In business, it’s sometimes difficult to understand certain subtle differences in the marketplace. One of those problem areas for many creative types is knowing who is a specifier and who is an influencer. Determining who is a specifier and who is an influencer is actually a straightforward clear-cut situation.
Who Are Specifiers?
Specifiers are those who offer to help you grow your brand while benefiting from the interaction. In other words, specifiers have their own commercial objectives blended into their assistance, whether it’s a commission or an outright fee or a royalty schedule or something else that generates revenues (directly or indirectly) for them or their business.
Who Are Influencers?
Influencers are those who offer to help you out of the goodness of their heart. They help you because they like what you do or they feel you’re a kindred spirit. In other words, influencers do what they do because they can, not because of what they expect get in return. Sending a coffee shop gift card or T-shirt or other swag to repeat influencers is a great way to say thanks for everything they do, but they most assuredly don’t expect to get anything for being in your corner.
Who’s Better: Specifiers or Influencers?
Each type has their own special way of helping you increase your brand awareness among their circle of influence. What this means is that you shouldn’t discount or marginalize someone because they’re a specifier just like you shouldn’t discount or marginalize someone because they’re an influencer.
There’s nothing wrong with generating revenues by helping someone grow their brand. And there’s nothing wrong with philanthropicly helping someone grow their brand.
Just be sure that the brand you grow is the one you want to grow. Don’t let a specifier or an influencer determine the path your brand takes. That’s up to you to decide, guide and maintain.