Just Do It!

Top lesson learned from the social media rock stars.

In the past few months I have had the opportunity to engage both in real life, on Skype or through the twitter streams with several very high profile social media peeps. On the surface and based on their past work experience, these peeps are very different, yet they all have that “something” about them. That “something” special about the way people perceive who they are, what they are about, how they are influential…. you know, their in real life Klout – that “something” about them factor….

I have thought long and hard about this post, pondering if I should mention people by name, and I have decided it in fact would be appropriate to point out several people for the examples I will address below.

Influential Social Media peeps, as different as their backgrounds and work experience may be, have one thing in common – They Engage

As many of you know, I am an avid participator in Twitter chats. Several months ago I was active in a chat that was discussing measuring influence and the guest host was @JoeFernandez , co-founder of Klout. I took strong notice that he went out of his way to answer as many questions as possible, staying in the stream well past the hour scheduled time frame and most importantly, he didn’t appear to discriminate answering questions from the every day ordinary person vs. the well known names who also were participating in the stream.

Not long after that I was turned on to a product called Nimble , a CRM / SCRM platform that was developed by @Jon_Ferrara , the CRM pioneer who was the mastermind behind GoldMine. I found Jon discussing Nimble in a chat stream, joined in and sure enough, just like Joe Fernandez, Jon was engaging and answering questions without signaling out anyone because of who they were or their social status.

Last month I attended a seminar which featured legendary Apple evangelist  @GuyKawasaki . I arrived about an hour early to this seminar, and in typical fashion headed to the coffee table to get some of my favorite beverage. Low and behold who do you think was standing right there but the legend himself, Guy Kawasaki. I said hello… he said hello back… I asked him a few questionshe answered them. He was very sincere in our all to brief conversation and honestly appeared to show a real interest in our chat. I highly recommend reading Guy’s new book Enchantment.

Take everyone’s questions and thoughts seriously. Never take anyone for granted, regardless of their social or business stature.

Just this past week I had the opportunity to attend a very small meetup that featured Dups Wijayawardhana , creator of the hottest social media buzz around today, Empire Avenue. I was about an hour early for the meetup but noticed someone who appeared to be Dups sitting at the bar with laptop open. I introduced myself and sure enough it was him. I asked a question about the Empire Avenue platform and without hesitation, he opened a browser and began tutoring me on how to chat within the EAv platform.

Respect everyone you meet. It’s the little known people that will help you get to the next level. Never take them for granted.

I sent out a tweet the other day in regards to the strategy behind protected tweets. Within seconds I got a response from one of the top bloggers in the world, @ChrisBrogan . Not only did he send that one comment, he began to engage in a discussion with me regarding protected tweets.

The list goes on and on. @ChrisPirillo has answered several pleas for Mac help and a few other tweets I have sent out. One of my new favorite Twitter chats, #CMchat , has allowed me to engage with social media rockstars @DabneyPorte@JessicaNorthey , @MackCollier and  @TobeyDeys .  The list goes on and on yet the theme stays consistent…

Friend, engage, connect and never ever consider discriminating against anyone simply because they have a low number of followers or are a non recognizable name.

My good twitter bud @PegFitzpatrick and I had a conversation just this morning discussing this very topic. In fact, we have had this conversation many times before and the people that are building a sustainable following in the social streams all get this –

Make every conversation and engagement with people meaningful. Be sincere, show respect and never assume anything.


13 Responses

  1. Jeremy Powers
    Jeremy Powers June 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm | | Reply

    Lewis – The last line of your post is a great summary what it takes: NEVER FORGET – EVERYBODY MATTERS.

    You have to determine where to focus, but in the end, answering the unexpected questions and calls of others is where magic happens.

    While I know some of the power hitters in the industry have help, I am always amazed at the energy they possess.

    Kudos to you for making some big connections.

  2. Andre Floyd
    Andre Floyd June 9, 2011 at 3:07 pm | | Reply

    Lewis: This post is great at highlighting the benefits to all of engagement. I have espoused a similar mantra in the past regarding trade show sales/marketing participation: Respect everyone that comes up to you; engage them, answer their questions and be as helpful as possible – you cannot tell by any measure of outward appearance whether they are looking to make a million dollar purchase of your product. Even if their questions seem rudimentary, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a need for your product/service and the means to acquire it.

  3. Sean McGinnis
    Sean McGinnis June 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm | | Reply

    Lewis – I don’t think its possible for me to agree more. My experience mirrors your own. The best and brightest are very often built of an overwhelming willingness to help, share and teach (at least that’s what I’ve found over the past several months). Admirable qualities, all rooted in a universal respect for newbies and those with genuine questions.

    Interestingly, I think these qualities have a sort of universal excellence to them, in that they apply to the “best and brightest” in nearly any field of endeavor – its is the very definition of personal brand building and influence that strikes right at the very heart of these peeps and “helping people” is one of the core attributes of each of them. (my two cents, anyway – YMMV).

  4. Marie Payton
    Marie Payton June 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm | | Reply

    “Respect everyone you meet.” Could anything be more important?

    I was recently having a discussion on the use of twitter with a friend who is new to it. He was wondering how to engage people. I explained it’s like walking into a party where you don’t know anyone. Being a natural salesman, he would normally be able to find common ground, start conversations etc.

    The #usguys crew has been a great teaching group for me on engagement, sincerity, respect and how social media works.


  5. @Nakeva
    @Nakeva June 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm | | Reply

    Lewis, its been a pleasure getting to know you through social media. Thank you for attending my event Tuesday where you met Empire Avenue CEO, @Dups. I think taking the engagement offline is a great way to keep the pace with real networking. Everyone does matter and you never know what type of connection you will make that builds the relationship.

  6. Denise
    Denise June 9, 2011 at 8:35 pm | | Reply

    Great post! Engage everyone, treat with utmost respect! Makes me think of my beloved Grandma & one of the many lessons she taught me… Respect for others no matter what and always say hello to all with a smile.
    Thank you for sharing!

  7. @naveenk22
    @naveenk22 June 10, 2011 at 4:52 am | | Reply


    Thanks for sharing and the post really captures the real value of social media today. Those that make time reap the benefits as every individual is truly unique and so there is always something new to learn be engaging!



  8. Steven Pofcher
    Steven Pofcher June 10, 2011 at 7:10 am | | Reply

    Lewis – Nicely done. Your post captured a lot that is good with social media (SoMe) and Twitter in particular. I have found that Twitter puts on everyone on a level playing field. Both the newbies as well as the high profile SoMefolks.

    As long as you have something intelligent to say, folks from all levels will interact with you. When I first started tweeting I was very surprised that major SoMe bloggers and engagers would answer me. However, I soon realized that listening and engaging were the reasons that they had become tops in their field. As you say, “Everybody matters.”

  9. Joseph Ruiz
    Joseph Ruiz June 10, 2011 at 8:32 am | | Reply

    Some great advice my friend. I noticed one other significant factor you didn’t mention. You seem to have a pattern of showing up an hour early. By doing this you at created some IRL opportunity. This is an important takeaway for me – Mr. just make it in the door before the event starts.

    Thanks for sharing my friend.
    Joe @SMSJOE

  10. Lois Creamer
    Lois Creamer July 2, 2011 at 11:12 am | | Reply

    Your experiences are much like my own. I work in the speaking industry. We have national meetings twice a year. I’ve had the privilege of meeting many who I have admired. They were all totally gracious with their time, and occasionally, their advice. I have even had the honor ofcalling many «client». (my favorite term!)
    Thanks for the post and reinforcing my sense that in most cases the bigger they are, the kinder they are!

  11. Fine Life
    Fine Life July 6, 2011 at 8:32 pm | | Reply

    This is very good advice. I understand and appreciate how doors have opened for you. They have for me, as well. One of the reasons this post resonates so beautifully is that your intention is clear. You are not aiming to brag, you are sharing information about what works and how to treat people. Well done, sir!

Leave a Reply