#5: Brian Fanzo, rated a Top 10 Social Media Influencer by Onalytica in 2017, explains why the if-you-build-it-they-will-come strategy doesn’t work and what to do instead

From a Department of Defense computer job to technology trainer to influencer and public speaker, Brian, the Economist’s 2014 Social Business Leader award recipient, is passionate about “connecting great people with great people to do great things.” Today’s influencers must take their message to the platforms where their audience hangs out.

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


An influencer inspires action through what they do, how they do it, and why they do things.

Brian has a background in computer science, working for the Department of Defense. He’s passionate about helping people embrace change. He left his government job for the data service industry as part of a startup. The Economist awarded him the Top 25 Social Business Leaders of the Future in 2014. When he was labeled an “influencer” and had to google the term. He was and is focused on sharing why and how he does things.

Brian is mostly a one-man show, working with a few subcontractors. Today public speaking is his main source of revenue.

His passion: connecting great people with great people to do great things.

When approaching brands or potential sponsors for his podcast, he asks, “Would you like to support my community?” and, “How can I make your life easier or help you solve a goal?” Some brands might be more interested in getting quality feedback on their products than the quantity of downloads of your podcast. Understand the pain points of a brand.

If he could do it all over…Brian would have a blog, a personal home on the internet, and would write from day one.

The if-you-build-it-they-will-come strategy is no longer valid. Today you have to take the content to where your audience is.

Reasons new bloggers/podcasters fail:

  1. They undervalue consistency
  2. They undervalue being unique. There is no room for copycats.

Own your story, put in the time, and be consistent.

Favorite Five

  • Book: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Influencer: Jay Baer
  • Conference, group, or event: SXSW
  • Preferred social network: Twitter
  • Tool that you can’t live without: Buffer