I am making my way through the HubSpot Inbound Marketing University and am learning so much along the way. Each session has provided me with new information and is forcing me to think about online marketing in a whole new way. The presentations are also being given by some of the best in the business. One of those thought leaders is Chris Brogan.
Chris is known for many different things (including his award winning blog) but is actually heavily involved with HubSpot and takes great pride in the work he does there. So because of how impressed I was with his presentation I figured I would sit down with him for an interview. After exchanging a few emails with his “people” I was told that he could only do an email interview and it could be no more than five questions. I found this hard to believe since I sat down with Gary Vaynerchuk, someone I would put in the same league as Chris, and ended up talking for more than forty-five minutes. Regardless, I decided that I would take what I could get and send him the five questions.
He was quick to respond, but the answers were brief and to the point. So while I wish I wish he had spent a bit more time on these, I have decided to go ahead and share what little I could get. I understand he is a busy man, but I have a responsibility to my readers. So while this is not the typical interview that you have come to expect from rickyleepotts.com, it is a name that I am glad to share with you all. So sit back, relax, and get to know a little bit more about Chris Brogan.
You have worked with tons of companies helping to improve online business communication. With all the companies that you have worked with, what is the biggest challenge you have faced both professionally and personally?
Most companies have a challenge insofar as they have heard about all this new social communication, but they’re not sure where they fit in. They’re also not usually all that gung ho to go changing a lot of processes. My role every time is to show them companies who’ve done something similar and explain to them the probably upside in making some changes. It’s quite difficult, but that’s why I get paid the dinero.
Your blog, which is great by the way, is currently ranked #5 by the AdAge POWER150. Have you even been at the top of that list? Do you read a lot of the other blogs that surround you there for inspiration?
I’ve been to the top a bunch. I usually hover in all the various Top 5 slots. I was in #2 forever and a day, but whoever gets more backlinks usually wins, and sometimes, my posts are useful, but not linked to from several sources. That’s what seems to be the factor that’s pushing my rank around right now. Nothing changes for me no matter which of those slots I fill. I still get the love.
I am about halfway through the HubSpot Inbound Marketing University and I had the pleasure of listening to a presentation from you. It was great, and I learned a lot from that. How did you get involved with HubSpot? Have you been through the class and gotten your certification yet?
HubSpot is a Boston-area company and so am I. I met with Mike Volpe, their marketing head, and then I met with Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan, the founders, and in every meeting, we definitely see eye to eye. I’m on their advisory board. I acquired one of their events. I’m fairly wrapped in and around HubSpot. I’ve gotta say, that Inbound Marketing University course has some long legs. I get tweets or messages every few days from someone discovering it.
I do a lot of public speaking myself, and am always trying to land more of those types of gigs. What words of advice would you have for someone like myself who is trying to get more exposure in that space and is trying to land more opportunities like this?
I wrote an entire blog post about this recently. My big advice was to build a strong platform ahead of time in your blog. Make posts about your speeches. Shoot videos of your speeches. Get yourself out there as often as possible. And stay top of mind with the people who put on events.
I interview a lot of bands and DJs from all over the world. And I always ask them the same question at the end. So while you are not in a band (well, you might be) I still consider you an artist. I always let the artist get the last word. Go.
I went from being a creative artist to being a business. The differences are that I figured out how to make some money and feed my family. What you can do, when you give up on the whole “sell out” fear, is you can take your art skills and apply them to other kinds of challenges. That’s where the money is, and that’s how I can stand to be in the corporate world. Stay true to your goals, but remember that the medium and the audience can change over time.