A Lesson in Marketing From Chris Brogan

chris broganWhen Chris Brogan started a new business called Human Business Works a while back, I subscribed to his email list.

I didn’t really know what a subscription to Human Business Works was  … but I knew that if it came from Chris Brogan, it was probably worth reading.

And so, each week like clockwork, his email appeared in my inbox.  Reading it became a nice, welcome part of my Sunday morning routine, right after firing up the Keurig and taking the dog out.

True to form, Chris always had something helpful to share with me, a piece of business advice or helpful social marketing tip.

Here’s the funny thing:  I began to look forward to his emails, and over time, he worked his way into a select group:  emails that I opened religiously, and looked forward to reading.

Of all the email lists I am on — too many, judging from my inbox —  there are only a handful who have earned my attention in the same way.

On his website, Chris asks:

“How do you build sustainable, relationship-minded business via these online spaces like blogs and social networks”? 

“How do you sell online without feeling like you’re being pushy, but with a real need to have results”?  

If like me, you have asked yourself these questions, here are three simple lessons from Chris Brogan:

1.  Attention is Earned

Some people say that email marketing doesn’t work … but they have never read Chris Brogan’s emails.

Each week, he helps, inspires, and makes a human connection with me.  By being consistently helpful he has gained my trust, and has earned my attention.

Chris isn’t just selling or broadcasting his business message … if that’s all he did, I would have hit “unsubscribe” long ago.

The takeaway?  Strive to create a human connection.  Do this with your blog, your email, your facebook page, or wherever you are interacting with people.  Do this regularly, and it will earn you attention, opportunity, referrals and sales.

2.  Be Consistent.

As mentioned, Chris’s emails arrive each week, like clockwork.

I know when to expect them (early Sunday morning).  I know what to expect (a personalized letter) …  He always provides value (business wisdom, Chris Brogan style).  Simple formula, but he is a master at it, and it works.

The takeaway?  Consistency counts.  Mark Schaefer does it (daily).  Mardy Sitzer does it (Fridays)  Are you reliably consistent, too?  

3.  It’s Personal.

Chris Brogan may have a gazillion people on his email list, but each week, it sounds like he is talking to me and only me.  I know that’s just a copywriting device … but you know what?  It works.

The takeaway?  Talk to people as people.  Not fans.  Not prospects.  Just as people who might be interested in what you have to say, because you have something worth sharing.

Other Thoughts on How “Human Business” Works

We all know that Chris Brogan’s impact is cumulative, and comes from many things.  Email is a small slice of a very well thought out, integrated plan that goes way beyond social media or any one tactic.

Writing about Chris Brogan’s email technique is like talking about Roger Federer’s footwork, when there are so many other elements that brought him to Wimbledon.

Still, we can learn a lot from observing the details. And today, his email was particularly inspiring, which is why I wanted to share his techniques with you.

And isn’t that the point, really?  Being remarkable, and then being shared?  … well done, Chris Brogan.

Make my day … leave a comment! And, stop by and say hi on my facebook page, where I share marketing tips, opinions, and news. Thanks!


About Rhonda Hurwitz

Rhonda Hurwitz is a content strategist and marketing consultant who helps mid-sized businesses develop more effective online strategies. @rhondahurwitz on Twitter, and on Forbes.com: http://blogs.forbes.com/people/rhondahurwitz/
This entry was posted in business common sense, business wisdom, email marketing, marketing communications, personal branding, plain old common sense!, social media and role in business development, Social Media Best Practices, social media in business development, social networking, word of mouth and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to A Lesson in Marketing From Chris Brogan

  1. Excellent column, Rhonda. Thanks for sharing your insights and for the accurate assessment of what makes Chris Brogan such a good read. I would recommend both your writing and his to anyone looking to get more out of their social media efforts.

  2. Wow..that was wonderfully inspiring, Rhonda….I am currently a “sponge”..soaking in everything I can as I enter this social media ride! I’m glad I found you, and I will check out Chris Brogan

  3. Rob Petersen says:

    Thanks for this great perspective Rhonda on Chris’ email marketing campaign. I subscribe as well. Chris’ email is there every Sunday morning and the content is great. While it goes against conventional wisdom to send emails over the weekend, Chris’ email stands out because no one else does this (underscoring all the points in your post). Thanks again for putting it out.


  4. DebRyan says:

    If he has earned your attention, then I can consider him worthy. Just signed up! Thanks Rhonda. Wishing you the best.

  5. gold price says:

    Tony Hsieh at Zappo’s. Jenny Cisney at Kodak. Ferg Devins at Molson up in Canada. There were lots and lots of people who were kind of playing this role of a person who was building relationships on the social web, that were then translating that into business all the way around.

  6. Hello Rhonda, I really enjoyed reading that post. i have been reading Chris Brogan’s emails for a while now and I agree he is a master.

  7. Pingback: How to (TV) Network with Your Audiences - Readz Blog | Readz Blog

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