I was recently driving my fourteen year old daughter Sophia to the store, when she challenged me. “Dad, do you know the formula to determine the volume of a sphere?”
The last time I was asked that question was over thirty years ago, so I sadly had to admit I hadn’t a clue. (In my defense, I probably didn’t know the answer thirty years ago either.)
She confidently responded, “Four thirds, times pi, times X cubed!” (4/3 x π x X3 = V)
I was proud and impressed by my girl.
Later that day, inspired by Sophia’s question, I wondered if there was a formula for the volume of a “sphere of influence”? I called my friend and mentor Earl Hadden to discuss this thought. He immediately hit me with the word “exposure.” The more exposure you have in the marketplace, the bigger your sphere of influence. The more content you provide through more channels, the more exposure you will have.
As Earl and I discussed it further, it became clear that another important element of the formula is your referral network. Sales great and Guinness World Record holder Joe Girard claims that, on average, every person knows 250 people they can influence with their opinions and experiences. Click here to read more about Joe Girard. So, in essence, when you make a new business connection, you have increased your network by an additional 250 people.
Here is my formula for the “Volume of Sphere of Influence”:
(N x 250) + (C x P) = V
Where N = Number of people in your Referral Network (referral sources, referral partners, clients, friends, family members, fans, organization members, employees, your attorneys, your CPA, etc.)
C = Number of Channels of Communication (website, blog, seminars/workshops, social media outlets, ie. Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.)
P = Number of times your Communication Pieces are read, watched or heard. (views, click throughs, downloads, retweets, likes, print-outs, LinkedIn views)
V = Volume of the Sphere of Influence.
It is all quantifiable. Each person you bring into your referral network means that through secondary connections, you add 250 people on average to your network. Add two more people, you’ve grown your network by an additional 500 people. Add 10 new people, you’ve just grown your network by an additional 2500 people.
The more content you write, the more videos you produce, the more audios you record, and the more live seminars you perform increase your communication methods to get your message out to the public. Then you strategically push these communication pieces out to the market and increase your exposure.
For example, if I stop producing written content, stop producing videos, stop attending business events, and stop doing workshops or seminars, my sphere of influence will shrink, eventually disappearing into obscurity. However, each time a person reads one of my LinkedIn posts, or purchases a copy of my book Intentional Networking, or watches one of my videos, my sphere of influence grows larger. Eventually the compound effect comes into play, and there is explosive growth, and all my efforts begin to pay off in the form of new clients, greater exposure in the marketplace, and increased profits.
Don’t ever become complacent about strengthening and growing your network. Some tips for keeping your sphere of influence healthy:
- Make it easy for those in your network to refer you. You do that by having an easy to remember elevator speech that they can easily share with people in their network.
- Don’t stop creating new content. When writing blog posts and articles, short and sweet is your friend. Even writing 300 to 500 words should not be terribly difficult.
- Use your phone to create one minute videos that you can upload to your YouTube channel. Or live stream videos of yourself or others using Periscope, Facebook Live or similar technologies. Creating content has never been easier.
- Be sure to have professional looking social media accounts, whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.
- Lastly, ensure your website (or blog) is fresh and mobile friendly.
The next time my daughter feels the need to ask me a question, I hope it’s something easier, like, “Should we have pizza or Chinese for dinner tonight?”
***Thank you to John-Paul Schick for contributing to this article.