There are few things* more fun in life than discussing something you’re passionate about with someone you have enormous respect for. I had the opportunity to do just that recently when I was invited to participate in a webinar with my friend Marshall Kirkpatrick hosted by the company he created, Little Bird.

The topic of the webinar was how executives can identify and engage influencers who are important to the success of their organizations. Little Bird makes finding them easy and powerful. The harder part for many execs is what to do with these influencers once you’ve found them. You can listen to the full 30 minute discussion over at Little Bird (free, simple registration). For everyone else, I built a quick list of 10 things you can do today to start engaging:

  1. Use tools (like LittleBird) to identify your most important insiders
  2. Set up a monitoring system to see where and how your insiders interact with the community
  3. Set up your social accounts if you haven’t yet
  4. Spend a weekend reading past articles and feeds from your insiders
  5. Find out who your insiders pay attention to and do the same
  6. Record a weekly 2:00 video recapping what you saw happen in your industry
  7. Make a list conferences to attend where your insiders will be
  8. Write down what your company stands for
  9. If you’re a large company, tap high potentials in your comms org to guide hidden gems in your technical and exec ranks
  10. If you’re a startup, don’t be afraid to engage a comms coach

Engaging with the influencers in your industry shouldn’t be nerve wracking. Because there’s nothing wrong with having a conversation about something you’re passionate about with someone you (and your customers) respect.

*Craft beer, travel, spending time with friends and family