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The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise? [Hardcover]

Chris Brogan , Julien Smith
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 30 2012
“Anyone can write a blog post, but not everyone can get it liked thirty-five thousand times, and not everyone can get seventy-five thousand subscribers. But the reason we’ve done these things isn’t because we’re special. It’s because we tried and failed, the same way you learn to ride a bike. We tried again and again, and now we have an idea how to get from point A to point B faster because of it.”
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.
 
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.


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Review

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.
 
Visit chrisbrogan.com/impact
Visit inoveryourhead.net
Follow us on Twitter @chrisbrogan, @julien


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's time to CREATE an Impact Oct. 30 2012
Format:Hardcover
Being a fan of Chris Brogan and now Julien Smith, I was pleased to receive an advanced copy of their book.

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.

Highlights include:

- 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.
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By Charles Dimov TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Katherine Ivey provides a solid synopsis of Impact Equation. Chris Brogan and Julien Smith do a great job boiling down the entirety of the book into their equation: IMPACT = C * (R + E + A + T + E). CREATE is Contract, Reach, Exposure, Articulation, Trust, and Echo. This equation is easy to remember - and can easily be used to test one's own social media, brand campaign, or other marketing efforts.

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.
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By Robert Morris HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This review is from: The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise? (Paperback)
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.
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Format:Kindle Edition
I love that quote. This is what you get in The Impact Equation. This book presents a great framework to understand how to execute a successful marketing strategy based on the acronym:
"CREATE"
Contrast
Reach
Exposure
Articulation
Trust
Echo

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:
[...]
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  204 reviews
120 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I got perpetually punched in the face with value. In a...you know...really good sort of a way. Oct. 25 2012
By Keith Nerdin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of this book. The video review is similar to the one I did on my blog. In fact, my review of this book was my first blog post ever. If it feels unbalanced or biased, it's not because I have any affiliation whatsoever with the authors, I just really liked the book. I've changed the way I think and work because of it's message.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Source of Ideas & Strategies to Expand Your Influence Oct. 25 2012
By Chuck Frey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have to be honest: I wasn't a big fan of Trust Agents, the first book by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. It was just a bit too nebulous and didn't contain enough actionable information for my tastes. So when I received a pre-release copy of The Impact Equation in the mail a month ago, I approached it with a bit of trepidation. I shouldn't have been worried.

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!
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marketing that Thumps You in the Chest Oct. 25 2012
By Bill Rice - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Why would you buy The Impact Equation? There's a heap of marketing books. A quick search on Amazon yielded over 700,000. Most are irrelevant. Here's why I found The Impact Equation different...

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!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a Professor, I'd love to use The Impact Equation for my New Media Class! Oct. 26 2012
By Kerry Gorgone - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I teach a graduate course in New Media Marketing, and want to adopt this book for my course. Chris and Julien provide a simple formula for creating content that moves your audience to action. In every instance, they provide real world examples of how each part of the equation has yielded success for them as well as other well known people, companies and organizations.

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.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is an Excellent Rubric Oct. 25 2012
By #MrKRoom3 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Chris Brogan and Julien Smith have hit a home-run. The plain style language and conversational flow of the book make it very approachable. I believe I may be using this book and the Equation itself in a unique way.I am a teacher at Lawton Chiles Preparatory School in Cassellberry, FL. In my classes we have a secondary curriculum called "Positive Digital Footprint". In that time we encourage students to not only create social media but promote it as well. I have used The Impact Equation as a text. We not only try to rise above the noise and chatter of the masses, but also shamelessly promote ourselves, our interests and our causes in a positive and responsible manner. This book outlines how to do just that. We are not looking for a profit monetarily, but we do want to create value just the same. My labs and my school use the Impact Equation as a rubric for presentations as well. Students are versed in the meaning of Cx(R+E+A+T+E) and score one another and themselves accordingly. The Articulation informs my academic score, and the rest becomes part of their character grade. The kids know that they need to CREATE in order to get that 500! Point being, the Impact Equation is great for my individual endeavors, as a blogger, writer, activist (@ConHippy) and teacher. Shaunkunz.com

My Students wish to share.

Charlie says:

"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."

Nelson Says:
"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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