5 Keys to Building Forever-Followers—Chris Brogan Style

Yesterday, I had the spontaneous opportunity to attend the Author’s Way event and see social media “typist” Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) talk about his perspective and approach on all things social media. He also dived into the heart of his new book, Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust (Amazon link).

A lot was said over the course of four hours and I took about six pages of notes. However, there were five things that I walked away with that have brought a paradigm shift in my thinking of social media.

Prepare to have your mind changed:

1) The more things you can create and giveaway, the more you will get back in rewards
Seth Godin says that value comes in execution, not in your ideas. It’s a loud call to stop hording and start giving. Chris said that he posts 98% of his ideas and thoughts online. The other 2% are unique to his clients. Furthermore, he stated that 75% of his leads, ie: income, come from something he’s said online.

2) To increase your Twitter influence, be helpful
Chris suggested that you utilize a 12:1 tweet ratio; for every 12 times you retweet, promote, talk about, or push someone else, talk about yourself once. How do you do that? Http://search.twitter.com is the best place to get started. Identify your interest, find what people are saying about it and enter the conversation. In return you’ll create trust which gives you social capital which increases your value and influence.

3) Twitter is a business winning tool
This is for the naysayer business owners and CEO’s. Being active on Twitter is like sharing a meal, playing 18 holes or a face-to-face meeting. Not one of those functions will seal the deal by themselves, but when used together you’ll create a winning outcome. Chris gave the example of Frank, an employee at Comcast who started @comcastcares on Twitter. One year later, Frank now manages a team of ten people who are dedicated to servicing Comcast customers on Twitter alone. Personally, I’ve used this team on at least four times. On two of those occasions, we troubleshooted and scheduled an appointment via Twitter. I never had to call or email. Now that’s a way to keep my business.

4) Think like they do
It’s not good enough to throw your thoughts out there, you have to find out what people are saying, what words they are saying it with and look for those conversations. Chris brought up an example of a hosting company that wanted to find new clients online. Rather than searching for “hosting” or “web hosting” they looked for phrases like “server is down.” Whenever that phrase was used, the company would reply with an offer for three free months of web hosting. New clients came rolling in.

5) Winning is table stakes for the next game
This is a point that I felt like Chris couldn’t stress enough. The implications were multi-fold: A) Never start from nothing. B) Build off of and on previous successes. Why is this important? If you don’t connect with your followers on a personal level, they won’t care to follow you when you move on to the next game.

Finally, I’d like to leave you with some things he said that stood out and were helpful:

  • Why don’t kids use Twitter? They already have a social life.
  • Be everywhere—create and maintain bonds
  • If you sit still in business, you’ll get stuck in business
  • Structure yourself to always be in front of opportunities so you can give them away

There were so many other great things said. If you want to hear it all, I encourage you to buy the DVD and his book. Between the two, you’ll be set.

Thanks Chris for coming to Nashville. This was very helpful!

Did any of the above change your social media paradigm?

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  • http://www.lauraclick.com Laura Click

    Great post, Kyle! I was unable to attend the event, but watched it online. This is a great summary of what Chris talked about. The bottom line is that social media is not a silver bullet (just like any other marketing strategy). However, it is a great way to engage and connect with customers, clients and prospects. I think the tips you highlighted from Chris' speech apply to both social media AND other aspects of business. It all comes down to making personal relationships. Good stuff!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/chownage Chownage

      The further I get away from this event, the more I realize the implications of what Chris talked about. Like his book, Trust Agents, talks about, this isn't about technology. This is about humankinds relation to one another.

      • http://www.lauraclick.com Laura Click

        Amen! You hit the nail on the head. Making impacting relationships is not a new a new concept, social media is just a new avenue for creating those relationships. I posted a link to this article on my blog: http://su.pr/AmSRlX Hope that's okay!

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/chownage Chownage

          Thank you for the link back. It's one of the best compliments!

  • http://twitter.com/gbentley @gbentley

    Kyle, thanks for sharing your thoughts from yesterday's event with Chris Brogan. You did well to practice what you are preaching through promotions, references and links given throughout this post. From what I am seeing on Twitter, many businesses and entrepeneurs need to grasp the concept of your point #2. I had a chance to sit in on a NAMIC Conference in Charlotte on Wednesday. The second panel was dealing with the use of Social Media and the blurring of personal and professional worlds. When you get a chance, follow Jeff Simmermon from Time Warner Cable (jeffTWC). He is the Director of Digital Communications for TWC. He gets it.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/chownage Chownage

      Thanks for the tip on Jeff. I just followed him.

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

    Great notes. Thanks. One of the things I really enjoy about Chris is that he comes across as very authentic.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/chownage Chownage

      He's very authentic, and as Lindsay says on her blog, he's just plain likable. I want to be that way someday…sometimes I can be too serious.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/thejeffbrown Jeff Brown

    It was a pleasure meeting you yesterday. Thanks for the wrap up. Very well done.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/chownage Chownage

      You too Jeff! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello.

  • Stephanie

    Good post, Kyle! I enjoyed reading it!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/chownage Chownage

      Thanks Steph!

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  • http://www.gainesville-marketing.com misi

    Gotta love Brogan, I know my husband does and he has altered his entire social media foot print so that now his entire focus is on giving and sharing and that has resulted in a nice local following as well as carry over into his consulting biz.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/chownage chownage

      Love it! I've found that actually doing this is tough, but once you get the hang of it (meaning, stop focusing on myself so much) it becomes much easier. Thanks for the comment!

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