This Social Media Stuff Makes Real Things Happen


AboutWatching Chris Brogan of New Marketing Labs on stage for the first time at Izeafest 2009 made me pause.

“Is this a conference about blogging, or have I been transported to a comedy club on ‘Best of Improv Night’?” I thought to myself.

Even when “trying not to be funny,” Brogan was hilarious, provocative and a little bit profane. Trying to distill his advice in between bon mots can be a challenge, until you realize that the best advice he gives — the meatiest points he makes — are the one-liners and quips.

The vibe on Saturday afternoon in the dimly-lit conference venue was electric. Brogan made some interesting points that really stood out in my mind. I captured them during his presentation while I was live tweeting.

Below I riff on some of his points with my own thoughts; I’m interested in hearing yours as well.

“In the immortal words of the philosopher Vanilla Ice: Stop, collaborate, and listen.”

Great advice for how companies, organizations and individuals should go into and utilize social media.

“If we say ‘we’ more often than we say ‘I,’ things are so much fun … because people like to feel they belong to something.”

“The number one obligation of people who have an inside is to let more people in.”

With these statements, Brogan echoed some of what Liz Strauss had said earlier in the afternoon — the idea of “inclusiveness” and how that really powers and drives participation on blogs and in social media.

“Be self-aware not self-involved. One helps you in life, the other one alienates you”

“Be everywhere: do that with your content and do that with your commenting. Commenting in heartfelt ways to their content, not to your agenda.”

These quotes are great tips for the attitude you should take when participating in social media channels or commenting on someone’s status update or post. Be aware of the other person and not so focused on yourself.

“You can let a blog die. It’s OK. It’s not a kitten.”

This quote cracked me up. How many of us feel so tied to our blogs, that our blogs are so precious that we can never let them go. Now think about how many of us neglect our blogs? If you aren’t feeling it, if you aren’t doing it, just let that neglected blog die.

IMG_3996“Failure is part of success. Failure is on the way to success. But have lots of paths to that goal.”

“Nobody is going to give you permission to do the next thing. Do not wait for the market to come along.”

These quotes were really a powerful statement for many in the audience about the fear of failure and getting off your duff and doing something. We all go out there in the “social mediasphere” hoping to be a big success, hoping our campaigns are a success, that our communications are successful. But just like with life, we have to let go of a fear of failure and realize that if it gets us to where we are going, it’s all good.

“Train your communities. Do not make yourself irreplaceable. You miss opportunities.”

“Content is the bait to make love (to your audience).”

“Oprah trick: Guard your audience. Because they are the asset. If you lose the asset, you lose everything.”

You come away from Brogan’s presentation realizing where his true power comes from — not just from his passion for his topics but for his audience. He knows the real value in the equation is not him but you. That is the way we should all be thinking when engaged in social media conversations.

“This social media stuff makes real things happen,” said Brogan. After hearing him speak, one can see why — and how — Chris Brogan makes things happen.

How is social media making real things happen for you?


Rebecca Quinn

Thanks for sharing your impressions, Aliza! I also got to hear Chris Brogan speak at another event last week, and got to meet him afterwards. His style is hilarious and one-on-one, he is a really nice guy who listens and puts the spotlight back on others. This is a huge lesson to us all.

For everyone who tells me they don’t “get” twitter and some of the social networking sites, I show them how to use social media to listen. Listen to what is going on in your industry, to what your customers are saying, to what your prospective clients need. How can you answer those questions and provide solutions? How can you collaborate and make others look good? It’s just not about broadcasting and selling anymore.

I love the merging of online and offline…meeting people at events then staying in touch and helping each other through the social networks plus now everytime I attend an event I meet some of the people who I’ve only had online relationships with. Sharing upcoming events and opportunities with my contacts. Getting a facebook message from someone who wants to become a client. Finally meeting a twitter follower who then emails to see if she can refer her clients to me.

This new world is full of endless possibilites for learning, listening, sharing if people are open to it. Thanks again for sharing a few of Chris’s quotes I hadn’t heard!

Aliza Sherman

I just loved his quote about social media making things happen and felt that each of the quotes I chose actually tell you – in clever ways – how to MAKE things happen.

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