At a Glance
Tom Augenthaler, Founder, TheInfluenceMarketer.com
Focus Areas: Marketing, Social Media, Sales
Thinkers360 In-Depth Profile & Portfolio: Tom Augenthaler
Latest Content: Build Your Value as an Influencer
Thinkers360 Leaderboard: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Social Media.
Thought Leader Interview
Thinkers360 interviews profile prominent members of the Thinkers360 community who embody the power of ideas in their work. In this edition, we speak with Tom Augenthaler, Founder, TheInfluenceMarketer.com. Tom is an influencer marketing consultant helping B2B companies with Marketing Consulting, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Brand Marketing, Content Marketing, Content Strategy, Blogging and Lead Generation. He was recently featured in the Thinkers360 article 5 Best Practices for working with B2B Influencers and Thought Leaders.
Thinkers360: Tell us a bit about your background
TA: I’m an influence marketer with an emphasis on B2B. I started working with influencers in 2007 when blogging was becoming a “thing” and the social platforms like Twitter and Facebook were just catching on. In handling PR for HP’s consumer laptop line, I saw a need for a better way to reach and connect with the target audiences because the typical publications and reviewers were dwindling. They reached a limited demographic and often defaulted to discussing “speeds and feeds,” the technology components.
I believed the products deserved better so I explored ways to improve how we could reach and communicate with customers. The answer, I found, was through bloggers. Yes, it was uncomfortable at first because I didn’t know who to approach or how to work with them but once that was figured out, I found that the bloggers were willing to create in-depth content about the products that highlighted what they were designed to do and who they were designed for, rather than simply focus on the technology components. The best part was that the readers loved it. That’s when I knew influencers were the way of the future.
By 2009 I was ready to leave HP and joined an influencer marketing consultancy. We were one of the only ones around at the time. That’s when I began helping with B2B companies use influencer marketing.
Thinkers360: What are your current responsibilities and what’s a typical day look like?
TA: I run my own business, so my first priority is to my clients and helping them get results. Normally, this means I’m seeking out or evaluating influences to see if they are a good fit for the clients and the programs we are running together. No matter what, I’m usually connecting and speaking with influencers every week. I find they have insights and perspectives I can’t get elsewhere and this helps me as well as my clients stay well informed.
Thinkers360: What’s the favorite part of your current role?
TA: This might sound like a cliché, but it’s all about the people for me. I really enjoy teaching my clients how B2B influencer marketing works and getting them the results they want. The other part of that is developing relationships – with them and the influencers. I love learning about people’s backgrounds, careers, knowledge and expertise. There’s nothing quite like it.
Thinkers360: How do you utilize Thinkers360?
TA: Thinkers360 is a great tool and resource for me. I love the leaderboards so I use Thinkers360 as part of my research on influencers and the content they publish. One of the best aspects of Thinkers360 is the holistic look it provides on the influencers: From where they work, their speaking gigs, books they’ve published, to the content they produce. Thinkers360 is a unique and valuable resource.
Editor’s Note: See Tom’s Thinkers360 In-Depth Profile & Portfolio.
Thinkers360: How do you like to work with brands who wish to engage you as a thought leader?
TA: The best method I find for working with brands is to jump on a Zoom or Skype call together. That way I can learn about them, what they are doing and they goals they want to achieve. I also like to help them understand what B2B influencer marketing is all about. It’s quite different from how consumer companies approach it, so I find that I end up educating them a bit – which is fun and something I find rewarding. These calls also help us get to know each other a little bit. I like to know who the people are behind the brand, what their experiences are and the other marketing they are doing. From there, I can get a sense of what they want to achieve and can put together a proposal that can help them get to where they want to go.
Thinkers360: What’s your main advice for upcoming thought leaders?
TA: First, find your audience and concentrate your efforts there. You don’t need to be everywhere online, just where it counts and that means being where your audience is at. Also focus on creating content that helps your audience and answers their questions because the more you help them, the more followers you will attract. And finally, don’t just repeat what everyone else says or does. Be sure to have your own take on topics so you standout. Being a little controversial at times is a good thing because it demonstrates that you are willing to speak your mind and express things that goes against the consensus. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how many people appreciate this.
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