Brogan to B2B Marketers: “I See You” at BMA Engage 2010

The last day of the BMA Engage 2010 conference in Chicago last week began on a high note, with Chris Brogan delivering a rousing keynote. His easy glibness, dry wit and a delightful proclivity for tangents delivered valuable insights into B2B and the social media world. He was hilarious, creative and unpretentious, genuinely thrilled and honored to be presenting to more than 600 B2B marketers.

The energy of the conference led Brogan to scrap his proposed presentation and put in an all-nighter to draft a new one specifically for the BMA Engage audience. With just a Sharpie, a digital camera and a copy of Trust Agents, he delivered an innovative, one-of-a-kind presentation. He even gave the scribbled book away as a gift.

B2B marketing prof, Martine Hunter and author Chris BroganHere’s a collection of my tweets and notes from Chris’s presentation:

  • First word: “Sawubona” (Zulu for “I See You”) – It’s time to see people and get back to being human and treating people like they matter.
  • How do we build relationships that go beyond a single transaction?
  • “No letter my mom ever sent me started with, ‘If you can’t view this in a browser, click here.'” LOL
  • Subscribe to your own email newsletter on multiple mobile devices to ensure that it’s viewable. Go back and look at your stuff on all of them.
  • You don’t have to do what everyone else has done-set your own rules.
  • Huffington Post is outperforming most newspapers, print magazines, etc.
  • You must differentiate your product, even if you’re selling something really boring.
  • If all you link to on your website and your blog is your website and your blog, people notice that. Use your own social platform to provide insight.
  • Blog commenting is reciprocal. Go comment on other blogs, and you’ll better your chances of receiving comments on yours.
  • Put “human heads” on your “About” page. Not clip art, and not glamour shots.
  • Be there before the sale. Shared a story about Blue Sky Factory sponsorship of PodCamps. Greg from Blue Sky Factory was there before the sale, hanging out and buying people beer. $1k worth of beer created an ROI of nearly seven figures.
  • Agent Zero is the person who always knows how to connect other people. It’s the person who’s at the elbow of every deal. Be Agent Zero. Connect people with other opportunities, and they will remember that you helped them.
  • Build your network before you need it – one of the most important activities for marketers. Your network is one of your greatest assets. Make friends with people way outside your sphere, expand your universe. @JDGershbein and @LewisHowes are great resources for LinkedIn.


  • Search Google for “grow bigger ears,” and learn about listening tools.
  • Spend 25% of your time listening, 50% connecting with people and 25% publishing.
  • Who cares how many friends you have if you didn’t sell anything? Metrics should be about sales.
  • Build blogger relations before you need them.
  • Humanize your profiles. Human beings innately look for and identify with faces.
  • Take a look at my case studies for more information.

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View more presentations from Chris Brogan.