I often reflect on the key players in my own personal network who have helped to make amazing things happen in my career. One person who immediately comes to mind is C.C. Chapman. In 2007, I attended the Podcast New Media Expo (PNME, now known as Blog World Expo). I had been listening to C.C.'s Managing the Gray marketing podcast frequently. When I learned that he was going to be present at PNME, I knew we had to meet. I reached out and he immediately invited me to his Hey Homefries Breakfast.
His breakfast was a casual opportunity to network with other great podcasters. It's where I met Chris Brogan, Gretchen Vogelzang and Paige Heninger from Mommy Cast; Clinton from Comedy 4 Cast; musician Matthew Ebel; Molly Lynn, and other great people.
C.C. Chapman has gone on to become a best-selling co-author of a fantastic book on content marketing called Content Rules. I highly recommend this book! You should also
pre-order purchase his upcoming new book, Amazing Things Will Happen: A Real World Guide on Achieving Success and Happiness.
D - How do you define "networking"?
CC - Meeting people and connecting with them. Best when done face-to-face, but if you are helpful and friendly social tools allow you to do it with anyone around the globe these days.
D - We first met at your own networking breakfast, Hey Homefries, at the 2007 Podcast New Media Expo. What inspired you to create that event?
CC - That was so much fun. Of course I didn't think of it as a networking event. I had a popular podcast and wanted to meet some of my listeners so I invited everyone to breakfast. Sitting down over a meal is one of the best ways to get to know people and I'm a huge fan of breakfast so it was a fit.
Just thinking back to that has me smiling right now in a big way. Of course it also has me a bit sad since you and I haven't had a chance to do our SXSW Burger & a Beer in a bit and I miss that.
D - We will catch up in person soon. You co-wrote the excellent, best-selling book, Content Rules with Ann Handley. How does content marketing apply to professional networking?
CC - Now that is a new question. I thought we had been asked all of them with the book, but you found a new angle.
Networking gets better the more you know about someone. If people meet at an event, they are going to go home and find out more about that person and the first place they are going to look is online. If that person has videos, photos or writing that can be consumed then suddenly you know more about them.
Plus, as more people get into moment sharing, you'll see sides of them that you might not otherwise. For instance, following me on Instagram shows a lot more of my life than you'll find on any other network.
D - You hosted some of the first successful podcasts, Managing the Gray and Accident Hash. You now host Digital Dads and the video podcast, Passion Hit TV. How has podcasting helped you build your network?
CC - Podcasting was and is an amazing technology. Being able to push out audio or video updates around the globe with a few clicks is pretty damn amazing.
Audio usually gets overlooked, but think about it for a minute. It is much more intimate than video because you are in someone's ears. You are walking with them, commuting with them, at the gym or in the car. That is powerful and builds to deep rooted connections.
I mean I've been listening to Howard Stern for years and I feel like I know him. It is still weird to see him on television since the majority of the time I'm only picturing him in my head as I listen to him on the radio.
D - Networking is a two-way street. I always stress that we should aim to help others before we consider asking for something in return. Would you agree? What are some ways you recommend helping others?
CC - YES!
Oh wait, you want more details? *grin*
I think that one of the most important things you can do in this world is help others. We grew up being taught the golden rule and if you want other people to help you when you need it than you need to be a good person and help others first.
This is a cornerstone of my book Amazing Things Will Happen that is coming out soon. I firmly believe that if you want your life to be as fulfilling as possible than you've got to be a good person and a big part of that is helping others.
D - Your upcoming book has me excited. Can you share anything about the book yet?
CC - What I'll tell you (and you are the first person I'm talking about it to actually) is that it is the book I've always wanted to write. The whole time I was writing it I kept telling myself that it was the book I wanted my kids to read to make their life fulfilling.
It is a collection of what my mentors have taught me over the years. Lessons I've learned that help me be the success that I am and I wanted to share them with others in the hopes that they will help them too.
Listeners of Managing the Gray are certainly going to know what to expect from it. I think it is going to be a shift for some people who might only know me through other channels.
D - Do you have anything else you would like to share?
CC - I want to thank you for doing this. It has been fun to watch your evolution over the years and I love this next step.
Oh and I can't wait till the next time I'm in Nashville. The last time I was there was the day before the floods and I want to come back.
D - Thanks for the interview C.C. How can people find you?
Photo from Flickr by Becky Johns