During this time, we’re spending a lot of our energy trying to avoid a virus. We’re wearing the masks, we’re not going out as much, we’re washing our hands, we’re sanitizing, everything. But in the marketing space, it’s completely the opposite. We want our stuff to go viral.

One of the books I’ve listened to recently is The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. He’s by far one of my favorite authors and he’s a great narrator. In the book, he talks about how things go viral. Viruses usually start small, and then they start to gain momentum, but there is a tipping point where the virus spreads wildly. And that is usually through one of three types of people.

Now in the social media world, we have something called influencers, but in his book, he talks about three different kinds of people and how they spread things. So an influencer can come in one of three flavors, a salesperson, a connector, or a maven. Today, I want to talk about how to identify and find those kinds of influencers to make your content go viral. Let’s explore each one of these.

The Salesperson

The first kind of person I want to talk about is the salesperson. Salespeople influence through persuasion. They take an idea and they try to make it sticky. They try to make it easy for people to understand, memorable and accessible, and they try to get a tribe of people behind it. They’re trying to build their influence by letting a whole bunch of people know what it is that they’re talking about. They’re storytellers, but they’re also a master of persuasion. They could borrow something from you and sell it back. They have an uncanny ability to get you to buy into their concepts, no matter what they’re selling or what they’re talking about, whether it’s an idea, a plan or a product.

The key things that you have to look for when you’re trying to identify a salesperson in your audience, in your scope of influence, is – do they like to tell stories? Do they like to get people to agree with them? And do they get hooked on concepts and stick with it and keep talking about it over and over again? That’s what a sales person does. They sell things and they sell it to influence. Salespeople are larger than life and can make others feel good and keep their spirits high. When you find a very positive influential person, that is probably a salesperson.

The Connector

The next kind of person we’ll talk about is a connector. Connectors influence through other people. They tend to bring people together. They’re hubs. People tend to congregate around them. People tend to know them. It’s just the way they view the world. They view the world through their connections with other people. These are the kind of people who, every time you ask them a question, they start flipping through their mental Rolodex to say, “You know, I know somebody who does this.” They try to connect you with those people. If you have a problem, they probably know somebody who can solve it. And they love being the kind of person that can give that kind of value to other people. They love connecting people because they’re all about people and you are people. They love to network. They’re totally people, people. Meaning that they’re constantly surrounding themselves with other people that they can refer, which is the final component. They love referring people to people. If you see somebody who happens to know a lot of people and loves making connections for you, obviously they’re a connector.

The Maven

The third type of person is a little bit quirky. It’s a maven. Mavens influence through information and ideas. These are the people that you ask when you need to know something. And they know a lot about a lot of things. They’re mental sponges when it comes to concepts, ideas, products, and services. They tend to like to build things, build systems, or be an engineer of a process.

It’s all about the ideas and information and how to make that useful. They can pull together complex concepts and organize them in a way that helps other people. Now, mavens love to learn. They’re driven towards educational material. Then they take that and synthesize it and they love to share their take on it. The other thing about mavens is they tend to be the early adopters. They’re the people that would buy the first DVD player or try a new concept. And they always know the information to share with other people about what’s good and what’s bad about anything.

Identify And Deputize

You need to start to identify people based on those concepts. If you can find a salesperson, you have to communicate with them in a way that helps them sell your concepts. You might want to give them the features and benefits. When you find the connector, you want to figure out a way that what you have to offer, your information, helps them to connect more people together. How can your information help them build the tribe, solve problems and create a unified effort behind a bunch of different people? The mavens are the ones that want to understand the deep side of concepts, and they want to be able to explain it to other people to get them on board to whatever concept they feel is going to be beneficial to their audience.

What that means is, if you want to make your information go viral, you have to identify the people in your social network, in your sphere of influence, who fit one of those three traits and try to communicate with them differently. If you can identify the salespeople, if you can identify the connectors, if you can identify the mavens, you want to try to communicate to them differently so that they can communicate to their audiences what you want to get across.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, your concepts have to be written and have to be presented in three different ways. Now it doesn’t make a lot of sense to try to do all three at the same time, but what does make sense is create those concepts, those blog posts, those podcast episodes, those articles, and reach out to those people that you know fit those particular traits and ask them to share it. But, be sure to do it in an individualized way that gives them the best opportunity to take your basic concepts and expand them so they go viral across audiences to expand your reach.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about finding the influencers to make your content go viral. Are these tips making your business better? What worked and what did not live up to your expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?