The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise? Hardcover – Oct 25 2012
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Their advice on the importance of being able to write to make a splash online is solid...when it comes to building a brand online Brogan and Smith have been there and done that. The Financial Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
As stated in the introduction "This Book is About More Than Social Networks."
Once we realize the unique opportunity that we have available to us to create an Impact right now, we are introduced to the Impact Equation through an acronym, CREATE.
Impact = C x (R+E+A+T+E).
Through, Contrast, Reach, Exposure, Articulation, Trust and Echo, Chris and Julien share their experiences and knowledge, and provide us with some great case studies. Most importantly, they teach us how to have an Impact, while focusing on ideas, platform and the human element.
- Developing ideas that connect to people on an emotional level and standing out as a unique person who brings value to our audience (Contrast).
- Developing a platform to connect to and influence our audience (Reach).
- Discovering how often we should be connecting to our audience (Exposure).
- Expressing ourselves with clear and simple communication so people understand us instantly (Articulation).
- Building trust and creating relationships with people by demonstrating credibility and reliability (Trust).
- Becoming part of the community we serve through connecting with people on a personal level by speaking their language, having conversations and sharing valuable information (Echo).
My favorite part of this book is the "Ideas" section. There are some great tools and exercises in this section that help you weigh and "audition" your ideas. I also really liked the focus on the human element throughout, many people miss this online and offline.
While I recommend this book to anybody who is creating an audience, I also recommend it to anybody who works with people. The human element will improve your communication skills and relationships.
Those who have already read Chris Brogan and Julien Smith's previously published book, Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust (Wiley 2010) may recall their citing of David Maister's concept of a success equation in his book, The Trusted Advisor. The formula for high-impact business success (I = C x R + E + A + T + E) to which the title of this review refers is explained in the first chapter. The nature and extent of Impact are determined by the nature and extent of six additional components:
Contrast: Is your idea significantly better?
Reach: How well-connected are you?
Exposure: How often do you connect and interact with those in your audience?
Articulation: Is your idea both clear and compelling?
Trust: Do people believe - and believe in - you?
Echo: How well does your idea resonate with your audience?
Brogan and Smith observe, "By working on each part of the equation, one at a time, you will begin to see what you're doing right, doing wring, or nit doing at all. You will see where your strengths are and why your ideas are spreading, or why they aren't spreading as much as you'd like. You'll understand what you need to work on, and you may even be able to prevent your mistakes. Thus last part is the one that's vital." I agree.
They are world-class pragmatists who possess an insatiable curiosity to understand what works, what doesn't, and why, then share what they have learned with as many people as possible. They devote a separate chapter to each of the seven, devoting most of their attention to HOW to achieve and then sustain high-impact business success.Read more ›
It is an important read for marketers like myself. First it reminds and provides some structure to remembering what activities and campaigns will have 'Impact' on the target audience.
Brogan and Smith provide several question and answer sections throughout the book, intermingled with examples.
An important read for marketers, and for Social Media professionals/enthusiasts.
They surround their thesis with entertaining stories and a unique writing style. If you read Trust Agents you'll love this. They really are two the smartest minds on marketing today.
There's more on the quote here:
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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!
I read it and it does something very unique. It focuses on results and timeless techniques to get them. There are no tricks, silver bullets, or single venue gimmicks. It's about human behavior and fulfilling compelling needs in consumers, for good; which I'm assuming is why your business exists.
I recommend you read it.
Okay, if you're still here, let me share a little more about why I liked the book, annotated the book, and changes several client campaigns to reflect it's principles.
I make my living in the digital marketing space. It's a fiercely competitive and challenging space to consistently achieve successes. There are tons of us digital marketers and the landscape is always changing. What? MySpace is coming back? See.
Likewise, there are lots of digital marketing books. Again, lots of us and things are always changing. That's why I approach all Internet marketing books with skepticism and a realization that it will probably be obsolete in six months, tops.
However, there's a little secret elite marketers hold close. People, even in Fortune 500 companies, make the ultimate buying decision. And ultimately, people only separate from their money, even corporate money, when they feel something good will happen.
That requires Impact.
This book literally takes you through the formula for building companies, platforms, and campaigns that thump people in the chest. That's impact.
It's the unexpected human touch: a favorite CD laid on your hotel pillow, a reply via email or twitter directly from an executive or celebrity, an opportunity to contribute to an awesome project or charity, a one on one conversation with a favorite author.
Easy on a small scale you say? Thankfully, The Impact Equation stays grounded in reality. The book goes on to educate you on how to scale Platforms and Networks to satisfy even the most ravenous marketers' need for high quality and quantity of responses. Impact.
Chris Brogan and Julien Smith have done it again (I was a big fan of Trust Agents too); they have teamed up to show you how to make your marketing more human and your customers fanatical by returning your customers emotions with yours.
Grab a copy!
My class starts with online influence, then helps students to leverage content marketing, mobile and game-based marketing, location and more. There are different tools and sites that are currently in vogue for each of these areas, but what I love about The Impact Equation is that it transcends any specific tools or social networks: the principles Chris and Julien explain apply no matter which channels you use to reach your audience. Whatever your goals are, this book can help you achieve them, because it focuses on the people you want to reach, rather than the latest social network or mobile app.
Like most people, I have precious little time to read, and I need to choose the best industry publications to stay current in my field for teaching. Having read Chris's blog for years, I've come to rely on him for consistently top-quality content. I also knew from reading Trust Agents that he and Julien are the real deal: any publication of theirs will be informative and worth reading.
The Impact Equations does not disappoint! They get right to the "good stuff," explaining The Impact Equation (yes, it's an actual equation) and what each part of the process is for building your online influence. The rest of the book expounds on each element, providing plenty of industry examples and thought provoking exercises to ensure that you're able to apply the equation to your unique goals and objectives.
The insights you'll gain from this book are worth much more than this book costs. I liked it so much that I bought one even though I had already received a review copy. The Impact Equation is so good that I wanted to share it, but didn't want to part with my own well loved, dog-eared copy!
Buy this book and read it more than once. Take Chris and Julien's advice to heart, apply it to your online efforts, then watch your content make a whole new impact on your audience.
My Students wish to share.
"I think it is very useful because it helps me understand what I can improve in my presentation. like articulation which basic means if I say, 'um,' 'ah,' stutter, or if I actually studied what I am supposed to say. We use it to score how effective the presentation was. It helps to gauge the audience participation."
"The Impact Equation has helped out the students and the teachers of Lawton Chiles Preparatory School #chilesprep. The Equation was first introduced to us by #MrKRoom3. At first I thought the Idea was pointless. As we continued to get more projects we used the Equation. I then started to realize how effective this Equation was. We haven't changed the Equation at all this entire school year. I'm very proud to be using this grading Equation."
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