Lessons From ‘Renegades Write the Rules’

In January, I attended #NMX, or BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas. This was the largest blogging and social media conference I’ve ever attended. I was excited to get to either meet or sit in on sessions of folks whose netcasts I’d been listening to for some time. Checking out my conference-issued goody bag, I found a copy of the @AmyJoMartin book, ‘Renegades Write The Rules’. I’d never heard of Amy Jo, but she was a keynote speaker, so that was definitely on my schedule.

Amy Jo rocks at Twitter and, in fact, makes her living by showing, teaching and training others  how to effectively brand themselves by using social media. Check out her website and business. She even set up a hashtag for people to use when commenting or referring to her book #TeamRenegades – pretty cool. I started reading her book on the way home and wrote in my weekly blog,  that her talk was one of my conference highlights. I even tweeted her with a link to my article, and to my utter shock and delight, she answered! This is a woman with over a million twitter followers, and she took a moment to reply back to me! Because of listening to her and reading her book, I really changed my mindset towards Twitter. You see, my mindset was that Twitter was intrusive, too revealing and not my style. But something she said during her talk and in the book gave me great pause:

Using social media is not paparazzi – you have full control over what you post

I’m in charge of what information I want to share–don’t know why that hadn’t sunk in with me. Since she asked for my thoughts after finishing the book and I said, “will do”, I’ve been giving it quite a bit of thought. I made notes of some of the most meaningful quotes from her book or her talk and they are in purple below, so read on!

Amy Jo Martin tweet about her keynote at #NMX

Amy’s (with my) Thoughts from her #NMX Talk and Book

(Quotes from Amy Jo are in purple)

Everyone can post content and information, the differentiating factor is you and your personality. Think about who you want to buy products and services from, who you’d want to work with or for. Most likely, it’s the person you’ve gotten to know, either via their blog, personally, or through social media. They have differentiated themselves from the crowd. We like to deal with people we know, have a connection to and those connections are forged by how we present ourselves.

Social media gives you access to people previously out of reach. I’m convinced this is true after getting a tweet both from @AmyJoMartin and from @JayBaer (75,000 Twitter followers). He was also a speaker at #NMX. I was very impressed with his talk on Youtility and tweeted about it, and I was once again very surprised that he’d take the time to respond! When the prominent social media personalities take time to respond back to ‘regular’ people like me, it makes us loyal fans.

Jay Baer's tweet about his Youtility talk at #NMX

On the other side of genuine, I was rather disappointed to find out @chrisducker, in his session, asked those of us who had signed up for his session if we got a tweet from him. Mine is below. Since he has his photo and his name front and center, I thought the tweet was coming from him. He proclaimed to all that it was not him but one of his assistants who tweeted to all who had signed up. If someone tweets me and uses the pronoun, ‘I’, I’m going to believe it’s that person sending me the tweet, not a ‘ghost-tweeter’.  I can’t speak for  how others felt, but I felt like one had been pulled over on me-not a good feeling.

Chris Ducker and his 'ghost tweet'

Who is your brand? The answer is that our brand is what we make it. It’s up to each of us to develop and build it for us or our company.

Access leads to connections, then relationships forms. Twitter allows us access to anyone out there. It’s up to us to form the connection and then relationships with people. If you observe the Twitter streams of those you admire or have gotten to know, you see they are having conversations, not just the posting of links and information. A couple people’s podcasts I’d been listening to were Dustin Hartzler’s weekly WordPress podcast (excellent quality material for those of you interested in WordPress), and Todd Klindt’s weekly SharePoint netcast (also recommended as a source of quality information). I knew Dustin would be at #NMX, he even coordinated a great breakfast meetup which I really enjoyed.  When looking through my Twitter feed Sunday morning, I saw that @ToddKlindt posting he was needing some directions getting to registration. I was able to help him out and then asked if he had time to meet up with me that morning. So it was great getting to meet these guys – as a result of Twitter and social media!

Dustin HartzlerTodd Klindt weekly sharepoint netcast

I also want to shout out to @BeckyMcCray. She lives in a miniscule town in Oklahoma, (and I live in Oklahoma), yet she’s used that along with Twitter to brand herself very successfully. She’s uber well connected and has written a very well-received book (yes, I have it and read it). I’ve exchanged some tweets with her and got to meet her at #SMTulsa last month. A particular tweet she put out impressed me. She tweeted something to the effect that she was honing her HootSuite to carve out all tweets containing links. Her goal for Twitter is conversations with people. And she’s very good at it.


Influence converts. Here, I believe Amy Jo is saying as we build ourselves into our ‘brand’, we become an authority in our chosen field and with persistence, we become influential and that influence we have attracts people to us and they realize we can help them.

Where your passion, purpose & skills reside – that’s your Royal Bliss. Social media  is the Royal Equalizer – it gives you a voice and opportunity. Love these statements. They seem to sum up Amy Jo’s philosophy succinctly and of course, go along well with her Digital Royalty University!

So Amy, if you’re reading this far, thanks for the education and influencing me to use Twitter more. I’m still not where I want to be, but better than I was.

Have any of you had a change in the way you think about social media because of an event or book? Please share with us in the comment section.

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