The Kids Think I'm Cool

by Joe Schaefer No Comments November 20, 2009

I recently spoke at SUNY Plattsburgh. Yes, in front of tired, bored college kids. I’d say half gave a doodle and the other half wanted to go back to bed. I went to college (yup, lots of ’em) and I clearly remember not giving a doodle about most guest speakers.

My answer? I simply was myself. I simply put myself in their shoes and spoke about my experiences and how the road from wanting to be a rock star playing music for the chicks, money and hotel rooms turned into Internet marketing and my love for it. The free t-shirts I handed out helped, but they were conditional. You had to truly participate in order to get one.

And for all that? They thought I was cool. Man, all this time I thought I was a 21 year kid stuck in a 40 year old body and trying to be cool for my kids. Who, by the way, don’t think I’m cool – unless buying them Hannah Montana records or convincing them that the .50-cent rides at the mall are just like going to an actual amusement park.

The same goes for social media and social media marketing. Stop trying to be something you’re not, or at least be real. Transparency is key. Being a transparent figure behind a company, idea, brand will sell more product, more concepts, more ideas than posting your logo and slogan over and over. be real. People have an emotional connection to the things they buy – if you, as an Internet marketer using social media can be real and honest, that emotional connection will be made earlier in the decision process to buy, to click, to share. Don’t be too cool for school because the consumers will SCHOOL you. How? No visits to your profiles. No conversation. No sharing. No buying.

All the profiles in the world won’t help you. Being you will. (But, keep in mind that if you’re working for a client, you have to be you in the confines of their branding — come on, that’s elementary).

Truthfully, I’m not cool and I know it. I stopped trying and/or thinking I was a long time ago and did my best to be comfortable in my own skin. Though, not completely, I think that the effort shows and that is pretty cool. Meeting someone who is real. Meeting someone who never gave up on dreams, rather, modified them in order to find and feel the slightest bit of achieving them. I have more to achieve, but damn…being a cool kid takes precedence today.

From the professor:
No…we’re the ones thanking you for the time to put your presentation together, not to mention the drive to the Great White North. I walked into class this morning and a couple students were talking about how cool you were and the neat projects you’ve worked on. Thanks again and I’ll be in touch for the panel thing for next year. –Colleen
Colleen P. Lemza
Assistant Professor
SUNY Plattsburgh

From a student:
Maggie Fuller Students are still talking about your presentation! They loved you!

Joe Schaefer - Social Media Consultant

Joe Schaefer - Social Media Consultant

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