I first heard of Scott at the 2010 Blogworld in Las Vegas when he leapt (almost literally) onto the stage to give one of the keynote presentations. Having never heard of him before, I quickly wondered how I had gone so long without hearing of him, as his presentation was full of a kind of energy and electricity that completely filled the auditorium.
I bought his book at the Wiley booth, and at the end of the conference vowed to read it, “Get Seen” by Steve Garfield and “ATTENTION!” by Jim Kukral as quickly as I could. Well, things didn’t quite happen as I predicted and they sat unread on my shelf for almost a year, until this week.
I’m a skeptic. If you read through these blog posts you will find that I am very critical of the “hype” certain “social media experts” tell their followers. Followers is actually a pretty good term for many Twitter users, by the way. Just saying.
Anyway, I started reading the book, which I expected to be the same, dry social media book I am used to. I was again surprised and delighted to find the book was not only entertaining, but a quick read. When writing this post I hesitated on using the term “quick read” because that should not at all be linked with “unengaging” or “useless” information. I got it. And it was clear Scott “gets it.” The tone of the book had me curious, and later I found out he partially used a text-to-speech program to write the book. I could tell, as the book closely resembles his in-person personality.
The chapters are short, but memorable. There are several parts I immediately related to. First, it may sound like something simple, but if you aren’t going to promote and be a cheerleader for your brand (or yourself – or maybe you are your brand) then nobody will. How true! You can’t expect the disgruntled employee in cubicle 512 to be your social media presence and be engaging if they hate their job, hate talking to people and hate hearing people complain. If you aren’t willing to speak up for your company 100% or 200%, then just don’t do it. Don’t expect others to refer you if you wouldn’t even refer yourself.
Another comment that I identified with was one I have posted here on my blog and causes a ruckus every time I mention it – that a large percentage of the social media experts make money only by selling a product on how to make money. Every time I mention this to my friends who have IM products, they get all fidgety and say I’m just paranoid, or Im just a natural skeptic. But its true. “For only $5 I can tell you how to make a million dollars on the Internet, $5 at a time.” that is the subtext of a good majority of information on how to make money on the Internet.
I have bought ebooks, online teleconferences, attended real-world conferences, and even spent close to $1,000 on a series of DVDs – and I am still in the same boat as I was before I bought them. The exception being Joel Comm’s Elevate Seminar, which is always valuable and inspirational to watch. It isn’t on the elevate seminar DVD’s, but if you haven’t yet, you have to see Joel’s “penny” demonstration from back in the day when he was talking about Adsense. Classic demonstration, and there is also a sub-story about Wells Fargo and ACQUIRING the pennies for the demonstration that is valuable in and of itself.
If there is a downside to this book, and many others it is that it assumes the reader is actually empowered to make changes at a company. In fact, many of these types of books are written for entrepreneurs or solopreneurs (when is that going to be in the dictionary?) and are not written for the average worker pulling the 9-5 at a company.
I highly recommend “Unmarketing” if you are serious about rethinking your social media mindset. I know that sounds like a pitch or the back of the latest guru book, but it is true “Unmarketing” will get you to reconsider all the “push and pray” marketing your company is doing. Goodbye yellow pages, goodbye trade shows with flyers on the counter, goodbye 30 second spot, goodbye mass mail (or even email). We’ve all heard about engaging customers, this is about engaging fans.
(note, I have been an Amazon affiliate since 1996, and I will receive a small, minuscule commission if you buy the book through my link.)