Building upon my post from last week, I was reminded of an important lesson I learned on influence that’s served me my whole life.
My dad taught me many lessons growing up, and one that stands out as relevant to lead generation went something like this: He said, “Choose your friends carefully because we become like the people we spend most of our time with, and [like it or not] we’re judged by the company we keep.”
He didn’t know it the time, but he explained how the halo effect works. In this post I’m going to explain how it applies to lead generation.
The halo effect works like this: By helping thought leaders and subject matter experts build their platform and influence, you will also build your influence and platform.
This MarketingSherpa case study, “How to Impress Conservative Fortune 100 Business Prospects by Allying With Academia,” demonstrates the practical application of the halo effect. It explains how Steelwedge, “a previously little-known software company became a trusted and admired brand in a couple of short years” and got the attention of Fortune 100 companies.
How? They built alliances with nuts-and-bolts professors in America’s heartland.
How do you get on the radar of thought leaders and industry experts? The following images shows how conversations, and in turn alliances, progress.
You’ll notice it’s a series of touches over time:
This idea is already in the lead generation playbooks for most large consulting firms. We see the halo effect demonstrated in places like the Harvard Business Review, where it’s quite common to see business executives collaborate on papers with a professor or sponsor research projects.
These experts can become a source of speakers and webinar presenters. You may want to co-market an event and share the attendees list. There are also opportunities to post articles and materials by these experts on your website or as links in an e-newsletter. The ultimate objective is to have some of their credibility to rub off on you.
One way to start relationships with professors is to find those that have their own consulting practices. Think about how you help build their practice, and they may be more inclined to help you.
You can start putting the halo effect work by leveraging the four steps to I previously wrote a post on: “Lead Generation via Influencers and Experts in 4 Steps.” This post gives specific suggestions to help you get started.
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