Social Pro Files: An interview with ‘the nametag guy’

We recently had the opportunity to interview Scott Ginsberg, aka ‘the nametag guy’. Scott is a Social Pro, so we wanted to share this entire interview with everyone. Enjoy!

Scott Ginsberg is the World Record Holder of Wearing Nametags. He’s the author of twelve books (including -Able and The Power of Approachability) and an award-winning blogger, professional speaker and creator of NametagTV.com. He specializes in approachability, identity and execution.

WHEN YOU STARTED WEARING A NAMETAG IN 2000, WHAT WERE THE CONCERNS YOU HAD ABOUT THE QUALITY OF ‘SOCIAL NETWORKING’ EXPERIENCES YOU HAD?
My challenge was helping people get to know me as a person – not as a preference. I figured, instead of wearing my heart on my sleeve — I’d wear my humanity on my chest.

HOW HAS THE ‘ART OF SMALL TALK’ CHANGED?
People will always need to know how to talk to people – with their mouth. You can’t filter your life through pixels – not if you want that life to matter. Small talk is the biggest talk in the world — get good at it. Online is a reinforcement of offline – not the other way around.

HOW DID THE ADVENT OF SOCIAL NETWORKS CHANGE OR BOOST THE NEED FOR CASUAL CONVERSATION SKILLS?
We need it more than ever because we have to make sure our online persona matches our offline persona. That’s why consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness.

DOES PARTICIPATION ON SOCIAL NETWORKS MAKE IT EASIER FOR INDIVIDUALS TO ENGAGE IN FACE-TO-FACE CONVERSATIONS WITH STRANGERS?
It’s nice to stalk someone online then meet them in person and connect with them based on something you saw online. You always have to listen – no matter the medium. Growing bigger ears offline is just as important online. Although you don’t have to wear as much cologne.

HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING ‘FINDABLE’ AND BEING ‘APPROACHABLE’?

Approachability is the larger idea, findability is a subset. To make yourself more findable: Create a product that customers can stumble upon, obsess over, fall in love with, become addicted to and tell their friends about. Of course, that’s only the beginning. Then you have to ask the bigger question: “What happens after people find you?”

WHICH OF THESE CHARACTERISTICS (FINDABLE/APPROACHABLE) POSE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE TO BUSINESS OWNERS?

You have to be findable online, otherwise you’re just winking in the dark. Try this: Survey yourself. Speaking of solving problem: How did you “find” the last five websites, stores, restaurants, products or businesspeople that you absolutely fell in love with? What were the exact steps that took you to those sites? And how did those businesses solve your problem? I challenge you to make a list, extract the commonalities of findability and then emulate those attributes in your own business.

You might be shocked at how findable (or not findable) you already are.

WHAT CONTRIBUTIONS CAN SOCIAL NETWORKS MAKE TO ‘FINDABILITY’?

Every tweet increases your findability. It’s all a function of volume. It’s all about probability. The more you have out there, the easier you are to find. Set a content quota every week. Exceed it.

WHAT CONTRIBUTIONS CAN SOCIAL NETWORKS MAKE TO ‘APPROACHABILITY’?

Same.

DOES THE ACT OF PARTICIPATING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS ENSURE APPROACHABILITY? FINDABILITY?

No, it only increases the probably. You can’t ensure anything. But you can tilt the odds in your favor.

WHAT’S THE #1 MISTAKE THAT BUSINESS OWNERS MAKE USING SOCIAL MEDIA?

They blab about themselves instead of speaking with MCI: Meaningful (relevant ideas), Concrete (concise ideas), Immediacy (actionable ideas.) People don’t care about your breakfast, they care about having enough money to buy their breakfast. Help them get more of it.

CAN YOU PROVIDE AN EXAMPLE OF HOW THE INSIGHT YOU GAINED BY WEARING A NAMETAG APPLIES TO FACEBOOK and/or TWITTER?

Nametags engage people on a human level. Tweets and facebook posts do the same. It has to be inviting and non-threatening. Otherwise you lose people. But give them a way to express themselves on your platform and they’ll love you forever.

FINISH THIS SENTENCE/SUBHEAD IN THE SAME STYLE YOU USE FOR -ABLE:

How to be more approach-able than Jessica Simpson at a topless beach.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD ON THIS TOPIC OR SHARE ABOUT YOURSELF?

Yes: None of this matters without consistency. If you don’t communicate to the world that you’re commited to being approachable, you lose.

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