Influencer of the Month: Jason Falls
Jason Falls is a leading digital strategist, author, speaker and thinker in the digital and social media marketing industry, with over 97,000 followers on twitter. He leads strategy for Elasticity, an innovative digital agency that helps brands excel and adjust in an ever-changing marketing landscape.
Noted as a top influencer in the marketing space by Forbes, Entrepreneur, Advertising Age and others, Jason is the co-author of two books: No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing (Que 2011); and The Rebel’s Guide To Email Marketing (Que 2012). Falls is also noted for founding SocialMediaExplorer.com.
1. What does being influential online mean to you?
It’s a pretty simple, really. When you share content or share ideas, a lot of people respond. Online influence is probably most tactically measured in how many clicks you can generate or how much traffic you can drive by your online actions. But it’s more than that, of course. It’s how many people you can reach with a message and how many of those are impacted by it.
2. How do you use your influence to better your community?
My whole reason for being online from a professional standpoint is to find and share useful content. I wrote a Twitter strategy down in 2008 and pinned it to my bulletin board. The strategy simply said, “Share good shit.” I knew if I did that, the followers would come because I was establishing a reason for them to. And that’s precisely what happened. I better my online community by helping them find great content to be smarter about their jobs in the marketing and PR space.
3. How does generosity enhance your online relationships?
In today’s world of “you gotta pay me” a little generosity goes a long way. I share great content, regardless of who writes it, who they work for, why they’re publishing, what kind of leads they may generate, etc. And I’m happy to do so. I can’t recall a time when I’ve asked someone for money to share their content, though certainly I’ve shared content from clients and other folks I have financial relationships with. So when I reach out with my own content or a client’s content to promote, the courtesy to share is exceptional and noted. Probably more so, the lack of generosity is also noted. Those that are generous become the relationships you gravitate to.
4. How do you integrate your real life experiences with your online identity?
I’m one person, so my real life is what I often share online. Even though the majority of my online footprint is work-oriented, what I think makes someone like me more appealing as someone to follow or connect with online, is that I’m real. You see my evenings and weekends, too. You see my kids, my interests and the fact I love having a cocktail and a conversation at a bar from time to time. And when someone calls me out for saying or doing something unkind or unwanted, I apologize. While certainly, there are pieces of my real life that have no business being broadcast to the world, I’m pretty much an open book online. People tend to prefer that in people they follow.
5. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make Advertising their career?
If you want to be on the agency side of things, be ready for anything. Heh. Advertising and marketing is a rough game sometimes. There’s a great deal of variety and excitement, but steady paychecks and benefits can be elusive, depending on how stable your agency might be. Brand-side marketing is more stable, but more stale. So you have to figure out what environment works best for you. The other piece of advice I would give is to always respect your audience. The worst advertising is always that which assumes they know the audience, but doesn’t actually try to do so. The first rule of communication is to know your audience. Don’t forget that.
6. What do you use your dotKred for?
My dotKred is really just a place I refer people to if they’re looking for some sort of validation that I do have some degree of online influence. It’s one way of looking at the data of influence, but it’s a generally defensible one. I’ll also refer them to other ratings, rankings on blogs and the like, but Kred has always done a good job of illustrating not just overall influence, but category-specific influence, which is an important distinction.
7. What makes your dotKred page different?
I’m really, really handsome. Heh.
8. Who influences you in Advertising?
Great creatives and their thinking. I’m a big fan of Steven Gasse, Edward Boches and though he’s a cranky bastard who doesn’t believe much in digital, Bob Hoffman. But I also have smart friends in the industry I learn from regularly, like Christopher Penn, Jay Baer, Tom Webster and Valeria Maltoni.