Dec 4, 2011

Q&A With Chris Brogan

As I continue this fuzzy, confusing, wonderful path, I'm gathering information, learning, looking for role-models and inspiration.  Mentors.  So many great minds have gone before us - how did they do it? What was the key(s) to their success?  How did they get to where they are?  Where did they begin and what kept them going?  And while I believe in creativity and authenticity, I also believe in being wise enough to know when not to reinvent the wheel.  

Tonight i was fortunate enough to catch a tweet from media guru @chrisbrogan inviting folks to join him at his google+ page where he would answer questions.  Perfect!  Because I have so many questions!  And apparently, I'm not the only one. Immediately he was inundated with all sorts of great requests for advice.  I eagerly read every one, most of which left me wanting to know more.  Luckily, he types 100+ words per minute...

Some of my favorites;

David Crandall's profile photoDavid Crandall  -  What is your recommended course of action for someone who just got laid off and would like to make a living outside of the standard template of employment?
Connie Brand's profile photoConnie Brand  -  Is it better to stay a solo act entrepreneur/freelancer or build a team
Rob Wormley's profile photoRob Wormley  -  If I'm interested in authoring a book, is it best to publish and sell a few small e-books first to 'test the waters' and create a sense of legitimacy/credibility? Or should I just jump right in and get started with my book idea(s)?
 Ben Loeb's profile photo Ben Loeb  -  What advice do you have for a young marketing student? (Yes I asked you a more lighthearted question above)
Kellie Brooks's profile photoKellie Brooks  -  How do you fit someone who's multi-passionate into one website successfully? (Writer, futurist, hospitality consultant)  
Tim Burrows's profile photoTim Burrows  -  Hi Chris! If you could only use one social platform, what would it be? And if I could ask a part b...Why?

Michael Hiles's profile photoMichael Hiles  -  +Chris Brogan would you say that in 2011, getting published through a traditional publisher is relevant vs. self-pub and leveraging internet marketing/PR? The context is to not make money off the book, per se, but use it as a promotional platform/calling card. 

And his answers, 

Chris Brogan's profile photo
Read Escape from Cubicle Nation by +Pamela Slim , The Barefoot Executive by +Carrie Wilkerson , and all of +Chris Guillebeau 's books and take action. 

depends what you want to do. If you stay solo, you're good at building a cash flow business. If you want the next stage in business, it's building something that can be sold so you can bank the cash. If you get sick of disabled, your business stops when you do.

+Rob Wormley - the difference between mainstream and self-publishing is more about whether you want credibility or revenue. If A, then mainstream is the clearer route. If B, then self-publish. What publishers look for is that you have a platform to distribute the book. If not, it doesn't matter whether the idea was good. Trust Agents isn't a great book. I have a big platform. That's the difference. 

+Ben Loeb - learn more about analytics and the tech side of marketing. Too many people are thinking that 
good copy is all one needs.  

I asked him to elaborate, and he answered:  
+Hamsasya annie - I mean learning tools like Google Analytics, a strong email marketing platform, enterprise listening tools like Radian6 and Sysomos, and more. I mean mobile marketing tech and the like.)

+Kellie Brooks - I'm multipassionate. Try to find the blanket theme that covers all those passions. Writer is the most mutable. Futurist is a lot of fun. If you wrote about the future of hospitality and beyond, you'd have the trifecta. : ) 

+Tim Burrows - my blog, and because it's my own real estate and can effect the most value. 

+Michael Hiles - it depends what you want. If you want credibility, traditional publishing rules. If you want revenue or idea spreading, self is perfectly reasonable. If you want CEOs to pick up your book at airports, it's a little harder to get there with self publishing. Plus, for whatever stupid reason, people still think that "vanity press" means that your ideas are lackluster to a publisher (which is bullshit).

And finally, my favorite of course,

Hamsasya annie's profile photo
Hamsasya annie  -  How do you measure success? Are you there? How long did it take you to arrive? How clear was your path?
Chris Brogan's profile photo
Chris Brogan  -  +Hamsasya annie - I measure success by being able to choose how I spend my time. I'm there more often than not. It took me several years to figure it all out. My path wasn't clear at all. My biggest breakthrough was learning how to be helpful. The trinity of making money is having skills, then having skills that others can use to advance their own worlds, and then being able to marry those two things usefully.

Pretty awesome stuff.   And great tidbits that I will most definitely use as I forge my path.  It's nice to know there are such good people willing to share.

Thanks Chris!


  1. Nice post. Chris is one of the most helpful and down to earth people on the web. He really goes out of his way to be accessible and to share info and ideas. It is great to see people really benefiting from his experience. Thanks for sharing some of his great replies.

  2. Annie ~
    Great to meet you over the impromptu Q&A with Chris! I just happened upon his tweet, as well, and was delighted with his hour of sharing. What a cool thing to do!
    I absolutely agree with his answer for you - for me, success has always been measured in time and freedom. Isn't it inspiring to see so many people finding this model working for them? Love it!
    If you haven't already discovered Derek Halpern (Social Triggers is his blog) - check him out too - he's also accessbile and generous.
    Looking forward to staying in touch and following your journey!
    All best,