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The Power of Personal Business: A Q&A With Chris Brogan

From the rapid adoption of big data to content platforms saturated with marketers looking to stand out, it appears that marketing is moving to its next era. Who better to talk about the change than New York Times Bestselling author Chris Brogan?

Chris Brogan - Demand Success

Chris will speak at Vocus’ Demand Success conference in Washington, DC on June 5-6, but Geoff Livingston caught up with him recently to discuss the current and future states of marketing.

Q: What does the title of your new book, The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth, mean?

The title means that the next economic trend appears to be that our business opportunity is in finding like-minded people who share our passions and selling to them in a much more authentic and connected style.

Q: What can an average marketer get from the book?

First, I hope that the time for average is over. Average isn’t good enough any more. Marketers have to choose to use the material in this book to be brave and to build relationships with very specific groups of people.

Reebok did this masterfully when they chose to serve the CrossFit and later the Spartan Race communities. The book hints that anyone from a solo business up to a huge enterprise can make this happen, by courting the people they have the pleasure and opportunity to serve.

Q: How has social media changed since Trust Agents?

Trust Agents wasn’t a book about social media and neither is this. That said, what we predicted came exactly true. Trust Agents said this nifty social media channel is wide open and no one’s using it the way that you can, if you take the time to add meaning and value to it. But soon it’ll be over saturated.

Then, in Impact Equation, Julien Smith and I said, too late. It’s oversaturated. Here’s what to do about it. In Freaks, I barely talk about social, except as a glancing blow to say that it’s a tool you should use because it’s free.

Q: What do you see as the big trends now?

The biggest trend I write about in the book is personal business. I use this to mean that which comes after customized. Customized is “what color do you want your phone?”

Personal is, “I want to sell a very specific tool to a very specific group. And that group is big enough to sustain me.” It’s not a big versus small business story. It’s old versus new. It’s why Coca Cola bought Honest Tea. It’s why McDonalds owns far more than just burger restaurants.

Chris Brogan - Branding Rules EBook

Chris’ advice: ‘Make and keep commitments.’ It’s really the best brand advice for any human.

Q: In a world of data, what is the state of the conversation?

Data alone is worthless. Big data borders on annoying. But ‘warm data,’ that information that helps me form a more personalized connection with someone? That’s pure gold. That’s the grail at present. And from that flows conversation.

People had a hard time understanding the conversation anyhow. They thought it was “blog this, then comment when they comment.” Who cares? Conversation is about service. And that will never ever ever go out of style.

Want to hear more from Chris and other thought leaders? Register now for the Demand Success Marketing and PR Conference on June 5-6!

About Geoff Livingston

Geoff is president and founder of Tenacity5 Media, a digital marketing agency that provides content marketing and social media services. A former journalist, Geoff continues to write, and has authored five books. Follow him @geoffliving.

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