Audience is Influence

The Grid

Hey y’all,

I’m finishing up my stint house and dog sitting for my parents in Houston this week and then will be off to Los Angeles for a bit. If you’re around out there let me know as it’s been a few years since I last spent some time in LA.

Welcome to 11 new readers as The Grid now has 621 readers. If you think other people would enjoy this newsletter, why not share it with them?


You might have seen it the other day but after one of the matches of Euro 2020 (yes 2020 because it’s basically time travel this year), Cristiano Ronaldo took a simple action.

He moved two coke bottles and grabbed a water bottle at the press conference. He then said drink water.

This led to coke’s stock tanking and losing $4 billion in value.

Then a few days later Ronaldo was the first person in the world to reach 300 million followers on Instagram. Seriously, 300 million. He has more followers than most countries have people.

So what?

We are living in the era where attention equals influence. Never before has it been easier to spread your message. A person can put out a tweet and get thousands, hundred of thousands, or even million of impressions. Those impressions lead to ripples.

That distribution network provides creators autonomy and protection. It used to be that a big corporation or media entity controlled all distribution channels so people had to play by their rules. Fit their narrative, censor the message, or get blackballed entirely.

But now…

“The game is changed Son of Flynn”.

How you win

Building your distribution channels may be the most important step any person can take this decade. It doesn’t matter which platforms you use, but the people who invest in building an audience will benefit exponentially.

YouTube, podcasts, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, Newsletter, Instagram, or other places lets you control the narrative. It gives the creator and the individual leverage.

It takes back the power.

In 1984 Robert Cialdini wrote his classic book Influence. In 2013 he had to write a new one called Presuasion.


Because he realized that everything comes down to attention. None of the principles found in his first book mattered without first getting attention of an audience. Everything inside of his follow up book focused on gaining and focusing attention.

If you think of this another way, it’s what I would call setting the frame.

Setting the frame played a critical part in my world as a trial lawyer.

The person who sets the frame wins the conversation. The debate. And the narrative.

This skill takes time to develop and build. I don’t think Ronaldo meant to set the frame in the way that he did but it doesn’t really matter because he set it anyways. His frame said that the best soccer players in the world don’t drink unhealthy sugary drinks. The world responded.

It’s the same way that Elon influences the stock market with a single tweet or meme. Attention equals power.

To have that power though you need to build an audience.

It’s your personal moat. It protects you.

It’s your rocket fuel. It helps you take off.

It’s your livelihood. You just may not realize it yet.

I came across this quote by Julius Caesar this week and it hit me pretty hard. I thought I would share it with you.

Read this tweet thread by Romeen to learn some great lessons. My favorites are 2, 9, 13, & 14.

And to finish off the week, Denzel Washington with an incredible speech. “Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.”

See you next week,