Of all the people I’ve met through social media and especially the live streaming community, Chris Strub embodies and teaches authentic social media like none other. He just launched a community I think will become a blueprint for effective authentic social communities that provide true value. And by effective, I don’t mean popular, or having the greatest reach, or the most followers or high-scores in this twisted game of influencer marketing so many are playing.
SocialWithStrub is a private Facebook group Chris just started to deepen the connections he’s built around his brand. While there are many groups there, I have a hunch this one will be different. What is unique about his blueprint for building winning relationships is that he demonstrates how to do social right. And not just social media. Hanging out with Chris at conferences I can say that he finds ways to help and connect people as well in real life as he does online. Everywhere he goes he attracts advocates who want to be part of #TeamStrub because his authentic desire to help people comes through in his actions, words, and frequent engagements through live video.
I met Chris through the livestreaming community, one of the most fun, engaged and giving groups of social media marketing geeks I’ve found. He did such a great job of conveying who he is, telling stories that highlight the non-profits and professionals he works with, and enrolling me in his vision, that I instantly wanted to be friends.
A Tribe of People Who Want to Lift Each Other Up
One reason I know that SocialWithStrub will succeed is that even before he started taking applications for this new private Facebook group, Chris took every opportunity to celebrate those around him. I’ve made great connections through him, and all are awesome, giving people who want to lift each other up, like Chris.
Maybe it’s because he started off his journey in live video with his #50States tour based on connecting to the communities he visited by giving time and attention to causes he cared about. Reading Chris’s stories and watching him build out more and more connections at a time when so many in this country and world were either withdrawing and depressed or bickering and angry is compelling. More than anything, I think this world needs us to put time and energy into acts of kindness towards each other. When we do, our vibe attracts a tribe of caring people that lift each other up.
If you haven’t yet read Chris’s book 50 States, 100 Days, you are missing out. Check out my review below.
I love this guy! @chrisstrub is a visionary #storyteller doing good stuff with #socialmedia! Get his book @50states100days and follow him to hear his stories Learn how to get more out of your social media through caring and giving. I'm so grateful I got to meet him at the #PRNews event in #SanFrancisco after being drawn in by his generosity towards myself and the vibrant community of live broadcasters he and I hang with online. #TW
We Spend Time Where We Feel Most Valued
When Chris connects me to another person, the way he introduces me helps me to see the value I project and provide. In the first days of his new group, he asked for our contributions in a way that is helping me to refine my brand message and side-hustle. This is helping me frame my story in a way that others can relate to. That is valuable.
The authentic desire we each have in the group to help each other comes through so well on video. By inspiring us to share video and listening to each others’ lighthouse stories we are able to provide a feeling of being valued in a way that is rare on social media. Ironically, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social sites can be a lonely place that make us feel small or isolated. Not in the SocialWithStrub group.
Of all the private groups I’ve been invited to, this alone makes it more likely I will spend regular time in this one. If you’re curious, apply to be part of SocialWithStrub.
A Safe Place to Iterate Our Authentic Social Selves
Many live broadcasters talk about being real and raw. But feeling safe to be real is easier for some than others, depending on what makes each of us unique and special. Many people say, “show up without your makeup, or as you are.” These people have either never heard of “the makeup tax” or have never spent much time with a true diva, like me. Humans judge and categorize each other. it’s not an evil, it’s a logical human response to the overwhelming amount of info we each have to respond to on a daily basis.
While I may choose to go ‘naked’ at times–meaning makeup-less–the experimenting I most need to do is sharing fascinating stories from a very different culture that I feel will inspire and attract my ideal clients. I have a very unique background and being authentic for me is might alienate some who are outside of my left-leaning bubble of San Francisco. This is key to what I help brands and individuals who are branding, building influence, and considering brand activism, do. In today’s world of tribal marketing, we do better to stand firmly in our values and attract others who share them than to try to please everyone. That’s why I use the hashtag #Stand4Something.
I have found that challenging one social norm at a time to be most effective. I have to pick my battles. And SocialWithStrub feels like a place to experiment, get feedback, and adjust. That’s special.
Back to the issue of going without makeup. Not every woman requires her official armor of perfectly done hair, nails, heels, and a flawless face to feel powerful, but for those of us who have experienced the A/B test, it’s hard to ignore the facts. While I rarely put on the ‘whole nine yards,” when I do make myself up to my own satisfaction, I feel more powerful. That confidence goes a long way towards being vulnerable to reveal other flaws and fascinating details of my history. I feel SocialWithStrub is one place where we can experiment with our personal brands and business personas, get honest feedback, and celebrate. I hope that my declaration here is accepted and that those who want to start broadcasting straight outta bed with no effort understand that I admire and do not judge you either. I ask the same respect here. Maybe I will ‘go naked’ in there or here one day too. We shall see.
Should Strub Brand Himself as Authentic Social?
I hope to return the favor to my friend Chris, and reflect back to him that I think he should consider framing his brand as “authentic social.” I suggest this in part because I genuinely feel he’s demonstrated authenticity in a way that is rare. Many claim to be authentic, but getting to know him, he truly is authentic. As the novelty of his bold foray into live broadcasting from his epic 50States tour wears off, I think that his emphasis on the unique way he demonstrates authenticity will help him monetize his brand.
As influencer marketing continues to mature, authenticity is the rarest of commodities. I think he’s sitting on a goldmine of influence waiting to explode as foolish brands pass him over for folks with higher Klout or more Instagram followers. But authenticity in social is like virtuosity in music…it’s the kind of thing that is way more potent if someone else says it about you than it is if you say it about yourself, at least at first.
I’d love to get comments from those of you who know and love Chris and anyone who just met him…what do you think: should Chris Strub try branding himself around “authentic social”? Please leave comments below. Let’s help Chris monetize the giving he’s graced each of us with so he can keep doing this. He is the antidote to all the hate we hate about social media.