Scott Ginsberg: “How To Be That Guy”

How to create a personal brand that’s so UNFORGETTABLE, it actually MAGNETIZES more business to you.
Scott Ginsberg

Different people inspire us to do different things. Sometimes intentionally and sometimes accidentally.

Or else why would we expand our inner circle, widen our network horizons and continuously seek the human connection throughout our lives. In the case of Scott Ginsberg, all my encounters – thanks to our LinkedIn connection – with him have inspired me to do three very specific things in large volumes: read, write, speak, and repeat the cycle. Over and over and over again.

I first met Scott Ginsberg in Las Vegas in October of 2010 during Blogworld. He was the goofy guy standing outside the conference room, wearing a giant smile and a more giant what-seemed-like-a-lifevest with his name printed in large letters as he greeted people into his session. I now know that this is his power vest, just in the event that his regular name tag is not noticeable enough by the general public.

Revolutionary ideas come from ridiculous questions.
Scott Ginsberg

Yes, Scott is that name tag guy, the only guy in the universe that wears a name tag 24×7, every day, all day long and even in the shower because, you see, he has his name tag tattooed on his chest. (Don’t make me pull out my photo with proof – I tactfully decided against posting it!) Anyway, as he tells you frankly, wearing a name tag is not an accomplishment – well, not in the sense that anyone else wants to follow suit, anyway – but what is an enormous accomplishment is turning it into a 6-figure enterprise.

A 6-figure enterprise that in his case stemmed from one radical thought, one ridiculous question and one crazy idea:

Radical Thought: What if I wear a name tag everyday?
Ridiculous Question: I wonder if this makes the world a friendlier place?
Crazy Idea: Can I turn this into a living?

In his Blogworld session in New York, he gave away signed copies of one of his books,How to be that guy. I ate it up in 2 days; it took so little effort to consume so much information that made so much sense. Try writing a book with those qualities!

As far as business books go, the fundamental mindset and values around running a business need to speak to you first before the actual information in the book can serve you well. Stubborn me would not heed that advice a few years ago; I started a book, I had to finish it. Now I am far more selective – in my books and my relationships – and I must say that Scott’s values resonated loudly with me.

Be the only one. Be your own adjective. Be ubiquitous. Be transparent.
Scott Ginsberg

Reading is the best pastime for the mind! If you like to see more book reviews, check In Print.

He is independent yet highly attached to his network. He is borderline obsessed with cultivating relationships yet a tireless hard-worker, a relentless writer and a great speaker who shares and lives his brand everywhere and everyday. He actively approaches people anywhere to start conversations. He believes in pursuing radical ideas, questioning the norm, ignoring the naysayers, and building unforgettable global brands.

Scott is intense – I like that, I am intense too. His energy and enthusiasm come through in every ounce of his writing. His writing style is casual, conversational, punchy, and easy to read. He asks disturbingly simple questions to make you revisit the fundamentals of your beliefs and thoughts around your brand and your business.

Alright, enough already about how great Scott really is. On to useful stuff such as what did I take away from “How To Be That Guy(not an affiliate link because Amazon does not offer their program in my state, thank to our stupid state tax laws but boy do I digress!) and find so worth sharing with you.

I have it narrowed down to 8 most practical, useful, and sensible pieces of golden advice:

1. Personal branding can be powerful beyond your imagination so long as you focus on the right stuff: Build the connection, do right by the trust factor, be credible and authentic, and exude confidence. Piece of cake, right? :)
2. Living and breathing your brand. Be able to explain your brand to others – anywhere from CNN news reporters to 5-year olds – in simple words and quickly. Relate yourself to others. Make it an exercise every day to explain it to a new person.
3. Writing everything down. Write your ideas down. Make lists. Ask questions. Create great content. Create a lot. Write constantly and frequently to develop the writer in you. Be prolific and know that there is no such thing as writer’s block.
4. Owning a word. Be one word that relates completely to you and that reminds others of you. Scott’s is Approachability. Mine? Still thinking but open to suggestions. Yours?
5. Making them into fans. Turn your customers into raving fans and your fans into advocates. Fans crave experience. Fans love your stuff. Fans do not need to be sold. Fans are loyal. Fans bring you more fans.
6. Choosing consistency over random acts of greatness. This is Scott’s motto – I heard him talk about it both in Vegas and NY. Being consistent across the board, in all modes of communication and platform, with your peers, your fans, your readers and listeners. Same message. Same you. Same values.
7. Being easy for people to find you. Make it easy for people to contact you. Scott gives out his cell phone number. I reply to email within an hour (unless I am asleep, in which case maybe 3 hours ;)) but seriously, be super easy for people to get a hold of you and then be easy to do business with.
8. Leaving good marks everywhere. Remember that everyone counts. Every reader, every fan, every person that you meet and on whom you leave an impression. They will tell someone about you. Make it so that they say something good. It is a small world that is getting smaller now with social media and the technologies around us today.

So happy I read Scott’s book – and that I am reading again, swimming between fiction(Lord of the Rings, anyone?) and nonfiction land but reading nonetheless. Are you reading too? And are you building a unique and unforgettable personal brand day in and day out?

Consistency is better than rare moments of greatness.
Scott Ginsberg

  • Dave

    Hi Farnoosh,

    What a great combination this is: “one radical thought, one ridiculous question and one crazy idea” It’s amazing how you can dive deep into one idea and build your whole business around it.

    I’m impressed at Scott’s ability to ‘own’ a word, and at how fully he lives out his idea, that’s some real commitment and focus right there. I really enjoyed reading about him, I’ll have to check out his book.

    • Farnoosh

      Dear Dave, Scott is awesome and that’s exactly what he did. You can dive very deep and yes, if the world responds to your new revolutionary idea, why not. Have you ever done it?
      The whole idea of word ownership resonated with other commenters too. Do you have a word? I am working on mine.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  • Sean Cox

    I love the idea of wearing a name tag everyday! Not that I’ll do it, but . . . one of those odd, quirky things that would capture people’s attention. I agree with his idea of writing things down–the older I get, the more necessary this is! I’ve captured some wonderful ideas that would have forever been lost in the ozone of my head if I hadn’t written it down. I write everything down in my Daytimer (yes, I still have a paper calendar system–allows me to write my ideas, which works best for me).
    Also, being easy for people to find–yes! More than once, people have been amazed that I personally picked up their phone call, and on the first try. I get so frustrated when I have to jump through so many hoops to reach someone–decreasing barriers to points of entry is crucial. If I can spare someone that frustration, I’ve succeeded.

    • Farnoosh

      Hi Sean, welcome back. I love seeing you here. By the way, I checked out those coaching packages on your site. Do you have Twitter by any chance?
      Anyway, nothing wrong with having a Daytimer. I remember how I loved mine and used it constantly – I still love to write with a pen. But I mostly record on digital medium.
      As for phone calls, that’s what Scott did too. I prefer email but I make it personal and respond right away. Skype works too if anyone wants to talk. So long as we are easily reachable. Seems like you have it all down pretty well, Sean.

      • Sean Cox

        Ironic you mention Twitter–I’m in the process of getting all that (FB too) set up. Hopefully this week!

        • Farnoosh

          Definitely get on social media, Sean!

  •!/EmilySummerer Emily

    There is the magical number 8 again! :)

    Thank you for introducing us to Scott. I just went on his website and cried as I listened to clips from some of his speeches. The part that really got to me was the story how his parents accepted and supported him in his choice to wear a name-tag for the rest of his life. The other part was about permission as he didn’t ask anyone for permission to do what he wanted to do, he just went out and did it. This is HUGE as it shows only we have the power to truly limit ourselves and what we can accomplish.

    The power of approachability is key for I saw this when I was in undergrad. I was president of an organization and made sure that my cell phone number and email address was out there EVERYWHERE so people could contact me for any reason. It was in all promotional items and I did this to attract more people who wanted to get involved and make a positive difference in the lives of others. It worked so well that I continued to receive emails from some people interested in the organization (okay some stalkers too) over 5 years after I had graduated! They still thought I was in charge even through I was only in charge for a little over one year.

    If I had to think of the word for me, it could perhaps be “freedom.” Freedom to explore, freedom from our fears and self doubts, freedom to love and live life in our way, and freedom to transform into who we really are. I have been finding myself using this word lately so maybe this is my word? Like you, I need to reflect on it some more.

    With your help, I am working on some of the 8 steps above in our coaching sessions on blogging and this now gives me more things to reflect on. The book I am reading now is The Map Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life by Colette Baron-Reid. The book is interesting as it offers a unique way to look at your life in a fantasy type way (very Lords of the Ring-ish) to gain the right perspective and to help you realize that you are the maker of your destiny and can control how you move forward. Reading a book and summarizing the main points like you did with Scott’s book really helps to integrate the ideas into your everyday being. I plan to start doing this myself to get the most out of books I am reading.

    • Farnoosh

      Dearest Emily,
      Freedom is your word from now on. I’ll interchange between calling you Emily and Freedom. OK? :)
      I wonder if maybe we can use Freedom in your website or in your mission. I think that describes your path entirely but maybe it can even describe an aspect of what you are trying to accomplish for your readers and potential clients. The 8 here is just for you – my 9th point was not as punch and I thought I’d keep it to 8! :)
      And you were that insightful back in college – bravo. I think the common sense stuff sometimes just gets away from us. Although I can’t believe Scott made you cry. He is an awesome speaker and very funny. I cry easily so I’d better stay away from those videos :)! What I see instantly in him is the prolific writer. It comes through strongly.
      It is ever so lovely to see you here commenting and sharing these amazing ideas and adding so much value to the posts and to the conversations, Emily. Thank you! I cannot *wait* to read and devour your blog soon. Talk very soon.

  • Tony Teegarden

    Thanks for sharing Scott with us Farnoosh!

    My question is around number 4. “Own one word” That point made me stop in dead in my tracks. Like you, as you know, I have a lot of varied topics I’m passionate about. So wrapping them all up into one word is a challenge I’m pretty excited about embracing.

    That one idea (if not for the others) was huge and I feel it’s pretty darn valuable. How did you feel when you read that point and how did you approach it if you don’t mind me asking?

    • Farnoosh

      Tony, what is your word? Tell me, tell me. There are so many I can associate with you. Innovation. Igniting Fire. Inquisitive. Even Profound (when you want to be :))!
      Now as to your question, are you asking me about how I think of defining myself with one word? The word actually came to me because we had a similar exercise, funny enough, in WDS. Don’t think of your “topics” or your “passions” – no! Think deeper! Think bigger! Think you, who you are, what you represent to the world, what they see in you. The topics and passions are “dressing” but that’s not our core. That simplifies it for me. And when I am ready, I will share my word with you, I promise.

  • Melody | Deliberate Receiving

    Wow Farnoosh. I always love reading your posts. I learn something about myself each time. I’d never thought of defining my message with one word (I have enough trouble with my elevator speech!), but this post made me do it. It’s Authenticity. I help people be who they really are – their true, high vibration, authentic self. Wow, that feels good. Thank you!!!

    Huge hugs,

    • Farnoosh

      Dear Melody, welcome back! I am so glad I have not let you down yet ! My husband has all kinds of feedback. The latest goes like this: “Isn’t it time you wrote a travel post or something?” Yes, honey! 😉
      Listen, the elevator pitch is HARD – so hard! But we have got to have it ready and it has to be sincere and it has to be something we WANT to tell people, in or outside the proverbial elevator. I love your short and punchy pitch. I am sold. Tell me how to do it, Melody. :)

  • Nea | Relationship Saga

    Hi there Farnoosh. How to be That Guy sounds totally awesome. Thanks for sharing your insight here.

    I am making time for reading books again too; but I decided to start with rereading. I’m amazed to see how much new information I can absorb from books that I read years ago.

    • Farnoosh

      Dear Nea, it’s been a while since I have seen you – so nice of you to stop by. Yes, it was a great, great read. Oh good. Reading is SO important. What are you reading now? What are you re-reading in other words? I do need to go back to some stuff I read long ago too but the list of new book is just too long. Thanks for stopping by. Let me know what you are reading when you get a chance. Thanks!

  • Vic Hubbard

    A basic principle of being someone you genuinely like yourself is always the best foot forward in any relationship, be it business or personal. Don’t assume anything of other people except good intent and you will meet those people and they will be your biggest fans. People that aren’t genuine themselves will simply not be drawn to you.

    • Farnoosh

      Yep! The foundational pillars of being a good person, Vic. It’s a wonderful way to assume nothing but the best in everyone we meet. And you are correct in that if people are not genuine, they won’t be drawn to me but mainly because I won’t attract them – although I have managed to anger and frustrate a few of those in my time but we won’t go there :)! Thank you for stopping by. So nice to see you as always!

  • Liza Manuel

    Hi, Farnoosh!

    I was surprised when I saw your picture with Scott. I know how he came up wearing a name tag. I read his story from the book I use in teaching English to kids. I never thought that wearing a name tag could make him successful. Wow! amazing. I think his being unique and consistent (with wearing a name tag perhaps) made him gone this far in his career. I love reading your posts. More posts to come! 😀

    • Farnoosh

      Hi Liza, I met Scott twice. I have several pictures with him. So you know him or of him? Were you there when he made his crazy decision? ;)! You know, I bet it did not occur to him at the time that wearing the name tag will make it into a 6-figure enterprise but he did find a way to do it although that was not his original intent. And I am ever so glad that you enjoy reading the posts here. Come back anytime!

      • Liza Manuel

        I don’t personally know. I just read his story from a book. 😉
        I would like to meet him someday. (with my fingers crossed) :)

        • Farnoosh

          Oh you will meet him – he is friendly, down to earth, funny and very smart. best of luck, Liza, to run into him. He’s everywhere it seems :)!