Building your business with center of Influence strategy

Prospecting is vital to business growth. It is the process by which a business attracts new clients or customers to grow its income and market value. Hence, it is an important step in marketing and client acquisition. One way to prospect is to network with people who wield a certain level of influence in your industry or theirs. These people are known as centers of influence (COI) or simply influencers.

Leveraging influencers in marketing can bring your business quick results since they already have a large and possibly responsive audience. Also, it can be cost-effective in that it removes time wastage on beta testing. Furthermore, it helps expand its frontiers into areas it couldn't have reached. People who are centers of influence have links, and they help to connect businesses to other networks or influencers. 

To reap these and other benefits, you should proceed with caution. If you get it wrong, you'll lose everything! To grow your business, you need to understand and apply the proper strategy for planning, attracting, contacting, and obtaining viable centers of influence.

What are cois, or what are the centers of influence? Let’s find out in this Workee guide.

What is a Center of Influence (COI)?

A center of influence is a person who has a large and active network of contacts and is able to exert influence over them. They are often thought leaders, experts, or influencers in a particular industry or community and have the ability to shape opinions and drive decisions. Centers of influence can be found in many different fields, including business, politics, and media.

Besides business, a center of influence applies to regular life. Anyone who can refer you to another person or introduce someone you wish to have in your circle to you is a center of influence. Another name for these people is influencers or referrers. 

Who are Centers Of Influence?

First, the center of influence is people. Second, they appear in different forms and as different personalities. Some of them are examined below.

1. Brand ambassadors are influential people with an engaged and valued audience who can promote your brand to their audience. Most times, brand ambassadors have a huge social media fan base that houses your target audience. So, involving them with your establishment can help you to get your ideal clients and customers. 

Tip: before you get involved in center of influence marketing, ensure that your brand ambassadors have a good reputation. Also, ensure that their audience aligns with your business ideals.

2. Business advisors are a group of people, especially professionals, on networking groups, online forums, or advisory boards that align with your business. These are different from brand ambassadors because they do not represent a specific brand or multiple brands. However, having acquired years of experience, exposure, and reputation, these professionals' verdicts are highly regarded, making them centers of influence. Thus, forming business bonds with them can greatly enhance your visibility. They can help to shape ideas, give directions, and share success stories to encourage others. Prospects who listen to these thought leaders may pick an interest in your brand. 

3. Reciprocal referrers are a win-win approach where you give clients to other professionals in exchange for clients. You may opt for this arrangement if you don’t want to spend money on client acquisition. This is a popular choice among local qualified professionals as it may involve less stress and time. 

Recommendation: thoroughly vet the professionals that accept reciprocal referrals to ensure they can get you quality clients in return.

Benefits of engaging centers of influence

Engaging centers of influence in your operations can bring a number of benefits, including:

  1. Increased visibility and credibility: Associating with reputable and well-connected individuals or organizations can help to enhance your brand's reputation and credibility.

  2. Increased referrals: Centers of influence can provide valuable referrals to new potential clients, partners, or suppliers. According to research by Influencer Marketing Hub, 61% of Consumers are more likely to believe influencer recommendations than brand-produced content. This establishes the fact that most people would trust you if they got a recommendation from an influencer.

  3. Expertise: Centers of influence can provide valuable advice and guidance and access to industry-specific expertise.

  4. Networking opportunities: Centers of influence can open doors to new networking opportunities and help to establish new business relationships.

  5. Cost-effective marketing: Engaging centers of influence can be a cost-effective way to market your brand, as they can help to generate leads and promote your products or services to their network.

  6. Increased revenue: All of these benefits can increase your company's revenue. Data shows that influencer marketing outperformed banner ads in terms of ROI by an astounding 11x.

How do you find the centers of influence?

There are many ways to find centers of influence with whom you can build a beneficial and strong relationship. Below are a few recommendations.

1. Social Media

There are many networking groups on social media networks like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram where professionals hang out. Your desired center of influence could be on these platforms. The advantage is that it’s cheap and easy to network with them via this approach. Besides their fees, you do not incur extra travel and logistics costs to request an influencer to promote your brand.

2. Online Forums

A good example is Reddit, and its subgroups called subreddits. Also, there is an online forum for every vertical where influencers meet regularly. The advantage of these platforms is that they furnish help you with background information on an influencer. Besides, it provides you with a large pool of influencers to use for your brand promotion. Also, memberships in these online forums are usually free. 

3. Business Advisory Board

Just like there are job boards, there are business advisory boards that house many people who can send referrals to your business. These boards help to vet professionals and provide business advice. You can connect with influencers on these advisory boards and the board administrators to help send your business referrals. 

4. Business Meetings

Attending business meetings can help you network with great thought leaders inside and outside your business line. Thanks to technology, you can now attend business meetings online via zoom. This does not erode the place of physical business meetings. 

5. Business Professionals Boards

LinkedIn and Meetup are two popular platforms where business professionals hang out a lot. You can leverage either or both platforms to connect with and get professionals who align with your business ideals to promote your business. The advantage of these platforms is that they provide you with centers of influence that share similar interests with your business. 


The best approach to utilizing the center of influence marketing in your business is by engaging different personalities. Don’t rely on one influencer. Rather, engage a few, test their effectiveness, and collaborate more with the ones that produce better results. Also, your client’s or prospects’ interest should come first. Hence, censor these referrers and ensure they are qualified and capable of handling your clients or prospects. Remember, if they mess up your marketing, the negative ripple effect will be on your business. So, only use referrers that have the capacity. 

While trying to engage centers of influence, don’t forget that you need automated business management tools like Workee to help you collaborate with your COIs and nurture business leads and clients.

Workee is an all-purpose business management tool perfect for independent professionals and freelancers. Workee is a suite that can get your jobs done quickly and professionally, from client management to booking and payment.

Workee has features designed to automate vital business management processes and give you enough time to focus on delivering quality freelance services to your clients.

Ihor, CEO at Workee

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