This was a fun column contribution to research and write. Readers will recall that I’ve published the CannaTech Ecosystem Stack in CannaTech Corner column in Marijuana Venture magazine. The natural progression for the “logo chart” is to identify who are the influencers.
What is an Influencer?
An influencer is a thought-leader who can move markets. It’s one person who speaks authoritatively with many people (1: many). It’s earned respect based on reputation, not ascribed because of your family last name and such. These individuals have domain expertise in their professional field. According to the site influencermarketinghub.com “…an influencer is someone who has: – the power to affect others’ purchasing decisions because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience, – a following in a distinct niche, with whom they actively engage. The size of the following depends on the popularity of their niche. Influencers in social media have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic.”
These individuals have built a personal and professional brand by several approaches.
- Thought leaders’ blogs and published pieces
- Actively commenting on industry topics on LinkedIn
- Attending industry events (both online an in-person)
- Speaking at industry events
- Reading industry publications
- Driving success via leadership and job role
- Acting as a superconnector!
- The E.F Hutton analogy: “…when E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen.”
- Active in different communities such as trade groups
Important facts about the below table are:
- This is a representative sample snapshot of the types of influencers your find in my full report.
- I sorted alphabetically and did not stack and rank the influencers. In future updates, I hope to stack and rank so we can reveal the “top” influencers in CannaTech.
- My full report includes much more data including company descriptions, company and personal LinkedIn profile URLs so you can learn more about these influencers and connect with them (in effect expanding your own CannaTech ecosystem).
- Again – my report was based on my primary research that includes many interviews, introductions and contributions from experts like Ryan Porter at toptender, a cannabis learning system.
Why Do you Care?
It’s the way the ecosystem world works. I believe that influencer marketing is right up there with paid and earned media campaigns to develop new business. “Becoming a superconnecter, my term for top influencers, takes significant work. These individuals have unique skills around knowledge gathering, communication, and interpersonal relationships.” Stated Jay McBain, Principal Analyst at Forrester. “Superconnectors tend to know almost everyone, and almost everyone knows them within an ecosystem. These people are very few in number and span multiple channel communities in a given area of specialization.”
“I view influencers as the builders. In this case, the builders of technology.” Shared Jonathan Covey, a consultant at Talent Tech Labs in Austin, TX. “These people have undertaken the due diligence to learn a market.”
First and foremost reach out to me if you have additions (nominate yourself and others) to my influencer list. Also – if you see corrections – feedback is the breakfast of champions! I can be reached at email@example.com. Enjoy the list of most visible cannatech influencers below.