Why Live Streaming Is the Best Way to Connect With Heart

Why Live Streaming Is the Best Way to Connect With Heart

Chris Strub, CEO of I Am Here LLC, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss the connective power of live streaming.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

Live Streaming and Narrow Scopes

Whether crafting a lengthy blog, trying to catch the perfect photo angle, or live streaming an off-the-cuff video, most marketers look at the numbers to gauge success. Analytics are crucial to understanding what is working, but higher metrics should never be the end goal.

According to Chris Strub of I Am Here LLC, you should always strive to be someone’s favorite. That may mean actually narrowing your scope a bit when creating content, counterintuitive as it may seem.

Affecting a handful of people is far more beneficial in the long run than reaching millions. When you create more customized and personal content, such as live streaming for a specific audience, you start to engage on a far more personal level, creating actual impact.

In This Episode

  • Why modern journalism could benefit from better storytelling on social.
  • How Facebook Live provides the perfect medium for real-time content from events.
  • Why you should be narrowing the scope of your content.
  • Why you should stop worrying about numbers and focus on being someone’s favorite.

Quotes From This Episode

“You have to play into the vanity of what people are consuming and the way they’re engaging with their audiences on social media.” — @ChrisStrub

“Be someone’s favorite.” — @ChrisStrub

It doesn't matter much what that content is. It's the fact that people know who you are. Click To Tweet


See you next week!

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Episode Transcript

Section 1 of 3 [00:00:00 - 00:17:04] (NOTE: speaker names may be different in each section)
Jay Baer:Hey, everybody. It's Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert, joined by Mr. Adam Brown, my special Texas friend from Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This is the Social Pros podcast, as you probably know. Man, what a show today with Chris Strub. I was inspired. I was like Braveheart ready to jump out of my desk and lead troops.
Adam Brown:I'll tell you, Jay, we never have a dearth of guests with enthusiasm and passion, but, my goodness, Chris is such an amazing fellow who's done some spectacular things in the nonprofit world, in the for-profit world, but the way he looks and approaches social, the way he approaches storytelling I think is really spectacular.
Jay Baer:He's a live video expert and a social storytelling genius. You'll hear about that in this episode and, also, if you can't get motivated by listening to Chris Strub, you need to have a heart check because, if this guy wasn't doing social media, he should be preacher. Enjoy this episode of the Social Pros podcast.
Hi, friends. This is Jay Baer from Convince & Convert, and thanks for listening to Social Pros. Our sponsors this week include ICUC. Did you know that every one-star increase in your Yelp rating can lead to a five to 9% increase in revenue? Embracing and engaging with online reviews on Google, Yelp, Amazon and more will directly impact your business. Get your free copy of the new E-book that I created in partnership with ICUC Social. It's called The Customer Is Always Right, The Power of Ratings and Reviews. You can get it at no cost. Go to bit.ly/embracereviews. That's bit.ly/embracereviews, all lowercase.
Of course, this show is brought to you by, this week, our friends at Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Social is more important than ever for B2B marketers, yet some have a hard time using it effectively. A new, complete guide from our friends at Salesforce will help. It's called, The Complete Guide To Social Media For B2B Marketers. It reveals the best types of content to use, how to measure your social more effectively. It is super fantastic. Grab it at bit.ly/socialb2bguide. That's bit.ly/socialb2bguide, all lowercase, and, now, here's this week's Social Pros podcast.
This is Social Pros and, today, our special guest is the CEO of I Am Here, author, speaker, man about town, humanitarian, some would say, the one, the only, Chris Strub.
Strub, thanks so much for being on the show.
Chris Strub:Jay, Adam, it's an absolute pleasure. I've been looking forward to this.
Jay Baer:This is it, right? This is the last line of your obituary was, "Once on the Social Pros."
Adam Brown:We're done here.
Chris Strub:I hope not, but we'll see. You never know.
Jay Baer:You are what, I guess some would call, including me, a professional social media storyteller, and that is a job title and an occupation that frankly did not exist, and it's not something that I ever envisioned or certainly my parents ever envisioned, or maybe you as well. Do you feel a certain amount of responsibility to the world having that kind of power in your hands?
Chris Strub:Absolutely. I think, as a "millennial", the idea of being a mobile, on the go-
Jay Baer:You said quote, unquote. You're either a Millennial or you're not. There's not really any-
Chris Strub:Sure.
Jay Baer:There's no question about that. It's more of a mathematical construct, but, yes, I appreciate that.
Chris Strub:Right in the heart of the millennial era here, I grew up in the newspaper industry. I cut my teeth at the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Upstate New York in Binghamton working on the copy desk, and I tweeted a bit about this yesterday that just thinking back about how much storytelling has changed even over the last decade has blown my mind, and I think, more valuably, it's blown the mind of the news industry, the media industry.
The way they come at storytelling probably feels a lot different to people that follow me that have seen my work because of that news background. I try and identify where the story is and, if there's a story to be told, I want to tell it, and what's really been fascinating for me over the last three or four years has been trying to step forward into the marketing industry, and take that news background and try and sell products or services that really bring value to the different companies that I work with.
Jay Baer:Do you feel like existing journalists, or what remains of the professional journalism community, could be more effective if they were better at social storytelling? I guess, said another way, could the type of social media storytelling that you're so good at, could that save journalism as we know it or is it too late?
Chris Strub:I think journalism is alive and well, but I think that people are consuming content from more and more sources, and they're doing so in different ways like podcasts. I love Instagram stories, livestream videos.
To answer the first part of your question, do I think that journalists could benefit from this? I think that's an understatement. I think they have to benefit from this. I think every news organization out there needs to be really strongly rethinking the way that they're telling stories because I think there's more and more data out there now, Jay, that shows that people have this unquenchable thirst for information. They just want it more quickly.
They want it delivered more personally. They can't wait for the newspaper to show up on the doorstep in the morning anymore, so I think these small news organizations, even local organizations around the country that we see folding every day, need to really look hard into platforms like live streaming video, like Instagram stories and even Snapchat, and look at how they're telling those exact same stories, but they're telling them in a totally different camera first, vertical video format.
Adam Brown:Chris, I tend to agree with you that I think the role of the journalist is changing and how a journalist tells a story has changed. I'm curious though your perspective of another side of the storytelling, and I know this is meaningful to you because you do a lot of Instagram stories, you're doing a lot of things with photography and imagery, so we've determined, yeah, the journalist has changed. What about the photographer? Has the way that a photographer or a photojournalist taken pictures and done their craft and the actual artistic product changed? Have you seen the way that a photographer-
Jay Baer:Yeah, everybody's wedding photo is vertical now.
Adam Brown:Yeah, but, Jay, I think that's actually a great add-on to the question. How has the tail wagged the dog as it relates to Instagram and social from the photojournalist's standpoint?
Chris Strub:I think a photojournalist falls into the same category as a lot of other creators in that they need to adapt to where people are consuming their messages.
I'm good friends with a visual artist. Her name is Cathy Nolan, and she's a sketch artist. She'll draw caricatures and such, and I talked to her about how you're presenting these products, how you're offering your services to people, and this was right after Facebook changed their profile pictures from square to circle, and I'm like, "Cathy, you should be changing your template. You should be changing the canvas that you're sketching on from square to circle because this is how your audience now is consuming that content. That's what they're looking for."
You have to play into the vanity of what people are consuming in the way that they're engaging with their audiences on social media, so do I think the photographers have adjusted? I think so, but I also think it's made a lot more of us photographers. I don't think that anyone that follows me would call me a photographer in that sense of the word, but I take tons and tons of pictures, so I think that we're seeing that [particlization 00:07:52]. We're really seeing the idea of photography and of journalism break down a bit, and we're in that attention-grabbing zone now where you have to think differently about how you're capturing that audience and bringing it forward and, of course, monetizing.
Jay Baer:Adam and I are old enough to remember when you had to buy film, which made it a little harder to take a ton of photos because every time you press that button, you are out 25 cents, right? It's a whole different story now, right?
Adam Brown:We had to wait for it to get processed at Kmart.
Chris Strub:I remember the little disposable cameras where you had to load the wheel there, and you only had 24 pictures that you could take. No, a totally different world now, and it's exciting to be at the forefront of a lot of these changes.
Jay Baer:Chris Strub is our guest this week on Social Pros.
Chris, among the many, many projects you've been involved in is you've worked with a lot of brands, a lot of nonprofits on Giving Days where you use Facebook Live and other storytelling platforms to encourage people to donate money for a particular cause and a particular set of circumstances. Can you talk about how you got involved? You are tremendous in your nonprofit endeavors. How did you get involved in that and why Facebook Live? If you're going to tell that story, you're going to say today is the day when we need you to dig deep and donate for whatever the circumstances are, why do you feel like Facebook Live is the right mechanism for that message?
Chris Strub:I love Giving Days, so you're referencing last year, I worked in Louisville, Kentucky, right up the road from you, Jay, and I'll be back there in a couple of weeks for Give For Good Louisville 2018. I actually just finalized the contract this morning to head down to San Antonio in March as well right after Social Media Marketing World, so some really exciting stuff coming up with these Giving Days.
Jay Baer:That's great.
Chris Strub:Thank you. I think that Facebook Live is the perfect medium for an event that's happening in the moment, especially when there's a lot of buzz that's happening, that people know what's going on at the different aspects of that event. I'm very bullish on Instagram stories. I recently launched learnigstories.com where people can go and learn how to create stories on the fly. That's really great when you're piecing a story together aspect by aspect. Something interesting might be happening in the morning and then later in the afternoon.
When I consult with these community foundations and different organizations working on a giving day, I say, "This is your Super Bowl. This is the big thing that happens for you each year. This is a day that, you know, hundreds, thousands of people within your community are looking forward to all year long," so, when they ask, "Oh, well, Chris, how much is too much?" You cannot overdo it on that day of giving, so, for me, going live is something that you want to try and focus on something that's really exciting that's happening. That 24-hour day of giving is far and away the most important day for over 500 nonprofits in the Kentuckiana area. People are going to be tuned in to their screens all day long. We want to give them as much content as we possibly can.
Adam Brown:I'm curious, Chris, as it relates to the Giving Days. One of the thing that you're masterful at is finding that right balance of emotion and the call to action, and I think, sometimes, whether you're working at a nonprofit or working in more of the for-profit realm, trying to find that right balance of the call to action and that emotional shoestring, if you will, is hard. I'm curious if you could give some advice to our listeners are doing programs. Maybe they are philanthropical or maybe they are for-profit. How do you find that right balance where it actually tugs at someone's heartstrings, but it doesn't pull them over and make them feel manipulated?
Chris Strub:This comes down to audience identification. When we're talking into our phones on Facebook Live, Periscope, whatever medium it is, it's really, really important to remember exactly who that person that you're trying to speak to is, and the more time you spend out in the community ... I know we, the three of us, travel around to different events, speak at different conferences and such, so the more time you actually get to spend with your audience, the easier this gets, but when you're broadcasting on Facebook Live or any other social media channel, you want to shape your message towards exactly that person that you know that you're speaking to, and that makes it a lot easier.
Amy Landino, I almost called her Amy Schmittauer, talks about this a lot. Remember that you're speaking to one person, but when you find that one person, you'll realize that there are lot of other people that fit that mold within that audience as well, so I'm always careful to do encourage organizations to construct their content with a specific audience in mind.
You can create content of different types where you're speaking to different audiences, but I think where a lot of these businesses and organizations tie their shoelaces together is they're trying to do it all in one shot. We think, okay, we're going to press Go live on Facebook, and, now, we're speaking to everybody, but, in fact, it's important to understand exactly what your objective is whether that's we're making that call to action to raise money, we're looking to find more volunteers. Maybe we're trying to recruit more board members, so we're going to have a conversation about why your business is so valuable and your ongoing contributions to Big Brothers Big Sisters have been so great throughout the year, so when you remember that you're speaking directly to a very pared down specific audience, it's a lot easier to achieve the objectives that you're looking for in that particular piece of content.
Adam Brown:Narrowcast, not broadcast?
Chris Strub:Exactly, but you can narrowcast in different directions, right? This is why we have five days in a workweek that, if you want to create one series of content where you're going to post the second Monday of each month and this is going to be what we're going to try and accomplish, that's great, and then you can try another channel. You can try another theme here. Lather, rinse and repeat for six months. See what's working, what's not working, and keep on trying, but that's really been the philosophy all along, Adam, is try, try, try again and see what works, and a lot of these organizations are just shy to try and get started in the first place because they feel that there's so much resources that need to go into it when, in fact, that's really not the case.
Jay Baer:We wanted to ask you about that. A quick tip, Amy Schmittauer Landino's episode here on Social Pros was episode 255. You can find in the show archives as well as every single show in the long history of this program at socialpros.com.
Chris, when you ask your nonprofit clients to have that idea of who they're speaking to, who their persona is, to use a marketing term, do they actually write that down for you as the host, as the Jerry Lewis of whatever sort of Giving Day telethon you may be involved in? Do you say, "Tell me who these people are." How does that knowledge transfer go from the nonprofit to you before you go on the camera?
Chris Strub:I mean, I think that the Giving Day in particular is a little bit different. When I'm talking about audience identification, we're really talking about building a strategy that's year round. They do a great job of this in Louisville where they have this series of Facebook live streams called Getting to Know the Good where Cara, the marketing head there, is traveling around Kentuckiana and interviewing the different organizational representatives, where the audience is going to be that specific to that org. It's the podcast model, where we're speaking to all the different audiences within our reach there.
I think when the actual Giving Day rolls around, that's when we want to bring in as broad an audience as possible, and that's where having someone with my stature and someone with my energy level is going to benefit the organization, because I'm not there 364 days a year, but when you're bringing in that personality, so to speak, you're bringing in that high energy, high enthusiasm guy, now I'm trying to explain to you why each of these organizations is so important to everyone in that community, so I know that sounds counterintuitive to the answer that I just gave ...
Jay Baer:No, it makes sense.
Chris Strub:... but the giving day is really that's where everybody comes in and says, "Oh, what's happening here? Now I want to follow this organization all year round and make that donation."
Jay Baer:You do a lot of your work, obviously, out of home, right? You're going to Louisville. You're going to San Antonio. You're all over the place doing this kind of work. In fact, you're the author of a fantastic book called 50 States, 100 Days, where you actually lives treamed everywhere in the United States, which is no joke.
You're the first one to do that, to livestream in every single American state, so, number one, I want to know which state is the best to livestream in, but, number two, you are always running and gunning and doing video wherever. What tips do you have for our listeners who might feel like, "Well, Chris, I need to control it. Man, I need a studio. I need a professional lighting rig. I need to have quiet on the set," and you're just out there taking videos in a parking lot, so, obviously, you're been able to figure out how to do that. What advice would you give them?
Chris Strub:Let's start with the first part of your question. I love the state of South Carolina. I moved to Greenville for a year. I absolutely adore the community there, so shout out to everyone there. #yeahthatgreenville across all their social media channels. You're going to fall in love with that community the moment you see it.
The second part of your question now about controlling all the variables and not being shy about livestreaming is much more important. I think it's really-
Section 1 of 3 [00:00:00 - 00:17:04]
Section 2 of 3 [00:17:00 - 00:34:04] (NOTE: speaker names may be different in each section)
Chris Strub:Not being shy about live streaming is much more important. I think it's really important to understand as my T shirt says, I know we're on audio only, that we are all famous to a few people. It's my favorite quote from my friend Joe Wilson. When you think about that audience that you're speaking to your audience really wants to hear from you. One thing, one recurring theme that I've heard on the Social Pros Podcast that I keep on coming back to you guys is that you want to try and be someone's favorite. I want to be your favorite person that you're watching on social media.
When I'm live streaming on the go, I know that I'm not going to get 1000 people watching. If I just go press that, as fans, I would say press that damn button. I know that we're not going to attract this enormous audience. But I'm trying to grow that know, like, and trust factor with the 10, 12, 15, 20 people that are going to tune in. I never look at social media, and I'm thinking about even writing a book about this Jay. The two dimensionality of follow and unfollow, the binary nature of that. Versus the three dimensionality of okay, somebody follows me, but I'm their absolute favorite person.
That's always what I'm after is if I can press that button, I can go live, and people are going to come watch me, how can I respect their time? And what value can I provide, when I go back to the idea that we are all famous to a few people, you and I both travel all the time. I see you're on Instagram stories all the time showing some of your travels, 99% of the population doesn't travel nearly as much as we do. So for us, when we can show off something that's happening in San Antonio or Santa Fe or Montana or wherever it is, that alone is the value that we can deliver. It's not about us, it's about what we can show to the world.
Periscope had that same philosophy, right? It's the world through your eyes. We have been blessed as speakers to get a chance to go on the road and show so much more of what's happening. It's a really special opportunity that I recognize that I can brighten someone's day by pressing that button. It makes it a lot easier to feel free and to feel confident about doing so.
Jay Baer:This idea of live streaming in 50 states, 100 days, absolutely love it. It's near and dear to my heart. It reminds me a lot of something that we did at Coca Cola 10 years ago, which was called Expedition 206, where we sent three young bloggers around the world to visit 206 countries in 365 days and toast a coke in each country. And it was a logistical challenge. You can only imagine trying to get people into a lot of countries where people aren't necessarily even allowed.
Here's my question, because I thought your book was so fascinating, the idea of that. I know one of the challenges that you've often remarked is that brands and companies aren't doing as many experience or experimental types of things right now. There's a little bit of risk adversity. 10 years ago, I think the only reason I was able to give that passed to Coca Cola because everything was experimental at that point. Every brand was trying all these new things. Today, not quite happening. Why is it taking place? Why are brands not experimenting? Why are brands not doing what you just did? And you talk about in 50 States, 100 days Chris, why is this risk aversion come across?
Chris Strub:Right, first off, that if I knew the exact answer, I'd probably be out doing another road trip experience right now and not sitting here on the couch. So, it's something that I think about every day, and it's something that I try and challenge brands to think about every day as well, that there is this natural curiosity, there is this fascination with what I call road trip marketing. I think that some of the brands that have-
Jay Baer:Oh, I like that.
Chris Strub:Yeah. Some of the brands that have experimented with this have seen-
Jay Baer:That's your book title right there.
Chris Strub:It should be. I actually published a second book, it's called Fight For Good Toward The Book with the one brand that did really take a huge step into it last year, which was the Salvation Army USA. I took a road trip to 25 states in 38 days. And Jay, just like we were just talking about in the last answer there, this experiment didn't reach 800 billion people. It wasn't the largest campaign ever created. But for the people that that campaign reached, it has blown them away.
The readers of 50 States 100 days, the book, I may not be a best seller yet. I still got the fingers crossed because the books not bad. But when you read that book, people have gone to great lengths to record video reviews. They've gone to great lengths to tell me that they carry the book along with them in their purse, their pocketbook, they keep it in their car. And they say, "Chris, when I need to smile when I'm having a bad day, I go back and I reread my favorite chapter of this book." To me, that means more than selling 100000 copies.
Adam Brown:Reach is massively overrated, right? Reach does not equal impact. You see that every year in the Super Bowl. Some company spends like millions and millions and millions of dollars on a TV commercial that doesn't move anybody, it doesn't cause any behavior change, it doesn't cause any attitude change. And so I think it's easy in marketing to get caught up in thinking about numbers and total audience and addressable audience. But you're exactly right, Chris, if you can change how any number of people feel, that's more important than reaching a bunch of other people who don't care.
Chris Strub:Yeah. And I think when you go back to the name of my company, I Am Here, right? When we think about the experience of actually meeting someone, not just me, but meeting someone who represents a brand. When I got to Little Rock, Arkansas, or New Orleans, Greenville, South Carolina along this trip, it wasn't, "Oh my God, Chris Strub is here." It's, "Oh my God, there's a representative of National is here, right?
So, even in working with the National commander of the Salvation Army, Dave Hudson in Washington, DC, his role as the face of the organization, as the ambassador, everyone should know who that guy is. Everyone should be following him on Twitter and following his social media channels and everything. But the idea of, putting an ambassador on the road that represents your brand. I think there's so much more Adam, to unwrap with this idea of road trip marketing. The trips that I've gone on have been so fast paced. And even 50 States 100 Days was so quick, that it didn't really allow the audience to embrace, and understand, and absorb what was happening. But when you start to mix together the idea of road tripping across the country. Damien Ross is doing a great job of this as well, traveling around the road to 300 and everything. How can you mix your travels together with bringing people together in that particular community?
Now, we've blended together the best of both worlds, and we're able to create those really tight knit communities, where the people that aren't traveling around get a chance to see the magic that's happening on a national level.
Adam Brown:That's a good point, Chris. I want to spend a little bit more time on that, and specifically the Salvation Army project. Because I'm a huge fan of the Salvation Army. It's one of my favorite charitable organizations. I think they just do amazing, amazing work for amazing people. The idea of you using the word communities I think, is powerful. You even mentioned one of the inherent challenges of only 100 days, 50 states, you're in and out. And that, in a way is part of the nature of PR and event marketing and things like that.
My question for you is, how do you book in that? Because I think when you book it, and make the time and the experience longer, not only do you have the opportunity to reach more people in a more meaningful way, but it also makes it seem a little more genuine and authentic. You're not in and out and off to the next one. How do you do that? How do you book in, even if you can only be in a particular location or venue or talking about a topic for four or five hours? How do you make that a meaningful week of interactions?
Chris Strub:I've always tried to think about the marketability of the campaigns that I've done, both on my own and with, say, the Salvation Army, right? The Salvation Army adventure wasn't originally going to be 25 states, it was going to be 21 states or something. And I said, "Well, okay, if I'm on a podcast with, Jay Baer and Adam Brown, it doesn't roll off the tongue. It doesn't immediately come to mind what that campaign, what that project was, right? Same thing with 50 States 100 Days, it's not 47 states in 132 days. Because there are a lot of people that travel, there's a lot of people that are on road trips, or they might go fly on vacation or whatever it is. 50 states, 100 days, it sticks with you.
That is associated in a lot of people's minds with the Chris Strub brand. And when we go back to the great conversation that you guys had with Mark Schaefer a while back about being known, that's really the most important thing, right? Is it doesn't even matter as much what that content is, it's the fact that people know who you are. Same thing with Marcus Sheridan, right? Once you're in the door, once people know who you are, then you have the opportunity to get in to develop that trust even deeper, and then eventually to sell.
But for me, I try and book in and I try and wrap my travels into a nice little bow so that when other people are talking about it, when Adam and Jay are having a conversation offline about it, oh, it's 50 States, 100 Days, right? This is the 50 States, 100 Days guy. It's very simple, it's easy to remember even if I'm not part of the conversation. So, I always try and think of how other people perceive those travels from a big picture perspective.
Adam Brown:I know one thing that you're doing right now along with your work is a bit of self-promotion. I know one of your sites is socialwithstrub.com. That links directly to your Facebook community. I'm curious how you're doing marketing and promotions not just for yourself, but I Am Here as well as your book. How do you compare and contrast, and how do you make sure that the cobblers kids don't go barefoot, and that you're spending the right amount of time marketing yourself and anybody who is a sole proprietor, or has their own agency or team knows that so much of the job is filling the funnel and working on what your next gig is going to be. But for many of us, it's the part we dislike the most. How do you find that balance?
Chris Strub:Adam, this is a really great question. I've been working with a new mentor out in Phoenix. Her name is Bella Vasta. The first thing that she did when I met with her last month was she handed me a copy of this book. And again, I know, we're not on video but this is Rise Of The Youpreneur by Chris Ducker, right?
Adam Brown:Great book.
Chris Strub:It's a great, great book, and great conversation that you guys had with him on Social Pros. I'm sure Jay will bring up the episode number here.
Jay Baer:I will have to search it out. But yes-
Adam Brown:Back to the database now.
Jay Baer:But I'm the keynote speaker at the Youpreneur Conference in London in two months. I can't wait to be there.
Chris Strub:Oh, awesome. That's super cool. Adam it's really really difficult, and I think it's a balance that I'm struggling to find every single day. I think that a lot of the listeners here are trying to balance with that as well. And I could even take another step back and you can say, "Well, Chris, you quit your 9:00 to 5:00 back in 2014 to pursue this entrepreneurial thing." I don't even know if that was the right move, to go all in and to give up the day job, and then not try and balance the Chris Strub brand versus, working at an advertising agency all day.
I know, it's a question that a lot of listeners are probably struggling with as well. So, I think the actual answer has been, it's come at the cost of a lot of my social life. I had a birthday last week. I find myself working a lot of late nights, and-
Adam Brown:Did you live stream your birthday?
Chris Strub:Oh, you have to. You have to of course. We went out for hibachi. I was doing Saki with my grandma, and her boyfriend next to me, and everything on Instagram Stories, it was terrific. But guys, this really comes down to some real life sacrifices that you have to make if you're in this constant pursuit of success, right? And I know that there's sacrifices that you guys have gone through. I see that the journeys of some of the biggest speakers and the social media leaders in the space. We talk about you know Pat Flynn and Marcus Sheridan and all these, Brian Solis and all these guys and how dedicated they are to their craft. I'm really dedicated to trying to be one of the greatest storytellers of my generation.
That requires a lot of extra work. When you say robbing Peter to pay Paul, I'm trying to pay all of them, and keep all these balls juggling in the air at once. It's not easy, but I know that there's a lot of great dividends to come in the future.
Jay Baer:You've got a new course now live streaming for nonprofits as well, which is something that boy, I tell you what, if you're a nonprofit, I'm on the board of a few organizations here in Bloomington and I'm going to make sure that as a condition of my participation everybody gets involved in your course. Because as you said, it's something that every organization needs to be doing because universally, nonprofits are typically really, really bad at showing potential donors, volunteers, partners, even other stakeholders what it really is all about. They might have some terrible still images from five years ago. They're just not good at it. Partially because they're busy doing their job, they're busy helping people not busy telling their story. It's a budget thing or time thing. So, I'm really excited that the course is out there live streaming for nonprofits to find that on Chris's site. Obviously, you can find it in socialpros.com
Speaking of Chris Ducker, Episode 195 where he ironically talked about Periscope, and Episode 305 as well. A double dip of Chris Ducker brilliance. Strub, let me ask you this, you are I think, generally speaking a proponent of the notion that social media is a democratizer, right? That social media levels the playing field. That it allows the small to be mighty if you tell better stories. I think that's true, certainly spiritually. But we're getting into an era now, where paid is no joke, right? Where paid social is a serious part of the equation, especially for brands. Do you feel like social still democratizes the way it once did? And will it continue? Or are we going to find ourselves in a situation where the rich get richer?
Chris Strub:I think that social media is a democratization of the ideas and the values that we have out there. But I also think that these platforms, Facebook in particular, have a monopoly on where our attention goes. Of course, they're going to monetize that as best they can. What we're going to continue to see is that bigger organizations that have the resources to gather and accumulate these stories are going to work to bring those in, and they're going to continue to keep their fingers on the scale, and they're going to continue to push out the little guy as much as possible.
Which is why I always try and stand up for these organizations. Thank you for the kind words about the live streaming for nonprofits course. But I think it's very, very important that organizations that want to continue to stay afloat and continue to have their messages heard, need to focus on creating content that is not necessarily three times a week, or three times a day. It's not based on the frequency that you're putting it out there. It's based, as we've talked about throughout this hour here on the impact that you're creating with your voice and with your message.
I don't own a lot of the fancy camera equipment. I don't own a lot of the sophisticated media stuff that some of these bigger producers have. I've been blessed to work with some brands that do, and make me look really good sometimes, which is great. But I think the most important thing that we can continue to emphasize to everybody that has a story out there is that your voice matters. Jay, I think this is actually bigger than a business question. This gets to the mental health of people that are spending a lot of time on social media as well that people get caught up in seeing perfection sometimes on social media. I always try and point out at any possible juncture that we all have a voice, and we all have a say for a reason, right? That even if your story isn't getting viewed by as many people as you think.
If someone is out there watching, then it's very, very important that you continue to deliver your message out there. And if no one's watching your content, I want you to send a tweet to @chrisstrub and you can copy @jaybaer as well, and we'll come check out what you're doing and let you know that you're doing a good job as well. Because, this business stuff is really, really important to me. But I do worry sometimes about the mental health of some of our viewers and our listeners as well.
Jay Baer:Couldn't agree more.
Adam Brown:I think you're seeing it with a lot of creators on YouTube and the like that are having so much challenge with burnout and creating content in it. As you said, Chris, being perfect. Obviously, we want high production values on everything we want to do. But at the same point, you're going to hit a wall at some point. So, I think that's very true and I thank you for that thought. Chris Strub, CEO of-
Section 2 of 3 [00:17:00 - 00:34:04]
Section 3 of 3 [00:34:00 - 00:50:19] (NOTE: speaker names may be different in each section)
Adam Brown:Thank you for that thought. Chris Strub, CEO of I Am Here, proprietor of socialwithstrub.com, author of 50 States, 100 days-
Jay Baer:That's so good. You're like, "Where's Chris? He's here."
Adam Brown:-The Book.
Jay Baer:Where is he now? Where is Chris?
Adam Brown:Still here.
Chris Strub:People do love the brand. It's always fun when you're traveling around. It stands out.
Jay Baer:It's genius. You're always here.
Chris Strub:[inaudible 00:34:21] Yeah, it's cool.
Adam Brown:It's kind of a who's on first of marketing. Love everything you're doing. You mentioned that about four years ago you decided to leave an Ad agency and start doing your own thing?
Chris Strub:Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Adam Brown:You also mentioned something that I was thinking, that a lot of our listeners are probably all thinking about this, at some given time. I'd love if you could talk a little bit about how you got here, I am here, and talk a little bit about that decision you made back in 2014?
Chris Strub:Oh gosh, Adam, there's some days in your life where you feel a giant pit in your stomach, and I-
Jay Baer:I had that day yesterday, so we're on the same page.
Chris Strub:Well, I had that day this afternoon about 2:55. I'm like, "I'm going on with Jay and Adam. This is crazy."
Jay Baer:Yeah, [inaudible 00:35:06] my sake, this is it. This is going to be a big pivot point for you in your career I'm sure.
Chris Strub:Quitting my 9:00 to 5:00 was the hardest decision that I had even made in my career. You get really comfortable with what you're doing. Not the humble brag, but I had established a pretty good rapport in upstate New York. I was giving seminars and stuff on behalf of the company. We had grown the clientele a ton. We had 100% retention rate, which was awesome. We were making money. It was a lot of fun, but I also could see this digital tsunami coming. This personal-brand opportunity that was there. I could see YouTube and on Facebook, the way that people were succeeding on their own.
The trip that I never really talk about is the first trip that I went on. I actually quit my job in 2014, Adam, to go on a 48-state road trip, where I told myself my goal was to become the Casey Neistat, right? I'm like, "I'm going to go. I'm going to drink beers. I'm going go to baseball games. And I'm for going to live this social media creator life, right? This is it. This is what I have to do is take this leap." I bought a GoPro and a selfie-stick, and this was before Instagram stories and live streaming and all this stuff came out.
When that trip, Adam, I felt this really gnarly, empty feeling in my stomach that was like, "Well, wait a second. There's no paychecks. I'm applying for these jobs and they're not coming. I've got some nice pictures," but it was a really deep reminder to me at 28 that I was chasing the wrong ... And I don't want to give away my answer to the bonus questions that we get here at the end, but I was chasing the wrong objectives. I had my heart set in the wrong place.
So, that led to a lot of really lonely, emotional nights in that fall of 2014 that led to wanting to work with all these nonprofits around the country. I had a volunteer experience in December 2014 with Pay Away the Layaway, which is an organization that helps parents and grandparents pay off gifts for their kids in low-income areas. And I got addicted to that immediately. "I was like, I need to feel that emotion of helping people, of bringing joy to people. How do I do that?"
Guys, over the last few years that has evolved so much. I had no idea what this 50 States, 100 Days thing would turn into. I said during the trip that I probably wouldn't fully understand it for at least 10 years after I completed it. It was that big of a life thing for me, and now it's taken on this life of its own. It's brought me to keynote stages. I used to think like, oh man, if I get a reply back on Snapchat from Brian Fanzo this will make my whole week. And now I'm presenting on stage alongside Brian Fanzo.
When you set your goals really big, and you have your heart in the right place, there's no limit to what you can do. I think now, in 2018, with the way that we can use multimedia to communicate with one another through social media and build relationships with folks like you and many of the others in this space, I think that the opportunities are there so much deeper than they were even four years ago.
Adam Brown:Chris, one thing I'm gleaning from listening to you during this podcast recording is a sense of persistence. And I think that is so important. And I think it's emblematic, Jay, of a lot of folks that we have on this show. I know you're going to give your advice as part of your two big questions to Jay here in a little bit, but as it relates to persistence, what's the secret sauce there? How do you capture that, and then how do you use that as your driving ambition or force? Or is it something else entirely and I'm just way off the reservation here on that?
Chris Strub:I think a few years ago I would have answered this simply by saying you have to believe in your vision as a solopreneur, as a creator. This has been a difficult road for me, but I think over the last couple years I would definitely add that you have to try and have your heart in the right place. When you're traveling around and you're meeting people and you remember how blessed you are. I know Jay is on stage every day in some different country or different state, it is truly, truly humbling to get a chance to speak in front of people, to get a chance to have someone download this episode and listen.
So, when you realize the value of someone's attention ... And I got myself really excited for this by listening to your episode, Jay, with Gary Vaynerchuk yesterday when we talk about-
Jay Baer:Great one.
Chris Strub:-day-trading attention, right? We understand the value of people's attention. I try and really value when people give me their attention, I don't take that for granted. That's why every time I go on a livestream, every time I put myself out there on an Instagram story or whatever platform, I try and deliver value. Sometimes things happen for a reason. I always try and schedule my podcasts in bunches. I'll wait till I launch something or I have a book coming out or something like that, and this is when I got an email from Jay and I'm like, "All right, let's do it. This is it. We're going to make this happen. I don't have anything super cool to announce or anything, but serendipity is a crazy thing."
I just try and remember that when you have your heart in the right place, you build relationships with people, and you genuinely care about people, they want to care about you, they want to support you, they want to help you back. I think in 2018 and beyond, this power of video really, really opens you up to some great opportunities that you may not even ever expect.
Jay Baer:It's not only for an individual like you, Chris, or myself or Adam, but it's true for brands as well. It's true for Salesforce. It's true for all of our sponsors. It's true for all the brands represented by our listeners. People want to be a part of it if you let them in, and do it in the right way. Gary Vaynerchuk was on Social Pros episode 96 as well as episode 212, which is one that Chris just referenced a second ago. I couldn't agree more about your question though, Adam. You didn't ask it to me, but I'll answer it anyway because it's my show, about persistence.
I came up in this industry 10 years ago in that "social media industry" with a lot of bloggers and contemporaries who were doing the similar thing. Some of those folks are out there, Chris mentioned some of them during today's episode, but a lot of those folks aren't anymore. I was at an event recently, doesn't matter which one, and somebody said, "Really, it's amazing what you've done with your career and disproportionate to some other people and whatever." I said, "Look, there's no secret to that. It's just that I never stopped doing it, right? A lot of other people stopped, or they got a job, or they changed their focus, or they decided it wasn't for them, or they couldn't handle the travel, or they couldn't work that hard every single week for a decade." They just couldn't keep it up, right? And that's not a judgment at all. It's just there's no secret sometimes other than just continuing to put one foot in front of the other, and just never letting your foot off the gas.
Chris Strub:Yeah, the secret for me really, Jay, has been the messages that you get from viewers and readers and listeners. As I've referenced before, someone like Kim Gaskill, or Margo Kelly, I've developed this community and it's not enormous, it's not about the numbers to me. It's about the impact. When I got to Social Media Marketing World and saw Sarah Moore, which is actually how I met Jay Baer back in February, standing in line getting a coffee and I said, "Hey, there's Jay. I got to go say hello." I'm very glad that I did. But when I saw Sarah Moore there, she sprinted down the hallway at the San Diego Convention Center and jumped into my arms and said, "Chris Strub is here."
For me, that made my whole week in that five seconds, right? That it's about the impact that you have on people. I'm never going to be the most popular guy at the event, I'm never going to be the best-selling author. But I know that there are people out there that have had emotionally challenging days, weeks, years, and the fact that something that I created can help them get through that, how can you quantify that? How can you put a price on that? There's no amount of data that anyone can show me that's ever going to replace the impact that that had on me. And that's the philosophy that I try and take with every brand that I work with. I think that brands can benefit from doing the same thing with their customers, is stop thinking about how you're going to get more and more and more and more and more people into the funnel and think about how you can expand the impact that you're having on those that are already there, and let them be your ambassadors. Let them shout your name from the rooftops, let them send the email to Jay Baer that says, "Hey, Jay, I know this guy who I think would be great for Social Pros." And now, I'm on social Pros, right?
I've been blessed to have that sort of introduction happen so many times just by trying to be good to people at every turn. As you guys both talked about, it's that persistence. I'm not going anywhere. I believe in the value of what I do. I've got a goal now of being one of these two timers. Call me back for episode [inaudible 00:44:33]
Jay Baer:There's not very many. It's a pretty small list actually. I don't know, we should do the math on that sometime, Adam. I think it's probably only a dozen, maybe or something.
Adam Brown:I would say, yeah.
Jay Baer:Yeah.
Adam Brown:12, 15.
Jay Baer:That's right. We're going to make that happen, Chris. You know what's coming as a longtime listener to the show, I'm going to ask you the two questions we've asked everybody here on the show, now dating back 300 and whatever number episodes we're on now. What one tip, would you give somebody who's looking to become a social pro?
Chris Strub:Just be good to people, to have your heart in the right place, to build relationships intentionally, and to not give up. To be persistent. Oh, now, I remember I was going to say. I forgot about this because we were talking about in the last answer. But the real answer I was going to give, I actually prepared to answer this, and then I forgot what it was because we got so deep into that conversation. The real answer is to set big goals, right? Because in 2015, my goal was to visit nonprofits in all 50 US states in 100 days. And I did it, and then two days later, I turned 30, and then I was left holding the bag again.
When I set the goal to go to all 50 states, a lot of the listeners might say, like, "Oh, man, that's pretty cool." Yeah, but what does it leave you with? What does that really accomplish? The emotional impact is great, and that's cool, but from a business perspective, it hasn't really been sustainable. Which is why if you follow my career, it's been this exciting tailspin over the last few years-
Jay Baer:50 states plus [inaudible 00:46:06] that's the next sentence.
Chris Strub:So, when you set your goals, especially now, there are people out there in that are highly placed that want to help you get there. But before you get there, you have to understand what success looks like. For me, I think one of my fallacies over the last few years has been not setting big enough goals. And I'm not making that mistake anymore. For me, it's about setting the goals and understanding the roadmap to get there depends on you understanding what the destination is first. Sorry, that took me a second to get that-
Jay Baer:No, it's great. I love it.
Adam Brown:Sounds great.
Jay Baer:Chris, if you could do a video call with any living person, who would it be and why?
Chris Strub:I went back and forth in my head about this one for a while. Today is an interesting day for both of them. My two choices, they're not in the social media industry of course. One of them is Tiger Woods, who is a couple over par today. So, I'm going to have to instead go with my favorite artist of all time, Eminem. I'm just fascinated with his craft, his career, the persistence that he's shown over the years, the impact that he's had on so many people. And he just released a surprise album this morning, which you wake up, you check Twitter, and you see Eminem trending.
Whenever you see somebody trend, and you say, "Oh, no, oh, no, oh, no." And then you say, "Okay, it's something great." So, I would love to pick the brain of Eminem. Super quick story Jay before we wrap up.
Jay Baer:Sure.
Chris Strub:The power of Twitter, which I know you've talked to a number of guests about the power of Twitter. A few years ago, I was sitting on Twitter at my day job, and I saw a tweet that was retweeted by Eminem that was the first 25 people to follow this account and tweet this hashtag get a chance to see me live in concert tonight at Hammerstein Ballroom. This was when he wasn't touring, and I'm like, what? So, I immediately slam that reply button and I got this DM back from a company that was working with Eminem. I got two tickets to go see Eminem in a private showing at Hammerstein Ballroom for free, open bar, I was 20 feet way from the guy. This was 2012.
So, whenever somebody asked me about the power of Twitter, I always spin that story back out at them and say, "Yeah, would you like to see Eminem for free-
Adam Brown:Free Eminem.
Chris Strub:Hammerstein Ballroom?
Jay Baer:It's a good story.
Adam Brown:To see Eminem.
Jay Baer:Ladies and gentlemen, you can tweet right now and see Chris Strub for free anywhere out there. 50 States In 100 Days, among other places. He'll be in Social Media Marketing World and where else are you going to be Chris? Where else are we going to see you?
Chris Strub:Boy, I am keynoting. We talked about traveling to the UK, Jay, I am keynoting marketed.live-
Jay Baer:Oh nice. Awesome.
Chris Strub:-a few weeks before ... You were back there with Chris Ducker, in Nottingham on September 25th. So, I've got a relatively open calendar after that. I've got a few surprises that are coming as well. Got a nice project. I was actually just out in Indianapolis working on a quasi-secret project that I'll reveal a little bit more about real soon. But it's related to 50 States, 100 Days. And it's really, really cool Jay.
Jay Baer:I hope it's 50 pork tenderloin sandwiches in 50 counties in Indiana. Because if that's the case, you've got a wing man.
Adam Brown:That's delicious.
Chris Strub:Let's make it happen, for sure.
Jay Baer:Because that is our specialty out here. Chris, thank you so much for being on the show. It was fantastic catching up with you. Congratulations on all the success, and all the great work. We really enjoyed it.
Chris Strub:This was such a pleasure. Thank you so much guys. This is an absolute honor, and I'll see you back on episode 641-
Jay Baer:We got to market right now. Put on the spreadsheet-
Adam Brown:We're scheduling it now.
Jay Baer:We're scheduling it now, exactly. We'll send you a calendar invite.
Adam Brown:[inaudible 00:49:45], there you go. Thank you.
Jay Baer:Yeah, just the assumptive clothes. I like it. Ladies and gentlemen, every single episode, including all the way to 641, assuming we're still doing this by then. I don't know how many more years that'll be like? Gosh, six more years? Yeah, maybe. You can find them on socialpros.com all the transcripts, all the recordings, all the links, all the special stuff. Sometimes there's some prizes in there. You'll appreciate that. Thanks as always to Adam Brown and Salesforce, Chris Strub for being on the show. We'll see you next week with what is hopefully your favorite podcast. This has been Social Pros.
Section 3 of 3 [00:34:00 - 00:50:19]
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