an influencer and I know more than you. I went to him and said, I know nothing. You know lots. What can you teach? I was sitting down doing my Twitter yesterday and I was thinking, oh, it was Ted that taught me this way back in whenever it was. What a great guy, what a great guy’s been to, to give me those skills.

But yeah, it takes, it’s, it’s, it’s hard work out, but it’s, and digital relevance.

[00:29:26] Mike Allton: Yeah, that was the conversation again that I had with, with Goldie Chan. In that previous episode, she was dubbed the Queen of LinkedIn in a Huffington Post article, and that’s been kind of her moniker ever since. But that didn’t just happen, that didn’t just fall in her lap.

It’s cuz she’d been creating a video every single day on that platform. She’d put in the work, she’d put in the time. To achieve that and yeah. I love that you bring up Ted cuz. Yeah, it’s, it’s wonderful to have people like Ted in your lives who are colleagues in the space. I usually refer to this as having a mastermind where you’ve got a group of people.

Yeah. That you know, it’s not one of those masterminds where there’s somebody you’re paying to teach everybody. That’s not a mastermind. It’s when you’ve got a group of peers and colleagues and you’re able to help each other, support each. Mold each other.

[00:30:10] Timothy Hughes: Well, yeah. So when my book came out, you know, I needed to get the endorsements.

I contacted Ted, I said, I need an endorsement. He says, yeah, no problem. He said, what do you need? And it’s within, you know, two minutes, it’s in my inbox. Amazing guy. Really supportive. And that’s going back to the network and the relationships. There’s a joke, isn’t there about, well, probably can’t, the King of England as it is now, which is that the joke about, we used to be about the Queen of England, but, and about influence, which is.

The Queen of England knows, or the King of England knows that they’re the King of England, so that, so whenever you go into a room, you don’t need to in, they never introduc. Oh, so no one ever says, this is King Charles ii, because everybody knows who it is, and that’s what it’s like to have influence when you’re going into the room.

That was a point where I remember going to a conference and I went up to somebody and introduced, introduced myself, and they said, I know who you are.

[00:31:04] Mike Allton: Yeah, you reminded me of that exact kind of a thing, you know, earlier when you were talking about how. You just suddenly start to realize, oh, I’m, I’m, I’m kind of well known.

Yeah. When I’ve, when I’ve gone to conferences. Cause the first few years I went to conferences, I didn’t, I didn’t know anybody and nobody knew me. But now I’m to the point where at least, you know, once or twice, Somebody will come up to me cuz they recognized me. I don’t know who they are. They come up to introduce themselves to me, or I’m introducing myself to them like you just said.

They’re like, yeah, Mike, I know who you are.

[00:31:34] Timothy Hughes: When Adam and I first set the company up, this was seven years ago, we went to a conference and we were just sort of like just started and we had, we didn’t really know each other. We went to a conference and someone came up to me and. You’re Tim Hughes, aren’t you?

And it was really funny cuz Adam was going, how? How did people know you? How, how’s it come that? And I said, I dunno it. And it just happens that the person lives down the road from me. But , its really funny, you know when there’s two

[00:31:59] Mike Allton: paid them $20 beforehand you [00:32:01] Timothy Hughes: Yeah, I should’ve, you’d have paid, gave Matt $20.

But it was like we were just starting the company and this guy comes up with a conference and Adam was huge.

[00:32:10] Mike Allton: Love it. That’s great. I’ve got just really one more question for you, Tim. And if you’re thinking about. The channels that you’ve used over the years, and we could define channeling what you want, social media, SEO relationships, other businesses, past clients, whatever you want to think about.

Thinking about the channels that you’ve had over the years, what has been your best source of influencer marketing work?

[00:32:33] Timothy Hughes: I think the lists are important, so I get a lot of people coming to my LinkedIn profile and looking at it. So you need to have the professional edition as an and above. You don’t need to have sales navigator, but you need to have the professional edition where this is where LinkedIn tells you who’s looked at your profile.

So quite often what happens in an influencer situation is that the intern or or somebody within the organization is like, go and get us a list or tell us, well, here’s a list. Go and have a look at the people. So you get them coming and they look at your LinkedIn profile. Anybody who looks at my LinkedIn profile, if they don’t send me a connection request or follow me in some shape or form, I will basically go to them and I will basically just say, you know, you looked at my LinkedIn Pro LinkedIn profile, is there anything I can do to help?

I’m not trying to pitch or, and this is about them. It’s about me. And lot 25% of those turn into, well, actually looking at, uh, we’ve got a sales kickoff coming up, we’re looking at getting speakers. Would you be interested? So from an influencer perspective, that’s a way that I’ve used it and I will do exactly the same on Twitter.

You don’t generally find. Interns on that, coming to Twitter to actually to check you out. It would generally be somebody that was, cuz you can’t actually see it. It would be somebody that would be engaging with you in some shape or form. But LinkedIn is the, the place where I’ve probably picked up most of the, the business book.

[00:33:57] Mike Allton: What a fantastic piece of advice. I’m so glad I asked questions like that cuz you could have just said, yeah, LinkedIn. Full stop, right? Yeah. But then you pulled in this fantastic tip and, and I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’m, I’m on the LinkedIn Gold I think it’s called, or pro, whatever it is.

And yeah, I can see, you know, who’s been looking at the, at the profile there, and I’ve spent a lot of time polishing. My profile, which is also advice I give other folks, particularly again, if you’re A C M O listening to this A C E O, and you’re thinking about developing your personal brand, spend some time going back through your LinkedIn profile and make sure that it reads in such a way that would be interesting.

[00:34:35] Timothy Hughes: No, not to you. Yeah. It’s not interesting to you. It’s interesting to the person that you are trying to influence. So I did something, there’s another tip while we’ve got a couple of minutes left. When I wanted to leave corporate world and be, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I actually thought I was gonna be a tech influencer and I was kind of reaching out and bumping into things and I didn’t know, and I kind of book up the book deal, but there seemed to be people making money from.

Doing stuff around to, anyway, what I did was that I did a kind of Tony Robbins thing on my LinkedIn profile, and I wrote the LinkedIn profile for the person I wanted to be, not the person that I was. And that was the thing that, that was the thing that got me my book deal, Matt. It was Matt’s my co-author on my first book.

You know, getting the book deal changed my life. And so that actually changing your, your profile and doing that, so not writing it, I’m a c manager, da da da. But actually changing it to where you want to be and where you want to go.

[00:35:33] Mike Allton: What a great way to sum up the whole show. Thank you so much, Tim. This has been Thank you.

Fantastic. I can’t wait. Hopefully we’ll be able to get together in person soon in the uk, but for everyone else who’s not heading that way, where can they find you, connect with you if they wanna learn more?

[00:35:50] Timothy Hughes: The best place to get me is. LinkedIn, I’m Timothy or Tim Hughes, or you can find me on Twitter. I’m Timothy under Squirrel Hughes.

My website is dla ignite.com and I must say that I do have a book sale, which is on Amazon Worldwide, which is with the yellow cover social selling techniques to influence buyers and Changemakers, second edition.

[00:36:12] Mike Allton: Fantastic folks, we’ll have all those links, the books, everything in the notes. You can just scroll down at this point.

And that’s all we’ve got for today, friends. I hope you’re enjoying. Insider prospectus cause I’ve got some more tremendous influencers lined up to share their secrets for you in the future. Meanwhile, our next episode is gonna dive into the state of partner ops, a report that was co-authored by HubSpot and partnership leaders with Kelly and Asher joining me to walk through it.

So don’t forget to subscribe to the Partnership unpacked podcast and drop us for review. We’d love to know what you. Until next time.

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