I’m a nice guy. I swear, it’s true.
But I take the contrarian view on lots of issues, and that can make dealing with me quite a challenge. I know this about myself. And I lay it right out and accept that there are going to be people who like me and others that think I’m an arrogant, pretentious nightmare.
To those who think those bad things about me, the REALITY is that I am those things, because their PERCEPTION makes it so.
Everybody “is” a “way”. And if you’re going to effect real business change you need to embrace that way, whatever it is, and build on it. You can, by the way, choose to change your way, but that’s a lot harder than changing your approach and working with what you have. I, for example, wouldn’t be happy pretending to be a New York Yankees fan and don’t want to be one (Let’s Go Mets!).
As a contrarian I sometimes make my points by picking apart the points of others or comparing my position to theirs. I’ve said nice things about Seth Godin on several occasions, for example. And lately I’ve picked on Chris Brogan a few times.
You know where this is going. Chris, I apologize ahead of time.
A few days ago, Mr. Brogan wrote a dissertation on who he is and what he does. The occasion was explaining the redesign of his logo after quite a few people told him how much they disliked it. And while I happen to be on the “don’t like it” side of things, I totally agree with Chris’ ultimate point on the subject: he likes it and he has to be true to himself.
So why does Chris Brogan want us to think he’s not a social media guru and not a Twitter star?
As of this writing, Chris Brogan has almost 140,000 followers on Twitter. He’s also being followed in over 12,000 lists. When Chris Brogan says something, the twittersphere notices, and reacts. Chris Brogan IS a Twitter Star.
Chris calls himself a marketing consultant, and earns what I can only believe to be a very nice living as one. Social Media is a huge part of every successful company’s marketing plans today. Chris Brogan is a Social Media Guru, or he couldn’t do his job.
So why does Chris Brogan deny these things?
Because Perception is Reality.
Chris Brogan has decided that he wants the world to see him in a particular way. That’s a smart business decision, and maybe a real business change. If You Don’t Tell The World Who You Are, They Won’t Know How To Work With You. Seth Godin, by the way, does similar things. Like I said, Smart Choice.
But in with creating business change comes managing business change. And if the perception you create is that your words don’t mean anything, the (ultimate) reality is that they won’t.
Say who you are. Mean it. Own it. Your business can only grow when you do.
So, I like your ideas here, but let me counter them a bit.
I run a media/education company and a marketing company. I’m a media maker/marketer/something. That’s what I do.
I have a huge following on twitter. That just is. I don’t identify as it. Nor do I tell people I’m Irish or French or Scottish, because that just is.
I talk in verbs, not adjectives. See the difference?
I think it’s really important to keep clear the fact that I’m not on Twitter because that’s my thing. I’m on Twitter because it’s a good communications channel. Those two views are day and night.
People were mad I removed little conversation bubbles because they perceived me as being all about the conversation.
Conversation’s great, but in the immortal words of the philosopher, Elvis Presley, “A little less conversation, a little more action, baby.”
That’s the game. : )
Thanks, Chris. I hope you know that aside from pursuing my own agenda (bwah ha ha) my reality is based on a perception that your work is worth talking about.
My position on your disavowal of Twitter Star or Social Media Guru status is that there’s just no reason to do that unless your intent is to distance yourself from the people who look up to you and have done so much to contribute to your success. And while I’m certain that the burden of maintaining that community is large I believe you must do so—not alienate it.
Unless of course that’s your intent, which at the point one becomes as busy as you clearly could be an intentional business decision. But with all the platitudes you continue to dish on Twitter that’s clearly not your desire.
See my point?
Keep on rockin’. But own it. Whatever IT is . . . own it.