Transcript for Episode 28 – Chris Brogan

the human experience is breaking into

the social media content strategy

stratosphere as we welcome our guest

best-selling author journalist marketing

consultant and speaker Chris Brogan

Chris welcome to hxp so thrilled to be

here thanks for having me so Chris just

for the people that don’t know what is

your background well I have done a bunch

of different things I’ve been an author

I’ve done a lot of marketing consulting

with mostly bigger companies like the

Fortune 100 and 500 types for a while

and then most recently I’ve been working

with very specific individuals and

owners to help them figure out what they

need to do to make their businesses

better so lately that’s been helping

them with content marketing and lead

acquisition strategies and whatnot but

I’ve handled a lot of different things

along the path and that’s I guess

probably part of the fun of doing what I

do so let’s let’s just dig right in how

how can we optimize content and

community to build engaging social media

campaigns so I never think in terms of

social media or campaigns but what I

think of with regards to content is that

it’s got to serve both sides so if it’s

gone if it’s based for marketing it’s

you know there has to be some sort of

business value for what you’re trying to

do with it

but then secondly it’s got to serve the

people that are you’re hoping are gonna

read it and consume it I think a lot of

the content that’s getting put out there

right now is junk I think that there’s

just so much you know stuff just to be

put out there just to be considered

technically published that doesn’t serve

anybody and so I think that what needs

to happen is that once you know the

particular community or space you’re

trying to serve give them something

useful give them something that they can

do or something that will help them

improve their capabilities or their

connections and then in the process get

just a little bit further down the road

of earning the opportunity to sell or be

of service of some kind and so I think

that a lot of people what they’re doing

right now is they’re just typing to type

instead of thinking what can I do to

would help the people I serve do

something better or improve their game

in some way so how how exactly we do

that let’s get into that I mean I guess

it would depend on who the person is so

I mean if you are working in a community

let’s say that you

I had a guy who runs a pawn shop and I

he wanted to know how he would make

content that would be a value and I said

well think about people going to pawn

shops to buy they’ve going to buy maybe

musical equipment or something so how to

start a band for a hundred three hundred

bucks he goes out cool how to start a

photography career when you don’t have

the money and then you know basically

had to buy the gear from his pawn shop

so basically the end product of

everything he was going to say was you

know and you can get this stuff at the

pawn shop but technically someone could

walk away with the information that they

needed to do what they wanted to do with

or without him and I think that that’s

kind of the the gold standard of knowing

that people can use the information with

or without actually buying your product

or service then they’re gonna get

somewhere with it so you have to have

something specific to sell how do you

think Trust plays into this process

Trust is pretty important because a lot

of people are used to being either

treated like they’re somebody else’s

sales product or they’re used to being

lied to in some form or fashion and I

think that a lot of people out there are

just sort of phoning it in and not

really thinking it with a mind of

service and so we really have to do a

lot to get past that plus the other

thing is that once we’re dealing with

somebody in the online space for

instance we’re losing a lot of the

opportunity to the things that we do and

face to face which includes eye contact

which includes body language which

includes tone of voice and things like

that we suddenly have to just rely on a

bunch of digital markers to get there so

for instance if your site doesn’t have a

very obvious and clear about section

that talks about who creates or puts

together everything that’s going on if

you are if there’s not a lot of pictures

on your site for people to understand

who’s behind the story and who’s you

know who they’re addressing and if the

if the people aren’t anyway accessible

besides through that content and you

know purely for that sales purpose

there’s going to be a harder level

before someone says yes I’m going to

take an action and do something with

them is there is there something

game-changing that you’ve seen that has

completely redefined the success of a

business through made content creation

online I I don’t think with that level

of bombast I would say that there’s a

lot of times where people can make

really good and useful content that

serves them I just saw a good piece the

other day from this company called bench


automated accounting type of software I

mean there’s probably nothing less

interesting to write about than an

automated accounting software so they

decided here’s a bunch of different

things that you should have already

automated by 2015 and if you haven’t

take the time and do it now and one of

the products was theirs and I mean you

knew it was there as you do is by the

same company that you just read the ad

for I mean the article but because

they’d also give you other things to

think about during the article I sort of

felt like wow that’s pretty cool so they

gave me a lot of things to think about

and oh by the way there’s is one of the

solutions it seemed like a good model so

what would you what would you suggest is

something that people should avoid

completely I’m pretty tired of numbered

list post I’m amazed that so many people

are out there doing that I think that

people using their social platform to

recycle a whole bunch of other people’s

quotes is pretty lame I don’t know that

anyone’s out there going man I hope

there’s some inspirational quotes on

Twitter today

and that’s what people are stuffing in

there so I get it sometimes we’re moved

were motivated we want to put a quote

out there but if you’re thinking that’s

what seeds the ground you know to make

fruitful business transactions it’s just

not true I mean think of any other work

environment where you would walk in and

see somebody just aimlessly quoting

information into the air it’s just not

really that helpful I don’t think so I

think there’s a lot of things to stop

doing stop treating people like they’re

a wallet start thinking that maybe

there’s ways you could serve them and

through that process get more stuff done

I just think that at the end if we’re

not working from a mindset of service

then no one’s really going to profit so

what was what was one of the personal

hurdles that you possibly had to

overcome and your rise to success I

think I have hurdles every day and every

week sometimes it’s the constant

struggle to make sure that I say no to

as much as I can so that I can say yes

to the people that I serve a lot of

times it’s trying to avoid the traps of

just doing redundant things I think that

sometimes we chase too many

opportunities as opposed to serving the

people that we think we can help the

most and anytime we go a foul of that we

sort of waste up a lot of time I think

another hurdle is just trying to do what

you think people want versus what you

think will serve people from

most I don’t know pure self you did that

thing you really know how to do that you

can really help somebody do that’s where

you should stick to your knitting hmm so

I mean if if I’m trying to build content

and I want to be successful which

hopefully people who are listening to

this podcast are hoping to be I mean

what’s that one thing that sort of

golden rule that you’ve seen repeated

over and over that kind of applies and

that you could suggest to people I guess

I’m forever amazed that so many people

want to copy other people I think that

you know I can tell you that copying

pretty much never gets anyone anywhere

and that you just become part of the

same pack you just try to get past so I

think the one thing they go after is

find a way that you can express yourself

exactly the way you feel and to the

people that you really wish you could be

addressing the most and even if you’re

not necessarily there you can get there

I mean if you’re I don’t know really

passionate about cars and that’s your

whole life and you’ve figured out a

couple different ways you can make

business out of that like I don’t know

detailing or accessory accessory

aftermarket sales and things like that

then talk to those people very

specifically and forget all the other

people and and stop trying to copy the

other voices that are out there in this

base because you know once a year the

next in line then you’re not first and

no one’s paying attention anyway does it

does it matter do you think it matters

how many people are following you on

Twitter or how many people are actually

sharing your content I think neither I

think that you know I’ve checked with my

bank and either one makes me money so I

could tell you that the amount of people

following me on Twitter as it’s gone up

the value of Twitter has gone down so

I’m at 307 thousand followers I have

less engagement than when I had 50,000

followers so I can tell you that you

know that place has changed because so

many people are flooding it with robot

content that it just doesn’t pull the

way it used to so instead what I’m

always looking for is where can I do the

best you to get somebody to give me

access to their inbox via my newsletter

because that’s the the still the place

where the most effectiveness happens so

I’m always just trying to wait to earn a

way to somebody’s inbox and keep the

trust up that allows me to serve them

from there

I mean you you’ve talked a lot about

standing out on line the secrets to

doing that I mean how how would we do

that how do I stand out like I I mean

I’m running a podcast how would I stand

out from other podcasts stop listening

me the other podcast stop using their

format stop using all of the things that

you’ve heard somebody else do they said

you say oh that sounds like a good idea

stop because no one else had that format

before and no one else will have it

after and their show isn’t any better or

worse than yours but the minute you

start you know using their model then

you’re playing their game the book I

wrote in 2009 with Julian Smith the

trust agents the first rule we gave

people is make your own game that way

you’re gonna always be number one at so

the fact that you know there’s John Lee

Dumas with this entrepreneur on fire

model that every time I see somebody

copied that interview style it smells

like that interview style all the way


John nailed it no one else can do that

again so now you pick some new method I

think that the more we stick to formulas

the more we try to work from a formula

the more we’re gonna fail I think that

there are things that are supposed to be

a formula and then there’s everything

around it coke is a formula the we

should never mess with the flavor of

coke and every time we do no one buys it

but with coke then instead does is they

expand on how do we now apply this in a

way that’s more and more interesting or

more useful or whatever so that’s the

trick you know keep the pieces automated

that should be so you can focus on

making the extra value and the extra

flavor you wrote a book called the

freaks shall inherit the earth

entrepreneurship for weirdos misfits and

world dominators I mean what was the

message that you were trying to get

across in that book that you don’t have

to be two white guys shaking hands over

a boardroom table that you can be

anybody and as you know once you figure

out who you are and what kind of weirdo

you are then you’re gonna find the other

weirdos out there that are into what

you’re into

if you’re really into Dungeons and

Dragons you can find a way to make that

into a business in the universe where

the top 100 youtubers a good majority of

them are actually just sitting around

playing video games and making jokes

while they do it it’s an interesting

space because it tells us that you know

the 80 plus billion dollar video game

industry is caught is giving enough

people a way to live compared to the

twenty billion dollar film industry and

yet we still don’t think in the


that it’s as interesting so to me

there’s just so many pockets of great

value out there and all you have to do

is just choose to be who you really want

to be instead of a copy of somebody else

so are you are you of the mind that you

should follow your passion and the

rewards will come from that

nope I think you should follow service

there’s a lot of passions that don’t

really benefit anybody else besides

themselves and that makes them

masturbatory and it feels good but you

don’t get fed so you have to find a ways

to be of service and you know if you

could be passionate about something

where you can also be of service then

you’ve got the magic but it’s never just

you know passion because that can land

you into some corners that don’t really

help anybody hmm interesting answer so

um any tips for any kind of daily life

routines that you use for writing for

writing so yeah I write 2,000 or 4,000

words a day depending on if I’m working

on a book or not when I am working on a

book or not I always work through the

idea that sit down every time I can make

as much time to write as I can and

always practice the reason most people

are bad at writing it says they don’t

they don’t practice it daily I’ll say

well when was the last time you sat down

and wrote when someone will say well I

don’t can’t find the time we can all

find the time it’s always a matter of

deciding how we prioritize our time and

so to me it starts with figuring out how

to write 250 words a day then 300 then

500 and even if you stopped at 500 a day

you know a typical printed page is 250

words all you have to do is that 500

words times X number of pages and you’ll

have a book every handful of months most

people just don’t actually have the

discipline to do even that and that’s

why I no one gets their book done that

they’ve been thinking about for years so

I mean how do you keep the pace going I

mean how do you keep everything alive

and fresh and and new um it’s a lot like

you know water in a stream if you’re if

you’re working on ideas all the time if

you’ve got all kinds of questions if

you’re paying attention to the people

that you’re serving and answering what

they need there’s always stuff that has

to be done there’s always information

out there that people are looking for

where people don’t have it right is that

they’re not connecting to any particular

community they’re just sitting there

thinking hmm maybe I’ll find somebody or

or they’re living in their own head

or they’re just reading a bunch of blogs

and listening to a bunch of podcasts and

going I hope I can come up with an idea

well a blog in a podcast is the

synthesis of somebody else’s idea

already so it’s like saying I want to go

to the target and I want to buy some

shirts off the rack and I want to go

sell those shirts well all you’re doing

is reselling somebody else’s junk you’ve

got to get a little further up the

stream where you’re designing and you’re

making the fabric and you’re putting it

out there so a lot of times when people

say they don’t have enough ideas or they

don’t know how to keep it fresh it’s

because they’re just sitting around

consuming other people’s instead of

going out making ideas bigger so then

what do you recommend for inspiration I

mean how does a person reaches state

where they’re not borrowing another

person’s idea or kind of stealing

content stop reading and stop listening

that’s number one it’s it’s amazing how

many people are reading like a couple

hundred blocks a day and saying that’s

really weird you know all these I want

to write like Pat Flynn I want to write

like whoever Lewis how’s all the

different people that somebody thinks

that they want to be instead go find

people and serve them and see what

they’re talking about I mean I just had

a conversation with somebody that they

were asking me how do I you know how do

I participate in a better way how do I

make that you know how do I make it

clear that I’m trying to make my

business work better and I said well

it’s really interesting I just watched a

documentary about professional wrestling

and I learned this term called doing

business and what that meant was that in

professional wrestling the the fights

are somewhat determined everyone knows

how they’re going to end and that’s

planned ahead of time but you you choose

how you’re going to execute on that and

if you liked the other fighter and if

you respected the other fighter then you

would make sure it went exactly the way

it was gonna be best for the entire

organization and that was called doing

business and so I found that really

interesting inspiration from something

as weird as a documentary about

professional wrestling I sure don’t find

inspiration by reading somebody else’s

blog because they’re already

synthesizing the same ideas so you got

to go way outside your circle to find

all the good stuff because it doesn’t

come from that place of everyone else

looking at each other stomachs do you

think it has to do with kind of moving

outside of your comfort zone and getting

getting out there and kind of actually

finding yourself

yeah I mean the only way we’re ever

gonna find ourselves as as we relate to

other people anyway but that means not

as we relate to other people’s

perceptions but as we relate to the

world around us I mean I’ve said it a

bunch of times in this interview that

service is really important to me and by

that I mean thinking you go out and help

and in the most basic of ways can I

bring you a glass of water from these

things bigger stuff happens it’s it’s

never from something especially

revelatory there’s never some loud

thunderclap and then you know you

suddenly have two plates in your hand

that God gave you instead it’s that you

just poured somebody a drink and thought

you know if I could pour more drinks I

could get more value and that’s where

the big stuff happens is in the little

stuff hmm very interesting man you know

I know that you run your own podcast is

there anything that you’ve learned from

all the guests that you’ve had had on

I’ve learned to have never an agenda

never a set of questions always just

listen as closely as I can and hear

where they’re taking me and then I take

their last question and put it to the

next question you know so that they’re

not never following some script in my

head but instead I’m trying to find

where their journeys gonna take me and I

find that what’s great about that is I

always end up someplace I didn’t expect

I was going to be and then it makes the

the practice for me in how do I surface

the things that are gonna make this

person shine to the community that I’m

putting them in front of and then what

can I do to make sure that the community

and putting them in front of realizes

just how important this person is to

their potential growth so what I’m

thinking of it is like an introduction

and so that the person will get to be

known but that almost never comes from a

set of questions it almost always comes

from figuring out what makes that person

amazing and giving them the chance to

play into it cool man well I know your

time is short and I really appreciate

you being here is there a place that

people can find your work easy-peasy go

to Chris Brogan com grab my newsletter

that’s probably the best place to start

well thanks so much to Tom for your time

Chris really appreciate you being here

man my utter pleasure this is the human

experience and we are signing out thank

you so much for listening

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