#11: Cynthia Johnson, with 1.56 million followers on Twitter, shares tips on building the foundation for your thought leadership

Cynthia reminds us that most people appreciate vulnerability, so when you make a mistake, own up and move on. In today’s episode, you’ll hear about some of the mistakes and embarrassing moments Cynthia has lived through, whether she thinks it was a good idea to put her email address on all her public-facing work, and things she would do differently if she were starting her influencer journey today.

Listen to this episode on iTunes

What was your biggest insight from this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @influencer_inc.


An influencer has the ability to sway someone to do something through actions or words that they normally would not do.

Cynthia runs a two-sided digital marketing company. One side focuses on content development, search, strategy, social media, etc. The other side does personal brand development and management.

Cynthia worked for a company that had challenging social media clients, and she had to learn how to do social media for companies that had hurdles like HIPAA compliance, sensitivity, etc.

Cynthia and her cofounder have a small team they work with, many of them remotely, and they’re able to match personalities with projects.

Most embarrassing moments:

  • A misspelling in the first word of the first line of a presentation
  • Accidentally sharing a Gremlins trailer on a client’s account
  • Having an interview narrowed down to the weakest lines of her interview

When things go wrong, she reminds herself that most people appreciate vulnerability. So just push through and own it.

Things Cynthia wishes she had known were important:

  • Writing — the more you can write, the better
  • Reach out to more people for help and advice

If she was starting today, she would:

  • Decide who she is
  • Find friends that are already doing it and figure out how to collaborate, especially through Instagram and Snapchat
  • Create a Facebook group around her topic

Putting her email on all her work everywhere and telling people she wants to connect with them has been a game changer.

Favorite Five

  • Book:Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
  • Influencer: Simon Sinek
  • Conference, group, or event: Global Venture Summit and the Entrepreneur Council
  • Preferred social network: Twitter
  • Tool that you can’t live without: Intuitive Social and BuzzSumo


  • CynthiaLive.com
  • @CynthiaLive on Instagram and Twitter
  • Cynthia@cynthiaLive.com