Chapter 2. Create Your Foundation: Be a Human, Not a Company

Before jumping into strategies and ideas, let's chat a bit about foundation, because while tactics are fantastic, without a foundation, strategies and ideas will do nothing for you.

If there is one thing I've learned through hundreds of interviews and personal experiences, it is that both online AND offline marketing—and promoting the smarter, faster, cheaper way—is always the most successful when the focus is on a combination of being helpful and one-on-one human interaction. It's not an interaction between a company and a person, or a brand and a person. The Internet allows you to scale—or talk to many people at once—and still have it feel intimate. Social media and online video (or audio and text) facilitate this one-on-one conversation. It is the difference between showing up at a cocktail party and working the room (and not JUST talking business) versus sending a cardboard cutout of your nifty print ad to market and promote your business. One is human; the other is impersonal.

And while a virtual handshake doesn't equal a real-life one, it is an amazing way to reach out and make an impression. And who knows? We might run into each other at an event. We might talk for five minutes about sports, business, media—whatever. And while we go our separate ways at the end of the conversation, we can continue our interaction online.

The online world really isn't that different from the offline world—and you have to actively participate ...

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