Working

construction worker I delivered a keynote yesterday at BlogWorld Expo (Dave Thomas from SAS has great notes here). In it, I called for us bloggers that have been around for a bit to step up our game, to get to work, to bring this all up a level. The speech was one part arrogance, nine parts passion. For what I think happens next is this: companies either do or don’t get into these tools. We, however, have to consider the tools and the business and what we’re going to do with it all, whether or not the mother ships in our lives are ready to come along.

Here’s some of what I pointed out in my presentation.

Set Up Shop – if you’re an independent business and you’re blogging to make content marketing for your business, be sure you’ve built “how to do business with me” into your site. Do you have a “work with me” page? Do you have a “contact me” page? Are you putting out obvious calls to action? Take it from blogging about what you know is cool into blogging about ways to help the customers you hope to attract.

Think Like a Business – if you’re in this for business, always ask yourself how this work ties to more sales (and if you’re not trying to make money, think of “sale” as whatever you hope to convert. Hint: it’s not “more audience.”). If you’re just writing to write, shooting video to get it up there, tweeting because people said you should, rethink all that. Decide what’s going to ring your register and work on that. Use this as marketing if you want, but be sure to have a call to action, then, so that it’s really marketing and not just words.

Be a Consistent Brand – make sure that everything coming out of you syncs with your brand. It’s okay to talk business and personal (without the personal touch, you’ll miss some of the beauty of the human web), but make sure all that you’re doing is as consistent as possible. If you’re positioning yourself as a luxury expert, do you have all kinds of junk ads on your site? If you’re saying that you’re into relationships and quality human contact, are you spamming people with a newsletter they didn’t opt into? If you have other people working with you, are they representing the feel you’re hoping to portray with the EXPERIENCE of working with you?

Extend Your Platform – get beyond the blog. I don’t mean to just tweet, either. Get out into physical space and start meeting people from time to time. Don’t go to social media events, only. Go to the events where clients are, instead of the events where the cool kids hang out. Move your voice into as many places as you can. Consider video. Write speeches and things you’d love to say on a stage on your blog (it’s how I got my start speaking professionally).

Build Small Powerful Networks – go beyond using social media tools just to chat and keep up. Stop playing Farmville and start building networks of people you feel are important, energizing, uplifting, and potentially useful to your future business plans. Get into collaborative efforts with people who share your thoughts. There are lots of people going solo when they could team up and have even more power from the small organization. Don’t overthink this one. Just build networks that extend beyond having a “groups” tab in Tweetdeck.

Equip Your Customers – instead of writing about your stuff, write about your customers. Give them ideas on how they can improve their world, and for a REAL strong effect, don’t even mention your product every post. Your customers need much more than your product to succeed. How else can you equip them? Giving people useful information, useful things, a step up on the world is a powerful way to build new relationships and deliver potential sales.

Focus on the Relationship – to me, the new unit of business should be relationships. You get more fruit from an apple tree if you nurture it and pick apples when it’s ripe, instead of uprooting the tree and forcefully shaking the apples into your barrel. It takes a bit longer, but you’re a farmer and a steward, not a machinist. (This is a great part of why I feel many businesses failed over the last two years)

Make Trust a Must – If you’re in this for the long haul, work to earn trust. People want to trust you. It’s a matter of giving them signs of trust, including being there, being consistent, being everywhere they need you to be, and being authentic to your internal and external needs. People aren’t stupid. They need to feel your conviction and your support all the way throughout the experience with you.

Beyond that, I’ll save the rest for another post.

Does this make sense? Are you ready to get to work? Can you see what should come next from this?

photo credit saad.akhtar

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  • erinweed

    I hate that anytime a rising star makes suggestions for improvement to the old school, that person opens him/herself up to attacks of their arrogance. (Which they will pre-emptively state, just to avoid these accusations – as in this case.) You're the farthest thing from it, Chris. Keep up the great work.

  • http://erinweed.com Erin Weed

    I find it troubling when superstars like you, who point out our need to improve and evolve, are ever labeled as arrogant. (by yourself or the critics) You're the farthest thing from it, Chris. Thanks for being the kick in the ass we all need from time to time.

  • Nicole Williams

    great post-a lot of good ideas

  • 8corinneedwards

    David B. Thomas took great notes from Chris Brogan's Keynote in Las Vegas. This is really worth reading. Take the time.

    One of the important points from his talk is:

    AND NO ONE TALKS ABOUT THIS -

    From the page: “Your platform is vital. The reason I got a book deal is because I have a platform: speaking gigs, a blog, a newsletter. The platform is what people are seeking. If someone says they're looking for influential bloggers, they're really looking for the numbers. They don't care if you're actually a good blogger.”

    This is urgent for aspiring authors to note. DEVELOP YOUR PLATFORM. All a publisher wants to know is how are you going to sell this stuff you have written.

    Shakespeare could not a book deal today without a platform.

  • http://www.facebook.com/traczyk Konrad Traczyk

    You rule Chris

  • dbreakenridge

    Hi Chris, sounds like it was a good keynote. I find especially interesting what you said about “Think Like a Business.” I'm seeing many companies that are quick to jump into social media and although they think they are doing it for their business, do not have a plan behind it. It reminds me of the early Internet days when plans were being written on bar napkins. Of course we saw the rise and fall of many ebrands with that approach. Wouldn't you advise a business to work social media and the power of building strong relationships into their plans? Whether it's a business plan that needs updating or a marketing plan to show how you are using social tools to drive leads, sales, education, thought leadership and other types of participation in networks, I think it's critical if you are going to “think like a business.” Thanks for sharing the key concepts in your keynote.

  • http://thoughtbythought.net Tre

    “Stop playing Farmville and start building networks of people you feel are important, energizing, uplifting, and potentially useful to your future business plans”

    I valued this. I'm not a business mind. Like at all. While building with likemindeds has come as a natch for a while offline, doing so online is new, slower, a bit intimidating, but gradually becoming less…. and thinking in terms of 'future business plans' is also new…but necessary and vital.

    Wasn't at bwe09. How to make those digs more accessible to nonsponsored folk…gratefully with this post here's the conference.

    Thank ya much kind sir…..truly.

  • moonheart009

    Nice article on blogging. I try to follow every step that you mentioned here for making my blog popular. Building one good relation with our reader is one of the most important factor.

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  • http://digitalmarketingtoday.com Nitin Gupta

    Chris,

    Excellent post. Too many businesses are jumping into Social Media without thinking about how it is going to ring the cash register. At the same time, they have to realize that Social Media is about establishing genuine, long term relationships with your customers. It takes time and effort to build the trust. Many a times, people ask about what to tweet and I am frustrated to see so many businesses that are using Twitter as a “broadcast” medium than a “conversation”. Brands need to talk about how they can solve their customer's unique problems and not just product features.

  • hiltop25

    This was a great post. Thanks for sharing with those of us who missed your keynote at blogworld. I wanted to stay for it but it was a really long day! BTW, I'm reading your book and really enjoying it. I'll catch you at the EONY presentation on November 16th… I'm the communication's chair for the group so if you need anything special, let me know… Looking forward to seeing you on the 16th… Oh, one more thing, will it be the same or similar presentation to Blogworld?

  • chaotic35

    Completely agree that the best way to build your network is to get off the computer once in a while. In person networking is invaluable. Thanks for the reminder. I enjoyed hearing you speak at Izeafest.

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  • http://elliaryan.net/ Ellia Ryan

    Finally, the missing link in explaining why I've resisted diving fully into the social media ocean… I don't have much time, or much brain space, to spare so why would I waste that valuable time reading and engaging in conversations that have no purpose, let alone leading one through my own blog or tweets? Thanks, Chris, for the (80%, see Amber's post below) reminder that social media are marketing TOOLS. Now that the novelty of the new toys has worn off, those of us in business can return to strategic marketing.

    Ellia Ryan, Facilitating Conversations That Matter

  • http://elliaryan.net/ Ellia Ryan

    Finally, the missing link in explaining why I've resisted diving fully into the social media ocean… I don't have much time, or much brain space, to spare so why would I waste that valuable time reading and engaging in conversations that have no purpose, let alone leading one through my own blog or tweets? Thanks, Chris, for the (80%, see Amber's post below) reminder that social media are marketing TOOLS. Now that the novelty of the new toys has worn off, those of us in business can return to strategic marketing.

    Ellia Ryan, Facilitating Conversations That Matter

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