What better to inspire a return to one’s cobweb-ridden blog than spending the morning listening to one of social media’s thought leaders, Chris Brogan?
I attended Brogan’s talk today at Stagepost, organized by JTMarCom. He was promoting and signing his new NYT best-selling book, Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust. As defined by Brogan and co-author Julien Smith, trust agents are the face and voice of an organization on social media platforms who are accessible, authentic and passionate about their work (Think @ManleyatVICC).
Brogan is co-founder of PodCamp, a free, unconference that has served up knowledge sharing surrounding all things Web, communications, technology, etc. to over 10,000 people around the world since the first one three years ago in Boston. (Nashvillians, the next local BarCamp, kind of the precursor to PodCamp, is scheduled for Oct. 17. If you have any interest in really anything online you want to be there). Brogan is also a Twitlebrity, with over 100,000 people following @chrisbrogan.
Brogan reiterated what we all hopefully know – beneath all the tweets, feeds, status updates, followers and friends, the secret to social media is still 99 percent common sense. Be honest. Be open. Be helpful. Provide useful information. Listen. Listen. Listen. Share. Give credit where credit is earned. Listen some more.
The biggest personal takeaway for me, and perhaps what pushed me back to the page today, was if you find yourself in a rut and not inspired, then stop complaining and seek out inspiration. Find people doing interesting things and engage with them. Learn. Explore.
Some other takeaways – their pith perhaps due to Brogan’s general habit of communicating in 140 characters or less:
The only difference between audience and community is which way you face the chairs.
‘Oh, you’re a blogger? What do you complain about?’
If bacon had a God, it would be the Rogers Smith Hotel. (Including that more as a note to self for next trip to New York).
Move a needle that involves a dollar sign, and your client never says no again.
Make your customers and your employees your stars. It works every (darn) time.
You have to learn to be brief. Brevity works in all of your business lines.
On balancing personal vs. professional online: People want to see humanity. The business world and the personal world are merging.
Be willing to work with the community, rather than throwing something over the wall to the peasants.
Twitter becomes business development and becomes customer service.
Be there before the sale and get to know the person before you want to sell them something.
Winning is just table stakes for the next game. Don’t sit still.
Be helpful first. Be helpful way more often than you ask for something.
Share instead of hoard.
If you learn how to connect with people the way they want to be connected with, you have the magic trick. Be where your customers are. Grow bigger ears.
Listen at the point of need.
The secret sauce isn’t keeping secrets. Equipping people to win is the secret sauce.
Press releases aren’t dead. How you’re delivering them is dead.
Great morning, great ideas and great inspiration. See you at BarCamp.