Many people have asked me what it’s like to work with Guy Kawasaki so I thought I would share a little bit about it. Guy recently wrote an article for Hubspot which outlines the social media tasks that we do in great detail which could be updated since it’s just Guy and I doing the whole shebang now with content from Holy Kaw (Guy’s collaborative blog on Alltop) tweeting out on Twitter. I also wanted to mention that the Hubpost article just outlines the social media day to day operations, not all the other things that I do for marketing, Google+ hangouts etc. Those were just the basics of what happens with Guy’s social media. One piece of the puzzle. Yes, I do have a lot of responsibility, yes, it’s complicated, but I love it. A lot.
How we met
I met Guy on Twitter when I asked him to be my guest on My Book Club to talk about his book, Enchantment. I love reading and Enchantment is at the top of my favorite books. Fast forward two years and now we work together. Everything that we do is done remotely through email, Dropbox or phone since Guy lives in California and I’m in New Hampshire. I’ll write more about that some time if you’re interested but this is going to a long post so I’m moving on.
Guy was going to be speaking at Book Expo America (BEA — more details in another post) in New York City so Shawn Welch (Guy’s co-author of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur) and I decided to tag along. Shawn and I have been working together for a long time and this was the first time we met in person. Actually, this was first time that our APE team ever was all in one place. As Guy told people, for insurance purposes, we aren’t allowed to travel together. It was the second time that Guy and I had met in person. Wrap your mind around that. You’d think that it would be strange to see people in person that you only work with virtually but it isn’t at all. I feel like I’ve known Guy & Shawn for a very long time, despite the fact that we’ve had minimal face-to-face time.
Here’s a photo from lunch at BEA with Guy and Shawn.
So back to my glamorous day being Guy’s +1…
Guy had an appointment with Arianna Huffington and I asked if I could go along. Guy said sure! He really is THE nicest person. Shawn was going to come with us to The Huffington Post but decided not to. So, off we went in a cab to the AOL/Huffington Post offices. When we arrived, Guy’s name was at the front desk and mine wasn’t so I had to call up to the office and get permission to go in which was granted. Hooray!
We received a red carpet tour of The Huffington Post by Lance Gould, Executive Impact Editor at HuffPo. The offices are huge and so many people are working busily on their computers. It’s a very open space without walled-off offices. People are very focused on their work despite the amount of people in the space, there were many places that you could go relax with books, play ping-pong or just lounge in comfy seating areas. This is the blogging team.
On our way to Arianna’s office, Guy asked to meet the book editor that chooses books to review for The Huffington Post. Andrew was not as his desk. All the desks are marked with names, it’s a big place! How’s this for a slush pile? There were books everywhere at HuffPo. There was another big bookshelf behind his desk that said “do not remove these books.” The book editor had the most physical space of anyone that I saw with the exception, of course, of Arianna.
Guy left him a digital copy of APE and a note. He has messy handwriting.
When media moguls meet
We were ushered into Arianna’s office which isn’t a grandiose or pretentious space but a warm and inviting personal space filled with books, photos and personal momentos.Then we had our meeting with Arianna Huffington. I really didn’t know what to expect when I met her but I can tell you she is one of the warmest, more gracious people I have ever met. She was kind and inclusive. She had her team of top execs in the meeting and they shared secret projects that they are working on so I can’t tell you about them but they are very cool. She asked a lot of questions and it was such a pleasure to be there and involved in the conversation. I started throwing out ideas during the conversation, I’m not one to just sit and listen, and Arianna stopped and said to Guy “your person is very good.” (sigh) Guy said “I know!” (double sigh) Guy is generous with compliments about my work to me and others, it’s nice to be respected for what you do but to be respected by Guy Kawasaki for social media and marketing, well, you know, that’s pretty damn awesome. Arianna was generous with her time, offers to help Guy in any way that she could and very smart.
The cool thing about being with other social media people is that they check their phones! Arianna would discretely check her phone when there was other conversation going on and I asked her what her favorite social media platform was and she said she loves Twitter.
She asked one of her assistants come in to take a photo for social media. Thankfully, I’m not looking like a total geek in this one. (see above selfie). This was tweeted and shared on the Huffington Post Facebook page. (in photo: Lance Gould, Guy Kawasaki, Arianna Huffington and me) Arianna has a really efficient team of at least three assistants that were so professional and on the ball. Guy is on a quest for his own round table now. Arianna’s was glass, Guy is thinking concrete.
Arianna told us about her women’s conference called The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money and Power which was coming up. About The Third Metric: “The current, male-dominated model of success — which equates success with burnout, sleep deprivation, and driving ourselves into the ground — isn’t working for women, and it’s not working for men, either. On June 6, Arianna Huffington and Mika Brzezinski hosted a conference called “The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power,” bringing together women — and a few good men — to focus on redefining success to include well-being, wisdom, our ability to wonder and our ability to make a difference in the world.” It looked like a huge success which is no surprise.
Arianna gave me autographed copies of some of her books which meant a lot to me. She also personalized a copy of On Becoming Fearless for Guy’s daughter as well. Best meeting ever. It’s hard to capture just how much this meant to me or how exciting is was. It was off the chart fabulous.
Large monitors streamed HuffPost Live which was being recorded continuously while we were there. I mentioned that it would be great if Guy could go on HuffPost Live while we were there and like a snap, David Flumenbaum made it happen. Within an hour Guy was whisked off to makeup and then we were in the impressive backstage area of HuffPost Live. It’s a full studio!
Ahmed Shihab-Eldin did a fantastic job interviewing Guy and it was so fun to watch it being recorded. I took photos on Guy’s camera while he was busy being prepped and interviewed. Guy was calm, cool and so professional. He wasn’t worried about being on camera or being interviewed. A true professional, it was so interesting to be a part of it.
Guy’s segment on HuffPost Live!
A few things that you might be interested to know about Guy:
- He’s really funny. I don’t know why people are surprised about this but they are. Check out videos from his speeches, they’re very fun. You learn a lot and laugh. Great combo.
- He’s nice. Very, very nice. He was approached by many people for photos and autographs and was lovely to everyone.
- Guy is 100% transparent and honest about everything he does. I’m telling you this from the inside view. I haven’t seen any other person in social media share as much of what they do or they do it.
- He works really hard.
- He’s very low-key.
- When you are out with him, people recognize him and are totally freaking out to see him. He doesn’t notice this but if people say hello, he is very gracious.
I’m really lucky to be working with him but, I guess you already knew that.
So, that’s a little bit about one fantastic day that I had being Guy’s +1 and a little about what I do with him. I should also mention that yes, I work with Guy but this doesn’t mean that I’ll ask him favors for you. I’m sorry, I really am but I won’t ask. He has six million followers and I have almost 65,000 which adds up! Lots of people have been asking me about having him speak, getting forwards written for their books, or other favors. He is really, really busy and just can’t do all the things that people request of him. As he says, he has four kids, a wife and lots of pets, he just doesn’t have time.
I have three kids, a husband that travels frequently for work and one dog, so I’m pretty darn busy myself. I’m 100% booked with work (I do also work for Kreussler Inc, co-manager 12 Most, host My Book Club, write and do all my own social media) so I don’t have time for calls to pick my brain. From Marie Forleo:
The truth is…
a. I don’t freakin’ have time for calls right now.
b. I don’t want to have my brain picked.
c. And, if I did, I’d wanna get paid for it!
My best advice to you is to do things yourself and work hard. Don’t ask favors of others, DO favors for others and they’ll be happy to reciprocate in the future. (paraphrased advice from Guy in Enchantment) I hope you enjoyed the photos and hearing about this really cool day, I know it’s not the kind of thing that everyone gets to do and being a blogger and social media pro, I’d love to hear about it so I thought you would too.
Now it’s back to working at home on the computer.
Photos from my personal and Guy’s collection, I took some on Guy’s camera, some on my phone and Guy shot a few as well.
Featured image courtesy of by davidyuweb.