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Social Selling Killed the Old Boys Network


When Adam Gray and I started Digital Leadership Associates we had meetings with a “Big 5” and we were told that Social wasn’t and won’t ever be their go to market. “Our Partners play golf with the top CEOs, Social isn’t relevant to us”. We were told. When I heard “CEOs play golf with our partners”, I heard “old boys network”.

Alex Low recently spotted a post that somebody had put, ironically on LinkedIn stating that LinkedIn could never replace the little black book of contacts. I read “little black book of contacts” as “old boys network”.

While everybody piled in to this LinkedIn post and talk about Social and the way you can build relationships. For me, there is a diversity and inclusion issue here!

Why is it that it’s white, male and stale making the running in this market? I need to declare an interest at this point, I’m white, male and 53. That said, I’m a great believer in diversity and inclusion and passing on the baton to future generations.

Social is the great Leveller

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet Gary Vee, whose probably the best example of the “punk” culture in social.

Let me just explain “punk” as I think the term is used differently in the U.K. and US. In 1977, the music scene was dominated by musicians, either classical trained or rock bands that thought 20 minute drum solos was what their customers wanted. But a group of people in New York and London who were not musicians decided they wanted to make a sound. Three cord, three minute songs that open talked about the struggles of the day. The New York Dolls, The Clash, The Damned, The Stranglers created a new guitar based sound where it wasn’t based on musical ability but talent. New record labels sprung up to distribute this new sound, Stiff Records, Rough Trade, Mute, Kingston record shop, sprung up. Revolution was in the air! Back to the blog.

Related: Why You Just Failed at B2B Influencer Marketing

Gary is white, male and in his 40s. When he started on Social he knew nothing and promoted his Dad’s wine company. What he discovered was content marketing. Content marketing isn’t new The Michelin Guide, was started in the 1900s to sell more tyres. Is a great example of content marketing.

Gary discovered you don’t need a degree to be big on social. If you are willing to work hard, you can, pretty much for free get 100,000’s of people following you. Pointing that another way, people listen to what you have to say. Social media has a zero cost barrier to entry. While Kylie Jenner maybe a Kardashian, but she has access to the same tools of you.

Social Media allows anybody and everybody to be as good as everybody else. There is no old boys network anymore. Everybody can break the glass ceiling! It’s like 1977 all over again, don’t listen to the vested interest whose job it is to keep things as they are. Now is the time to be brave and stand up against the old boys network! Smash the glass ceiling with social!

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