On Wednesday, I was fortunate to attend
Social Slam – an amazing social media conference in Knoxville.
I was planning to write a post capturing highlights from the awesome sessions and share nuggets from my pages of notes. But instead, I want to talk about something a little different.
Yes, the sessions were fantastic. Yes, the speakers were great. Yes, I learned a great deal from some really smart people.
However, the real takeaway for me was the ability to connect with people. I had the opportunity to meet people “in real life” and deepen relationships with people I’ve interacted with online (Arminda Lindsay, Amy Howell, Alys Drake, Jenn Whinnem, Erica Allison, Jeremy Victor, Anne Gallaher and Jon Moss, just to name a few).
I also was blown away by the kindness and generosity of the speakers and panelists.
The thing that impressed me most about Jay is that he was interested in what I had to say and thanked me on Twitter for my support. He made me feel special.
Isn’t that what everyone wants?
Trey Pennington outlined this in his opening keynote address. He talked about how we all want to be heard, understood and for our lives to count.
It’s not about you
It’s pretty simple stuff, really. However, so often people and businesses forget this important fact. Instead, we make it all about ourselves.
We peddle our wares and engage in non-stop selling.
We focus on our own needs and desire for success.
We worry about what everyone thinks of us to fuel our selfish egos.
But if you want to be successful in business, make it be about them. Not you.
Focus on solving other people’s problems. Provide answers to their questions. Offer unique and effective solutions to make their lives better.
If you can alleviate someone’s pain or make someone’s life a little bit easier, your business will be successful.
Yes, social media matters. But at the end of the day, it’s just a bunch of tools. As Jay said during his talk, “social media is not a unicorn, it’s a horse.”
The tools are utterly meaningless without the right business mindset. Be helpful. Be generous. Be appreciative when you get praise and be apologetic when you screw up.
People want to do business with those that really care about them and make them feel special. If you do that, then there will be no stopping you, regardless of which tools you use.
What do you think? What was your biggest takeaway from Social Slam?
P.S. Huge kudos to Mark Schaefer for being the driving force behind this event. Also, the folks at Pxyl and the Social Media Club of Knoxville certainly deserve a lot of praise for making Social Slam a success!