Is Influence Transferable?

“Da”David Beckham Nov 11 2007" by Calebrw (talk) at en.wikipedia — I created this image entirely by myself.Transferred from en.wikipedia; transfered to Commons by User:Sevela.p using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons —
“Michelle Kwan Special Olympics 2010" by Special Olympics Massachusetts — Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons —

Five Characteristics of Influencers

According to Edward Keller and Jonathan Berry, there are five characteristics common to influencers. All influencers can be said to be:
1. Activists

Ryan Bellerose (right) and a teammate (courtesy)
The Calgary Wolfpack (courtesy)
(photo credit: Michael Dickson for StandWithUs)
Lorelai Kude (courtesy)
Lorelai with Jerry Garcia (courtesy)

The Case of Varda Epstein: Not The Brightest Star

Setting our sights a bit lower, let us look at the case of Varda Epstein. I’m not the brightest star in the social media firmament, but I do have a following, in particular on Facebook. This is mostly due to my political activism.

Sourdough Challoh by Varda (photo credit: Natan Epstein for Film Addict Productions)
A Zoniac camper flies through the air on the zip line at the Kars4Kids camp known as TheZone (photo credit: Sheya Fromovitz)

I discover that one of my most ardent political followers is an audiologist!

Parent of a Child with CAPD

A second political follower confides she has struggled with auditory processing issues all her life while a third political follower has dealt with this issue as the parent of a child with CAPD.

Random Affinities

Certainly my credibility is a factor here in helping my followers make the leap from politics to hearing disorder. But that isn’t the whole story. What seems to be in play here, in addition to the credibility factor, is Ian Lurie’s theory of random affinities, which states that “Two topics have ‘random affinity’ if they are connected only by a common audience.”


· I have a passion for politics and for Israel

My potential followers:

· She never missed my uncle’s radio show

Campers at TheZone, a Kars4Kids project (photo credit: Sheya Fromovitz)

It’s Risky

In short, there’s some risk involved in wooing followers from one sphere of influence to another. That dynamic duo of credibility and shared interests must be present if influence is to successfully transfer from sphere to sphere. At the same time, if those shared interests negate one another, you’ve lost. Big time.

The road less traveled (photo credit: Yitzchak Epstein)



Wordsmith, foodie, feminist, genealogist, mom and wife. Above all, lover of Israel

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Varda Meyers Epstein

Varda Meyers Epstein

Wordsmith, foodie, feminist, genealogist, mom and wife. Above all, lover of Israel