Catch Russ Hedge on the #PirateBroadcast
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Russ Johns 0:03
Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Another beautiful day for a #piratebroadcast and #interestingpeople doing #interesting things. As we reach out, engage in a conversation with the Pirate community, there's so many things that are happening out there, there are so many #interestingthings that people are doing that it's always a wonderful opportunity to make the connections, engaging the community, and also meeting a few new friends. You never know who you're going to talk to, or have the conversation with and in 2020, that's a good thing. We're making progress here. Today, I wanted to bring back Russ Hedge. He's gonna be talking a little bit about what he has going on, and a recent announcement that he's going to participate in and share with us. I just think it's important for us to stay connected, make those conversations happen, reach out, and engage with somebody today.
Russ Hedge 1:28
I'm doing great. I couldn't agree with you more. I think we're in a time now, where staying connected is more important than ever, people are really needing connections, and people starve to a point because they're been restricted and have been just isolated with everything going on. So it's important to reach out. I know that I specifically, intentionally try to reach out to people like you, Russ, that I think would be interesting and positive influences in my life and what's going on. So I think it's very important.
Russ Johns 2:02
Absolutely and one of the things we learned last time, is that we both lived in Oregon. You still live in Oregon, and it seems like the fires have been managed, for the most part there in Oregon. The smoke isn't quite as thick, and things are looking a little brighter. And also, the fact that we both do social media, and there's some things in that arena that we can talk about. The real thing that I want to talk about, and maybe shine the light on you, Russ, is the fact that you're getting ready to release a book and I wanted to dive into that a little deeper and have you share that opportunity with people because, sharing writing a book is, #1, a journey. It can be really therapeutic, because you're talking about and articulating some specific ideas. It's in a solid format, it's not in a digital format that you can skim over, look at or put on double speed or anything like that. It's a book that you read, and you can sit and enjoy. So talk to us about the journey. What prompted you to write this book? What's some of the details along the way that you found were surprising to you?
Russ Hedge 3:28
Well, you know, it's interesting for us, because my whole journey over the last few years, especially since COVID, has been kind of crazy. I had already begun some things. I was working for a corporation sales and marketing manager and done that for years. I have over 30 plus years sales and marketing experience, but the part that I love is the networking and connecting part and I thought a while back someone told me, you've got to write a book. I mean, the stuff that you do, my hashtag #RussSelfie, my whole thing there with marketing, you got to write a book and get it out there. I had started probably, I don't know, seven, eight years ago, maybe nine years ago, journaling in the morning. I've never been a big writer, I was never a journaler growing up, but I really found it, like you said, therapeutic. I work it into my prayer meditation time and I'm do reading and then I just journal and it is really, I mean, that word is perfect. It's really therapeutic. It's nice to get down thoughts that are in your head and it really helps you to develop the thoughts of what's going on. So anyway, I had the thought about writing. It was suggested to me and then I thought yeah, I can do that. Growing up. I never would have thought I would have written a book and so I dove into it when COVID hit. Suddenly I had all this time and I made the gigantic pivot which is the Buzzword of the Day. Yeah, I mean, I did. I changed my career, I have my own business, I started podcasting. I started coaching and motivational speaking, I started doing all kinds of really reaching out, I went into connection, hyper mode, really. On top of that was writing. So I was going to shoot for the end of this year and my wife said, you've got to get that done this summer. You've got to get that out. It's going to help all the things you're doing because it's connected at me and me is everything that I'm doing. The title is "Befuddled: Live the Life you Choose. So the whole premise of the book is, there's so many people that are, especially this year, they're waking up really befuddled, lacking direction and purpose in their life, just kind of muddling through just trying to make it through the day, wishing that they could get on to tomorrow, that kind of a thing. My theme in life has always been positivity, and we get to choose the life we live. So no matter what comes out, Russ, as you and I were talking about it, bad stuff, crazy stuff can all hit us. But then what do we do with it? How do we deal with it? That's really what the book is all about. It gives you some actionable steps, it gives you lots of little stories about me. It's what they consider a micro book, meaning that it's 144 pages. It's an easy read. But it's got good information. I think people really enjoy it. I'm actually getting hard copies probably later this week and have my first event next week, locally, which will be a pre release here in Oregon.
Russ Johns 6:38
Oh, fantastic. Hey, I want to just jump in and give a shout out to some of the people here. Michael Baker's in the room. Good morning, guys. He's in from YouTube. And for those that aren't familiar with the #piratebroadcast or joining us for the first time, we're on YouTube, we're on Facebook, we're on Twitter, we're on LinkedIn, all the social platforms and then also, the podcast is available for listening in the future on all the podcasting platforms available. So, Gabriel, you're probably connected with Gabriel. Hello, gentlemen, happy Hump Day to all my fellow pirates. He's always out there doing some great work. I love Gabriel. He's, fantastic. It's within you life coaching Michael Baker, from Gordon, Georgetown, Florida. I wanted to mention these people because the podcast, it's always nice to be able to have some recognition from the show. From Italy, Alessio, from Italy. I hope I'm saying your name correctly. Thank you so much for being here. And Karen Joseph right here from sunny Arizona. I love you, Karen, thank you so much for joining us. From Facebook. Angie. I just know that there's so many things here. So thank you so much for being here. Angie's going to be here. Angie Schuman from Wisconsin. So good morning, everyone. Love that you're here. Thank you so much for being here. Alfredo says Hi. Thank you so much for being back. And Karen says I'm choosing my best self my best life. I love that. Excellent. Karen and Gabriel Good morning Karen. Karen's a force of nature. She does so many amazing things here. She's Karen the connector or connected and Karen. She runs networking groups. Probably virtual now, but I've been to some of them and they're amazing events. Good morning, fellow pirates, from Hiett Ives. It's fun, it's fun. Karen says Good morning. Good morning. Kenyatta is here. Russ and Russ on the #piratebroadcast. Good morning, Hiatt SlapTagz, Sheri Lally, good morning from Chicago. Got to give a shout out to Sheri Lally. Love that lady. Love you too, Russ. Karen says Michael Baker, thanks for the recognition. It's appreciated. Michael, stay in touch and stay being a pirate, making those connections out there. I think the whole thing about social media is that it's more about building relationships and being social. There's two sides of that equation and they both have their advantages, Russ, and I want to talk a little bit about this as well because you're making the connections, like writing a book to kind of create an interest in a conversation. When you have a book, that's a great business card, it's a great way to build authority and visibility. Also, doing a podcast like you're doing and we'll get into that in a minute. It's really about reaching out and being connected. The funny thing about it, and this is the teeter totter of life, is that really all us as business owners, we all use social media as a tool to make those connections. And then when we get really busy, it's even more difficult to stay as active as we are, or can be on social media. Then you have to kind of get your work and working your business and working on your business and in life and everything else. So how do you maintain? How do you personally maintain? You've had a long existence in social media and marketing and sales? How do you personally manage and balance those two sides of the equation for being too busy? To stay in connected?
Russ Hedge 11:13
Well, I think because that is what I'm all about. I am all about connecting. It is something that I block in daily time to actually do that. Because the reason I'm doing it is not to be on social media, the reason I'm doing it is to connect with people. And you can go all the way back to what you first said, social media is social. Something I deal with business owners with all the time, people that are throwing up a whole bunch of ads and business information, and trying to sell people on social media. That is not the approach that most people really like. Most people want to get to know Russ, I don't want to get to know everything about his business at first, I just want to get to know you. I was on with somebody a while back and the first thing he said was, so what's your agenda? What do you want to do today? I said, well, I don't really have an agenda. I just wanted to get to know you. I want to hear about what you're doing and who you are and they're like, oh, and we actually became really good friends. Because I never once talked about my business, talked about anything and that's really what I try to do. I just continually try to connect with people. Actually, I went to an online workshop yesterday, because I'm going to be teaching one in this group next week. So there was a young lady, and she was really positive, but she was doing great things. She's actually a PhD out of the Portland area. We disconnected and you just never know where you're going to find people that you can connect and have like minded thoughts with and you know, you're both heading in the same direction. So yeah, I mean, I just really, I'm big on time blocking, because I'm the kind of person that if I...I'm right brained, so I'm creative, fun and musical and all those kind of things. I am not organized and all of that. So I organize in time and time blocking works good for me. So the answer to your question is I actually block intentional time to do that. So I don't let that slip.
Russ Johns 13:15
Yeah, I I know that. I know that there's so many opportunities to learn more about people that oftentimes they're missed out on. I kind of enjoy highlighting a little snapshot of individuals on the #piratebroadcast. The pirate community is very vibrant, very diverse. I mean, there's lots of people from all over the world that have been on the #piratebroadcast. It's that conversation that I come back to and here's an example. So, you know, we're here and Michael Baker says thanks for the recognition, it's appreciated. But then we go down, good morning, Karen, Gabriel, Angie Sheri, #konnectorKaren. That's the hashtag, #konnectorKaren. So Kenyatta knows all of these individuals and I know Kenyatta and I met Kenyatta through an actual event on the first #LinkedInLive that Karen put together in Tempe, Arizona,. It's about an hour away, I went down there, I drove down there and met everybody and that's where I met Kenyatta. We've been friends ever since and it's just because there was some connection that we had. Then we continue, in fact, Kenyatta and Art Jones and myself have been doing this #LinkedInLocalPopup for the virtual events and it's just one of those things that you make those connections and don't miss out on the opportunity. Hiett Ives says, just got off the phone with Justin Breen. Justin was on the show last week, so this is how you can actually create those introductions and those connections and I'm sure you're doing the same thing on your social media. I see you out there posting and I see you on Twitter. I see you on LinkedIn, I see you posting around. So what's the process you use to make that actual phone call or that connection? Do you have kind of an idea that works for you? Or that's easy to access?
Russ Hedge 15:35
Well, I think it depends on the platform, because they're all a little bit different. It's interesting because you talk about people in your show that are connecting with each other. I actually connected with David Munford, who was one of your guests, a while back. What I'll do is I'll look at people in different shows, and I'll listen them, and I'll think, oh, this person's kind of interesting. Then I'll just reach out to them. We got connected, and we're able to talk and he was on my podcast, I was on his podcast, those kind of things, but it depends on the platform. LinkedIn is a good platform for... there's a lot of people around the world that really want to connect on that platform. So I use that a lot as far as reaching out to people. What I do is reach out and just suggest, hey, let's get together on Zoom. I have a website, RussHedge.com, and people, anybody that wants to talk with me can go on my website, click Connect, schedule a time to chat automatically. So anytime it's available in my calendar, they can schedule and then we can talk from there. You and I got together a while back. I like to get to know people. I like to know what they're all about, especially if they're gonna be on my podcast. I want to know what they're all about. By the way, you always have an open invitation, we're gonna have to do something interesting.
Russ Johns 16:54
Let's make it happen.
Russ Hedge 16:58
I've always been a huge Facebook guy. Facebook, worked really super good for me, locally and with family. But sometimes that one is not as good to reach out to some people. I mean, you can reach out in any platform. What I found, though, on that was basically the influence of people getting to know who you are and that's where my hashtag #RussSelfie came in. Do you want me to tell a quick story about that?
Russ Johns 17:25
Yeah, I would love to hear the story about that.
Russ Hedge 17:28
So years ago, I was horrible. I was horrible at selfies. My son and I went on vacation. He's like, Dad, just give me the phone. Let me take the selfie, you cannot do this. So we're in a subway in New York, and my son and minimalized me, so he had given me this wallet where I put all my credit cards, money and it's all connected to one little thing. So I did what I used to do, I hand my camera to somebody to take a picture of the family. As I backup in the subway in New York, I realized, I've just given this man everything that I own. All my money, all my credit cards, everything. I'm praying the whole time, dear Lord, help him not to run off with all my stuff. So at that point, I realized I have to learn how to take selfies, because then I can hang on to my own phone and I can take pictures of my family. So I started doing that. Anyway, I did it in business groups, and I found out that people loved it. I mean, people generally love to have fun, right? So they would, I mean, literally people are diving into these selfies, and I start to get known as Mr. Selfie, and somebody tells me, hey, you need to have your own hashtag. So thus was born the hashtag #RussSelfie. I've got thousands and thousands of hashtag rough selfies with my family with groups, all these different things but it is a great connection tool because I meet you, Russ, at an event. I take a selfie, I tag both of us and the next time I see you, you're like, hey Russ, how's it going? Because you've seen me on social media, you know a little bit about me and it increases the connection time tenfold. So that's been a really really good tool and especially on Facebook.
Russ Johns 19:06
That's a great story and for people that aren't necessarily familiar with hashtags, if you hashtag #RussSelfie, all of your stuff pops up on mobile platforms. You got quite a bit of content there that you can actually reference or you know people can find you that way very easily. Same with #piratebroadcasts. If you search the hashtag, #piratebroadcast, which is not very old, I mean it's probably a year old. A few pages come up on content that has been engaged and created for that hashtag as well. So for those in social media, hashtags can be very useful for you personally if you wanted to create one, just like #KonnectorKaren, that we mentioned earlier in the feed. That's a hashtag that you can start leveraging for a brand and branding that hashtag as somebody that you can follow on Twitter and LinkedIn, and Facebook and all of these platforms. So that's a great story. Thanks for sharing that.
Russ Hedge 20:18
You bet. I'll be looking for #KonnectorKaren online, I'll be doing that. And you talk about branding, let me just say real quick, Russ, that that's how I got...my podcast name is Marketing with Russ, aka hashtag #RussSelfie and so that, because it was branded locally, it started to extend out and it really creates interest in something different. I found that when you're trying to connect, and you're trying to market yourself and things, the more interesting you are, just like you always say you'd like to speak to #interestingpeople. Yeah, the more interesting you are creates conversation, it creates questions in people's minds, and then you can tell the story and go from there. So it's just a lot of fun.
Russ Johns 21:03
It's a lot of fun. Hey, I want to give a shout out to an awesome individual. Good to see you, #RussJohns. Eric Tivers, he has an ADHD community and it's really a powerful community. He's doing a lot of great work out there, so I just want to give a shout out to my friend Eric. We need to connect Eric. I know, I'm lacking. I will reach out and make that connection. Michael Baker says build the relationship, seek to get to know others as you learn about them and from them, as they will you. So back and forth. It goes both ways. You know, share some information, share some value in the community. I'm happy to have met you, #RussJohns. #russiscool. Hashtag #russiscool. That's fantastic. That's fantastic. Eric Tivers, love you, Russ. Love you too, man. You're awesome. Thank you so much. Wendy says, what could be better than being a connector's connector? That's Karen. She's a force of nature. Like I said, #KonnectorKaren. Reach out and make sure that you have an introduction, say you came from the pirates, Russ sent you. So there you go. I just want to make sure that I understand some of the things that you're working on in the future, you have the podcast, you've got the book, you're doing social media, are you helping other organizations and companies do their social media as well, Russ?
Russ Hedge 22:45
Well, I don't actually do their social media, what I do is I advise them. My coaching is very specific to helping people learn how to network and connect and drive great prospects to their business, great paying customers. So the number one question that I always used to get in my previous businesses, I was coaching, speaking, helping people, the number one question I got was, hey, boss, I've got this great product or service, but I just can't get people in the door, I can't get people to buy it. So that's where I come in. I advise people, I'll review their social media, I'll talk to them about what they're doing. A lot of it ends up coming back to one big question that you said was, it's all social, if you've got a campaign, you're throwing up your insurance company, and all of their products that they have, that's all that's there. People start to gloss over that. People aren't looking for just a generic thing. Now, when you take a selfie with your customer, smile, and they're holding their insurance policy. Their people are interested, people are interested in what you're doing. People are interested in that you're having fun. It's always been something that I've really tried to to get out there, as people need to think about what they're doing is really more simple than they think. They just need to actually get themselves the interest that people are interested in out there. So yeah, that's a lot what I do. I just advise people on those things.
Russ Johns 24:17
Yeah, and it's really about showing the human side of the environment because ultimately, I don't buy from a company, I buy from an individual that works for a company.
Russ Hedge 24:30
Russ Johns 24:29
I mean that's not always the case, I buy from Amazon all the time and I don't know who the person is at the end of the the counter. However, in a lot of circumstances, like if I wanted somebody to do some social media work for me, or I wanted to do some graphic work or whatever it happens to be or a programmer. I'd like to know the individual, I'd like to at least understand what they're all about and what they're doing and what their passsionate about, threads that we actually have in common. I think it's really important for us to understand.
Russ Hedge 25:12
I agree. I think that's where personal branding is really important, because it's the person, you're exactly right. Personal Branding. There's some great photographers that take some great pictures. I had one that did some personal branding photos for me, and she did awesome pictures of what I'm actually doing, just because, like you said, people are interested in you. My old boss used to tell me when I was out doing stuff, you know, it's not all about you. So I know life is not all about me. At the moment, when you're doing, when you're marketing, or you're trying to connect with people and do things, it is all about you at that moment because if they don't like you, they don't like your company. They don't like what you're trying to sell. And we all know, people do business with people they know, like and trust. So how are they going to trust you if they never get to know you? Or like you? So it really is a personal thing.
Russ Johns 26:04
I think more and more because of the internet, people need to trust you, before they like you. You have to be able to put out something that allows them to actually imagine that you're trustworthy, you're a real person, you're not necessarily just a bot chasing down the conversation here.
Russ Hedge 26:30
Well, you know, it's interesting when you talk about that, because what I try to do is always show the personal side. I gave this question the other day at an event I was at, it's over nine years now, that I put a positive quote on my Facebook page every morning, just uplifting to encourage people, then I have put on what's called a word of the day, my word of the day on Instagram, I do every morning. Every time I do those, for the most part, it's a one take if I make a mistake, or do whatever it's like, whatever, you know, it shows the personal human side of you because nobody's perfect. So those things I think are important. That's why people like little short, fun videos, they like your show, because it shows you, the person, the real you, live. Live is live.
Russ Johns 27:15
Live is live. It's like, okay, if it goes good, it goes well. If it goes bad because bad, oh well. We call it practice, right? We call it practice.
Russ Hedge 27:34
Yep. Sometimes those are the best for us. Sometimes people like that it's live. You and I sometimes we're talking over each other there for a minute. Oh, well, no big deal. It's just live and people think, okay, they're just people like me.
Russ Johns 27:50
Yeah, yeah, we're all the same, folks. We're all the same. In closing and wrapping up here, share a few #nuggetsofknowledge about social media, in general. Best practices that you've experienced in the last year, that people may be struggling, they may be looking for a little tweak in their adjustments, or, maybe some thought process, maybe a task or maybe an action item that they can take ownership with. I really like the batching, the batch process where you sit down and you block out time for a certain task. That's really powerful and it really works very well. For anybody that could pay attention for any length of time, maybe someone can, I don't know. However, I know that there's a couple of other points that you could probably share with us, Russ, before we take off for the day.
Russ Hedge 28:53
Well, you know, it's interesting, I put together a long time ago, based on the way I approach things, my five simple steps to connecting and these pertain to life or social media. They are #1, start. The number one thing is people never get started. #2, focus on what you're doing. Be intentional, go after it. #3, be real and be friendly, people like authentic people. #4, be present. Nobody likes you looking over their shoulder or being off somewhere else. Be present in your conversation, all you're doing, and then be consistent. That means do it on a regular basis. When it comes to social media, Russ, that's one of the biggest things that people are not doing. They're not showing them their real self. They're also not being consistent. If I was to say hi to my wife once every six months, we would not have a very good relationship. People do that on social media. They think I'm going to pop on here and then maybe a few months from now pop on again. I'll go to this meeting and then maybe two months down the road, go do it again, nobody's going to know you. You're not going to be able to connect and really social media, it's all about being social. It's all about connecting. People want that. So when you show the real you, and you don't try to put something else up there, I always take pictures of what I'm doing. This is me. This is my life. I'm with my family. I'm at this meeting. This is me, you know, I'm on the Russ John's show. We took a selfie. There you go. I mean, those are the things that I show, and then I'm consistent. So you asked me, you know, the time and I talked about time blocking. I do it on a consistent basis. I'm always up there. I'm on Twitter, I'm on Facebook, I'm on LinkedIn, I'm on Instagram. I'm on YouTube. By the way, all of my Marketing with Russ aka #RussSelfie podcast are on YouTube. You guys could subscribe to my page, you go to www.russhedge.com, and you can learn more about me and I love to connect. Karen, I've already got your hashtag down, you definitely need to connect with me and I will connect with you. Because we're obviously both all about connecting. But anybody who's interested, I love to connect with people. I think that is where social media helps people.
Russ Johns 31:13
Yeah. Well, Russ, it's been a pleasure as always, and we'll get together and I'll have to be a guest on your podcast.
Russ Hedge 31:23
Russ Johns 31:24
Share some more information with your audience and your community. Because that's what it's all about is giving back and making sure that people have the information they need. As always, everyone, please reach out, make those connections, share a little bit of time with people and allow them to know that you're thinking about them, you're in their life, and it's not all bad. You know, there's a lot of good things that are taking place in this world. So just stay off the news, too, just like, get out of there. As always, #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree and you #enjoytheday. Thanks, Russ.
Russ Hedge 32:15
Russ Johns 32:16
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