Last week I attended the first day of the Vocus Demand Success event just outside of Washington, D.C. at the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor.
One of the sessions this humble correspondent attended was from Chris Brogan, titled “Get Your Freak On For Success.”
Chris is one of the OG’s of the social media and digital marketing scene. His bio and body of work could be about a mile long, but the bottom line is he is super smart, humble, yet insanely driven to help other folks in succeed in business by listening to their customers and humanizing their businesses.
Chris shared a ton of great content.
Some of these were themes from his newest book, “The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth.”
Chris started by saying that in order to break through all of today’s clutter, businesses need to find their most passionate people—their “freaks” — and serve them. Of course there are challenges in doing this — people are busy, there are internal hurdles, systems hurdles, etc.
I especially enjoyed Chris’s 3 Basic Premises that businesses can and should think about, as they’re addressing these challenges, so I wanted to paraphrase and share them below.
1) Business is About Belonging
We love to belong to something. We love to feel and think “I’m the kind of person who …” Or “I’m the kind of person who doesn’t…”
For example, I’m the kind of person who hates sleeping in on the weekends because there are so many things I want to do. Or maybe that just makes me crazy, I’m not sure.
Successful businesses make people feel like they belong to an exclusive group of people or community. Some of the newer extreme athletic events, like Tough Mudder and Spartan Race, do a great job of this. But you can do this, too. If you can legitimately create this kind of environment of belonging, you’ll see more opportunities flow your way.
How do you do this?
Listen to your customers, actually ask them what they need help with, dig deeper and help them be the person who does/doesn’t _____ and have actual conversations with them about how you can help them get there.
2) The Monchu is the Media
Chris stated that Mochu is an Okinawan word that means “one family.” But more specifically, it’s the family you choose.
As a business, it’s up to you to choose your “family” and people that you want to serve (your target audience) and other people and companies to partner with, formally or informally.
Build this out and create valuable content that addresses your monchu’s wants and needs.
This family can help spread your content (assuming it’s valuable and helps people feel like they belong) and you can help share their content as well.
3) Commit to Clarity & Integrity
“Your customer can’t remember your catch phrase,” Chris said.
They just want to know what you do for them.
It’s never your marketing message. It’s the stuff underneath. It’s your mission.
Defining and publicizing your mission is important, no doubt. But weaving your mission throughout your story and your content are just as important. And having a clear mission can help you make tough decisions about product development. Does this fit our mission? Yes—explore further. No—kill it. Even if it might generate some revenue.
I also think this is as important internally as it is externally.
At Canvas, we make it a priority to hold our mission tightly and we also aim for complete clarity as it relates to our key metrics. We share all of our key metrics (everything except compensation) with the entire company.
As we grow, it’s something we feel passionate about, since it helps us prioritize efforts, figure out key dials to turn to grow the business and ensure we remain true to our vision and mission.
How do you view things through these 3 lenses at your company? What’s the toughest one for you to think about and execute on?