Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hustle 2.0

Two big Social Media occurrences have happened in the last few days that have led me to this post. There are countless others everyday that lead to this argument as well, but we’ll highlight 2.

The 2 big events:
1. Hearing Gary Vaynerchuk speak at FOWA Miami '08
2. Mark Zuckerberg making things right with a Q&A session at SXSW following a disappointing interview with Sarah Lacy (I didn’t think the initial interview was that bad)

Why are these 2 events the epitome of “Hustle 2.0?”

Gary Vaynerchuk at FOWA Miami '08photo courtesy of briandewitt

Gary Vaynerchuk, host of WineLibrary.tv is the rock star for the online video generation. Let me tell you why.
1. 5 shows a week in a growing niche
2. Answers every comment and every email that comes through his inbox
3. Promotes his ass off – Brand Ambassador
4. Passionate about his product, his show and his life
5. Thinks, or better yet, knows his product, his life and his show are cool

If you have a brand and are putting yourself online to start a conversation, take part in that conversation. What good are you doing to your company if someone writes a whole hearted response to your post, your video, podcast, etc and you deaden the conversation by being too busy to reply? You are creating an editorial not a conversation.

Gary was onstage on FOWA talking about how he needed the host to kill a few more seconds because he was responding to a few last emails before his talk. That is dedication to his brand and that is “Hustle 2.0.”

Mark Zuckerberg keynote at SXSWphoto courtesy of b_d_solis

Mark Zuckerberg on the other hand, is the off again, on again poster boy that shows the positive and negative sides of “Hustle 2.0.” From his lackluster performance on 60 minutes to his handling of the Beacon fiasco, Zuckerberg has not been a fan favorite in public as of late.

This week at SXSW, he was invited to take part in the Keynote, being interviewed by Sarah Lacy of BusinessWeek. They have a long history of working together and Lacy is said to have interviewed Mark at the ripe age of 19. The SXSW interview turned into a disaster and twisted into a mob as the crowd was not pleased with the sappy questions and conversational style that Lacy was throwing out. It almost took down the Twit-o-sphere.

In a comeback, Zuckerberg came back the next day with an open Q&A session. Distraction adverted; the blog-o-sphere is at rest once again. He came back on Hustled 2.0 to make things right.

I have 8 main objectives that make up Hustle 2.0.

1. If you ask for participation, participate.
2. You are never too busy to reply to fan mail, questions or concerns. Turn these beginner fan questions into great answers and conversation and you will have a fan for life.
3. Produce content that is true and original to you. Find your niche and become a superstar. Rachael Ray loves cooking and became an international superstar for cooking. Gary Vaynerchuk is defining the way that wine is promoted and has become famous for it. Pete Wentz took Fall Out Boy from a dive bar playing band to one of the biggest bands in the world by blogging and being himself.
4. If you are going to do something, make sure you love what you do. It will make it more fun for you and the viewer will know that you are genuine.
5. Find a face for your company. If it’s not the CEO find someone who can represent your company in the blog world, at conferences, on video, tv interviews, etc. When you think Apple, you think Steve Jobs. When you think Facebook, you think Mark Zuckerberg. When you think of U2, you think of Bono. Find a leader, someone that people feel a connection to. Someone memorable. And then have that person really reach out and talk to people.
6. If you are making great original content, keep pushing it. People will find it. People will talk about it.
7. Be easy to access. Make it easy for me to find you. If you don’t want emails, leave your Twitter account. Leave your Facebook or Myspace profile. Be sure that whatever contact info you do leave, you answer. Responding is the ultimate factor in making Hustle 2.0 work.
8. Network offline. Meet with your Twitter pals, your Facebook friends. Attend conferences, BarCamps, local shows, festivals. Be seen. Nothing replaces personal connection, not Facebook, not Twitter, not IM.

It all boils down to creating great content and interacting with your audience.

Are you ready for Hustle 2.0, are you already there or do you need some guidance?

-Greg Rollett


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