3 great things I learned at BlogWorld New York
The other week, I had the great pleasure of attending my first ever BlogWorld show in New York. While the event has been a long-running favourite of the social media community, this was the first time they had ever done one on the East Coast. While there were tons of great speakers, presentations and things to learn, I thought it would be fun to share with you three of my favourite take-aways.
Be a Game Changer
During the opening day key-note Gary Vaynerchuck (host of Wine Library TV and author of The Thank You Economy) was part of a panel discussing the recent changes in the world of publishing. Although he didn’t say it explicitly, it was the underlying thought I think he was getting at: Be a game-changer.
He said (and this is me paraphrasing), “I used to think that one company would change the way they did business and the rest would follow suit so as to not get left behind. Now I realize that the only way the industry will change is to see one of the big companies go under and then the rest will realize they need to change.”
What I took this to mean is that people are waiting to see what makes a big company fail and then they’ll realize what changes they have to make if they want to continue to be successful. However, I don’t think that we should have to wait to see what makes one company fail. I think that companies should stop being afraid to change. The world has become a brand new place and a lot of old models of business just don’t fly anymore. Don’t wait until a company that follows an old business model fails to change; change now and continue to evolve. People want fresh ideas, new ways to consume, novel approaches – to do just about everything. Take advantage of those opportunities to explore a different approach. Don’t wait until you’re forced into an unfamiliar situation.
A Niche Can Be Your Best Friend
Jason Falls (of socialmediaexplorer.com) gave a great presentation on how bloggers and brands can connect to benefit each other. When marketers look to target bloggers to write about their brand or product, a lot of the time they flock to a small number of big names in the blogging world. However, Falls says (and again I’m just paraphrasing), “The niche blogger can be your best friend. They may not get a billion visits in one month from a large diverse group of people, but they might get 25,000 visits from the people you really want to reach.”
This is a fantastic point. I think many marketers/brands don’t realize they are missing out. They’re looking for the places that will get them of the most exposure, but the problem is that half of the people they’re being exposed to won’t care. Instead of trying to focus on these big-name blogs, it makes more sense to look for bloggers who write on a specific topic related to your brand/product and who have readers that would be interested. People need to start thinking about whether they would rather reach a large amount of eyeballs that probably won’t care about what they have to say — or a smaller group of eyeballs that will probably care a great deal.
Passion for a Brand Starts Within
For a while now, I’ve gone back and forth online with the owner of a Domino’s Pizza franchise in Chicago named Ramon DeLeon. You may have heard of him or seen his now famous hashtag “#RamonWOW” going around the Internet. DeLeon spoke at the conference on “Using Social Media Tools for Business,” but my key takeaway from his presentation wasn’t about tools; it was about his passion for what he does and the customers that he serves.
One of the reasons I enjoyed exchanging tweets with DeLeon was because he was always so passionate about his industry and his customers. He gets involved with his community and shows them just as much, if not more, love than they show him. From watching him speak at BlogWorld, you could see that he really loves what he does. He was getting excited just talking about some of the tweets that people had sent him in the past. DeLeon wears his passion on his sleeve for the world to see and I have no doubt that it translates into a healthy bottom-line.
Passion is catchy. If someone has passion, they can easily spread it to more and more people. This is exactly what DeLeon does. He takes his passion and spreads it to other people who reciprocate in return. The man should be a model for how all out-facing business people should be. If passion starts from within your company it will be much easier to spread to your audience. People can tell when companies are faking their excitement and happiness. They can also tell when someone is genuinely passionate about their company and what they do. Those passionate people are the ones you want to represent your brand. Their real genuine passion will be seen and I can almost guarantee it will catch on. I know because while Domino’s Pizza isn’t a regular site here in Toronto, I can guarantee that when I visit Chicago, I will be going out of my way to get a pizza from Ramon DeLeon.
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