Summary #SMMW13 – Chris Brogan: social media isn’t the answer

chris brogan #SMMW13This is the first summary of the second day at Social Media Marketing World 2013, recalling the most important points of the talk given by Chris Brogan. I’ll dedicate a whole post to this speech because it deserves it.

Chris Brogan: You’re not going to like this but social media isn’t the answer

This is probably the reason why I came to this event; being able to see the person who’s inspired me since my first day working in new media back in 2007: Chris Brogan. I remember his was the first blog I subscribed to and the first person I followed on Twitter. Since then, I’ve tried to read all his posts, every day, keeping also those I’ve been unable to reed (I have approximately 1,500 emails containing his daily posts.)

Chris is probably the most respected person in the Social Web. This is something you notice when you share a round-table conference with him and other professionals as important as Jay Baer or Mario Sundar tell the audience, “I want to be like Chris Brogan”. He went straight to the point and touched on topics and concepts that no one else talked about during the event. He explained techniques and uses, sharing his knowledge in great detail and depth.

He talks with self-assurance about what he does, sharing useful and valuable reflections with the audience. As the audience, you realise you’re seeing someone who is capable of changing everything. These are the most relevant points I extracted from Chris Brogan’s speech:

  • Stop 80% of what you’re doing and work on the 20% that is making your business happen.
  • Create more businesses, many.
  • Followers don’t stop you from having to pay your mortgage.
  • When Twitter makes you put on weight, lose time and lose control of your followers, then put Twitter on a diet, cut down the time you dedicate to it and stop following those you’re not really following.
  • 200,000 Twitter followers aren’t as productive as the 20,000 blog readers who receive my newsletter every Sunday.
  • Talk about stories that people wish to learn from.
  • Tools are unimportant. What matters is what you’re capable of creating and how this is useful for people.
  • Find the quickest way for your readers to do something on your blog. Ask yourself, what would you like to happen right now? The answer’s easy: for people to subscribe to your newsletter.
  • Don’t work towards getting a larger number, work towards creating lists with the people who love you.

How to control your digital channel

  • If you’re not creating a digital empire, you’re missing your chance to reach the people who’re going to buy off you.
  • Foundations: a website that is responsive: we sell from our own site. However, we don’t simplify because we’ll usually do the following: “come to my store and then go on to any other page with all the information we publish to find distraction”.
  • Social test: Create a very human “About me” page. Connect and remain human.
  • Create a warm, human and simple landing page.
  • Measurements: there is only one measurement and it isn’t the number of newsletters; it’s the number of $$$ in the bank.
  • Empire: we need to improve in our creation of email lists.
  • Blog: my blog is important because more and more people find me because of the strange topics I talk about, not through social media.
  • Social Media: who cares? Time yourself and stop wasting your time on “the community”. Stop what you’re doing. Spend only a short time each day.
  • Sales: my blog produces money, it’s what I need and it also helps to sell my new products.
  • Community: mainly curation and engagement. No one wants to celebrate your victory, people want to celebrate their own victory.
  • Time: spend 39% of my time connecting with people and 51% doing business.

Create your digital platform

  • Blog (home base): here’s where all my effort is going to.
  • Video: I no longer do as much because it takes time and effort.
  • G+: I connect with my community.
  • Twitter: I create conversations and I’m human.
  • E-books: help to build email lists.
  • Podcast: I create community.
  • Email: I reach the people who love me.

Chris’s competitive advantage

During the Q&A after his speech, I wanted to ask Chris a question: “Chris, what’s your competitive advantage, besides your email subscription base?”. This was his answer: “The speed and skill with which I create content that is helpful and useful.” His answer speaks for itself.

Human

I was shocked when before I had time to introduce myself to ask the question, Chris said “My dear friend Isra García, thanks for being here”. That’s what I keep talking about when I refer to Human Media. However, what really grabbed me about meeting Chris Brogan in person was his honesty, humility, clarity and his commitment to giving the best of himself.

After the talk I wanted to greet him and I realised that he really puts his money where his mouth is: when I was going to shake his hand, instead, he gave me a big great hug, saying “We finally meet, it’s such an honour to meet you after such a long time. Thanks for being there always and thanks for reading me!” (This is what I was supposed to have told him, not the other way round! I did get to say it back though.)

He commits to his readers fully. He understands where the value of his brand is, what he does. And where the money in his bank account comes from. Undoubtedly, attending #SMMW13 has been worth it just by listening to and meeting Chris Brogan, as well as Guy Kawasaki.

However, another of the reasons to attend was to travel Route 66 and end up at Coachella, but that’s another story… and perhaps a post.

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About Isra Garcia

Marketer, Social Media and Digital Transformation Advisor for international brands and agencies, Speaker and Educator. Entrepreneur. Businessman. Lifestyle Experimentalist. Disruption Enthusiast. Principal at IG. Stand OUT Program education founder and Engage-Worldwide &Engage Colombia cofounder, a business transformation & digital leadership agency. Author: Human Media, Mapmakers, Ultraproductivity, Burning Man Quest, 20 Days of Silence and Nonconformists. As well as cofounder of Mapmakers, the most visited Spanish-speaking collaborative platform about change.

Isra is principal at IG, a disruptive firm focused on digital business transformation, working in the last years for more than 35 brands. He was one of the members of the ‘Best Thinkers’ program for Social Media Today. Isra writes for international publications such as Social Media Today, Social Media Examiner, SmartBrief, Social Trends. He has also been named one of the top 20 social media bloggers by Solomon McCown, a well-known Boston-based PR agency.

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