When I see really successful people online they all seem to have something in common. They have ‘presence’. The same can be said for large organisations as well. It's like all the doors and windows are thrown open and you're welcomed in.
This kind of real online presence ( I'm avoiding saying authentic - but authentic ) is so different from the polished veneer of the Instagram influencer or the traditional large corporation.
This week my guest is Chris Brogan and we're going deep into why this is hard and how it can all be so easier.
Chris Brogan is president of Chris Brogan Media, offering business storytelling and marketing advisory help for mid to larger sized companies. Chris is a sought after keynote speaker and the New York Times bestselling author of nine books and counting. He’s working on his tenth: title forthcoming.
Chris has spoken for or consulted with the biggest brands you know, including Disney, Coke, Google, GM, Microsoft, Coldwell Banker, Titleist, Scotts, Humana Health, Cisco, Sony USA, and many more. He’s appeared on the Dr. Phil Show, interviewed Richard Branson for a cover story for Success magazine, and once even presented to a Princess. People like Paulo Coelho, Harvey Mackay, and Steven Pressfield enjoy sharing their projects and best ideas with Chris, because they know he’ll share them with you. Tony Robbins had Chris on his Internet Money Masters series. Forbes listed Chris as one of the Must Follow Marketing Minds of 2014, plus listed his website as one of the 100 best websites for entrepreneurs.
Statsocial rated Chris the #3 power influencer online.
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When I see really successful people online, they seem to have one thing in common, they have presence. The same can be said of large organizations as well. It's like all the doors and windows are thrown open and you're welcomed in this kind of online presence, real online presence. And I'm avoiding saying authentic but authentic, genuinely authentic is so different from the polished veneer of the Instagram influencer or the traditional stuff, a large corporation. This week, my guest is Chris Brogan.
And we are going deep into why this is so hard and how we can all be so much easier. Hi there and welcome back to Amplify the digital marketing entrepreneur podcast iPod, which I tried every week. I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to the show or take a second right now to subscribe so you don't miss new episodes and you can grab some older ones when you're done with this one. Don't forget as well, you can join my Facebook community, just visit, amplify me, dot EFM forward, slash insiders and you'll be taken right there.
So welcome along. And let's meet Chris. This week, I am more than excited to welcome Chris Brogan to the show, Chris, for those that don't know who you are. Maybe if you just sort of introduce who you are, where you are and the kind of work you do. Sure. I mean, in a lot of ways it matters. When you asked me who you know me to be and in my mind, I'm always the same, but it seems like different.
Every time you see me, I run a small company called Chris Brogan Media. I also run another company called Owner Media. And in any of the places I work or any of the things they do, I guess I'm most known for helping people figure out how to be who they are at a distance, whether they're the largest companies in the world, Sony, Microsoft, Coke, those kinds of people, or even just, you know, a dental office, you know, trying to figure out what they're going to do.
And I work on digital presence. So blogging, podcasting, making video. How do you reach people? How do you, you know, build content that maybe earns a community around it and then gives you the opportunity to develop a marketplace? So all that I write some books and I do some keynote speaking. That's about the best I could tell you.
A lot of the guests that I have on the show, there are people that I support online and I think, wow, but I don't often take a much deeper until I decide I'm going to actually have them on for an interview with you. The digital presence piece is really interesting. Until I did my research, it wasn't something I'd really thought that much about. But when I saw what you were speaking about with digital presence, you live that which is really interesting.
A lot of people talk about these things, but they're not really great examples of it. You show up online consistently and you've done that for years and it never really looked that intentional. It just looked so natural. But I think there's clearly some kind of strategy there. Once when I start reading about digital presence, can you maybe dig into what digital presence actually means for you?
Well, so for years, one of my fascinations has been I was born in, you know, the capital city of Augusta, Maine. I was born in Waterville, but it was just for one day. But I lived in Augusta, Maine, which is the capital city of this northeastern state in the U.S. where we're known for our lobsters. We wish we were known for our potatoes long time ago. We were known for our pine trees because it's the pine tree state.
But, you know, we get our lumber from other places now. And and that's about all you can say about Maine. And there were three conversations going on at any given time for younger people, you know, with Van Halen versus Led Zeppelin, the Mustang versus the Camaro. And would the Red Sox ever win a World Series? I didn't know much about Sports Ball, but I also thought the answer was no. Years later, I bought a Camaro.
So I guess that's my answer there. And with regards to Zeppelin or Van Halen was a long time Van Halen fan. And then I thought, well, that's it for all the conversations you can have. And I always wanted something better. I wanted to talk about really important matters, like could Superman beat up the Hulk is why is Star Trek so much better than Star Wars? And your answer is wrong. And so I've always been fascinated with that.
And as tools have evolved, as things like bulletin board services came and then America Online and CompuServe and all that, and now podcasting, blogging, Twitter, all these things, I've always had the same premise, which is, you know, people don't realize that this is them.
It's a representation. It's not just a logo. It's not a graphic. It's not this image we have to concoct. And so there's two ways people approach digital presence.
They approach it. Well, three. One is they make other people do it for them. Worst idea, although I get it and everyone says they're busy. But Sir Richard Branson runs 400 companies and he does it with some help.
Number two is you don't care. You don't give it any real attention. And you it shows it sort of like showing up in your gym clothes for your business meeting because you're not treating it seriously enough. And that's the people I talk to the most. And number three is the opposite, which is people who primp and set themselves up to look a certain way. But the facade breaks the moment you meet them in person, the moment you go past one sentence of content and you realize this person isn't who they say they are online.
So for the third, I don't have much use for the first. You know, I always tell people, don't do it. But for that second group, the ones who maybe have something worth saying, what I want them to understand is, boy, there sure are some ways I could help you look and feel a little bit better doing it.
And people won't be so hung up on, you know, how yucky you look. Uh, from a technical perspective, Bob, very technical. I don't mean the person.
I mean, you could look like a bag of spiders. But if your wallet and have good sound, you're going to be fine. Yeah, I love that. I think there's so many places I could go there. I think one of the challenges I've had in my career, I work I work in the digital marketing space, and I would get hired by organizations that just wanted me to come and market them. And you could only do that so much.
But you always get to the point where you would say to the client, you know what, if you would just show up in your marketing, everything would just be bigger, everything would be better, everything would be easier to be less friction. But they don't want to do it because they don't like being uncomfortable. And something that you said there was really, really resonated with me, which is a lot of people don't show up as themselves because they can't accept that they are themselves really understanding who you are, how other people seeing.
So you are just rolling with it for some reason. That's so hard for people. And I get that you must experience that all the time. How do you get people over that?
Usually in the worst way? That's the real answer, Bob, is the worst way I say yes. You're too fat, you're too ugly, you're too old, you're too something because clearly you think that. But what if just for a moment, just suppose that the people who are watching or listening or thinking about you, maybe they're not trying to judge you as a potential life partner? I really just want some information and maybe you're the one who knows that information where if you could accept for a moment that your thoughts need to come out of some place and I guess this is the space suit you're wearing right now on your journey through the planet and just kind of go from there, because there's so many people that I just really need what they know.
And I feel that they're so selfish for not sharing it. I have so much I have to learn, Bob.
You know, people like, oh, you're this and you're that. I'm not. I wrote some books and I seem smart.
I seem nice, but I learn all the time. And whenever I learn, I feel so much better.
You know, that growth experience from when you didn't know something to then you know it to then you feel it, you know, now you can do it maybe or at least really get where it comes from.
It's like when someone teaches you a trick in moviemaking or something and they say, watch this every time you see this kind of moment where it just kind of suddenly goes black as the camera pans behind a phone pole for a second, that's a cut. That's when they cut something.
Then when you see that and learn that you cannot watch a movie without looking for that cut. And so I feel like let's pretend that piece of knowledge is the one thing I had.
And I look a little bit like a, you know, a pirate that's been kept in pickle juice for a year.
I have to get you out of the fact that you're worried about you look like a piccalilli pirate. And I have to get you to just tell me that fact so I can learn it for the rest of my life. I'm sorry. I can't think past piccalilli pirate. It's a good one, isn't it?
I like that phrase. So you work with all kinds of you said from a dental practice through to CocaCola, when a client comes to you, how often do they come knowing who Chris Brogan is and what Chris Broken does and where he's coming from? And how often do they come just looking for a consultant that's just going to come and do what all the agencies will do. But they want a name.
So if it's if it's a big guy, you know, Sony or Comcast or those are my my local slide reads like every consulting agency or every advertising agency most dreamed of projects. But you have to understand, I've only ever taken small, comparatively small bites of every one of these things, like for General Motors. I just walked in because they had a bunch of questions about what does this really do for me and that sort of thing. But I can still put the logo up.
And when when a big company like that wants me, there's always someone who found me from a blog post, who saw a tweet, who loved one of my podcast episodes or or caught a YouTube video that I posted. And they go, Oh, this is what I've been telling my company for years. And I've seen this. I don't know how many times. And it's rewarding and depressing at the same time. So I've been I've made this part of my schtick, Bob.
I look, you know, into the eyes of that person who brought me to their big company because they're a fan of what I do. And I say, I want you to think about this. There's going to be a moment when I'm going to say something that you have said to these people for years and they're going to all look at you at that moment and then look back at me and then realize they just paid me plenty of money to to do what you've already been saying for years.
And it's such a. And such a depression, because here they had a person on their staff paid the money that they've been paid already, they don't have to hire me to do this. And I come in and I say, Mermin, and they go, oh, that's what you've been telling us.
And I feel joy for that person because now they're going to be treated a little more seriously. And I feel sorrow that they didn't listen to that person sooner.
And so what the thing is that I say, though, Bob, every time is there's never rocket surgery. No one ever hear something I say goes, oh, we must change everything quick.
Let's cancel Coke.
You know, they think is, oh, well, that sounds like a really simplistic and I go it is because so many things in life are simple but not easy. And that's my favorite technology in the world, is my favorite magic, something that's simple but not easy.
I think one of the simplest things that's not easy is changing a culture and a lot of the larger organizations. The problem isn't often one person doesn't want to buy in, but that one person needs to bring a whole legion with them. How long can it take to get somebody from the place where they have could have quite a fixed mindset. They've worked with lots of agencies towards embracing this sort of media mindset that's accepting that. We've been delegating this for years and it hasn't worked.
We're going to have to embrace it. We're gonna have to become the presenter of our own business. How long can it how long do you you know where you know what I'm trying to ask? I do. I do.
And I'm an awful example of this, Bob. Like, you should rescind this invite by my answer, which is that when I really sense that massive resistance, I say, I'm so grateful. You already paid me all that I want from you. Like I have all the money I'm ever going to ask from you, because now you're going to go to your agency and try to get them to replicate this in some way that you're going to try to fake what I said you should do and it's not going to work again, but you'll be mad at them now.
They'll get some money from you that I won't, but you'll be mad at them because how come you couldn't do what this other person thought would be a good idea? And all you have to do is call me for free and I'll say because you're not doing it still, you know, and I don't stick around a lot for that part, Bob. I don't like that part because what I feel like is that I just told you, you know, I just and if you want me to show you that there's a big difference, if I if I tell you I mean, this is what we're going to do and they not even a little bit and their heads go up and down I go, yes, let's go.
I will be there until they feel so comfortable. I'm not saying that anyone has to do this fast, but I am forever sort of pushed out the door with a polite thank you. And here's the check for them to take no action. A lot of times, you know, I've won no massive acclaim or award for that because I'm an idea guy at heart. I sell ideas, people buy my books, they bring me in to shake my book in front of them a little and say words and I can leave.
And they can all nod and say, well, we've got to go in. And that's all they did.
But when it works, it only works. If, you know, I mentioned that sort of weird person that was like me already in the company.
It only works if that weird person has a C title. And so I had a CEO come and say I was just given a bit of a mandate and I have less than one hundred days to fully convert my company to a completely different way of doing business. And I know you're going to get this. And I said I totally already get it. Let's go. And so I did this project and now these projects are the kind that big consulting firms like McKinsey or those kinds of names, they do this and they charge like eight dollars million.
I charge like 20000 bucks.
And we did it like we converted the company from one way of doing things that had not been working especially well for seven years to a whole new way. And you could see the hockey stick moment. My name is not on. It doesn't matter to me. The CEO twice I said in a in a big enough room, this guy did it and I smiled politely and, you know, still have the same money.
And I'm happy the the feeling and especially I think what the drive of your question, the feeling is that if a company is not ready, they're not ready. And I can't really help them with that. A lot of what consulting and business advisory work like I do and all that is, is it's a lot like therapy. And so I approach it a lot like that.
And I'll say to a room of people, no matter what I'm about to give you for advice, it doesn't work if you're not ready and it doesn't work if you're not interested and it doesn't work if you don't already feel like you're about to die.
Like so many companies are sitting there going, well, this is how we've always done it.
And I go, wonderful, I will see you acquired or closed in eighteen months. It just is a guarantee. And what sadly happens is, you know, I'm sure dinosaurs weren't sitting around looking at the sky going, what are those pretty lights? You know, they just were kind of going around eating their stuff, going, well, I better eat some more before those things hit. And that's how it ends.
And I think that one last micro sentence on that whole piece is that I'm not immune to that either. I absolutely continue to see my death in front of me and and run towards it by mistake. So I'm not blaming organizations. I'm just saying when when you say, please, God, give me a sign and then you receive five signs in a row and don't do anything, it's probably maybe you don't need a sign.
I think one of you've written a few books and one of them really leapt out at me and I will put my hand up and say, I have not read it, but it's still leapt out of me and I'm. I read it because it's a raw topic for me. The title is it's not about the titles and it's really focusing around bravery in your content and your content marketing, how you show up. What I'm wondering is what kind of place you wrote that from.
Are you somebody that sort of naturally quite extroverted and enjoys being very visible, or are you sort of more introvert and you've had to really do the work?
Wonderful question. So it's not about the title is an owner's manual for bravery. And it's basically it's not even just content marketing. Every book I've ever written, including even the oddly, one of my better sellers, Google Plus for business, when that was the thing. It's all written about the same thing, which is how do people treat people better and how do you kind of accept who you are better?
So many people, including myself for some time, spend such a massive amount of energy and time thinking they're not right, they're wrong, they're not good enough.
There's something you're so bad somehow or that if anyone ever sees you make a mistake, the jig is up, you're done. You know, you're over. And when I walk around doing the best I can, including in that book, it's not about the titles. I say, you know what? You can mess up all the time. If you mess up, you have to know how to apologize. Really? Well, there's the three A's that I learned in one restaurant job I had, which is you acknowledge, you know, something happened, you apologize.
I'm really sorry that happened and you act. I'm not going to make that happen again because I just figured out that maybe if I did this first, there would have been better for everybody.
Oh, OK. That makes sense to me, too. And whatever they say after the third, why does it matter? Because you've already apologized and it's up to them.
I I'm an absolute introvert, Bob, and I'm a forced extrovert. And I you know, as a keynote speaker, I could speak to thousands of people on the stage. My my biggest ever was like seventy five hundred and no problem. I feel so at home. They always say, imagine the people in the audience naked or something like that. And I always just imagined myself naked, which is awkward. But you know, I'm thinking you look at me on the stage and I feel good, but as I'm walking up to the stage, I'm saying you're awful.
You're a fraud. This is the time you're speech. You're going to fail you. You're going to forget everything. And these people know that you don't know what you're talking about. That's my pep talk as I walk to the stage everyday. And it's not it's not on purpose. Like, that's just, you know, that's how our voices in our heads work. You know, there's Dr Matthew McKay who wrote a great book called Self Esteem. It's called The Inner Critic.
And it's a it's a documentable system inside our bodies that's trying to save us. It thinks his best guess at what the inner critic concept is, is that it's trying to tell you bad things about you first so that you don't feel as bad if someone else says it. The only problem is the inner critic is not an oracle. It doesn't know if you're going to do well or bad. So it just preempts that you're going to be bad no matter what.
So I do a lot of my business to try to help people figure out confidence, self-esteem, acceptance. And the reason to eventually read that book, it's not about the title, is that I give you some real tactical means to work on confidence because you know, how many people in your life have said, well, you just lack confidence and you're like, oh, good.
I didn't know that before.
I thought I thought I was very confident.
But I give you some real technical, simple tactical ways to deal with that. And one is just, you know, really small wins. You know, it's amazing how many people are like, I've never played chess before. I'd like to be a grandmaster next week. And it's like, well, no, maybe you just want to learn how the pieces move this week. Maybe that's a good one for you. And if you could set up a lot more simple, smaller victories, you might have a better life for yourself.
So I work on those sorts of things and I work on, you know, if you have sort of a bank of stored up small wins, you can transfer some of the funds from that into other places you're afraid of and kind of borrow from yourself while you try something you're also afraid of. And that's the magic trick. And that's that's business every bit as much as contact. But all you have to do is watch a couple of videos of me and you'll see that I seem confident, but it took me a long ways to get there.
I think that's the case for a lot of people. I remember when I started the podcast, I was terrified. And this is going back just over just under two years. I think now it feels quite natural to me. It's literally the best thing in my day when I get to speak to people like you. But that used to be terrifying. I would never even have invited you to come on my podcast a year ago. Too intimidated. But I think what's terrifying for you today is if you start taking those small steps but become natural, not only will it become natural, you'll enjoy it.
And you've obviously been through that cycle several times. But I'm curious, of all the things that you do now, what terrifies you the most? Everything terrifies me.
I mean, not public speaking, I guess, but I mean everything I do.
One thing about running your own company is everyone just thinks, oh, well, he's famous. So now he's got it. No, I mean, I go broke just like everybody goes broke and, you know, I have days where I'm like, oh, well, maybe ramen noodles for lunch and then I'll have times when I'm flush and I feel good and I give away all the money because I don't know anything about money. And I go home because I need some money again.
And, you know, I'm afraid I'm afraid my time is up. I mean, I deal with clinical depression. And what's kind of fun about that journey is just that, you know, you're pretty.
So depression has two big lies. It tells you all the time. One is always and the others never. And so, like, for instance, one of my depression stories that I really love, what I'm dealing with depression is you're never going to be knowing what's your ideas anymore. Like you're never going to get asked for any ideas, like your time is up. People remember, is that Twitter guy and you're an idiot. And I was like, OK, probably right.
And I'll just lay in my bed all day and it's weird. There's no clients in my bed because I'm not that kind of a guy. But I have to actually get up and make stuff to make clients pay attention and I have to go out and really do the work. And so I have to fight up the hill of my own depression. And it's like driving with the parking brake on. And then I have to go up the hill with my ideas are stupid.
And then, of course, as I put the camera on, I'm like, well, that's what you look like.
Like, Oh gosh, that's true. And then I have to talk and try to seem vaguely peppy because as much as I am all about acceptance of depression, if you're like Eeyore, then that's what they see. And it doesn't quite work for you. No, I'm buying marketing from you. This probably won't work, but here you go. It just doesn't work.
I've tried. And so I have to I have to affect a certain kind of presence that I don't always feel. And, you know, that's the hard stuff.
But I'm afraid of everything every day, just days that end and why there are other days. I'm fine. So I guess what I'm curious to know is you're quite prolific as a content creator. You mean you have it? Is it a daily live show on Facebook?
It is. It's live on the weekdays. I afford myself the weekends off because ten guest a week is enough. Yeah. And you still have your own podcast.
You know, I'm between podcasts, but I've had about nine so far in my life. I started in five. Great idea by the way. It was called Fat Guy Gets Fit and I figured if I just never quite get fit, I can do that show and tell him that. But I'm sort of in between. But I'll tell you why. One reason was that during the pandemic, a lot less a lot fewer people were tuning in and people's numbers started to get slack.
And I said, well, then why am I going to bother audio editing so hard in this live video thing? Bob, I have to tell you, I'll convert you yet, because all you do is you push record, everybody blathers, you push up. There's it. There it is. You don't take out the arms. You don't ask a question. You just call it good. And I so love it. I don't I don't like to tell people that I'm lazy.
It turns out I'm lazy and I rather use my time doing creative things than doing taking out arms. And so I guess my my proclivities there. But I'll throw another audio podcast out because once we actually get out of pandemic ville again some century, I think people do like to go out for walks with their pets or their creatures or they're humans or something. And I'd want to be in their ear there, too.
I'm very pleased, actually. My podcast numbers haven't really dropped through the pandemic. I think the growth certainly stopped, but I've kind of held steady. But I am inherently quite chicken when it comes to showing up online. But I have started streaming. I started digital marketing chat live on a live streams on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube concurrently. And I love it. I think I do. It's a weekly show. I am probably four or five weeks and absolutely terrified on day one.
I'm a few episodes in. I love it. It's the best thing I ever did. So if you're ever if you ever want to hang out on LinkedIn, live with me, you have a standing invitation. Well, you know, I do. I mean, I clearly have not met a camera I don't like. But, you know, I'm I'm glad for you because I mean, it is you asked me again about the scary thing an hour before you and I started talking.
I felt, you know, maybe thirty minutes before we started talking, I finished up my show. And the minute we start, you know, live in, the both guests are sitting there, I think, well, here goes. They're not going to say anything. And I'm going to have to carry the show for an hour. And, you know, eventually something happens and they hit the right note and they're like, yes, I'm here for this conversation.
But I think that every single time we're going to die, this is the one I have that every time a guest comes on the line, I think this is going to be a car crash.
They're going to hit me. There has been the odd occasion where there just hasn't been any chemistry at all. And I felt literally like they hit me. But I saw rare. And I think a lot of people set themselves up for anticipating the car crash when it's actually very rarely going to happen. I think most people, if if you're honest, are are rooting. And if they're not? Who cares, truly? So what I find is really important to repeat to people over and over and over again is they're all we're all kind of walking around in our autobiography.
And when you enter when you cross into someone's field of perspective or vision or anything, they're still working on their thing, you know, so you get in a fight with the significant other or you overhear something you shouldn't hear.
He just looks like a pat of butter or something like, oh, no. And, you know, and you're walking around thinking that. And the next person turns the corner goes, hey. And you're like, oh, shut up.
I know you think it you know, so many times we can we transfer our energy about something to someone else. And, you know, I did it. I did it to a client. This is embarrassing. So it's always fun to tell an embarrassing story, isn't it? Oh, yeah. All right. So no, no, really not. But yeah, I know. I know.
Let me let me let me get naked. So two years ago, I had a client and the yes. To me through the entire experience, like.
Yes, yes, yes. Great idea. Excellent idea. Excellent. And then somewhere near the end of the day I was like a whole day with these people. Someone said that there's a rule in the company that you're never allowed to say no and that you must be very positive even if you don't like an idea or if the idea doesn't sound like it makes sense or whatever, because you never know, you may be crushing someone's idea. And I said, is that true?
And they were like, yes. And I said, is that what people did in the meeting I just had? And they said, yes.
And I said, we're going to die. We're going to this is the worst.
Like, they just yes. To everything I said. And I was like, well, then OK. And what they really least meant was and we're going to do this next, what they really meant was, yes, we heard you and we don't like anything you just said.
And I and I thought every yes meant yes because that's so weird. That's what I was taught also. No means no. So then I this is this is the embarrassing part of the story. So I just sent some content. I'm just plain copywriting, but really business, transformational copywriting. If I do so, pat myself on the back and I sent it to the three senior team members that I'd been introduced to this a big company, a big engineering company, millions of dollars a year.
And I sent them all the stuff and they sent me feedback. And the feedback was glowingly positive. And I was like, come on, it was my first draft and I had to write them back. And I knew as I wrote it back, this is an awful like pulling my pants down moment. And I told him that story about that other company that had to say yes. And I said, Are you guys saying yes when you don't mean it?
Bob, think how pathetic that question is.
Are you guys really liking me right now? Yeah, that's about you just praised me. Uh oh. That's awful.
Yeah. You've just gone to a room full of Alphas and said, am I good enough? Yeah, right.
What do you guys think? They paying me to be an alpha like them. And there's like what do you think guys. And it was the worst feeling and I knew it and I sent the email and it was like there in there in a different time zone than me. And so there's that going on. And so I'm sitting in it for hours going, oh, I wish I could send this letter, but it doesn't ever work. It just says, you know, your email goes, well, I'll try and you know, it means no.
Yeah, they've already printed it. It's on their fridge in the guest room, again in the office.
So those are those moments, right? Those are those moments we do to ourselves. And it's because I'm walking around with that autobiography of, you know, I just sent a really kind of daring thing to these people. And I hope to the Buddha above that they're not sitting there saying yes to me when they mean no. But that's my own stuff and I should just shut up and let it take its course. And I didn't. So that's our story for today.
So something I'm curious about is when people do take your advice and they do the work, they're looking for indicators, some flags in the signs to say, hey, guys, this is working as the traditional way of looking at this is engagement. CPI's on social, for example, which honestly is probably not the best key performance indicators because engagement doesn't often correlate directly to sales. So what do you tell them to look out for in terms of the signs that they're having, the impact that they want to have?
So the only types of of numbers I ever like to see our revenue numbers.
Are you making more money now, yes or no? And if it's no, even if I had no way to make it, you know, if someone made an awful deal or something like that, I will accept that as my failure somehow, you know, and whether or not how someone's happy with what they paid, I cannot do engagement.
I can't do any of nothing that fits in, I don't know, Agora Pulser, any of those kinds of products does much good. And and again, think about the project. I did, like I said, was this big giant company that needs me to change. Their language, because the way they were selling, it's very much like IBM in the 90s. IBM suddenly wasn't selling products anymore and they weren't exactly selling a very set service anymore. And they kind of went out and said, we're consultants.
And that did not work. And IBM went into a kind of a tailspin for years. And now they're only just kind of finding their way out of it by saying, well, we get this cool. I think you could all try to call Watson that no one understands and they're still kind of clawing their way back to the relevance they deserve. I like that company, by the way, a lot.
So I was I was actually an intern with IBM in the 90s.
No, it was all my fault. You did it, Bob. I knew someone had to be to blame.
So this company has that same challenge. And I'm like, oh, I can help, you know? Like, I know. And by the way, you have to remember, IBM probably paid millions to like McKinsey or something like that. And I'm a cheap date by comparison. By far. I'm like very inexpensive.
And but, you know, they probably would have wished that I had had my thing.
So what I measure this on is our salespeople going to use my words, our internal people at a coffee, you know, machine, you know, waiting for their chance to use their little pod cups or whatever. Are they saying the same words I put on the document? You know, is this culture being communicated in a way that everybody knows this is how we should talk about it? And if we don't talk about it this way, then we're not going to have as good a chance at sort of making this all work out.
And that's what I look for. I look for did I make any kind of a change that matters? And again, you don't remember as a as a content creator and or someone who consults and all that. So when I write a book, someone will say to me, invariably, hate your book, which is good to know.
And then other people will say, this book really changed how I look at X, Y, Z, and I always go, Yes, but there's this other sort of thing I stole from Buddhism, which is that you shouldn't either accept criticism nor praise.
Everyone says ignore the critics. I say also ignore the appraiser's because what do we do with praise? We go, Oh, I should do more of that. Which means I should veer from the course that I'm trying to build from inside my belly and go look for more head. That's like a nice dog. And it turns out maybe neither is a good way to travel through life. So when you ask that question about numbers, I always just ask the basic ones, did revenue go up?
Did you get did you see an incremental internal change in communications, language messaging? Do you see people using these ideas in the wild, so to speak?
I love that. I think essentially what you're saying is, have you become more valuable to people and have you expressed that more clearly? Right. Because business is inherently a value exchange. It's do you understand your own value and can you communicate that to the person clearly that needs it. And I think that's something you do really well online. And I think that's probably the biggest lesson I would like people to take from this interview is understand your value and don't be scared to communicate it.
And yet there are lots of things to be scared of. I think I remember when I was 25 and I was trying to grow my business and I was thinking, you know what, I'm I'm really too young. If I was 35, I'd have a bit more gravity. People would take me more seriously. And then I'm forty five. I'm thinking, you know what? I wish I had better teeth and actual hair man than people I'd be able to compete with the Instagram influencers.
It's never right. Nothing's ever right. So you just need to own that and push out from there. I don't think for that you're an amazing role model. So thanks for that. Thank you, Bob. Chris, if people want to connect with you, how would you like them to do that? Well, I could give you my phone number, but I'm not a good phone guy.
Chris at Chris Brogan Dotcom is my direct email address. But even if you swing by Chris Brogan dot com and you poke around a little and you find my newsletter, grab that because the newsletter comes out on Sunday. My, my my business partner, Robbs comes out on Thursday.
You can decide if you like him separately, but on Sunday you can just hit reply and it'll go right to me. So you can say, I don't think your idea is all that smart at all. And I'll go really to talk to me about that.
And I think that's almost always the best way to really experience me, because I say that my newsletter is the best thing I do every week, which now I have to kind of think about because I like my show a lot. But come back. Chris Brogan, dot com, look for the newsletter. Grab that. And if you see the ideas and you feel like I'm kind of in into this guy, he's not bad, then just hit reply and say hi to me.
Tell me what you're drinking, Chris. We're come to the end of the show, and I always have a signature question. I try and remember to ask everybody and I haven't forgotten for a while. And it's this. What's one thing that you do now that you wish you'd started five years ago?
Oh. Can I wish I started forty five years ago? Forty five is fine. Sure, it's I'm 50, I'm an old man. I I'll get right, I'll get off the line. The people I don't even have a lawn since I was we I spent a lot more of my time trying to be instead of trying to do. And I wish I could just tell myself, just go do more things, you'll be so much happier, you'll have more things you could be if you do more things, action.
Yeah, I love it. Chris Brogan, thank you so much for your time.
It's been an absolute privilege to get to know you a little bit. I kind of like you. Oh, well, thanks. And I'd love to speak to you again sometime. Hopefully when the pandemic's finished, you might get to spend some time together in person, but for now. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thanks for having me on. It's never a good time to do the things that you find awkward or embarrassing. There is always something more important or easier to do, building your online presence, being truly present as who you are.
And I'm talking about showing up, not tinkering, will help you grow your business in ways you never imagined. If you find that easy, then what's the next scary step you should be taking? Answer that question and you've got growth, personal growth and business growth. Before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe. And if you haven't already join my Facebook group, you'll find a link in the show. Notes of visit, amplify me tort reform, forward slash insiders.
I would love you to connect with me on social media. You'll find me wherever you hang out to search artpop gentle. And if you do message me, let me know so I can follow you back. If you enjoyed the show that I would love for you to review it. Wherever you listen to your podcast, it means a lot to me. Really does. And it's the very best way to help me reach new subscribers. My name is Bob Gentil.
Thanks again to Chris for giving us his time this week and to you for listening. And I'll see you next week.