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Ron Tite, Founder and CEO of Church+State, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss his new book, ‘Think. Do. Say,’ and how you can win your audience’s time and confidence.
Cut through the noise
Social media professionals can become so focused on producing non-stop content that they don’t stop to consider whether they’re making originals or prints in their social media.
In other words, do you let creativity drive your social media decisions? Or, are you led by what others are doing in hopes of obtaining similar outcomes? Ron Tite, the Founder of Church+State claims that every artist knows you make more money from the print than the original. But that print doesn’t exist without a brilliant original.
Over time, social media has become more about the media and less about the social, but is it time for a change? If you want to cut through the noise and win your audience’s time and trust, you need to ditch the jargon and unleash your inner artist.
In This Episode:
- 04:47 – What ‘the pitch slap’ is and how it relates to social media
- 07:53 – How to pitch a new book to people the right way
- 12:12 – The role of maths in social media measurement and attribution
- 15:10 – The challenging side of working with clients from an agency’s perspective
- 19:19 – Why more social media professionals need to let creative curiosity lead the way
- 23:12 – Why you need a dedicated social media experimental budget
- 25:11 – Where influencers work well and where they don’t
Quotes From This Episode:
“I’ve earned earned the trust and respect of people and by doing that those people want to know the next thing they can read”
People used to vote with their wallets, now they vote with their time. Click To Tweet
“Every artist knows you make more money from the print than the original. But that print doesn’t exist without a brilliant original.”
- Get the new State of Marketing report for free from Salesforce
- Find out more about the community at SocialMedia.org with a special form for Social Pros listeners
- Find out more about Emma’s email marketing platform
- Sign up and get Sales Force’s FREE e-book, 50 Social Media Best Practices
- Find out more about Ron’s agency, Church+State
- Read Ron’s latest book, ‘ Do. Say.: How to seize attention and build trust in a busy, busy world’
We’re forgetting that on one level, every artist knows that you make more money from the print than the original. You just do. But that print doesn’t exist without an absolutely brilliant original, and so we’ve jumped right to the print.
I’ll tell you what, our guest this week asks an important question. Are you making originals or are you making prints in your social media? I’m Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert. Welcome to Social Pros. Adam Brown from Salesforce is off this week. You’re going to love this conversation with my friend, Ron Tite, who’s the author of the great new book Think, Do, Say. We go deep in this episode about the present, future, and even the past of social media, how you can do it well. You’re going to love his take on influencer marketing. Hold on for that one towards the end of the show.
Before we jump into this week’s episode, a quick acknowledgement of our sponsors. Thanks, as always, to Salesforce Marketing Cloud. A new eBook I’d love you to download, won’t cost you anything, it’s called 50 Social Media Best Practices. Sounds pretty relevant to this show. Five Zero Social Media Best Practices. It’s a lot of the things we talk about here on Social Pros put into one downloadable guide just for you. You can access it right now at bit.ly/tips50social. That’s bit.ly/tips50social from our friends at Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
Also, this week, the show is brought to you at Emma Email Marketing Platform. It gives you all the tools necessary to send campaigns that really collect, connect I should say, with your subscribers. Unlike a lot of other email services providers, Email really puts their customers first. If you need help sending better email, you can actually get ahold of a real life human being down there at their offices in Nashville, Tennessee. They offer really intuitive tools to allow you to build and automate your emails, powerful segmentation and reporting as well. They do a great job. You’re going to love them. If you’re in charge of email in your organization, tell the person who is about Emma, please. Go to myemma.com/jayisawesome. That’s My Emma, E-M-M-A.com/jayisawesome.
Here we go. This week’s Social Pros Podcast with Ron Tite, founder of the agency Church and State, and the new book Think, Do, Say. Ron Tite, founder Church and State, author of the amazing new book, Think, Do, Say. Welcome to Social Pros.
Jay, thank you for having me.
Delighted to have you here. It’s a great book. Just before we go any farther, listeners, it’s awesome. Think, Do, Say. If you’re in any way, shape, or form part of sort of the creative element of social, you absolutely need to get this book. If you’re strictly an analyst, or you’re just doing spreadsheets, it’s probably not your jam. But I think most folks listening to this show are involved on the creative side. It is terrific. Ron, why did you write this book?
Well, for two things, two reasons. One, as a creative guy, before I started Church and State, I was executive creative director at a large multinational agency. And the idea of craft and creative was defined by that traditional sense of writer, art director. And more and more, we saw that the marketing of great organizations, that the disruption that was happening, it wasn’t happening because they were shooting great spots, because the scripts were brilliantly funny. And it happened because they really focused on the actions. They focused on the behaviors. They focused on the product, on what the product did and how it solved problems. And the business models were creative, and the solutions were creative, even though the ads weren’t very creative.
And so that was one thing, was that I thought that given this complex world of cutting through, that the idea of creativity had changed. And the second reason was that I found that the usual response to this new chaotic world was BS. It was BS. It was people saying stuff and doing stuff that had no value to the actual business or their careers whatsoever, and then people were chasing the … Can I swear on your podcast?
Sure. Do whatever you want.
They were chasing bullshit superficial metrics that had zero relevance to anything. And I just thought we made it way too complicated when we didn’t have to. And so instead of complaining about it, I thought I should write a book about it.
Well, one of the things about the book, Think, Do, Say, that has become sort of your calling card, also one of the things you do on stage, Ron, just an aside, listeners, is one of the world’s great public speakers. If you get a chance to see Ron Tite in concert, so to speak, absolutely take yourself up on that opportunity. You are known for the pitch slap, the pitch slap, ladies and gentlemen, which is also referenced quite a bit in the book. Talk a little bit about that because it seems to me that the pitch slap is very true today in social media because over the last few years, it’s become more about the media and less about the social.
Yeah. People, because it’s been … Sorry. I’ll back up. We were offered, you may remember we know as digital was coming in, it was this great, wonderful, utopia that was going to exist, and we could target the individual specific people who had specific needs at the right moment, at the right time for exactly what we were selling. Oh, it was going to be so glorious. And the result is people are just spamming more and more people. And they’re not adding value, and they’re not leading with purpose. But they are instead pitch slapping them. They’re just pitching them their product, their promos, their offers, their services. And the worst part is when they don’t even realize that they’re doing it because they’re trying to … Well, they take a bunch of different strategies. They blow smoke up your butt. They give you over the top compliments. They try fake conversations, everything.
But in the back of their mind, you know the only thing they want to do is pitch you. And the world is so much more complicated than that. And if you’re jumping right to the pitch, people, it feels like a slap. And it feels disgusting and it feels gross. And worse, it doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work. And I think we are holding up the 0.006% of people that it works for as a proof of our victory, and we’re ignoring all the other innocent bystanders who are getting shot in a drive by shooting, and we obviously don’t care about those people.
And I’ll give you a perfect example. I was at a speech yesterday, and somebody said, “What are you doing on LinkedIn? Because I find that sometimes I just want to get someone’s email address, and if I connect with people on LinkedIn, can I just get their email address?” And I was like, “Yeah. But you can probably get their phone number if you hound them and do some digging too. But why the hell do you want to do that?” That’s a pitch slap.
Yeah. If you’re going to go to the trouble of using LinkedIn to get somebody’s email address, why don’t you just engage with them on LinkedIn and cut out the middle man? Right? It’s not like anybody is saying, “Wow, the best thing I could do is get more email.” Spectacular. Here’s the irony, though. Right? So there’s no question that the pitch slap phenomenon is prevalent in social media today. Yet, here is somebody who has to launch and pitch at some level, a new book. So how do you sort of square those corners?
It is a great question. And it is the thing that I absolutely detest about writing a book, is that at some point, you have to market it.
You have to sell the book, right.
You have to sell the book. And so there are two things. One is that I’ve spent from the time the last book to this book, I have spent the last three years adding value to people. And so when you look at the track record over time, the percentage of my posts that talk about something that I’m doing is, I don’t know what, but it’s quite small. So I’ve earned the trust and respect of people. And by doing that, those people want to know when I have more that they can read. And so I’ve heard people say, “No, tell us about the book. Obviously, we’ve been following along all this time, liking and engaging with your perspective on stuff. Then of course, we want to read it in book form.” So I think you earn trust and respect, and people will want to hear it from you. But you’re right in that it does not … I always have this feeling in my head that people are on LinkedIn going, “We know it. You got a book coming.”
Well, it has to be done. But I think you’re exactly right, you’re not really selling the book. You’re just tying together the relationship loose ends based on the value that you’ve already provided. Social Pros listeners, for more on that topic in particular, tune into the episode we did fairly recently with Pat Flynn on his excellent new book about creating fans. And I’ll tell you a personal story, Ron, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this on the show, despite 400 episodes. When I was launching Utility, which was my second book, but the first one that we put a lot of emphasis behind from a marketing standpoint, I called Gary Vaynerchuk, who I’d known since long before he was Gary Vaynerchuk, and said, “Hey. I’ve got to sell this book. What do you think I should do?” And like you, I had spent a bunch of years providing value before the book. And Gary said something that sticks with me to this day. He said, “You’ve already sold the book. You just haven’t told people where to order it.”
Oh, that’s great.
And I thought that was brilliant and so true. Right? It’s not about the book. It’s about you, and the fact that you have a book is kind of immaterial. And musicians work the same way. I’m a big Wilco fan, and as soon as their new album dropped a couple weeks ago, I of course went out and purchased it. Didn’t like it, as a matter of fact, but it didn’t matter because I like them. And they’ve entertained me for 25 years, so if I don’t like this one, it doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t have an impact ultimately on the relationship.
Yeah. Our friend, Bruce Sellery, Jay, I was chatting with Bruce and kind of saying, “You know, I’m just really sensitive because I talk about the pitch slap, and I don’t want people to think I’m pitch slapping them.” I was looking for the text. This is the text message that Bruce sent to me to give me a kick in the ass because he said, “I’d like to offer another interpretation on book promo. If the book were ‘about you’ I could see your hesitation to promote it more easily. But it isn’t about you. I really don’t think it is. It is about making an impact in organizations and in lives. So don’t let your concern about it being too much about you diminish the impact you can make on us. Sure, don’t be this person, but be you, and you are the guy who makes us think and laugh at the same time. The book does that at scale. Promote it.”
That’s great. You ought to save that one. Print it out.
Yeah. It was such a nice message from Bruce. And Bruce is one of those people who I can always count to just tell me like it is.
Yeah. Got to have those friends. You talked about in the open of the show, and sort of your description for why you wrote the book, this idea that we kind of lost our way in kind of communications and advertising and marketing, and either measure the wrong things, or weren’t measuring it at all. Of course, one of the things that we spend a lot of time talking about one this program in sort of the enterprise social media world is social media measurement and attribution because the budgets are going up and up and up because it’s becoming more of a purchase as opposed to an organic reach scenario. More budgets equals more attention. More attention equals more proof points. So there’s a lot more math around social media than there ever has been. Do you feel like that helps, because now you’ve got actual proof, or hurts because now you’re playing to the numbers?
Both. Both. It helps because, yeah, it’s nice to know what effect something has on a business. But I think it hurts more than it helps at this point, and it shouldn’t. I think it hurts because, one, clients are hearing this. Marketers are hearing, “Oh, there is a metric, and this is going to help us really get to ROI.” And we know the effect that a specific post can have on conversion and on an actual transaction. And so they come to their agency, and they go, “What’s your philosophy on data?” And my first response is, “What the hell is yours?” You’re coming to me to give you something that you as a marketer, you should be the one telling me. This is our data foundation. This is how we use it. This is what we track. How are you going to integrate with our world?
But by coming to me as an agency and asking me to dictate your entire data strategy, I think it’s the wrong way at it. So that’s the one way it’s hurting us. The second way it’s hurting us is that we’re chasing the metric, and we’re chasing the metric around dollar value while ignoring that the thing that I think has just as much, if not more, [inaudible 00:13:58] proof, impact on the return on that investment is the quality of the output that is put into that medium. If you look at, I was talking with a music manager about the chase for metrics and music, and his insight was like, look, a shitty band on eight track is still a shitty band on Spotify. And too many people are just chasing new platforms and new places without doubling down on the creative that is actually living in those places. People used to vote with their wallets. Now they vote with their time. Putting it in the right place at the right time is one way to help win it, but it’s not the complete way.
Well, if the client asks the agency, and I should say that Ron’s firm, Church and State, one of the most well known and successful creative agencies in all of Canada, lots of big clients, lots of award-winning campaigns, if a client comes to you and says, “What’s your philosophy on data?” What are you supposed to say? We’re for it? I don’t know.
We’re quite impartial to it, thank you.
It’s a weird question. That being the case, however, you have obviously worked with a lot of clients on social programs. What’s the most challenging side of that as an agency, which you are, being the agency representative? Is it them not really having a social strategy? Is it you having to talk them out of trying to be everywhere? What’s the hard part? And has it changed in the last couple years?
Yeah. I think it’s that there’s … This is both an opportunity and a challenge, is that there’s no one answer. And so a specific organization can have an infrastructure around their data and their reporting and how they evaluate and make moves on that. But usually, it’s like it’s by the person. And so you get a CMO change or something, and then suddenly, it’s we’re not doing that anymore. I guess that can apply to all levels of the business. But it’s that there isn’t just one proven way of working. And so we have to be a lot more nimble in that, and we have to be a lot more nimble in the partners around the table.
And so, oh, for this client, we’re listening to the internal analyst, who actually sits on their eCommerce team. Okay, so that person’s going to have a bias, and we have to adjust accordingly. And for this client, we’re listening to the social media, media agency, who’s amplifying stuff. And because they’ve got more money, they’re attracting money, we’re going to listen to their metrics. Other times, it’s us, and we’re coming to the table. So it’s that there isn’t one number. There isn’t one approach. There isn’t one philosophy. And we just have to be really, really nimble in how we adapt.
Yeah. I really like the way you articulated that, Ron. The fact that in more forms of marketing, not all certainly, there are a fewer number of choices. Right? The social success path doesn’t really exist. It is entirely circumstantial. And even best practices are not terribly reliable because everybody’s brand is different, and social’s so brand driven. It really is almost a blank sheet of paper every time. And I haven’t thought as much as you have about the relationship between the client and the agency in terms of the contact point, and what their particular biases or baggage are, and how that changes how everybody has to march in line. That’s a really fascinating perspective.
And that’s why I love it, I really do.
Yeah, because there isn’t one way. And I think I remember the first client when I started this agency in 2011, I guess. The very first big pitch we had, I said to the client, because I was every pitch needs a dark horse or a wild card. And I was like, “I’m going to be your wild card,” because I just started this place, and it’s just me, and we’ll build this up. I think what helped me win that business was I went in and I said … They said, “This new strategy you’ve got, what are some benchmarks for success that you’ve had?” And I said, “I don’t have any.”
And anybody that tells you that they have the answer is lying. I’m not here to tell you I have the answer. Things are changing so quickly that you actually don’t want anybody who comes in and says they have the one answer, the proven approach, the proven process, because there isn’t one. There just isn’t. And what you need to have is you need to have partners on the table that you can have open and honest conversations with, who simply want to get it right. And they want to get it right given the dynamic environment that you as a client are living and working in, and that also changes. And that, I think, is way more important, this genuine desire to just figure it out, and know that what you’ve just figured out may change on Friday.
Yeah. It’s like Tom Webster from Edison Research has been on the show famously says that there are no answers. There’s just better questions.
It’s a really good way to think about it. You know? One of the things that you talk about in the book, Think, Do, Say, highly recommend it, ladies and gentlemen, but also just in life is curiosity. And your curiosity is a big part of your success path as an author, as a speaker, as an entrepreneur, as an agency owner. You define your role in the agency now that you’re not as involved day to day as sort of in charge of concept cars.
Do you feel like there is enough curiosity amongst social media professionals today? Or has it become a little bit more of an assembly line? I don’t want to lead the witness. But because there’s such a pressure to execute, is there enough to say, “Well, what if we did it this way?”
Yes. I think you’re right. I think that is … You weren’t leading the witness. The witness would have responded in the affirmative that yes, it has become an assembly line. And we’re forgetting that on one level, every artist knows that you make more money from the print than the original. You just do. But that print doesn’t exist without an absolutely brilliant original, and so we’ve jumped right to the print. And we’re using a template, a template [inaudible 00:20:42], we have this type of headline with this type of image, and a logo goes here. And that is fine to have on the assembly line. But every once in a while, we need to be busting out and trying new things and new concept cars. And can we develop something that actually delivers more on the assembly line? Can we tweak new things? And even pre digital, I was the creative director on Dell. And Dell was such a really interesting model because it was everything we’re talking about now, but in phone. It was 310 Dell. And we tracked full page print ads that were covered with speeds and feeds, all configs.
And we knew that the back page of a Globe and Mail delivered at $15 cost per call, every single week. And we knew it. It was on an assembly line. But every once in a while, every quarter, we would go, “How do we get that down to $14? What if we put radio on air? Would that affect the print?” So we were constantly, and so we’d have things that were in the core that were on the assembly line, but we were committed both in budget and in activity, in trying other things to both compliment the core and to be introduced to the core. So that was a great example. Again, this is totally an old school example. But when you introduced radio, the radio itself didn’t deliver an acceptable cost per call, but it drove down the cost of the print, and so it complemented the stuff in the core. And so we’re always trying those things.
So if you’re a marketer and you’re client, you need to allocate spending to do those things. You need to allocate time to do those things. And here’s the most important part, you can’t say, “And give me some expected levels of performance.” The whole idea of a concept car is this thing is never going on the assembly line, that you just do it to do it. And then you go, “Oh, the gas cap, maybe this can be introduced into the assembly line.” So we get this a lot from people who come in and say, “We want to see something we’ve never seen before, and give us the metrics that we expect to get from.” That is not how logic works. That does not work that way.
Yeah. What’s the estimated miles per gallon on this car that’s never been driven? What can you tell me on that exactly? I love what you said about the budget side of that. I’m going to just take a second to delve down on this for listeners. My observation from the consulting side of our business at Convince and Convert, working with lots of big brands on social strategy, is that one of the challenges with social is that an annual budget cycle is ridiculous because things change so quickly. I mean, Facebook changes their mind every 20 minutes. You’ve got to make budget decisions based on that. You’ve got all kinds of new platforms cropping up, and things changing all the time. And a year is a really, really long time.
A, budget cycle’s too long. B, the percentage of brands, even big brands, that do not have an actually delineated testing budget in their overall social funding is incredible. So if you want to test something, you’ve got to pull money out of what you would call the core of the assembly line to test it, which makes it a lot harder to get approval for testing because you’re basically, let me starve this child to feed this child I’ve never met before. That’s a difficult decision to make. And I really encourage everybody out there listening to the show, if you don’t have a dedicated experimental social budget, create one in the next budget cycle and stick to it. It’ll make it a lot easier to do the kind of concept car work that Ron’s so passionate about, and that you’ll learn more about in his amazing book, Think, Do, Say.
The other thing, Jay, to complement that is that if you say, “Once a quarter on this particular date, we’re trying something new,” and what marketers will sometimes say is, “We get it. If there’s a new Tik Tok is out, and we need to try something on Tik Tok,” but there isn’t a new platform every quarter. I think that is actually where the best creative ideas come from, which is when there is nothing new. There is nothing that’s obvious to try. That’s when the pressure’s on. And that’s when the really creative ideas come in.
That’s such a great point because then you’ve got to say, “Let’s take an old dog and try a new trick,” in a real important way. I love it. Now this is going to be a controversial segment of the program, friends. One of the things that began as experimental in social and in public relations, or a convergence of the two, now is more core assembly line, and it’s the thing that Ron Tite is not a big fan of is influencer marketing. You say in the book, Think, Do, Say, that influencer marketing, which we talk about quite a bit here on the program because it is an important part of the modern social media landscape, Ron Tite, the person you are listening to right now on this episode of your favorite podcast, Social Pros, said these words in the book I recommended to you. I don’t necessarily recommend this page, but I do recommend the book. He said that influencer marketing is the largest breach of trust in consumer marketing in decades, which is a bold statement. Please explain yourself.
Please send hate mail to Ron Tite, care of … I must put a caveat in that, in that we do influencer programs here at the agency. So it’s not that I don’t believe in the power of influence. I know that in over the history of time, people have influence over other people’s purchase decisions. That is a fact. And that is something that we need. In music, we went from saying, “You don’t have to have the man tell you what music to listen to. You can listen to whoever the hell you want.” And now, because of everything that’s available, we’re at a place where people are saying, “Can someone just tell me what to listen to?” Because there’s a new service, I just heard about this yesterday, through Coke called Hella on the West Coast, that scrubs your social profiles of all your food delivery apps, and it’s a recommendation engine. Right? So we need and we look for people and things to simplify our lives, to put suggestions before us.
We need that for TV. We need that between Netflix and Amazon and Hulu and Disney Plus and ESPN Plus, and plus, plus, and plus, plus, plus. And then obviously, there’s still regular cable and broadcast television. People say it’s the golden age of TV. I’m like, “Well, kind of, but by the time you figure out what show to watch, the time you had to watch the show has been evaporated.”
I think what we should come out with is Ron Tite and Jay Baer’s TV Guide.
What we need is a guide to television that tells you what’s on and makes recommendations, maybe a small printed guide, mailed to households.
So I’m not avoiding your question. This is what I think has typically happened, and it happens over and over and over again. New social platform comes out that says you and your friends or your network can come together in a friendly environment, and you can engage, and this is all great. And they do that. And as that happens, eyeballs are taken away from traditional media, which is supported by advertising. And the advertisers freak out and say, “But we need to put our stuff in front of people. Where the hell does that happen?” And they go into social, or whatever the new platform is. And the people there go, “Ah, we came here to get away from advertising.” And those people go, “Oh, okay.” Or in the case of some most recent social platforms, they go, “We’re going to change the algorithm,” so you’ve got to pay to play. And then the brands say, “Well, what other way can we authentically get to our end consumer?” And they go, “These people. If we go to them, they will influence others.” So I get all that.
But the reason that most people tune into influencers is because they are able to say things that brands can’t say. They are able to create things that brands can’t. They have an honest perspective. And here’s the most important part, they don’t have a sales bias. I just want to trust somebody that says, “Buy these shoes,” who doesn’t have a bias for me buying the shoes. And the second that person, even if they say, “Hashtag ad,” now do I really believe them? And then we saw it pushed in the extreme ends of it, obviously not all influencers have done this. There’s 100 examples of the people copying and pasting the instructions from the PR agency into their social post. So now it’s like, “Well, who do I trust?” So at a time when people aren’t sure where to look, and they aren’t sure who to trust, I thought influencers are something that’s an amazing place to be, such a great media property because they didn’t have that sales bias.
And of course, the second the cash shows up, we lose, we choose profit over purpose. And so this contradicts the very nature of what an influencer is supposed to be. And so where I think influencers work really, really well is one of two places. One, if a brand treats them as a media property, I’m buying eyeballs. That’s all I’m doing. And it’s an easy calculation, to buy these eyeballs and that engagement level, is that cheaper than running an ad on NBC, or a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal? Do the math and tell me. The other way is if it’s a partnership with somebody who, well, may need to be compensated for is really more interested in the product, genuinely interested, genuinely interested in creating material that support that and is aligned on values. So I just think that we just lost so much trust when people started chasing cash.
What drives me crazy is when we talk about influencer marketing campaigns because then it really is just a transactional circumstance. What I always tell folks is, look, if you want to do influencer marketing, that’s great. But if you have an influencer who genuinely believes in your product, it’s not a campaign. That’s like a Supreme Court appointment. Right?
That person is an influencer for life. Why would you turn it into a three week, or a two month, or whatever circumstance? Just let them ride the horse forever until you no longer have horses. And that’s why I feel like to some degree, the way public relations has always kind of facilitated relationship building with journalists and others, I think PR oftentimes brings the right attitude towards influencer work, I’m not saying that PR should necessarily run all influencer programs, what have you. But they have a bias towards longevity of relationships and towards incremental relationship building that people in digital and advertising and other forms of comms don’t necessarily think about it that way.
And so I think it’s a perspective that’s really healthy and thoughtful. And I also feel like this idea that influencer marketing equals find the biggest celebrity you can afford, I get that, if you just want to, as you said, make it a trade off versus TV, radio, print, or outdoor. But ultimately, the best influencers are those that have genuine interest and knowledge of the product, as you mentioned. Right? And those are typically current customers, who may or may not have a tremendous amount of “influence,” and/or employees. Right? This idea of the citizen influencer, and kind of working inside out is actually much more interesting than outside in, and go find me a Kardashian.
Yeah. I agree with your sentiment on PR agencies. I think big and better, having a better mindset to support that, totally. I think the next big wave of influencer marketing is, you know how you could create a boy band by saying, “We’re going to take these four people who have interesting backgrounds, and we’re going to market them. And we’re going to make them stars.” And I think brands are going … What brands should be doing is they should be going to their own staff. And they should be saying, “Look. This person works in the camera department, and seems to have an ability, or an interest in talking about stuff in a really natural way. Let’s make them a star. Let’s make her a star. And let’s give them the tools, and let’s let them report on things live from the sales floor.” That adds a level of credibility with a blatant bias that I don’t lose trust in. And I think more and more, the larger organizations should be turning internally to see who they can develop as influencers, instead of going out and buying the influencers who have developed themselves.
I couldn’t agree more. It reminds me, it’s ironic, everything old is new again. It’s exactly what Chris Brogan and Julien Smith talked about in their seminal book, Trust Agents, which is now a decade old. That’s the exact same circumstance. It’s just now we have the tools and sort of the media weight to do that. You can make somebody a star with things like Facebook and Instagram, Tik Tok, SnapChat, what have you. A lot of those things were not around, or at least were much, much different than they are today 10 years ago when they wrote the book. And back then, it was sort of make somebody a star by giving them a blog and putting some promotion behind the blog. Obviously now, we’ve got a lot more opportunity there. I think you’re exactly right.
Ron, I’m going to ask you two things that we ask every guest here on the Social Pros Podcast, we conclude our episodes. Before I do that, friends, I just want to remind you. Ron’s book is called Think, Do, Say, available all the places and ways that books can be procured in this modern age. I recommend it to you highly. It is terrific. It’s super funny, but also very, very thoughtful. And it will inspire you to do better work. And if that’s something you can take away from those program, I think that is well worth your time and the 20 bucks it’ll cost you. Ron, what one tip would you give somebody who’s looking to become a social pro?
Ooh. Do it. I mean by do it, I have a friend who’s a TV writer, and he often has people come to him and say, “I want to write for TV.” And he says, “What have you written?” And the people go, “No. I want to. I want to become one.” And he’s like, “Well, show me a script.” And I think that is just the best way, is to immerse yourself and do it. And I get that some people are like, “I don’t like being a person that … ” Then create a character. Do something that launches something that you build from day one of having zero fans, followers, whatever you want to call it. Build something from the ground up. And it doesn’t matter if it’s fictional character, whatever. And do it, and mess around with stuff before you get into an environment where there is infrastructure and there are policies, and there’s legislation around what you can say and what you can’t say. Go completely raw and just build something yourself from the ground up. Do it to do it.
I love it. Yeah. Go. You don’t have to have a client. Go make your church amazing on Instagram. Or go blow up your kid’s soccer team on Tik Tok, or whatever. It can all be done. Just make it happen.
Last question for the one and only Ron Tite, founder of Church and State, author of Think, Do, Say. If you could do a video call with any living person, who would it be and why?
Ooh, a video call. I would say Steve Martin. I think that I spent 20 years as a standup comedian, but what I’ve loved about Steve Martin’s career is that it’s the constant pivot and the constant curiosity and the exploration, and going from people know him as Comedy Central voted him the sixth best standup comedian of all time. But before that, he was kind of Hollywood’s best comedy writer. And in Maple Leaf Gardens, which is where the Leafs used to play here in Toronto, only three non athletic events sold out Maple Leaf Gardens in the early ’70s. And that was The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Steve Martin. So he had this massive, massive success. And then he just continually kept evolving. And I saw him about three months ago, him and Martin Short on stage. He’s 73 years old. The guy’s written plays. He’s written novels. He was the lead curator of a Lawren Harris art exhibit. Toured art galleries around North America. And I love that he’s just constantly pursued creativity in new and meaningful ways. And yeah-
The guy won a Grammy for a banjo album.
Yeah. That’s right.
The Venn diagram of wildly successful standup comedians who have also won a Grammy for banjo is a very, very thin overlap.
It’s him and Emo Philips.
I do love Emo Philips. He is one of my all time favorites. When I was a kid, Emo Philips was the first one who ever got me into comedy. Cosby and Emo Philips, those are the two in that order.
My very first comedy bit I did in high school in grade 10 was Bill Cosby’s the dentist. And that’s when I realized it started. People thought about, oh, speaking. How long have you been speaking? Grade 10. It started in grade 10. And when I heard an audience of 500 people laugh with me on stage, I thought, “Oh, that feels good. How do I get more of that?”
We have that in common, same age, 10th grade. I didn’t do bits then. But that’s how I knew I could emcee and host shows because I was the one that they said, “We’re doing the talent show or the pep assembly. Who can introduce everybody?” Jay will do it. He’s not scared. It’s exactly right. Voted most likely-
I was the same. I was voted the go to host for everything, the hair band competition, everything.
All of it. Yep. And look at us now doing free podcasts to try to hock books with social media. Hey, before I let you go, speaking of podcasts, tell our friends out here about The Coup, which is just an absolutely tremendous podcast that Ron hosts, and he and his team produce. It is spectacular. Just give them a little taste of it.
Yeah, sure. So in one section of the book, where it really looks at the great disruptors in business are the ones who have solved problems the establishment can’t or won’t. And just that line of, oh, yeah, the establishment. That got me thinking that disruption really is, it’s not a disruption at all, it’s a coup of the establishment. In every category, the establishment is being taken out. And I wanted to explore that. And I wanted to explore it in a really kind of research heavy, scripted kind of format. And so we just, yeah, we look at how the establishment’s being taken in a variety of different perspectives.
The episode that launched this week was the Coup of Comedy, and how the establishment of comedy is being taken out by people who are getting more power in the silence that follows a punchline than the punchline itself. And so we do that with Roger’s Frequency, and we have season one that we’ll wrap in a couple of weeks. And then we’ll be back with season two. And I love it. It’s really fun. And thank you for the kinds words about it. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.
Yeah. I’m a huge fan. It’s called The Coup. If you like podcasts about business, disruption, innovation, give it a listen. It’s from our friend, Ron Tite. Ron, thanks so much for being here. Congratulations on the terrific book, and nothing but the best to you. We’ll see you down the road, hopefully.
Thanks, Jay. Thanks for everything. And for everybody who’s listening, thank you.
They say, “You’re welcome.” Fans, this has been hopefully your favorite podcast in the whole wide world. This has been Social Pros. Thanks, as always, to our sponsors. Adam will be back next time as well. I’m Jay Baer from Convince and Convert. Don’t forget, every single episode, now 400 shows going all the way back to January 2012, you can find them at socialpros.com. Thanks so much. See you next week.