By DJ Edgerton (@wiltonbound)
Well…not completely…but my recent interactions with Chris in Bogota revealed to me a whole bunch of what makes him special. Off stage & un-blogged. Chris Brogan is the EF Hutton of social media. What he posts, people read. What he tweets…people Re. He is one of the most sought after speakers and consultants in the social media space. He get’s $22,000.00 a day for his time for goodness sake.
He spent 3 days of last week with me in Bogota visiting my firm Zemoga. I invited him over a year ago after we arranged a DC Comics Studio tour for him in NY on the heels of his post and while he was visiting NYC. He’s a bit of a comic book geek. We are too. Shared experience and interest. Catalyst activated.
Was there an agenda? Hell yeah…it was to expose him to Zemoga and build a relationship. We were able to leverage our DC Comic relationship to get him entry into something we knew he valued. He blogged about it. We got some notice. No harm, no foul, no $22,000.00 invoice. The foundation was set and the mortar was trust.
Over the next 9 months I attended several industry events that Brogan was at. Zemoga was getting deeper into servicing clients in the SM space and I wanted to gain insight from others. I was not surprised at what I was being told. The premise of Social Media seemed so basic and so inherently a part of human nature. What did surprise me is how some people seemed perplexed by the changing nature of servicing the consumer relationship, especially the larger brands and agencies. Had they become so inhuman?
At these events Chris is a fixture. I did not get in his face, I respected his space, I stayed connected and tried to remain relevant. If not on stage, Chris is often surrounded by people who were looking for added insight and pearls from him. He always accommodates. I invited him to Bogota after seeing him at the Izeafest event. I felt I had to make up for kicking his ass at Karaoke the night before. @prsarahevans and I took home the gold. He took me up on my invite. It started to click and make sense. I could see a “what is all the fuss about” in his eyes.
What came so naturally to me and my team in Bogota in servicing clients and consumers did not immediately to others it seemed. But not Chris. This is how he lives. This is why he has become so successful. This is why his is a respected voice in Social Media. It’s natural for him. He’s not a dick. No one wants to do business with a dick, no matter how smart they are.
I assure you, his humanity is genuine. I saw it first hand in Bogota with my team. I say he was naked because he was just being himself, having fun and discovering. During the visit, I never suggested…”I’d like you to do this…or blog this…or tweet this.” I simply asked him to give Zemoga and Bogota a chance to win him over. Something that I knew was layup…and you need to visit to understand why.
My challenge is to get the world to understand just how magical the innovation is that comes out of Bogota, Colombia. “From Bogota with Love” is our tagline. I have a bunch of US agencies on board banging down our doors, but most of them would rather keep this little secret to themselves. What better way to let the brands I so desire to work learn about our passion from Chris Brogan and his global agents of good intention.
So, Chris came to Bogota last week. It cost me $1,200.00 for his hotel and airfare. That’s all I offered. No set agenda. No project to discuss. No $22,000.00 a day rate. Nothing but a keen interest in delivering on a curiosity about Zemoga and Bogota, Colombia I had planted in Chris a year ago. Chris is curious. It’s what drives him. This most basic of human emotions drives him to discover and share. And that’s the point of his tweets, his blog and his books. Would we ever have tried to land on the moon without the hope of telling others what we discovered?
Chris has already helped Zemoga. Chris knows we are there to help him. If it makes sense, it will happen. I know he knows us. I know he trusts us. We are now agents for each other.