What We Learned at SXSW: “How to be flaw-some as a digital leader”

Source: Equalman.com
Source: Equalman.com

You immediately know a SXSW session is going to be interesting when you walk into the room and see the presenter wearing goofy lime green glasses with no lenses.

Erik Qualman of Equalman Studios is a motivational speaker in the digital world and has been referred to as the “Digital Dale Carnegie.” Qualman has even given TED talks – he’s the real deal. At this year’s SXSW he gave a talk on “Being Flaw-some: 5 digital habits to rock your brand.”

7 of the most valuable talking points from Qualman

Photo: Flickr (Ben Smith)

1. Be a smile factory

Smile at others – even when you don’t feel like it. Put other’s needs above your own.

2. Brave the uncomfortable

Sometimes when you step into discomfort you can use it to your advantage. This is what being “Flaw-some” is all about.

Learn from your mistakes. Through our flaws we can actually showcase how awesome we really are – whether it be as individuals or as a company.

For example – try new things. If you get asked to work on a project that is out of your comfort zone you should consider actually doing it. You may not be an expert on it yet, but you’ll never become an expert unless you go for it.

Embrace feeling uncomfortable because these uncomfortable moments where you are working on something you have never done before are the moments that will help you grow.

3. The four C’s of digital

Say goodbye to the four P’s of marketing and HELLO to the four C’s of digital: Culture, Connecting, Curating, and Creating.

The four C’s of digital ultimately start with content. The content you present or curate is perhaps one of the most important and powerful things you can offer as a business owner; especially in the digital realm where you are trying to connect with others and share your company’s’ culture.

Companies create CONTENT.

We then CURATE that content through our expert knowledge and send it out through different digital mediums like email, blogging, and social media.

This content showcases who you are as a company or individual and what you represent, which is your CULTURE.

This content is how you CONNECT with your clients and followers as a brand.

4. Customers are the best marketers

Companies are now converting customers into their own best marketers and replacing salespeople with their clients – WHY? Because people trust their peers more than anything.

5. Integrity VS. Reputation

When you make a mistake personally or professionally, how do you respond to it? Something to keep in mind as a digital leader.

Here is a great example of how Red Cross held their ground with integrity and recovered from a mistake they made on social media in order to salvage their reputation as a company.

Source: Ochoa
Photo: Flickr (Rosaura Ochoa)

 6. Digital leaders are made not born

As individuals and companies we all have a digital stamp, which consists of a combination of our digital footprint and our digital shadow.

Our digital footprint consists of what we post online via social media or on our own websites.

Our digital shadow consists of what other people post about us online. These things could be about what we have done online or offline.

Make sure the digital stamp you are leaving behind is something you are proud of.

Source: Bolisay
Photo: Flickr (Guain Bolisay)

 7. Millennials and technology

Technology and digital are becoming so important that 53% of millennials would rather lose their sense of smell than their technology/mobile.

We have to think about what this means for the future and how this might affect your company and brand.

Look below to watch Qualman’s youtube video on Socialnomics in 2015. This shows how important it is for digital leaders to stay on top of the social media and technological statistics. Seeing the statistics helps put everything into perspective as a digital leader when branding.

To get more of Qualman’s branding tips, you can follow him on Twitter.