TGN Focus – Learning From the Best #3 – Ryan Holmes

This one’s a little closer to our hearts here at TGN because many of us are based out of Vancouver B.C., but for many of you the initial reaction to his name will be, “Who?”. Several years ago, my reaction would have pretty much been the same. Did I go to highschool with that guy? Nope. He’s pretty much responsible for tying social media together for businesses around the world. This week, we’re learning from Ryan Holmes – CEO of HootSuite.

Just Who Is He?

Well, like I said above, Ryan is the CEO of HootSuite which is a social media management tool for businesses, kind of like what VISO Catalyst does for YouTube. In a nutshell, the company offers tools for businesses to tie all of their social media spaces (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) together so they don’t have to jump from platform to platform to interact with their following. He started the business as part of Invoke Media, which is an agency that houses a bunch of other tech brands with varying degrees of success, but HootSuite is their bread-winner. Ryan brought the Vancouver-based business to an international success that’s leaps and bounds ahead of any competition.

“He’s a thought leader. Someone that people actually WANT to listen to.”

What Can We Learn From Him?

Maybe not what you’d expect.

Ryan’s success is great and all, but what we can take from him is what I like to call a “Personal Brand” which we’ve talked about before. The dude has a big following compared to most CEOs, and it’s not because he does giveaways, promotions or anything like that – he just has awesome things to say. He’s a thought leader. Someone that people actually WANT to listen to.

But how did he get to that position?

Put simply – he started talking. Regularly. Wherever his opinion might start to matter. Now, he’s got a PR team behind him that gets him some great opportunities to speak his mind and craft his arguments, but luckily as gamers we’ve got plenty of space to get our thoughts out there where it matters. Forums, blogs, social media destinations, Twitch streams – it’s all free and if you’ve got something insightful to say with enough personality to be interesting, it’s a great way to add to your efforts in building an audience. You’re not limited to YouTube, and if you build your personal brand in a similar vein to Ryan, you’ll see the returns come in droves. I can’t stress it enough.

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