One of the speakers I was most looking forward to hearing, and meeting in person was Chris Brogan. After getting to chat with him in the networking area before his presentation, I was even more excited to hear what he had prepared for the day.

Before I get into the notes let me just say that it was a joy to meet Chris in person. He was personable, approachable, down-to-earth, and most importantly he knew my name. Not just because he looked at my name badge, Chris actually knew who I was. We’ve interacted via email and on social media a handful of times, but I wouldn’t have expected him to recognize or remember me. To my surprise, he did.

Throughout Chris’ talk, he intermittenly would say “Hi,” to various people in the audience. This was astounding to me. If there’s anyone who understands and values the power of authentic relationships, Chris embodied it fully at SMMW14.

Now, on to the notes…

This is part of the Social Media Marketing World 2014 series. You can catch the rest of the posts in the series here.

Business is about belonging.

It doesn’t matter what tools you’re using.

Own your life. Own your path. [I think it was here that Chris briefly talked about the recent Facebook changes that has a lot of businesses realizing that they need to be building their own platform where they control, rather than building on rented property.]

The Monchu is the media

  • monchu = one family

[Go to netflix and look up the movie “Happy”]

5 Stories to Remember to Teach

1. Number 1 story humans need to hear– You are not alone.

  • Your buyers want that story; your readers want that story.

2. Yes, that’s normal.

3. I’m here and I will help you.

  • Often times we offer people a grocery store when all they need is Chipotle.

4. You are very special.

5. We are a tribe.

  • Stop saying, “You guys”.
  • You should always talk to your audience in their language.

Make your buyer the hero. Stop telling stories about how you’re the hero and instead tell the stories of how they are the hero.

Make all your media two-way. Allow people to reach out to you directly.

Make your velvet rope worth it. If you’re going to hype up your newsletters, make it really worth while. [Working on this with my Insiders list.]

How to make great media

Do it with passion. If you’re struggling and straining to figure out things to come up with, stop trying to write it.

Kopy and steal everything. [Can’t remember why he used a “k” here.]

Have a frickin’ viewpoint. If you love God and want to talk about it all day, do that. If you are a vegan and want to talk about that all day, do that.

Have your own website.

YouTube is the number 2 search engine in the world– be on it.

Brevity, damn you, brevity. We do not need hour long podcasts.

Selfie nation. Social media exists because when we use it we “declare” who we are and where we belong. We seek to belong.

[My commentary]

Chris was spot-on in all his points. I wish I had the ability to capture it all, but it was just so darned good at some points that I just stopped taking notes without realizing it. I recommend you go get on Chris’ newsletter right now.

What point stuck out to you the most? You can leave a comment by clicking here


  1. says

    Dustin. I don’t know Chris that well or the seen the stuff he’s done. What I know is that he’s a guy a lot of people follow. The points you have here got me excited and really is serving me as a confirmation for the path that I am taking with my brand. Definitely, people are first! they are the story. The closer we can relate, the more raw we are through writing and our presentations — the more they will be attracted.

    Thanks for the tips. It’s a keeper.

  2. says

    Hey Dustin! Thanks for the awesome notes, as usual!

    Can you expand on and add any context to the, “Kopy and steal everything” comment?

    • says

      Glad you liked it Brent! Yes, I think this was one of the points in his speech where I was too captivated to take notes.

      His idea was that you should take the things that other people are doing that work and do them. Basically, model what the successful people you admire are doing if you can’t think of what to do yourself. I think at some point he said something like “I tell you all this stuff so you can take it and steal it and make it work for you.” (or something like that)

  3. says

    I really enjoyed reading the comment about “Do It With Passion” As a blogger who sometimes worries about what I am writing about and whether anyone wants to read or hear it, I stop to consider my posts.. Then usually I go with my original thought. Thinking about writing with passion makes it easier.

    I go back to the thought of Steve Job when he said:
    “people don’t know what they want until you show (write) it to (for) them.”

    • says

      One thing Chris also said in his talk was that if you have more than 100 subscribers in 8 years, you’re doing better than he was in his first 8 years. Keep that in mind.

  4. Ruben says

    I liked the idea of making the customers the hero. I can’t wait to see some tangible examples.

    Also, fyi, your newsletter I implementeds absolutely worth it. I’ve learned a lot from you in a short amount of time and I’m starting to

  5. says

    Increasingly I have been hearing this ‘Build your own space’ as Facebook is constantly changing how we see the newsfeed. Brands are becoming pretty wary of this fact and might desert it and would concentrate their efforts in their own platform.

    Do you see that Facebook my soon become a ghost town and the only stories we might see will be all ‘paid for’.

    • says

      At the current adoption rate of technology for Facebook’s primary audience (now a much older crowd than before) I’d say Facebook has 5 years left to turn things around and start caring about the users again. If they continue down this path, the slow adopters will have already moved on to better networks (such as Google+) in 5 years.

      • says

        Indeed, but I guess 5 years is too long. Historically, we saw how MySpace & Orkut lost to Facebook pretty quickly.

        Given the kind of model we see currently – the free, free, pay (free to see, free to share, pay to be seen), brands will soon start giving it a miss. While the spend on marketing could be going higher, but why would brands pay Facebook? Instead, they might invest the sum in owned-platforms

  6. says

    Because I am so very new to this whole social media scene, I am grateful I fell into Chris Brogan’s treasure trove of information early on. He really does personally respond to emails. It’s astounding actually.

    My biggest Chris take away is always the human factor. He makes customers human (not target markets to negotiate); he makes businesses human (not ivory tower exclusives with all the knowledge). And once that’s the mindset, so much seems to make sense.

    My personal favorite from your summary are the stories we need to teach. Ironically, they are the same stories friends, spouses, kids, students, colleagues, bosses etc all need to hear over and over, too. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded that customers/clients/subscribers fit into those same categories… for that matter, so do business owners :-)

  7. says

    What great notes full of wisdom. But I got as much, if not more, out of the great conversation in the comments. The “steal” part stopped me until I read the comments and the clarification. Much better.

    Thanks for sharing your notes!

  8. Henrik says

    Well, YT is a somewhat irritating service to use nowadays.

    Why you ask? A lot of weird companies are starting to make their apperances searching for high view videos and then making false copyright claims for bits and parts of it just so that they can get ad revenue for it.

    Try to fight the copyright claim? They can just simply say “no” and then you are the one with a strike against your account. Get enough strikes and your account will be banned.

    Not such good behaviour from such a widely used site.

    Otherwise, good stuff even though I don´t know Chris or what he does. But from the tips I´ve read I notice he´s spot on.

  9. says

    Good brief resume.
    I’m stuck on a chapter I’m writing for a book so this is what grabbed me:

    ‘Do it with passion. If you’re struggling and straining to figure out things to come up with, stop trying to write it.

    Kopy and steal everything.’

    Hmmmm… what does that mean?

  10. says

    I would definitely agree with the meaning of “Kopy and steal everything.”. It is always best to follow the example of what a successful person is doing and then replicate that success by doing the same things. Definitely a great point was made their.

  11. says

    This is great – thanks for sharing. I love the idea to stop preaching to your audience as if you’re a God and rather have more respect for your customers to encourage interaction.
    Would love to meet Chris someday too!

    • says

      Yea, Chris is really a great guy. So personable! You can never really tell if someone is going to have an in-person-celebrity-complex or if they’re just going to be genuine and humble. Chris is definitely the latter.

  12. Adam Dukes says

    Some excellent advice from Mr. Brogan! Love the 5 Stories to Remember to Teach. I need to work on a few of those. Great stuff and thanks for sharing!

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