Bill Woods’ very kind and detailed comment on my recent post on the 2010 Stereophile Buyer’s Guide had me thinking last night. My thoughts converged with a YouTube video I was watching — Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV was giving a keynote. He’s loud, proud, and, if truth be told, has taken me a while to warm to. But, dig under the bravado, and you get a pretty solid guy with great business chops. The one thing I heard loud and clear from Vaynerchuk was connection with your audience.
That led me thinking about some of the footnotes of print audio magazines. I’m sure you’ve read them. ‘We do not have time to answer mail personally or to offer advice’. I’ve even seen it electronically, ridiculous with the ease and speed of email.
That word, so abrupt, is like a barn door slammed in your face. Not everybody’s an expert. Not everybody’s a self-appointed ‘guru’. We all started somewhere. As such, I answer every email no matter how ‘trivial’. Help. Guide. Suggest. Ask. Thank. And with kind words within a 24 hour turnaround. This, my friends, is a ‘Thou Shalt’, not a maybe. And I do this about 100 times a day via voice, email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. And folks like Gary Vaynerchuk do it a thousand times a day. Schedule your time, do it with a happy heart, do it because giving is better than receiving. And for the selfish among us (me), do it because it *will* grow your audience.
Empowerment is bloody powerful. People love to be heard, especially about their passions. And hell, audiophiles are among the most passionate people you’ll meet. As point person, you may not agree with everything folks ask or tell you, and some of the commentary is plain noise, but if you follow common sense and successes like Vaynerchuk and the great Chris Brogan, build it and they will come. Give them quality, timely content, work your ass off, and give your time to others, and things will work out. All three tenets are essential.
I call this the 90/10 relationship. A friend mentioned to me that 50/50 marriages rarely work. Give 90, expect 10, and you’ll get the 90 back in spades. I try to follow this rule with Audiophilia (not always so much when conducting! :)
I can assure you, I will continue to do so. Thanks for reading. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for connecting.
All the best,