If content is king then video is the Emperor. Many of us will admit that video is probably the most important media online but for most of us it’s just really scary. Those of us who procrastinate with video think we have good reasons. The sound’s just not good enough, poor lighting, waiting for a new camera. That’s all before we even start thinking about the emotional reasons it’s difficult. This week my guest is Brian Fanzo and he’s probably one of the most prolific content marketers on the Planet and he’s going help you - and me ‘Press the Damn Button.’ If the thought of video marketing leaves you in a cold sweat then this is the episode for you.
Brian Fanzo is a digital futurist keynote speaker who translates the trends of tomorrow to inspire change today. His customized and personalized programs showcase real-world stories and examples of forward-thinking people and businesses. He teaches companies of all sizes how to leverage technology in real time in order to engage their customers at the right time. Brian has a gift for bringing people together online and offline. He has worked in 76 countries, highlighting his passion for change, collaboration, and technology.
Brian has been recognized as a Top 20 Digital Transformation Influencer; a Top 50 Most-Mentioned User by CMOs on Twitter, and a Top 25 Social Business Leader of the Future by The Economist. His followers on social media and podcast downloads rank in the hundreds of thousands, resulting in Brian being an influencer for 19 of the Fortune 100 companies.
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Brian's website : https://www.isocialfanz.com/
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Automatic Show Transcript
Content is king that video is the Emperor. Most of us will admit the video is pretty powerful. But for a lot of us it's also really scary. Most of us who procrastinate with video think we have good reasons to say I was not good enough, the lighting is poor. We're waiting for a new camera. And that's all before we even start thinking about the emotional reasons it's difficult. This week, my guest is Brian fans. Oh, and he's probably one of the most prolific content marketers on the planet. And he's going to help you and me press the down button. Hi there and welcome back to amplify the digital marketing entrepreneur podcast. I'm Bob Gentle, and every week I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to the show, then welcome along. Just take a second right now to subscribe so you don't miss new episodes. And you can grab some older ones when you finish this one. Don't forget to join our Facebook community. Just visit the shortcut URL, amplify me.fm forward slash insiders, and you'll be taken right there. So, welcome Hello. And let's meet Ryan friends. So first we're going to like to to welcome Brian funds or to the show, Brian, you want to tell us a little bit about who you are, where you are and the kind of work you do.
Sure. Thanks for having me. My name is Bryan fans. Oh, I'm a digital futurist, keynote speaker and podcaster I'll kind of worn I like to give this warning from a podcast guest perspective. I am a podcast here but I do talk fast. I'm known for talking fast and tweeting faster. So if, if your listeners You know, I'm a big podcast listener, I listened to a lot of mine at one and a half speed or 1.2 speed. I will warn you if you do that with me, I sound like Mickey Mouse. So a little bit about my background. I am a computer science major that went and worked in cyber security for the Department of Defense here with the United States. Government. I did that for about nine years, growing a team of 32 direct reports training different military members around the world. I went to 54 countries at the time on different collaboration tools and different cyber security tools. I then went and pursued what I considered my dream job at the time, which was a technology evangelist, which was really a role that was modeled after Guy Kawasaki, and what he did at Apple, and I worked at that startup for a little over two years, and helped grow not only employee base, but deploying a social selling program and employee advocacy program, and then really direct reporting to the CEO with a dotted line to the CMO and the CIO. And it was a amazing role. It was one of those startups that we are hiring 12 new people a week, I got to dabble in Product Marketing product management. traditional marketing I we were helping our clients move from what would be considered legacy technology like a data center and move into the cloud. So a lot of the clients I worked with were enterprise level companies like IBM and Dell, Wells Fargo. And then after about little over two years that come the startup I worked for, was being purchased. And that that purchase kind of gave me the push into entrepreneurship. So I've been an entrepreneur, running my own brand, which is I social fans. for a little over five years now. I started doing a little bit in the marketing agency side, but really what my main focus has been is and really, it's the it's the thread that has been, you know, the backbone of my entire business is my goal is to translate emerging technology and trends into business action. So I do a lot on social media marketing. I do a lot around digital but I also dabble And artificial intelligence, leveraging kind of my background and cyber. I do about 60 to 70 keynotes a year have now been to 79 countries. My goal is to make it to 100, which I'm on pace to do. And so I'm full time speaker now. You know, I have a work. I have a speaker agent that I brought on board a couple years ago. And I really love what I do. I'm very active on social media. I currently host two podcasts and I'm launching my third podcasts later this month, big fan of podcasting big fan of travel. I'm also a dad of three girls that are 10, eight and six years old. And that's a little bit about me, that's kind of brings you up to speed with where I'm at now. And I'm currently based out of Washington DC. So if you hear a little bit of rain in the background we're getting, we're getting some of that icy rain mix here in DC but excited to be here and excited to you have a conversation with your audience.
Well, thanks again for making the time for me. One of the things which always has strikes me about you as you, you're always doing an insane amount of stuff. And I really want to ask you about how you manage your time. But first, I want to have a chat about your confidence. Now, I'm not the most outgoing guy in the world. And when I watch you, the standout feature is the understated confidence you bring to everything you do, and sometimes it's not understated. Now, I remember watching a video you posted in an airport, departures lounge with people all around you and I can only think, How the hell does he do that? Where does he find the balls to do that? So where does he find the balls to do that?
Oh, that's a good one. I don't think anyone's presented that way. You know, um, you know, one of the things that throughout my life, one of the things that I and I talked about this a lot, you know, for me, social media, digital online video creation. Prior to 2013 it wasn't something that I was doing. I was, I was speaking I was the face of my organization in my company. I had presented the Joint Chiefs of Staff here at the Pentagon and United States but I I was very active. I've always kind of walked to my own beat. But there was always a disconnect for me between the online world and the offline world. I, I worked hard at trying to post things and share things that I thought other people wanted to hear or were looking for. And it became very stressful and November 2 2013, my mom, I'm a big mama's boy, called me out and just said, Hey, Brian, you know, one thing in your life that you've always, you know, embraced is that you are unapologetically yourself. And she's like, I'm curious, or I'm wondering if that are if you're living and what you're sharing online is the same. And I remember telling my mom like, of course, Mom, yes, sure. And then I started this thinking about things and there was a lot of things that I was, you know, hiding or not sharing online. I was really you're just not connecting the dots and so on that day, I wrote on my on my Mirror in big letters, be yourself. Just be yourself. I wrote that all capitals on my mirror. And I can tell you since that day, everything has changed that confidence that you see now. Really, you know, the confidence has always been there. I've been very blessed to be kind of not only an extrovert, but someone that enjoys, you know, connecting and talking to people. But that that's kind of when my journey kind of started, I started, you know, I wear my hat. I started not hiding the fact that I talk fast. I started sharing more transparently who I was what I was about, and, and for me, a lot of it was, you know, it's been growth. You know, I've done live streaming came out, I had a Google Plus show where I had done a little over 300 interviews over two years. And then live streaming came out. It was called Meerkat. And then there was an app called blab, and then there was one called periscope that Twitter owns and then of course, Facebook Live. And during that time, I went all in and I can tell you, I've done over 3000 live videos since 2014, which is a lot and for me starting to get in the flow, understanding what messages worked, what messages didn't, you know, it took a lot of practice, I was never extremely comfortable on video, but I've got very much more comfortable now these days, in, you know, doing things in public, you know, the video that that you're referencing was one that, you know, for me, a lot of content creation, a lot of sharing on the that I do is, you know, I'm very busy I, I travel a lot. I of course, I'm a dad, I host podcasts, I create all of these things. I do a lot of it myself individually. And so for me creating content, you know, videos like the one you referenced, I have to do those in the moment I have to do those, you know, my mantra. The book that I'm finishing writing right now is called press the damn button. And really what press the damn button means is that, you know, there's no need to try to be perfect. There's no need to try to be like somebody else. It's more Important to put yourself out there. And for me, I kind of embrace that all, you know, all throughout the fold. So, you know, and I think the other big piece of the confidence is, I'm not afraid to admit that I don't know something, or that I'm wrong. And so for me, I'm confident in the fact that I can share what I'm thinking I can, you know, let people know what I'm currently doing. But if I make a mistake, if I screw up if something changes, or if I'm just drastically wrong, I'm open about that. I'm very transparent about it. And that, that gives me a lot of freedom and sharing who I am what I'm doing. And that freedom kind of goes back to that day with, you know, my mom telling me, you know, be yourself and that's, that's really the mantra that I live is, you know, the greatest compliment I can receive is that when someone meets me, for the first time in person, they're like, wow, Brian, you are the same person, online, the same person on stage as you are offline. And that's kind of, that's kind of how I try to live my life.
I think that's really courageous. Something I really like is that you're not scared of being called out. I mean, simply applying the law of averages, you're going to get stuff wrong, but you don't let that stop you. So what's your take on perfectionism? Because for a lot of people, I think that is perfectionism, which stops from pressing the down button.
So my clients, there's two rules that my every client that I work with, if I'm coaching a business leader of I'm working with IBM, or Dell, or Samsung, or I was just doing a workshop for MGM resorts International, which owns all the MGM properties around the world, and I was helping them really talk with their audience put their story out there embrace video, and I have two rules for all of these clients and the first rule is that perfection is a fairy tale. The second rule is control is an illusion. You can only control yourself and and the things that you are individually can't control anything else. And that perfection is a fairy tale one, to me is everything right? And for those, you know, and I always set the stage like this, you know, do we know of a brand or a company that is perfect. The answer's no. Do we know of a person or a leader that is perfect. And sometimes when I asked that on stage someone will say, Oh, Mother Teresa is perfect, but I don't think Mother Teresa, even when she was alive, would would say that she was perfect. And so if we realized that there's no person perfect, no brand or company that is perfect. Our desire to try to be perfect, ultimately works in reverse for us and the reason I say this is that the more that we tried to convey that we're perfect and we do nothing wrong, what we're really saying is that we're lying that we are we are fake and we are a fraud because I just we just talked about the fact there's no one is perfect. And so I really do look at you know, perfection as a roadblock to success and for a lot of people. They'll make excuses Hey, I'm not going to create a podcast because I don't have the right equipment or I'm not going to go use this video because I only I only 30 minutes or I'm not going to do this because, you know, I've never whatever it may be. And I think when we remember that perfection is a fairy tale. And then the other piece of this is remembering that, you know, when you're putting yourself out there to the world, we are our own hardest and harshest critics. It's amazing that even in a world that we live in today, which is rather diverse, and rather, especially here in the United States, rather, you know, segmented in the fact that we are, you know, very disconnected across the board and many things especially, you know, politically in a lot of things that go on, you would be amazed how forgiving and open people are to our ability to just manage our own expectations. And so like for my first podcast episode, you know, everyone told me Brian, you need to you need to have a podcast episode that goes out the same day every week. It needs to be a certain length and it needs to be in the give me all these rules. And well, here's the fact is that that's not me and So on my very first episode of my podcast, I said, guys, here's the deal. I'm not going to pay for high level production. I don't know which day of the week the podcast will launch, because it's, you know, my schedule is a little bit crazy. But I will promise you that I will not waste your time that I will deliver the content, you know, to the best of my ability, and that I will not, you know, I will I will do everything I can to learn and grow. And if you're willing to grow and risk, you know, understand, that's who I am, then, you know, I appreciate you being, you know, a listener of my podcast, and you would be amazed. I have not once you know, and I'm now on episode 124 of that show. Not one says someone came back to me and said, Brian, I wish I knew what day of the week your show came out on. Right. And I think that to me is one of the most important lessons that we can learn is not only perfection, but we as individuals or business owners or thought leaders or content creators, whatever you fall you consider yourself under, we decide and manage our own expectations. If you are trying to convey perfection, you will be judged against perfection. For me, I started off this podcast by saying that hey, you know, I talk fast. And that's just who I am. The reason I own that out of the gate is because I am managing your expectations. As you're listening to the show, you are not going to complain about me talking fast, because I owned it to start the show. If I hadn't said anything, there's a good chance some of your listeners would have been like, oh, man, he talks too fast, or I really wish he slow down or, you know, halfway through the show, well, I can't listen to it sped up anymore. And so for me, the more you put yourself out there, the more you manage expectations publicly, the less you perfection gets in the way of you trying to deliver the content and the things that you want to put out.
I really like that, for me, perfectionism is always there as a mental excuse not to do something, but it really just gets in the way of all other potential. So I think that's really good advice. Now When I look through the list of things you're doing, it looks like a monster, to be honest. And I'm really keen to learn how you manage your time how you prioritize, and what you say no to.
So that's, I mean, it's one of the hardest lessons I've ever learned. And for in 2016, I didn't really know how to say no. In 2017 I made the mistake of I realized that saying yes to everything was not good. But I struggled with saying no, so I started saying maybe to everything, and I can tell you maybe it's actually worse than No, because maybe just prolongs people to continue bothering you and continue getting requests. And so what I've kind of learned now, for me and like the, you know, I create a lot of content. You know, I create four videos a week for LinkedIn, I create about six videos for current clients. You know, I'm doing 67 keynote 70 keynotes a year around the world. I do host the you know, will be hosting the three podcasts. You know, I manage You know, I'm a I'm active on every social media channel. Mainly the reason for that is, you know, I try to help my clients pick the right channels to be on and therefore I need to be active on all of them. And so when I look at prioritization and I look at things for me is that I really over the last 18 months or so, I've tried to become more self aware and really understand how I work best and configure my life to best live that kind of life. And so, I do a lot you I do create a lot of content, I do have a lot of things that are coming into me, but I try to manage my calendar where certain days of the week I will do podcast guests, you know, interviews and such. You know, for tomorrow, I have the first six hours of my day blocked off to create video content where I'll probably create somewhere upwards of 20 different videos over the six hours that I have tomorrow. And then I tried to, you know, manage your notifications and distractions. So you know different you If I if I'm on my, on my laptop, I have different notifications on that when I'm on my iPad versus what's on my phone. And for me that's kind of really worked really well is that I'm not distracted or disconnected in some of those cases. And then the other piece of it is, you know, I've started to be better at including people in my inner circle that helped me say no to things or that to question. Hey, Brian, why are you doing that? Or Brian, What's your goal on on doing that? So my speaker agent helps me with that my assistant, my content, my Content Developer as well, like we were really working hard at making sure that you know, everything I'm doing is not only beneficial for the business, but all the things that I want to be doing. And so it's not something that is extremely easy. For me. It's something I've been growing. And then the last part of it is, you know, I'm very calendar driven for a lot of things, but I'm also one you know, I was diagnosed with ADHD in at 31 years old, so, seven years ago, and I take medicine twice a day. For for my ADHD and it's been one of the greatest thing has ever happened to me I better understand who I am, I have better focus on what I'm doing. But it also is something that I had to learn what how my brain works. And so oftentimes I will notice that, you know, if I'm editing a video, or maybe I'm just creating a graphic on Canva, or Adobe, I will I could spend 20 to 30 to 40 minutes on this one piece. And what I learned was, well, you know, although we can try to be perfect, or we can tweak things, for me, I started to say, Well, what is the optimal amount of time that I should spend on these things? And so I can tell you, when I'm editing my podcast, I put a timer on my phone, that's 15 minutes. I try to, you know, edit my podcast in 15 minutes. When I'm creating a graphic, I put a timer for eight minutes and when the eight minutes is up, I don't stop immediately, but I'm like, Okay, now it's time to wrap up. There's no need to to fine tune things to the next level. And so For me those little, those little tricks, like they're not, you know, super crazy productivity hacks or anything that's, you know, immensely, you know, process driven, but kind of having those, you know, those little tweaks and those little things have really helped me not waste a lot of time and make sure that the time I'm spending on creating things is also valuable. And you know, I don't want to I don't want to just throw things out there that aren't, you know, quality, but at the same time, I don't want to waste my time, trying to be perfect when something when no one's really going to know the difference. And so that's kind of how I kind of look at time and yes, versus now and kind of making all of those things happen.
There's actually a lot of discipline in there. That might not be a revolutionary productivity hack. That's a lot of discipline. And perhaps that's the key. Something I really have to explore with you is video and video content specifically, one of the stats I read somewhere on your social media was from Cisco, saying that by 2020 81% of web traffic would be driven by the consumption of video. I think I got that, right. Yep, that's correct. What that saying is that people particularly in in my space, and in my audience, they really need to be producing video. But creating video is hard for a lot of people. So I'm interested to know what your process looks like in a couple of areas. But firstly, your content, it looks spontaneous. So what preparation or scripting do you do?
So, you know, and you know, video is coming right and and, you know, for the last four years, every year has been the year of video. And I always like to put this out there. You know, the reason video is so powerful is that it is the closest thing that we can get to, to what we experience offline when we are connecting with somebody, right? You know, even before this podcast, we recorded this audio right now, we jumped on zoom, so that we could say hi, right, and so that we could we could look each other in our digital eyeballs. And so video is that great equalizer. It allows us to build trust at scale. It allows us to convey a message with nonverbal cues and allows us to share our passion and Uh, you know, the the disconnect of faking it till you make it or, you know everything online on a website not being true is really eliminated when it comes to video. But video is also scary and it's, you know, press the down button for me, a lot of what that really means is that, you know, video is scary for everyone, when you start out it's going to be difficult. But you also you have to start somewhere, right? No one is great at it. You know, I try and I try to remind people, we're not trying to be what we see on the TV. We're trying to be what we see online and there is a difference there. But when it comes to a script, you know, I think different people work in different ways. A good friend of mine, he does all his all he does a script or a teleprompter. For all of his videos. For me, I kind of have a rule of thumb where I have every video I created. This is actually including podcast as well. I have I have a sticky note that I usually put underneath my camera or underneath. You know on My monitor. And on that sticky note, like I'm looking right now at my desk, I have seven sticky notes that are on my desk. For the seven videos that I'm recording. Tomorrow, they I usually have five bullet points, so one through five. And the first three are things that I want to make sure to cover or takeaways that I want my audience to have from this, this piece of content. And remember, some of my videos are three minutes long, some of them are 30 minutes long. Interestingly enough, I use this same rule of five for all of those, because I really I understand that you everyone learns differently, but I want to make sure that these are this is my and this is my own, this is the way that I do it. And so the first three are those takeaways that I want to make sure that I cover the next two, one of them is a story or a reference point that I want to make sure to include that either backs up those three things above or adds additional context or flavor to the you know the video that I'm creating. And the fifth one, the last one usually is, you know, a story or some piece of humor, or some kind of, you know, usually self deprecating humor or something that will make the video or the audience that is watching it memorable. And, you know, it might be something like, Hey, I'm recording it in the airport, or it might be like Yo, acknowledging the hat or the shirt that I'm wearing at the moment. And so those are the five things that I put on a sticky note, I put them up, you know, on my phone or on the camera, I press the button, I do you kind of my intro that I'm very comfortable doing. And then I get I get in those topics. And the neat thing for me on that is that it gives me the freedom to go wherever I want to go with the video with the conversation. But it also gives me a little bit of structure to make sure that I don't go too chaotic and at the same time, I make sure to hit the things that I wanted to cover for those videos. And it took me a while to kind of craft that formula for myself, but I can tell you, it's what works really Well, for me, I've hosted a lot of events where I go up on stage, and I host events. And a lot of times, they'll try to give me a script. And I'll explain to them my rule of five. And if I can get them to trust me and give me a chance with the rule of five, they'll be they're usually amazed and they end up you know, embracing that, like, you're right, Brian, you don't work very well from a script. But I, on the flip side of that, you know, one of the, you know, one of the couple creators that I work really well with, that are fellow speakers that do a lot of video. They're very scripted to the point where they practice the script, reading the script out loud, multiple, multiple times. And if that works for them, that's great. But you know, I think for, you know, for the audience, especially those that aren't comfortable on video yet my my advice for those that aren't comfortable on video yet is that rather than worrying about you know, video online, I challenge you to FaceTime or Skype or zoom with your friends or family five times a week, and just do it every five times a week. For a month so rather than just calling your brother or your mom or your someone you're working with us a video chatting service, because it takes a while to get used to looking at yourself on video and seeing yourself talk and, and looking at those mannerisms. And a great way to practice is to do it, when you know, it's not gonna be recorded, you know, the person that you're talking to is not going to really judge you and if they are, you know, their family or friends, and that kind of gets the ball rolling. And then you're going to want to just, you know, start putting, you know, creating video and kind of coming up with your own formula. But that's kind of what's worked for me and it's, you know, it's what I embrace, and I think we all can kind of test and tweak it and and find a way that you best deliver in a way that's very conversational, because for me, I want to be relaxed, I want to be myself and the best way I've found to do that is is using this rule of five.
You've preempted my next question and it was going to be around comfort zones. comfort zones in any area that are a bit like a muscle and the more you exercise, a muscle to bigger grows and that type of video chats such a good idea. I would never have You could even extend it and make it more challenging I guess, by sending one in one recorded video messages. Interestingly, there are people to video chat with other people I don't and there's no reason for that. It's just what I'm accustomed to. And I think using video like that to build that muscle, such a good idea.
And I will also say, you know, kind of another tip for that and this is for everyone starting out. And this is kind of probably something that you That sounds counterproductive or what is like the opposite advice of what everyone else gives, but it's what I know for a fact is a big Roadblock, is when you're creating video, more often than not when we're like okay, I need to create video for my website or I need to have a YouTube channel or I need more video on my Facebook page. The mistake I believe that we make is that you cannot start where your audience is you must start where you individually are most comfortable. What I mean by that is if you want to create YouTube style video, which you know YouTube video for You know to simplify it is is a much more how to style video, you need to SEO it you need to understand the nuances that exist in YouTube, you putting, you know, having that as your first goal, but yet you're not comfortable talking on video makes that very hard. And so what I tell people is that, you know, what kind of video Do you like creating? Or where are you most comfortable? You know, for me starting out I noticed that I was not good standing in one spot creating video. And so when I started out on video, what I found is that the video that I was most comfortable doing was then when I was walking around or I was walking down a street or actually one of the most popular videos I've ever created, you know, in the last six years was a video at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. As I was walking to the event, I created a video where I was just kind of walking and talking and sharing my own insights and vision on what I was looking forward to. And so for me the walking and talking was where I felt comfortable and so if I had forced myself to create more talking head video where I was sitting in a chair or I was standing in one spot, I believe I would have never put the video out and so my the one of the mistakes I believe a lot of people make is that they try to start where their audiences rather than starting where they're most comfortable. So my advice to that is start where you're most comfortable if you if you like doing short quick videos, maybe start on Instagram stories. If you like creating videos that are you are your direct to a point and they're, you know, quick hitters, why not create a video and posted on Twitter, you know if whatever that may be and then once you get comfortable figuring out your cadence for your video creation. Then the second thing you do is go and create video where your audience is. But for so many people I believe that they don't get started with video, not because they're not comfortable with video, but because they don't start at the right spot. What's more important for you to get comfortable doing video than it is for your video to be And when you're starting out,
I guess so you've never learned anything else in such a public way. That's really good advice. Another place I'd like to go with you is, again, you mentioned working with companies like Dell and MGM. And you mentioned being unashamedly, you know, you're not a suit and tie guy, unless I'm mistaken. How does that go down with kind of global mega Corp? Because if anyone else got called with any first thought would be, where's my suit?
So that's an interesting one. You know, for me, I've been a backwards hat wearing guy. I did wear suits for a while when I worked in the government. And, you know, I had a I had a security clearance. I spoke in different environments that required me to wear the suit. But one of the things that I preach a lot is not only the importance of being yourself, but also, you know, setting yourself up for the most success possible. And so I can tell you, there there is oftentimes where someone will judge me based on the fact that I'm not wearing a suit or I'm wearing bright colored shoes or maybe I'm wearing a T shirt where most People in the, in the event is wearing a jacket. But it's interesting because, you know, early on in my career even working with those like IBM and Dell, you know, they would, they would be okay with it to a point. But then they would be like, Well, in this scenario, we need you to change. And eventually they started to see that, hey, this is just who I was. And Funny enough, I was called out on stage multiple times or I was brought up, you know, there was an event with, you know, over 15,000 people in the audience and one of the second highest people in charge of IBM was on stage and he actually brought me up on stage and said, Hey, this is a guy who, who I can trust because he, he, he acts like he like he is always himself. He dresses the way he is that he's himself. And he's not afraid to admit when he's wrong. And for me, it's interesting over time, you know, I used to have to sneak my hat on stage I used to, you know, put it my back pocket and then we're on stage. Now when I work with big brands, they'll actually put it in my contract that I need to wear my hat, right because it's become such a piece of my brand. And so what I like to say is that I'm not against wearing a suit or a tie. I am for the fact that we should set ourselves up to success and where what we believe is is most comfortable to us, as well as conveys the message that we want to convey. I am a I'm a business person first I am very direct, I'm very confident what I know. When I am delivering something I give it more than 100% and so I never want what I'm wearing to inhibit that but I also know there is a balance to between knowing when you can push the limits versus knowing when that you can't and so there are some environments where you know, I'll wear a collared shirts you know, in still wear my hat of course, but there you know, for me it is one of those things that and we're seeing it more and more you know, Steve Jobs with, you know, his shirt that he wore, you know, there's an element of you know, where you standing out, there's an element of, you know, connecting with people at their core. And if we're forcing someone to wear something, because it's what everyone else is wearing, I believe we kind of immediately start the conversation off incorrectly, where that person isn't able to be their best self. And so it's something that I own now, it's I mean, it's the, it's a giant part of my brand. You know, even even, you know, the, the bright colored shoes has been a big thing where, you know, different companies that I'm working with will actually be like, Oh, well, you know, can we decide what kind of what color shoes you're going to wear? And, to me, that's kind of exciting. Because, you know, in the past, I would have never guessed that. And so, I think we're moving much more towards an environment that is open to that. I can tell you internationally, you know, Europe as well, you know, I will I'm very conscious of that. So I will, I will ask the event organizers or I will, you know, hey, what makes you comfortable and of course, I'll push back and own what I believe is best for myself, but it doesn't mean that I'm stuck in my ways. If You know, if the audience if they say, Hey, you know, this event really, you know, I don't think sneakers are going to work. I'm okay with that. Right. And I'm, you know, and I and I think that's, you know, there, it's important to, it's not your way or the highway, but it's also important to, you know, know what makes yourself successful, and being willing to stand up for that.
That's really refreshing to hear, because a lot of the time, we just default into what's going to make us fit in. And it doesn't really serve anyone brands, and in particular, personal brands are not about fitting in. Now, I have a few questions from listeners, I mentioned in our amplify inside his facebook group, we're going to be having this chat and invited some questions, but I'm only gonna ask one because I think we've covered a lot of the others already. The question is, when should people or brands adopt a new platform? Can being an early adopter be dangerous or damaging when the brand doesn't really understand the culture of a new platform?
Oh, that's a great question. Yeah, this is, this is one of my favorites. So they actually are Doing some content on this right now, you know, I'm a big believer in that you need to market and focus on your business where your customers are today, while listening for where they're going to be tomorrow. And what that means for me is that, you know, being an early adopter has plenty of benefits. But also being an early adopter can be wasteful of time. It can also be a shot in the dark. And so one of the things that I work really hard on is when I'm looking at a new platform, or a new trends, I don't really look at the platform or the trends first, what I try to envision is, what does success look like for me? And then what am i hoping that this platform will enable right? And this is, this is we're all guilty of this and I get a lot of business where people say, hey, Brian, I want you to build me a snapchat campaign, or most recently, Brian, you know, I'm curious, you know, how can you help our brand tell stories on Tick tock, and what I always tell people is like Well, I'm not going to talk about the platform. What What is your reason for Snapchat? Or what is your reason for trying to get on tik tok? And they'll say, Well, I want to reach the younger generation. And I'm like, well, the younger generation lives on a lot of other platforms as well, like, what do you mean by reach them? Like, what is the impact? And so I really try to dive deep into defining the goals for us, you know, testing out and understanding a new platform. Because if we start from an idea of what we're missing, or what currently works, we can look at a new platform and decide, okay, yeah, it's probably worth us testing it out. Or, hey, let's keep an eye on this. But it's not something we need to be on at the moment. And so I think too many of us too many brands, too many businesses, and too many people individually. You know, it's not about being everywhere for everyone. But it is important to listen to understand where everyone is are having these conversations because today right now in like 2020, you know, no one wants to be told where to go or told what to do. So if you launch a new account on Instagram, you You create a new website, no one really cares about that, right? We don't, we don't tell us to come to your website, you have to inspire us and be go to where your audience is. And so, you know, for those that are looking at new platforms, or new, you know, you know, maybe you know, email marketing or something new that you haven't done in your business, I think it's important to study I think it's important to listen to what is working over there, why it is working, why is working is probably more important than the what, and then kind of coming up with a plan that makes sense for you. And, and, and for a lot of brands, especially brands or business owners. You don't if they're because there's a new platform, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to have your own content, or own your own message. Like I and this is a big thing for podcasts. Like I when most brands come to me saying that they want me to help them understand how to launch a podcast. What ends up happening is I realized that they they don't want to host a podcast. They want to tap into the podcast community and so I I tell them okay, let's figure out which podcast You can sponsor so that you can reach that audience. Let's figure out which podcast that you can be a guest on, so that you can convey your message and reach that audience. I think there's far too many times that rather, rather than adding to the community or adding to the platform, we try to control our own message our own medium and believe that we have to have that ourselves individually. And I don't think that's the case anymore. I think it's important to kind of know that balance and study that so for me as a futurist, you know, I think a lot of my job is helping people understand the trends, but even more importantly, understand the path to go from where your business is at the moment. And how do you embrace that trend? When do you embrace that trend? And then even probably even the bigger piece of this is, what what trend Can you are what new platform can you embrace so that you can stop using something else? I think, you know, having that that balance just you know, adding new platforms or new mediums of content, without subtracting anything More often than not, does not add more business value or help you achieve the goals that you're trying to to achieve.
That's a great time. So you will find me on Tick Tock yet. You mentioned you've been working on a book and I'd really like to hear about it. I know it's not available just yet. But what can you tell me about press the time button?
So for me, personally, I press the down button, press the down button, press the down button. So, you know the book itself. It's interesting, you know, I've talked a lot about perfection. And for those that are listening, you know, I conveyed my confidence. I talked about my transparency and my Be yourself. The book has been the hardest thing, piece of content I've ever worked on. It's been something I started in 2016 2015. And it's interestingly enough, like chapter one is why pressing the down button was so hard for me to write this book. And the book itself is that the premise for me is that I think we can all agree that the world needs more empathy and we need to be more empathetic towards others. But when we, when we say that or we hear someone talking about empathy, it's kind of like the notion of someone telling us that, that we we need to change the world. Right? It sounds great. And we all nod. But we don't even understand how, what our role is in that. And how do we start? And what can we make as an individual impact. And we've heard things all the time, right? Like if we each if we each do our own little bit of change together will change the world. And so press the down button, the book is that I believe empathy actually starts with me. And what I mean by that is if we want to make the world more empathetic, we first have to tell our own story and allow people to be empathetic towards us. And so the book start really is kind of a a Choose Your Own Adventure style of, Hey, this is the mindset you have to get to put yourself out there. This is the the things that you need to embrace. This is the the way the ways that you can tell your story this is the value of being vulnerable and transparent. And it's really kind of walks you through this journey of, you know, it is awkward, it's awkward putting yourself out there. It's awkward talking about yourself. It's odd, especially if you're introverted. It's even more awkward to like, brag about what you're doing or share, like, Hey, I won this award or I got promoted at my job. But what I will say to that is that, you know, the world right now is full of bad news and fake news. And we can either continue to feed that, or we can individually start telling our stories, and allow the good stories and the good people that are doing good things around the world, to start to rise the tide. I believe that if we focus less on bad news and fake news and more on the good stories that are happening, that we will shift the narrative in the world, but to do so we first need to hear those stories. And so, you know, I think the part of the book that will surprise people is that I do put a little bit of pressure on individuals, you know, that if we want to make the world of a better place for our children or for neighbor, or even just for ourselves, that our role in that has to be, we have to do things differently, we have to put our own story out there, we have to share our vulnerabilities. You know, I talked about ADHD earlier, I talked about, you know, my lot of the things in my life, the good and the bad, the more that we each start sharing these things, the more that we're going to realize that what makes us different is also what makes us you know, similar to others, and what our vulnerabilities on end up being what bind us. And so the book itself, really helps people, hopefully, to get to this point to where you start putting yourself out there. You can start testing and tweaking your message and your story. And you know, it walks you through everything, everything from what is your story, and why do you have to tell it to how do you get your story to stand out from the noise? And how do you continually evolve your story as the world around you evolves and how you individually evolve. So I'm in the talks with a couple of publishers now. I originally was self publishing it. But I've added a, a Choose Your Own Adventure type component to the book. And because of that going with a more traditional publisher seemed to be a better route for that part of the book. So I'm the plan is for it to be out in the early fall of this year. But there's, there's a possibility to come out even a little bit earlier than that. So stay tuned on that side. But I'm excited. I know for me press the damn button is much more than video. It's much more than story. It's really this mantra for me is that I really do believe the world is a great place. But I don't believe enough of us put ourselves out there and we don't we don't press the button and allow people to see who we are at our core. And if we just make those little changes each individually, I truly do believe that the world will be a better place.
It sounds like a fantastic book and I really can't wait to read it. I've been looking forward to it for a long time. So I really hope you get that publisher business out of the way as soon as possible. Brian should probably bring things to a close soon. I've been saying in the last couple of shows I'm trying to remember to ask each guest a signature question if you like, often Africa today I remembered. So, what's one thing you do now, which you wish had started five years ago?
I love this question. For me, I teased it a little bit earlier. It's self awareness and self assessment. And what I mean by that is, I work really hard at documenting what I do each day, and what things I'm comfortable doing, what my strengths and weaknesses are. I even do like a time lapse video of myself on a once a month or so, where I just put it up in my office and I timelapse record what I'm doing and then I go back and watch it and I try to just to look at it and say okay, what can I tweak? What can I adjust? What am I good at what am I not good at and it's allowed me to really change my my routine. When I You in the past, I would wake up in the morning and I'd be so motivated and fired up, you know, I would create content at that moment. And then when I wasn't feeling as motivated or inspired, I go into email. Well, naturally, I hate email, and I hate replying email, managing my inbox. And so what I figured out by being more self aware, is that I realized that I should start my, when I'm most passionate and most fired up, I should do the things that I like doing the least. Right, like, it's that it's that piece of that. And so I think self awareness is, is the number one piece I can honestly say it includes, you know, like, video creation and all these things that I talked about. For me, the I just, I always was confident, but I don't think I ever really, truly became self aware. And for me, self awareness is something that I adjust on a monthly basis and it allows me to tap better into who I am at my core. And it allows me to also, you know, forgive myself, you know, there's certain things that I do that aren't great. Or I'm having a bad day. I'm self aware enough now to realize that you know, not every day is gonna be a great day and not every day. Am I going to be passionate? Am I going to be at my my best self? And because I'm okay with that, it allows me to kind of push through and those tires and days. So without question that for me the thing I wish I, I wish I invested in my own self awareness, you know, five years ago, even three years ago, but about 18 months ago, I took a deep dive into that and it's something I continually tweak and test and adjust each month as I move forward.
That's a brilliant answer. So my final question is, Brian, if anybody listening wants to connect with you, how would you like them to do that?
So as I mentioned before, I'm on every single channel and one of my tips for everybody that's out there is consistency is extremely important. The world is really noisy. The digital world is very noisy. People are going to Google you people are gonna look you up on LinkedIn people are gonna maybe they're on Twitter. Maybe they're on Instagram. And so no matter where you're at, it's important to be consistent with the story, you're telling the message you're selling. So my brand My business is I social fans with a Z at the end. So it's I social and then FA n z with a Zed at the end. And I'm that same, that's my username on every single platform. My podcast is called FOMO fans, which is kind of building on that same piece. But what I tell people is that you know, you fit, I'm on every channel, I create a lot of content, whatever channel is your favorite if it's LinkedIn, if it's Instagram, it's Facebook. fault, give me a follow there. You don't need to follow me everywhere I do create a lot of content, give me a follow there. And if you're, if you're in an association, maybe you run an event or maybe your company would love to have me speak. My speaker website is Brian fan zone calm. So just my first name last name.com all of my speaker information is up there. My you know, the testimonials the videos, the current programs that I'm delivering, but I for me that you know that that's kind of the beauty of the digital world you can give me a follow wherever it makes the most sense for you and stay tuned I have a new podcast coming out end of the month I haven't I haven't debuted the name of it yet but it's going to be a lot of fun different take a fully produced podcast something that I haven't done in the in the past but uh, until then you guys can check out my current podcast which is called FOMO fans fo Mo Fa n z or Zed at the end.
Brian phones will you have been a fantastic guest? And I can't wait to speak to you again soon.
My pleasure manga Good day.
So are you gonna do it? You're gonna press the number. There are so many reasons not to. And if you're introverted like me, there will always be something else to do something more important. Before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe and if you haven't already to join our Facebook group at amplify me.fm forward slash insiders. I would love for you to connect with me on social media. Just follow me wherever you are. You find me at Bob Gentle and if you do it and message me so I can follow you back. If you enjoyed the show, then I would love for you to review on iTunes. It would mean a lot to me and it's that best way to help me reach more subscribers. My name is Bob Gentle. Thanks again to Bryan fans or for giving us his time this week, and to you for listening. See you next week.