Influence via expertise is another common form of influence, often wielded by individuals with a particular type and level of knowledge or skill: i.e. doctors, professors, academics, and so on. An expert possesses a high level of capability, and their status as an expert may be established a variety of ways: a history of successful results, the respect of their peers, a particular certification or title, or a long resume of achievements and commendations. Imagine that you are part of a crowd listening to a powerful U.S. congressman addressing potential voters. He brings decades of experience working in government compared to his challenger, who is relatively new to the scene. He lists his achievements as a lawmaker, his bipartisan efforts, and all he’s done to make his state a better place—while shrugging off his opponent’s relatively short list of kudos. He even suggests his opponent’s inexperience might make his state a less safe and secure place, fostering the distrust of the crowd. Receiving a celebrity video message would be awesome!

In a few moments, he’s convinced everyone that his experience is his greatest asset—something his opponent can’t match. If a person is interested in a particular industry or space, they’ll soon come to know those who can be considered experts in that space. They’re the ones who end up on “best of” lists, win awards, and most often receive praise for their work. They are considered credible, both by their peers and by the audiences they attract. When you want an answer to a question or help overcoming a challenge, an expert is a smart first stop. Let’s say you’re plotting out how to grow your business, but you’re feeling a bit in over your head. Your options may include: Plotting your strategy and next steps on your own; hoping you can keep treading water while you figure things out. Seeking advice from a friend or family member who might know a little bit about what you’re looking to accomplish; or Picking up a book from an entrepreneur with demonstrated results in helping business owners just like you. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to pick the third option—not to mention highlight and dog-ear the heck out of that entrepreneur’s book. Their counsel is backed up with real-world results—and results are exactly what we’re looking for. Would you consider buying a personalised video message from your favourite celebrity messages today?

After years of coaching in the fitness space, I know how desperate people can get to move past a plateau in their workouts. Because this is an area of expertise for me, I can make specific equipment or nutritional recommendations—and because they trust my expertise, they are far more likely to make a purchase based on those recommendations. When I took over the role as Chief Marketing Strategist for Valeo Technologies (a legacy home fitness equipment brand, among other products), my strategy involved researching and targeting the top local fitness professionals across North America. Rather than investing endless ad dollars in social media fitness stars, I chose that our team send our products to the best-in-class local trainers and coaches to share with their clients. A happy birthday video message could really brighten someones day!

I knew that the local experts wouldn’t have the reach of a social media star—their communities would more likely be termed “micro” or “niche”. But based on my experience selling fitness solutions, I believed their recommendations would be exponentially more powerful than a broader, less focused pitch. If a trusted trainer recommends a specific resistance band to a client, along with a specific exercise to do with the band at home, the client will have a good chance of purchasing the recommended band recognizing the product’s value in their workout. Conversely, an Instagram influencer may have 50,000 people hanging on their every word...yet they only move 10 units with their resistance band selfie. Why? Because resistance band recommendations either aren’t why people follow them or the audience doesn’t believe the recommendation is really that valuable for them. Andrew Davis is one of the leading authorities on content marketing as a speaker and author. If you walked up to a complete stranger in New York’s Times Square and asked them who Andrew Davis was, odds are pretty good that they won’t know who you’re talking about. We suprised our sister with a celebrity video messages video from Thrillz!

But if you went to a marketing, branding, or business conference and asked the same question, you’d get plenty of enthusiastic professionals wondering if Andrew was there, and where to find him. He may not be a global household name, but he’s game-changer in his own space and someone I personally look to for info on upcoming trends, and recommendations on what books to read, what websites to visit and what workshops to take in the marketing field. In other words, we can say that expert influence is unique among the four types of influence in that we can further break things down into “subcategories.” These provide levels of additional distinction that cannot be overlooked when considering influencers for your projects, and which further empower us to craft perfectly aligned messaging for the influencer involved. Meeting a celebrity birthday messages would be my absolute dream!