Social Media Influencer - Chris Brogan

For many, the concept of success is earning x amount of money or being a bestselling author or traveling to the farthest ends of the earth minus the constant worry of an empty bank account. Others will probably say that it’s about being looked up to by your colleagues and peers. But for Chris Brogan, it’s quite simple - success is being able to say no to whatever I want to say no to so that I can say yes to the things I want to say yes to. Nifty, huh?

So who exactly is this Mr. Brogan who effortlessly defines success like some zen guy who fasted and meditated for months in Tibet? Let’s get to know him!

Strategist and Evangelist Rolled Into One

What Chris Brogan exactly does is difficult to pin down. He is currently the CEO of Owner Media Group, a company whose mission is to help businesses optimize their marketing efforts. Aside from building a business empire, he is also a New York Times bestselling author (he has written and co-written 8 books and counting!) and has delivered more than a thousand speeches - from the Coldwell Banker GenBLUE conference to the UAE’s royalty. Also, he regularly hosts one of today’s popular podcast The Owner’s Mind.

Recently, he was hailed by Forbes as one of the Must Follow Marketing Minds of 2014, not to mention that he has interviewed The Richard Branson for a cover story over at Success magazine. He has appeared on the Dr. Phil Show and has spoken on or consulted with the world’s top brands including Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Humana Health, and Disney.

Brogan is best known for his emphasis on discipline over willpower, building a solid community through meaningful interactions, and the importance of creating a system to get things done. In a nutshell, Chris Brogan is a strategist and evangelist rolled into one.

Far From Being an Overnight Success

The Chris Brogan we know today was a far cry from the Chris Brogan a decade ago. Chris started his career at a phone company where his mother was also an employee.

“And then one day, I was sitting on a couch and I saw those pledge drives at PBS. Those where they put on their best stuff to try to get some loot so you can get a tote bag. It was Les Brown, Live Your Dreams, and it was like a motivational speaker thing. And then I went, “Wow!” That started me on this crazy journey, and I went from just being some guy at the phone company to being a manager at the phone company,” Chris recalls in this interview.

Afterwards, he left the company and went on to work for a wireless telecom firm for 16 years. When he went into blogging, it was only after 8 years later that he got his first 100 subscribers. “So first I have to give myself a little credit because there wasn’t RSS when I started. I started blogging back in 1998 and it was called journaling and people just basically had to go site to site to see everything. There wasn’t a subscription mechanism per se, if I was really a pioneer I would have done an email list back then, but I wasn’t that smart,” shares Chris in this interview.

In addition to writing for just a handful of people for almost a decade, Chris struggled with his mortgage and flew to conferences around the country broke, eating ramen and leftover granola bars, and not having enough money to get a cab from the airport to the hotel.

In 2006, he decided to quit and organized an event called PodCamp with Christopher Penn, the first of thousands of events he would set up. He founded several startups and companies thereafter, notably Human Business Works with Rob Hatch.

“We started off doing some kind of high level consulting work with really big companies, and have recently turned the model around entirely to do publishing and media for professionals of a [midsized] company. Just the individual humans as opposed to the organizations,” Chris explains.

Chris Brogan’s Game Plan on Social Media

In a blog post published last May, Chris points out the weakening of various social media platforms as business tools, notably Twitter. “I get less and less and less engagement there. I see more and more people stuffing posts into Buffer and calling it a day. I’m not opposed to automation if people follow it up with engagement opportunities. But it’s not that way. Twitter is quickly becoming like the ticker at the bottom of ESPN. Kinda there. Kinda worth peeking at. That’s all,” Chris wrote. He further highlighted that LinkedIn Pulse is where (surprisingly) most of his leads come from these days. And that podcasting is definitely alive and rockin’ the social media scene too.

On Why Brevity Matters

Chris is a huge proponent of brevity when writing for the Internet. “There is this really kind of weird crap where people are thinking that more words are better… The other thing is that people often confuse long sentence structure with intelligence. If I don’t write a long sentence with a bunch of commas and stuff like that, then I probably am not a smart person,” Chris explains in the interview.

On Building Online Communities

Building a solid tribe is another concept that Chris truly believes as one of the most actionable steps to a thriving business. He shares in this interview, “When the people who support and are a part of your community, the community you have the pleasure and power and opportunity to serve, that's where all the best business happens.”

On Creating Systems

“Everything I do has some kind of plan around it… And so we work really hard to make sure that you make your system and follow that. And that's the biggest difference I think. I show people how to wipe out procrastination. I show people that putting together a framework for your monthly goals incorporated into your day. These are all things that help me,” Chris shares.

Final Thoughts

Undoubtedly, Chris Brogan has built himself a reputation in both social media and publishing through sheer persistence, self-discipline, and a recognition of the importance of structure, may it be in one’s personal routine or business plan. Have you read one of his books? Or attended one of his events? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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About the Author


Kyjean Tomboc

About Kyjean Tomboc

Kyjean likes to think of herself as an online content machine but her love for all things feline makes her human after all! She writes mainly about health, science, social media, and online content marketing. If she’s not writing, she’s either scaling mountains or taming tardigrades. Follow her tardigrade taming attempts at Twitter - @autodidactikai


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