One of the key messages delivered Wednesday by Spencer X Smith at the September Social Media Breakfast Madison event was to keep things simple. So with that in mind, here in a nutshell are his key points:
- Be an expert. But don’t just call yourself an expert. Earn the right to be seen as an expert by other people.
- Earn that respect by creating credibility, keeping things simple, and being accessible.
- Always think about your target audience and how you can be valuable to them.
Got a little extra time? OK, then, let’s drill down into some details.
Spencer quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson, “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.”
Turn that around, Spencer pointed out, and it means that every person can learn something from you as well. If you leverage that special knowledge that you have, you will be the “expert.”
But first you have to build credibility, or reputability. And you do that by achieving “credibility milestones,” such as your first published article. One milestone builds credibility to achieve your next milestone.
Harking back to his days as the drummer in a band called Myopic Son, Spencer called this the Summerfest Effect Pyramid. If you can book a gig at Milwaukee’s big Summerfest music event, you use that as your credibility to get your next big gig, which leads to another one.
The same applies to your business, Spencer says. “Dare to envision a big daunting goal, be bold enough to ask how to get there, then take the steps necessary to achieve it.”
Along the way, he said, don’t be afraid to take a risk and to fail. “Even if you go to the wrong venue or magazine or client, it’s still getting you closer to achieving your goal,” he said.
All along, he said, keep your message simple. “Nobody gets a Most Complex trophy,” he said. “Don’t try to impress your peers.” He cited several examples of famous people who took complex issues and simplified them in a way that people could understand, including Einstein’s well-recognized formula of E-MC2. “He made it super simple,” Spencer said, “so it would transcend him, and others could use his work.”
“Share what you know,” Spencer said. “The goal is not to become famous; the goal is to become valuable to the people you are targeting. People are going to look to you as a thought leader by default.”
He noted “the 1 percent rule” of the Internet: 90 percent of people online are there just to consume; 9 percent like, share comment; and 1 percent are the creators.
“So if you share what you know you become part of that tiny minority. Who is the expert then? You, because you are the one who created that information.”
Don’t be intimidated; content doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be you, Spencer said.
“Create YOUR art.”
Spencer X Smith is the founder of Spencer X Smith Consulting, and principal of the Cobalt Companies, a real estate investment firm he started in 2000. Spence is also an instructor at the University of Wisconsin, where he teaches classes on Business Plans, Lean Business Tools, Internet Marketing & Strategy, and Teaching-Based Marketing. Since college, he’s had the privilege of working with companies such as IBM, Kohl’s Corp, Kimberly-Clark, Oshkosh Truck, The Hartford, and Nationwide.
Written by Bill Hurley, (@billhurleymedia / billhurleymedia.com / beachmaniac.com) Editor, writer, social media strategist, website developer, digital publisher. BillHurleyMail@gmail.com, Bill@smbmad.org.