There comes a point in life when you need to pick up an old book and refresh the ideas that changed the world. I picked up the Cluetrain Manifesto last night and read through a couple key chapters.
First off, I love the book. I read it when it came out a couple of years ago and still keep it around my desk. There is a point in the book where the authors of the Cluetrain point fingers at the marketing industry asking them, “Where is the consideration of the people?”
Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.
It is my opinion and a few other experts (mainly Jason Falls) that believe the Cluetrain Manifesto introduced corporate America to social media. It is also extremely important for business professionals to understand the concept of listening and starting conversations.
Social Media has a wide array of people. Some people need your product or service.. other people would rather not listen to your hard sell speech about blah. blah. blah. It is about the conversation.. the personality.. and the person on the other end, not you. This concept pertains to sales and personal branding. After all… you are selling yourself.
I want to focus on the concept of using a human voice while in the depths of social media. Whether you are using Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn (etc) it is important to listen first and speak second.
How long is it going to take us to learn that the CONSUMER is now in control of the conversation? It is no longer about quantity. It is no longer about how many direct mail pieces you can send out or how many banner ads you can buy.
It’s about the “them“
It is about the them not about you. Use Twitter and Facebook as a tool to speak as you would your best-friend at a barbeque (okay bad example but you get the drift). We are all in the same rat-race here. We are all trying to succeed in this cut-throat world of personal branding and selling yourself as the SOLUTION.
Talk about what YOU do not the industry or the sale of the day. How do you help people? How do you create relationships with your clients?
That is what people what to hear. They want to be inspired.
They are waiting on you to inspire them.
Kyle writes a regular blog at KyleLacy.com and is founder and CEO of Brandswag, a social media strategy and training company. His blog has been featured on Wall Street Journal’s website and Read Write Web’s daily blog journal. Recently, Kyle was voted as one of the top 150 social media blogs in the world (on two websites), and produces regular keynote speeches across the Midwest. He also just finished writing Twitter Marketing for Dummies by Wiley Publishing.