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How To Motivate People On Social Media with Chris Voss
We’re going to talk to Chris Voss. Chris is a recognized social media leader by Forbes, CNN, Huffington Post, all top and so many others. He’s the CEO of Strategix One Consulting. He shares over twenty-plus years of experience as a serial entrepreneur of successful companies in various fields of business and marketing. Chris, I’m excited to have you here. You’re all over social media and one of the guys to watch and follow. How did you get to this status?
I started an $18 billion company as being an entrepreneur and building companies. It was something I build into. It basically started in high school. I was a rebel. I had long hair and lives in Utah, which is predominantly a very religious state. There were pretty interesting things there with what I had to deal with. I got fired from McDonald’s because they didn’t like my long hair. I worked for my dad’s little subcontracting company doing plaster and foundation. He’d since packed it up and said, “Why don’t you go do that? You know how to do the work part of it, you just got to go sell.” I did. Since then, once I got the entrepreneur bug, it never ended. I’ve built a lot of companies over the subsequent years. The recession hit and pretty much wiped out my empire and everything. Back then, you couldn’t get anything to run. I was doing so many different things to try and get a new business going that would work in the new economy. My friends were telling me, “Chris, you tried so many different new companies and new different ways of doing business that if it ever comes out that you became an international arms dealer trying to survive in this economy, we wouldn’t be surprised.”
One of my friends, I keep hearing about this Twitter in the back of my head. I hear on TV. I hear about different places. I’d be like, “What’s this Twitter thing I keep hearing about social media?” I started researching it. I started finding some interesting aspects where I could advertise my companies and people clicks the links and go to their webpages. I was like, “This is awesome.” I talk on social media. I’ve always been a big mouth. When you’re a CEO of a company, you learn to be a big mouth because you have to sell to so many people. Your employees, your investors, your board of directors. You become a big mouth. Most CEOs have to have that disease. It’s a necessary thing because people want you to tell them stuff. If you don’t, then they’re bothered by you. That’s what I did. I started learning social media and managing it, trying to save my businesses that were failing in the economy and people took notice. Early on it was 1,000 people on Twitter before all the movie stars and rock stars showed up. I learned how to gain the system, how to motivate people to click. I advertised the market and all those sorts of stuff. I come from a background in sales. It was simple for me. Social media, it’s social. To me, there’s no brain surgery there.
There are a lot of people online who are building companies. There are a lot of CEOs and entrepreneurs who read this blog and you say that motivating people to click. It sounds easy, but it’s not. At this point, maybe that’s a great thing because helping people to understand how to navigate social media better and be able to make it an asset for them. What’s a tip around how to motivate people to click?
It’s all about making a relative and a salient topic. When I write an ad copy, I look at it and I go, “Why would I click on this? Why does this appeal to me? What makes it interesting for me?” One thing a lot of people feel when they make ads or when they try to sell things, they sell it based upon why they would like it. Sometimes there are multiple aspects or facets as to why people buy a product. Sometimes there may be more applicable as to why it is important to me? That may not be important to you if you’re the CEO or you’re someone who thinks they are marketing a product for the company. You’ve got to think from the customer’s aspect point of view where you’ve got to go, “If I was seeing this come across my stream, what would motivate me to want to click it? What would motivate me to want to care?” You see these people who sometimes talk in these technical terms that go right over people’s heads. The doctor comes in and starts talking to you all the words out of his medical book, you’re going to glaze over and probably die by the time he gets done talking because he will want to fix your problem, so be reading words that are 50 letters long.
To build your audience, be authentic. Click To Tweet I want to jump in and highlight it. It seems in a way so obvious that you’d want to speak the language and talk in the language and the words that the people who are buying your product would want to. It is also something that people very rarely do. They do come from their own perspective and they don’t take the time to put themselves in the shoes of their customer. That’s important. No jargon and get to understand what’s motivating that person in the way that they think.
It is about them. Many people lose sight of that when they’re coming up with that campaign. Meanwhile, when I do something, I’m like, “Why would I want to click on this? Why do I care? Why should we be motivated? What’s exciting about this?” People buy and spend based on emotion. We don’t buy off intellect. If we did, we wouldn’t buy half the crap that we buy. I’m sure you are like me. I’ve gotten home with some of the stuff I buy and I’m like, “Why did I do it?” That wasn’t logical at all. My credit card is loaded up, but I feel good at it. Logically, I don’t know how I make the mortgage payment next month. I live here in Vegas. A lot of people go home and they’re like, “Why did I spend my child’s savings for their college this weekend? How am I going to explain to my wife? I felt good doing it. I thought it was going to win $1 million. Make it salient.
Any other tips that you would give somebody who’s getting their feet wet in the social media realm? Do you like Twitter better than Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn? What would you advise somebody as to how to identify which platforms are right for them?
You get people who are like, “I like that. I don’t like LinkedIn. I like Facebook or stuff.” Depending on what product you’re selling, which is about any wide-ranging product you are selling, you’re going to want to be engaged in all the different major platforms. You want to have LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Facebook pages for your business, LinkedIn for mostly personal and your business, corporate profiles. LinkedIn came up with a new way to present corporate profiles much better. You want Twitter. A long time ago, this has stuck with me for years and I wish I could give credit to the person who came up with it. Whoever that is, it wasn’t me but the brilliance of it is Twitter, you’d think of it as the bar. It’s a noisy, rowdy place. It’s the bar. There’s pee on the floor and people puking. It’s Twitter.
You’ve got to be on it because some of your audience is on it. Some of your customers are on it. There are some customers who love Twitter and they’re on it. If you’re not on there, you’re not engaging those people. The same thing with LinkedIn. LinkedIn, you can equate to the office. Twitter is the bar, LinkedIn is the office. That’s where you do all your business. You want to be professional over there. You don’t want to post nude pictures of yourself and stuff like that. It’s the place where you’re going to post more relevant stuff. Like in Twitter, you might post, here’s a stupid car I saw that looks funny. On LinkedIn, you want to be talking about business stuff, like you would in your office. Facebook is like the family. It’s like the home.
You’ve got LinkedIn is the office, Twitter is the bar, Facebook is the home. Facebook is where you interact with some of your family members. You share the photos with the grandparents. You can build some good business relationship on Facebook, but it’s more personal. You may want to cut off certain things from being seen by the rest of the world, like maybe photos of your kids that you want to first seek to your grandparents or maybe post that you want to talk about how you feel about certain things. You don’t want maybe those being seen by business people that might be like, “We’re not sure we should hire him for posting that.” You definitely want to tackle all three.
Instagram is definitely a place you want to be for stuff. A lot of people are making traction on Instagram. It’s tougher to gain in Instagram, but that’s the beauty of it, I suppose. I definitely recommend Instagram. If you’re trying to do business, you’re being a businessperson, you want to master Instagram. The best thing to do is don’t fumble around and make a bunch of mistakes, hire a professional. We do consulting on it, for it, anyone else. Hire somebody who’s a professional and knows what they’re doing and knows how to be successful in it. I highly recommend if you’re going to hire somebody, hire somebody who is successful at it.
How do you know?
Look at how people are successful. Certainly, I come with my own accolades that people can look up and go, “You must have done something to get on the Forbes Fortune List,” who are across my own multiple Twitter accounts. We’ve got close to 400,000 followers and then on LinkedIn. You can look at it and go, “Chris must have done something right to get these people.” I might have posted nude photos and everyone was like, “That’s great, let’s follow that guy,” but I doubt it.
I want to highlight two things that you said that are so important is that a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners try to do everything themselves. They spread themselves so thin and they’re not doing it right. Therefore, they’re wasting their money that they’re investing in any of those platforms.
Be yourself and people will naturally be attracted to who you are. Click To Tweet That’s a lot of what we do with our clients. We show them how to manage or do their social media, to do it effectively to where they’re not wasting a lot of time with it. You can get into a lot of time burn and time stuck. We’ve all been there. We open up our Facebook and go, “I’m going to spend five minutes here,” and then three hours later or half-day was lost.
Having a strategy is important and knowing how you’re going to use it. Maybe you can shed some light in some other areas. Many people who say they’re experts, I myself have invested a significant amount of money and then find out that people didn’t have the expertise that they seem to have. It’s an important point in terms of doing your due diligence and just because they say they’re great. What other kinds of due diligence can you do? You can see how are they presenting themselves online? If you’re looking to get 10,000 people to follow you, do they have at least 10,000 or 100,000?
You don’t want to knock social media people who are out there. There are a lot of good people that they aren’t good at building an audience, but they’re good at some of the basics of managing social media. Usually, my first thing that I look at is audience size. I had somebody write from LinkedIn and they were connecting with me. I was feeling out if I wanted to approve their connection. They had this, “I’m a social media rock star. I’m huge and I’m a genius in social media.” I looked for their Twitter, they only have 800 followers or something. I was like, “Huh.” Most of my friends and people I know that you’ll see on the Forbes 50 list and other top lists that are drawn every year, they have 300,000, 400,000, 200,000, 100,000 follower bases. They’re successful because a lot of people follow them, listen to them and they put a lot of content.
I said to this person, “I don’t understand. How are you the king of social media when you only have 800 followers?” He was like, “I don’t know what else to do and I’ve got a lot of clients.” Certainly, you fool a lot of people that you’re good. He is probably good but that’s relative. What was funny was when I Googled him. That’s another thing that’s very important to do is Google him. There was this article about a guy with the same name not robbing a bank but breaking into a bank and getting arrested for it. He was in Indianapolis, Indiana. It’s odd that someone with the same name as his, one of their first Google things would be him breaking into a bank. I wrote him back and I said, “I Googled you. I’m doing my background research on you.” He didn’t rob a bank, but he broke into it. I go, “Did you break into a bank?” He goes, “Yes, that was a mistake I made when I was young.”
The story according to the article is that he was drunk and he went to a closed bank and rip the door off somehow or the handles off or broke windows or something on those lines. He was drunk from a drinking binge. He said it was in his college years, but I think it says in the article he’s going 29. It’s amazing to me sometimes how often when I come around with clients, they like to say it and then end up feeling a little cheat. They never Google. I went to Google search and said, “Who is this guy and what is he about?” Is there anything that you could find especially when you go to page two on people. Clearly if you Google Chris Voss, you will find that he fails at jokes every now and then. That will be on page two, I’m sure. He is good at social media, but every now and then he can’t pull a joke reference out of his butt.
You work with a lot of different companies and you’re constantly online with lots of different content. What tips do you have for people on how you juggle it all?
Using automation is good. It’s gotten harder to program and automate, but automation is big. People don’t know if you’ve written in the messages and sent it live or if it’s automated. Nowadays they pretty much accept that it’s probably automated. It can make a huge difference in people’s lives. I’ve had two people over the years who say that they were on the verge of suicide. Two of the automated tweets we had that were positive uplifting things brought them back from the brink. In no way, could we have manually engineered that or have the serendipity of how that turned out. There’s a lot of love and care that goes into an automated tweet and a lot of thought process. They are no different. It’s for the enjoyment of the people who are watching.
I love the way you described that because I’m a big fan of different automation tools. Obviously, I’m doing a show. Some people, like I’ve heard, “If you automate it, you get dinged on Facebook or SEO.” Not as many people see it or it’s not genuine. I like how you said you’re still affecting and impacting people and it’s going to make your life easier. Why not do it? If you want to make some original posts yourself to motivate, you can do that too. Why not have a basis of automation going working for you?
Your audience wants content from you. They want content. That’s why they follow you. I had someone on Twitter saying, “I hate Chris Voss. He’s stupid. I always follow them because I want to see what he’s going to say when the car crashes or what’s going to be said when the car crashes. Even people that hate you are tuning in to see what your content is going to be. People want content. If you don’t have content for them, stuff falls. If I take a week off and I don’t post new content, I go screw around. I’m like, “I don’t want to do a podcast. I’ll knock it off.” I’d see my numbers fall. Meanwhile, my people are like, “Chris Voss, the idiot, is he going to make any new content for me? I’m going to go listen to somebody else’s content.” I probably lose him as a customer.
You never know when that sales key is going to turn. I’ve had people who have said, “Chris, I want to spend some money.” I’m like, “What motivated you to finally come around on that?” They’re like, “You put out this tweet about RVs or something. That was a joke.” I was like, “Do you want to do business because of some stupid tweet I made, not anything like a business smart tweet?” They were like, “I follow your tweets. I’ve followed you for a long time and for some reason that one was funny and I decided it’s time to do business with Chris.” You never know what’s going to turn that key. Many people spend so much time trying to do the perfect thing and frame the perfect thing. They’re like, “It has to be set up right or else it won’t convert.” You never know. Sometimes it’s a numbers game. It’s the scale of numbers that get you noticed.
People know what's in your heart; they sense that in your communication. Click To Tweet One of my player friends, he’s like, “Chris, has so many tweets. He never shows up.” People like that. People like content. They like the stuff they can read. If you’ve ever gone on YouTube. I don’t normally consume YouTube and you can’t find something to watch, that’s the most annoying thing ever. What’s even worse is when your favorite show or your favorite news channel I like to watch. When everything is good on and you’re like, “You guys failed me as a content subscriber, as a content engager and a consumer. You’ve got to be there for your audience. Like I say, you never know. I’ve had so many stupid things that I’ve put out on social media that have turned into clients, that one day a client hires me. Sometimes I’m like, “I can’t believe you’re even hiring me off that stupid political posts I made because other people hate me because of what I said.”
The key here is to be yourself and people will naturally be attracted to who you are. Those who aren’t, they won’t be.
There’s a big enough world for them all. Authenticity, you bring up a great point and that’s probably one of the most important things you can do. Be authentic. Be who you are because people can smell it when you fake it. People are like, “We got to perform it. Make it look all special and spend 50 hours making it all perfect. Then it will work if it’s perfect. You’d be surprised how many times you’ll spend that many hours trying to make it perfect and that crap fails. The stupid stuff will work and you’re like, “Are you kidding me?”
You used all your time trying to make it perfect. I used to find this in my business. We spend so much time trying to do the perfect thing and the serendipity, the stupidness, that weirdness of something happening. That would be the trick pony that would turn the dial and open doors. Some things you can’t program. Some things you’ve got to be working the numbers game and putting so much content and stuff out there. It’s going to convert because people want that content. They want to have something to listen to. If you don’t have it, they’re going to find somebody else who does. Authenticity is a huge part of it. A lot of people follow me. They don’t agree with maybe my politics sometimes. I’ve had people tell me they don’t agree with my posts. I’ve got people telling me that they hate me, but they love my puppy dogs, my Huskies and that’s the only reason they put up with my crap online. I literally had my Facebook friends say to me, “Chris, you’re annoying sometimes and the only reason we put up with you is that we like your dogs.” I’m like, “I’ll take that.”
Whatever works and whatever keeps them. Every now and then, they would be like, “We still hate you but we’ll do business with you because you’re smart and you seem to know what you’re doing.” Those things that they like is that I’m authentic. There’s a trustability there of someone who’s authentic, someone who has integrity and communicates that with their authenticity because that’s what you’re communicating with. That’s what people get from authenticity. A lot of my friends who know me, a lot of my people online who know me, they’re like, “We don’t always agree with what Chris Voss says. Maybe it’s politics or what he supports, but we know he’s authentic. We know he cares. We know his heart’s in the right place.” People used to say about the comedian who already passed away. They used to call him the comedian, Mr. Mean.
He comes out and he insults people in the audience. He’d be like, “Is that your wife?” He could get away with it because people deep down knew that he was joking and his voice and his heart, his expression came from a good place. He was trying to make people laugh. That’s the only reason he can get away with it were some of the people can’t. People know what’s in your heart and they sense what’s in your communication. If you come across as authentic, then people are going to want to do business with. Even if they may not agree with some of your other stuff, they’re going to trust you in business. Trust is a very important aspect in business and in relationships.
You talked about people struggling and trying to be perfect and when you’re trying to be perfect, you’re not authentic.
You put on a façade. My friend used to talk and years past when Foursquare was big. If you remember, everyone would check everywhere they were going with Foursquare. You see it on Instagram right now. People post this FOMO lives, these fear of missing out lives where they post, “Here is my great life and I’m always smiling.” They create these big personas on Facebook that you think they’re having that happies day like. They never have a bad day and anything according to their Instagram. Their life is some picturesque portion of something you see in a magazine ad. You’re like, “Why can’t my life be like theirs? Their life seems so perfect.” Meanwhile, they’re probably living in a trailer and outside of their mom’s house. God knows what else is going on. You find out later they got bodies in the basement or something going on.
I remember finding out years ago when a social media person on Twitter was being charged with the elder abuse. The police had to come and save him. No one had any idea. They were like, “This person is the greatest, nicest person in the world.” You’re like, “No, they’re political.” Be authentic. Don’t try and be too perfect. Anytime I see someone who’s too perfect, I wonder in my head, I’m like, “What are they hiding? There must be some serious skeleton in that closet.” For me, I’m open, big mouth as anyone can tell by now. I share a lot of stuff. Everything pretty much. Some people might call it oversharing. Some people, I build authenticity. People go, “Chris may not always be right, but he’s authentic. We like him because he’s interesting.”
Give us the list of the best places to connect with you.
You can find me anywhere. I’m on all the social media channels, @ChrisVoss. I’m not the FBI hostage negotiator. You can find me at TheChrisVossShow.com and on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. I’m pretty much anywhere. You can Google Chris Voss Forbes Fortune or Forbes top 50. I’m sure you will get all my stuff.
Go check out Chris Voss. He’s awesome. He’s crazy. He’s going to keep you on your toes. You’re going to want to listen to what he’s got going on. Chris, thank you so much for being here. It’s been great. We’ll stay in touch. Thanks so much.
Thank you very much.
Thank you all for being here. We will see you in the next episode.
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