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

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

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by Chris Brogan, Julien Smith

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“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

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“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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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Instructive and motivational, Brogan and Smith (True Agents) offer a magic formula for marketing products and services online while building credibility and trust among customers. The authors have been involved in online communities for more than a decade and offer a simple, social media-driven equation to draw consumer attention and gain trust: Impact = C x (R+E+A+T+E). The letters stand for Contrast, Reach, Exposure, Articulation, Trust, and Echo. The authors state the book is not about Twitter and Facebook, though they do occasionally discuss the platforms' use. Their goal is going beyond social media: forming ideas; using appropriate, visible platforms; and building strong human connections are also key components of their system. Whether it's creating YouTube videos or using Twitter to promote products and services, the examples and analogies offered for each element of the impact equation effectively make their mark. Success is not just about "being seen" on social networks, but nurturing genuine relationships with the audience as well. Individuals, small group of upstarts, or big organizations will relish learning how to apply the impact equation to their own blog or ad campaign in order to figure out what's working and what's not.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
Brogan and Smith (coauthors, Trust Agents: Using the Web To Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust) have written an innovative and practical guide on how to attract a larger audience, promote interaction, and build a community around an idea or experience. They outline the titular equation as “Impact = C x (R +E+A+T+E),” or “Contrast times (Reach plus Exposure plus Articulation plus Trust plus Echo).” The authors analyze each of the six attributes that make up the CREATE acronym and illustrate each with specific case studies. The book is organized into four parts: “Goals,” which introduces the actual equation; “Ideas,” which explains contrast and articulation; “Platforms,” which addresses reach and exposure; and, finally, “Network.” Brogan and Smith provide case studies that encompass companies such as McDonald’s and Chipotle as well as performers like Adele. They stress that social networking sites such as Facebook and Google Plus are temporary and that instead “people are what matter.”

Verdict Fans of Trust Agents will enjoy this book. Well researched and packed with nitty-gritty advice, it’s designed for anyone with a good business idea but who needs the tools to promote it. Recommended.—Lucy Heckman, St. John’s Univ. Lib., NY
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.06(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise? 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
LunarLiterations More than 1 year ago
I’ve become an unsuspecting fan of Chris Brogan. About two months into the adventure of my freelance writing business, I happened upon Chris Brogan’s book Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online. While a bit preachy and repetitive at times, with his incessant, “Tell me what YOU think” mantra, it was successful in getting me to subscribe to Mr. Brogan’s blog, and I’m pleased that I joined. His blog is informative, insightful and human. Through the blog, I received an opportunity to review a pre-released copy of The Impact Equation Mr. Brogan’s second co-authored book with Julien Smith. The premise of The Impact Equation is that once properly instructed, you can develop communication skills that elicit an emotional reaction, and hopefully, that reaction will translate into audience/reader action. To achieve that aim, Mr. Brogan and Mr. Smith introduce the Impact Equation. Impact = C x (R+E+A+T+E) An acronym derived from the six attributes Contrast, Reach, Exposure, Articulation, Trust and Echo. Each chapter of the book focusses on an attribute and how that attribute helps to provide high-quality user content. The authors maintain high-quality user content is the core of online trustworthiness and impact. They further breakdown the attributes into graphs to generate analytics and assist in evaluating your product, your approach and your content for maximum impact. However, I found the most valuable information was illustrated in the short vignettes, which included stories from various pop-culture behemoths as Chipotle, rap “supergroups” and Pokémon. Through these been-there-done-that stories, the authors not only outline the concepts of the six attributes, they enlighten the reader to the true success or pitfalls. I must say, I was giddy about an opportunity to not only review this pre-release book but to learn more about effective communication. Unfortunately, after reading the book twice, I’m still not 100% certain how to summarize it. (Probably not the strongest endorsement for a book on clear communication.) I will say that it made me think. It made me re-evaluate the way I express myself both online and in person. While I have prided myself on my ability to develop and nurture trusting relationships in the flesh, after reading this book I realized that I had neglected to assure my trustworthiness online. I realized that I have not worked hard enough to create and maintain online relationships, and that a simple response to a poster can instantly change their perspective of you and your company. The authors have become wildly successful, and they clearly still follow their own advice. They are adamant about being available to their audience, and tweet frequently with their followers. While I don’t believe there is anything necessarily revolutionary about this book, I do feel it’s a must read for start-ups. It’s an informative read; it’s an enjoyable read, and I recommend it.
MariahHumphries More than 1 year ago
I have been following Chris and Julien online for awhile. I watch what they are doing because they are an encouragement, they engage, they challenge, and they come across as human...unlike so many online personalities. That is why I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be better in business and in life. It is written in a personal way and you feel you are sitting at a table with them having a cup of coffee, talking shop. When I read this book, I felt like they knew where I was coming from as an entrepreneur and small business owner as they touched on issues I have been trying to figure out and others I didn't realize were problems. As a small business owner, I don't have the time to waste reading useless material out there. I trust these guys to provide quality material and I felt more confident with every chapter in choices for my business and life in general.