November 02, 2012

Renegades Write the Rules

I’m a big fan of Amy Jo Martin. I first discovered her and felt an immediate connection when stumbling across her TedTalk on how toInnovate Your Life’. Her opening line reminds listeners that actually you don’t have to choose over work, family, self. You can have all three.

However, you CAN choose whether you decide to be an innovator or not. She’s the key example for all those people out there (including myself) who has the constant internal argument with myself whether I should be breaking the mould and doing something a little bit more risky. Risking is innovating and according to Amy Jo Martin, ‘innovators write the rules.’ She calls these sorts of people who defy the rules ‘renegades’. What Amy has done, and what has lead to her almighty social following is she is inviting everyone to be a renegade. In the world of social media, the rules are there to not just be broken, but reinvented and played around with.

I was recently welcomed into the Blogger programme for Amy’s new book Renegades Write the Rules which meant getting an advance copy and having a good old read. I was really excited to receive it as I’ve following Amy’s work for a long time now and was curious as to how she was going to wrap up all of her knowledge into one concise book. The book istelf is half a book documenting her journey of discovery through the digital world, but also a guide book. It’s uplifting, inspiring, and there’s numerous moment when you just completely agree with the way she thinks about things.

Amy takes a step back from the crazy world we live in. She talks about the media, and applies to the social world. She isn’t campaigning for the same old social media ‘tricks in the book’, she is reinstating the obvious: be human, be fun, be engaging. Build followers in a credible way. Be transparent. Be consistent. Take risks. Try out new things.

The opening case study which shows how taking risks and trying new things were clearly working was her work she did with NBA professional Shaquille O’Neal. She talks about how she made Shaq a Twitter celebrity, through many different tactics but more importantly, through showing how he was in real-life, and how people could feel like they were actually his friend on Twitter. He would meet his fans in real life, hide a signed object or just go and pose on a park bench and be like ‘hey I’m at this place today’. It was simple tactics but human at the same time. Within weeks, the major sports news sources were getting their top breaking news stories straight from Shaq’s Twitter handle. He even did a personal retirement video on Twitter, which was so much more prominent for him and his fans that just do a rubbish press conference. 

Renegades Write the Rules, for me is a book that I will be reading again and again. It’s one of those books that I’ll need every now and again just to remind myself of the fundamental basics of social media and what we must never forget. Brands are now in their own little world, competing against each other, copying the latest ‘trend’, missing the trick and spending too much money on winning awards at Cannes but not actually engaging with the every day people that buy their products. Thanks Amy, for a wonderful, truthful book. Definitely recommend this one for beginners or pros.

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