Watch Industry Influencer C.C. Chapman Explain Why We Should All Live Like No One Is Watching

All of us love to get as many likes, views and shares as possible. The problem is that too many people begin creating towards those rather than for what is in their heart. C.C. Chapman says the key is to create more of what satisfies you, rather than what feeds the algorithms.

C.C. Chapman describes himself as a New England raised storyteller, explorer and humanitarian. Others have described him as a thought leader in the online marketing space, a grounded futurist and one of the nicest guys on the Internet. Over the years of his career he has worked with a variety of clients including Nike, HBO, American Eagle Outfitters, ONE, Verizon FiOS and The Coca-Cola Company.

– Alright, so Ted Murphy either loves me or hates me because he’s put me between you and the bar. Not a good place to go. But I heard, I don’t know if this is true, maybe I’ll get in trouble, I heard there’s another laptop giveaway when I’m done, is that true? No Oh, no? Oh, so stick around, alright. Now, I get the joke. I’m talking about live like nobody is watching, and everybody’s watching. I know right now, I’m aware you’re all watching me. I know my friends Nick and Steve and Caitlin are all watching on the stream right now, it’s been a lot of fun. And you’ve been told a lot of different things today. We’ve talked about–

(audience faintly yelling)

It’s so loud back there, it’s crazy. They’re having fun already. Shh! Hey, shh! No one’s said it all weekend, I’ve been wanting to, so I’m gonna say it, alright.

(audience applauding and cheering)

Alright, so Eric, I didn’t know was gonna have all this going on. So stand up. Sorry, I’m sitting there watching him thinking,can we bring the house lights up a little bit? Just a little bit? Awesome AV guys. Okay, guess not, alright. So I just want you to look around, in the dark, just look around, look at who you see. What do you see? You see people of every color, race, creed, religion, you don’t know their religion, you don’t know any of that. But what do you see? You see humans, right? That’s all, okay, you can sit down. Everybody’s been getting up, I didn’t do any Superman. You saw humans, and yet when you create content, whether it’s a blog post or an Instagram, or a video or me getting up here and giving a talk, you’re talking to humans. And yet we all want a magic formula. We want pixie dust, unicorns and silver bullets. We want to automate everything. I’ve got nothing wrong with marketing automation, it’s a hugely helpful thing sometimes. But it also makes you look like a total jerk sometimes. And I’m trying to keep my language in check even though Peter, you know, threw that caution to the wind.I know there’s little kids here and I am a parent.I’ll get in trouble later at some point.But think about that, think about the fact that we’re talking to other humans always.That’s the purpose of what I want to talk about today. I want to leave you inspired to think about when you create content, whatever it is, you create because it feels good for you, you feel something compelled. Earlier, that great panel that was up here, someone asked, you know, “How do you decide what to create? “Is there a magic formula?” I was like, oh god, what is she gonna say? And I was so happy, she said, “No, I just create “what feels good.” And that’s what I’m gonna try to leave in and inspire you with today. What is behind me? I don’t know what that is. That’s kind of creepy looking. What? Oh, okay, a camera. Alright, I didn’t know. I just all of a sudden saw this big evil thing behind me and didn’t know what it was. Alright, so just so you know who I am, this is me. I’ve been a frustrated creator my entire life. Obviously painting was not my thing. It still isn’t my thing, right. But I am a small town New England guy. Anybody here from New England?

(audience members cheering)

Really? Where?

– [Woman] Rhode Island.

– Rhode Island, that’s sort of New England. Ah, sorry. I’m a New Hampshire kid so I’m just picking on you. I am way up there, right? But I am, that’s me, I have the small town New England DNA. It means I speak my mind, I say what I think, I don’t sugarcoat anything. It’s why I’m like, see, that’s the way it goes. But online, everyone thinks you’re this persona, right? And you’ve gotta be, I’ll never forget in the early days, I’ve been doing this a long, long time. In the early days people would meet me and be like, “Oh, C.C., you’re exactly like the guy “I thought you were online.” And I was like, what were you expecting? Of course I am what I say I am. But we all know, plenty of people are not that way. I want you to be that way. I want you to be yourself. Create the stuff you want to. And it’s mixed, and so I share this because this is me frustrated, I’ve got this small town New England DNA, and I also have this constant need to be creating. It’s why when there’s any new technology, I play with it. You should too, I encourage you to. You should play with every single new technology. Earlier the shark was out here talking about how brands are always late? They are, they’re so damn clueless. And I can say that, I ran marketing agencies, I ran my own, I’ve worked with every big brand there is under the sun. I teach digital marketing. I can say that, they are. They think, oh my god, what’s the ROI? Don’t think that way. Yes, make as much money as you can, be smart about the decisions, but be driven by that curiosity. Don’t think about, oh my god, what is someone gonna think if I do this? Do you realize how scary it is to get up on stage in front of a whole room of creators who’ve just been rocked for two straight days and have to end the conference? It’s scary! But I’m gonna do my thing, and you’re either gonna love it or you’re gonna hate it. But I’m gonna feel really good doing it. So, now we know each other, I want you to realize that there is not one way to do something. There’s many ways to do something. If you’re looking to be, and I was very happy to hear earlier, the key and the secret to success is hard work, because that is the only thing that can happen. I’ve got two teenagers, right. My 18-year-old son is boarding a plane right now to Italy, it’s crazy to think about that. But I always drill in their head, I’m like, listen, you can do anything you want, but you’ve gotta work your tails off to do it. You’ve gotta work really hard, you gotta be good to other people, you know, and that’s when amazing things happen to people. And I was really worried. Now you gotta understand, we all put together our presentations before we get here, we’re not sure what we’re gonna hear. And I was genuinely worried there was gonna be lots of sessions about you must do this. The top 10 ways to be a successful influencer. And I’m glad I don’t need this slide, ’cause there wasn’t a lot of that here, because Ted and the IZEA team did an amazing job pulling together a really cool, diverse line up of speakers. But you’re gonna read books, you’re gonna read blog posts that are gonna tell you the way you have to do things. You know, YouTube’s only successful if you do it this way. Instagram’s only successful if you do it that way. Speaking of Instagram, everybody love Instagram? Anybody here use automation tools on Instagram and wants to admit it? Alright, see, one brave soul, thank you for not, ’cause I guarantee some of you are lying to me. I don’t buy it. But it’s one of those examples where literally, so Sunday, I may be in New England but I’m not a Patriots fan, and I was watching the Super Bowl sick as could be, and I posted a photo just randomly saying, oh god, can’t believe I’m watching the Super Bowl alone, this sucks. And then I started getting some of these, you’ve seen these comments right, the, hey, nice feed! Or thumbs up! Or keep up the great work! And I’m just like, you douchebags, what kind of, you know, it’s so automated. And I started calling them out now. I’ve started responding to them. You know, ’cause Instagram makes a reply nice and easy. I’m like, reply, hey douchebag, I’m sick, why are you doing this? And it’s funny ’cause I looked just before I came on stage, only one person has deleted the comment. The other five or six of them were all on board, they’re all like not saying anything, they’re ignoring it. ‘Cause someone told them they had to, oh, that’s pretty, oh, these are my pictures! Now I get what’s going on, sorry! These are my pretty pictures. Okay, earlier, I still don’t know what that one was, but that’s one of my photo, cool. See I can’t see that from here, that’s why I hard to turn around and look. Never turn your back to an audience, you’re not supposed to do that, I broke the rule, sorry. I just think too often creators get stuck in this thin that they feel there’s like one way to do something. They see the success that somebody has and they think, oh, how do I do that? These are weird pictures. I wish I’d known how they were gonna be used. Ted’s like, “Hey C.C., you’re a great photographer.” All the pictures in my presentation are my own photos, and he’s like, “Ah, just send me 30 photos or something, “we’ll use them as a background.” That ballerina picture looks really weird like that, with the logo on it. Cool! Alright, just throwing me off my game, it’s good, we’ll keep rolling. Ah, but just don’t think that way. Look at people, be inspired by them. Like I mean, pick your favorite YouTuber or your favorite Instagrammer, or favorite whatever, be inspired by them, learn from them, look at what they do, but don’t think that the way that he or she made their success is gonna work for you. Earlier, the guy with the beat box, how awesome was he? I don’t think, I don’t know, oh, you’re right there. Dude, that was awesome. That was so damn good! I think, I don’t know him, but I’m assuming, I don’t know about you, I hadn’t seen other people playing with McDonald’s straws online. I don’t think he had anybody to follow. He just was doing it. He was like, this is fun, I like this, I’m gonna do this, and look where it took him. Now granted, I’m sure there’s been plenty of people copying him by now, right? There must be imitators. It’s flattery right, roll with it. It’s good, you’re hitting K, they’re not, it’s all good. But, he didn’t set out to say, oh my god, I gotta follow this way and do this and do this. He was just compelled to do something and he did it. And that’s what I want you to, see now I’m scared, when things are changing behind me. Alright.

– [Ted] I love you, C.C.!

– I love you, Ted. That was awkward. It’s a special kind of love. Here’s the other thing, if you take anything away, take this, stop creating for the algorithms. Facebook, Instagram, we all know how to game the system, we all know that damn algorithm. Things don’t pop up, brands hate this. You know, they made it so you had to pay a lot of money to show up. I mean, I remember having clients who spent lots and lots of money to build up Facebook fans and then Facebook said, ah, we’re changing the algorithm. Now you gotta pay to get to anybody. Everyone was like, what the hell just happened? We spent all this time and energy. The algorithm’s changed. They’re not in your favor. They’re all about the eyeballs. Now, what I want you to do, I’m a big, see as a parent, I can’t teach, I wrote a book called Amazing Things Will Happen and one of the rules in it is this rules are like rubber bands. When you have teenagers, and you’re the guy who publishes the book that says, oh yeah, rules are meant to be bent. And your kid’s like, “Hey Dad, what about those rubber bands?” I’m like, oh you little punks! But I love ’em. But what I want you to know about the algorithms is I want you to understand them. You should definitely know how these things work. You’ve gotta know. You’ve gotta know that getting things like likes and shares and engagement is important. You want to understand when Instagram changed the algorithm, you gotta understand it, you gotta research it so you know it. Brands out there are trying to figure this out, agencies are trying to figure it out. But you have to understand it. But then, you can break ’em, you can bend the rules, work with them but never be a slave to them. I mean, I understand, oh, this picture probably scares you all here in Florida. I just realized, all the snow. I’m supposed to get another foot on the ride home tomorrow so I’m not looking forward to that. But understand the algorithms. I don’t want you to ignore them. I wrote a blog post the other day talking about not feeding the algorithms, and I had some people get on my case, and they’re like, “Well C.C., don’t you care about views? “Don’t you care about people looking at what you create?” I said, well of course I do, but I don’t ever, I don’t ever write the top 10 list, ’cause I just can’t do that. I wrote one of the first books on content marketing. I literally said in 2009, who needs a book on content marketing? Doesn’t the world understand this already? And I turned down writing the book. I said yes eventually, ’cause I would have been an idiot not to. But still in that, I could have easily started writing nothing but blog posts. I could have been like the content guy and I said, I don’t want to do that, it’s not what’s in my heart. And so then I just started creating my own stuff. These pictures are so weird. Alright, I need you to help me with something and to the moms and the dads in the room with kids I apologize. Can you guys all stand up for a second again? You know, Eric you got ’em all stretched for me, I appreciate it right. Everybody knows what this is, right? And to the photographer with the wide lens, I would love a picture of this. Everybody knows what this is, right? What is it?

(audience mumbling)

It’s a Facebook like, right? This is the Facebook like, it’s a thumbs up. Right, hey, I love you, I love your content. I want you all to give this thing the middle finger.

(audience laughing)

There, feel better? Yeah, thank you. So sit down. I’m sorry kids, I know there’s, sounds like little kid, I’m like, oh crap. “But Mommy, he said we could flip it off.” I just want you to flip it off because I’m sick of seeing everybody drive for this thing. Everybody wants this thing. I want this thing too, don’t get me wrong. I’d be lying if I said I don’t. It’s like a dopamine hit, right? It feels good. We’ve all had that, you post something and nobody likes it. And you’re like, oh, did they see it? Did they not like it? We’ve all had that, right. I’m so thankful I’m not in the dating game, because then, you know, that’s a whole other thumbs up and swiping and stuff, I don’t want any of that. But this thing stresses us all out. And as creators, which most of you are, from my understanding, it’s important, right. We want this, we crave this. But I also heard the brands yesterday, I was really happy to hear them say, it’s more about engagement, that’s what they really care about. I forget the woman’s name but she said, “I’d rather have someone with 5,000 followers “who have good engagement “than someone with 500,000 followers.” And that’s refreshing to hear ’cause just a few years ago you would never hear that. It was all about the numbers. I’d put together lists of influencers for brands for when I was doing marketing and they would be like, oh if they’re under 50,000 fans, fans or followers or whatever metric they were using that day, they didn’t want to talk to ’em. Brands have gotten savvy that it’s about much more, it’s about engagement. I can write a post that goes viral, but what does it get me?  Nothing, nothing at all, and that’s my least favorite term. This is one of those things, any vanilla ice cream fans? Put your hands down, no. Vanilla’s, I always get in trouble. Someone’s like, “But vanilla’s good, C.C.” No, vanilla’s boring. And not the ice cream, but just vanilla. Everybody tries to create content that’s safe, that’s happy, that’s the happy medium, that’s brand safe. Like just stop it. You gotta create what is to you, because let’s face it, there’s a brand for everything out there. I mean, right now, if I was to give you advice, I would tell you to never post anything political. Or, don’t take a stand on any issue. Well that’s what got us to where we are today, good or bad, no matter which side you’re on. Take a stand, share what you believe in.

There’s nothing wrong with that, because let’s face it, the stuff that gets attention is the stuff that’s not vanilla, the stuff that makes you who you are. You know, there’s been a million beat box videos, millions of ’em, but there wasn’t one on a straw. I still don’t know how you do that, man, that’s just awesome. But it was different. It wasn’t the same old, same old, and that’s what I mean by vanilla. Vanilla’s the same old thing, it’s what you know. I’m a huge Casey Neistat fan, any of Casey’s fans? Yeah, see. You either know who Casey is or you’re like, “Who the hell’s that?” I love it. I teach marketing and my kids don’t know who he is at all. I’m a huge Casey Neistat fan. If you’ve never heard of him and you’re going, “Who is this?” He’s just a little YouTuber, I mean, six million subscribers, YouTuber of the year two years in row, just got bought by CNN for $25 million dollars, all kinds of fun stuff. He’s very successful. But what you saw was you you saw as soon as he got popular, everyone started copying his video format. Everyone tried to be Casey ’cause Casey sort of became vanilla. He would hate me for saying, I don’t know him, but I’m sure he would hate me calling him vanilla. But he got into a rhythm, he was doing daily vlogs, it looked the same every day. They were beautiful, they were inspiring, but they were the same thing. And you started seeing people copy that ’cause they said, “Oh it works for him, let me do that.” You see top 10 lists, listicles. Anybody ever written a listicle before? You lie! Shut up! Like four of you raised your hands. We’ve all been there, we’ve all done it, it’s like the thing you do you don’t talk about the next morning, it happens, right. We’ve all done some of the vanilla stuff, and let’s face it, evergreen content is amazing, it’s good to have that sort of stuff, I just don’t want you to be constantly doing it. I want you to be your own unique voice. Be your own unique flower in a field of vanilla, I guess. You can do whatever you want, just don’t conform. Can you tell I’m not in the mood for that sort of stuff? This is something else, I wanted to leave you with a bunch of different things, since it is the final talk of this event. Do you remember, this is a small town person in me. Do you remember when people would just say hello to each other? I’m the guy who walks down the street, I go all over the world, I say hello to strangers everywhere, it’s just the way I’m wired. If we meet in a hallway, I’ll say good morning. If I see somebody, I thank the waiters, I thank people who bring me water. I thank everybody. And it used to be, that’s why we said hello on social media. I’m one of the old-timers who remembers when Twitter was awesome, you know, the early days when you would say, hi, good morning, and talk. Now, I followed, I’m not gonna out anybody, but I followed, see, like I would follow people at this conference, and I get a DM, hey, thanks for the follow, check me out on LinkedIn. No. That by the way, instant unfollow I automatically, I don’t care who you are, and there’s been speakers I’ve followed here who send me DMs, I’m like, ah, unfollow, you’re no good anymore. That’s my rule. I say hello for a reason. I say hello, I say good morning, you should too. Your content, no matter what you’re creating, now we got more Florida going on, there we go. You should say hello, have good manners, they’re in short supply online these days and it drives me nuts. I just want us to be helpful for each other, I want to give other people opportunities. When I create a piece of content, I hope it inspires people. I hope you take one nugget away from this babble of words that I’m pouring forth today, to be inspired, to walk away and be like, “Yeah, I am gonna do that.” So stop with the auto DMs. That’s just one little thing. But remember this, remember when we used to say hello just because. It’s not rocket science. The other thing that people get hung up on are tools. Everybody needs that slick new camera, you gotta have the most awesomest video camera, you need the greatest tools in the world. I don’t know, if I give a kid a piece of chalk they’re gonna draw me a picture. It may not be Picasso, but it may be really good. I mean, right now, look at any of the political comics coming out. They’re not super high tech, they’re very simple, right, but they make a statement. I just worry a lot, creators get caught up in this thing where they feel they need to have the latest and greatest tools. We all love toys, don’t get me wrong. I’m a total gadget head. I was really bummed my number never got picked for one of those laptops, I love tech, but I don’t need it. I don’t need it. You don’t need it. And too often people get hung up on this, “Well, I can’t start a video blog “’cause I don’t have a Canon 80D with a tripod and a mic.” Yeah, that quality would be great, but you’ve all also got a phone in your pocket that’ll do it just as well until you figure out what you’re doing. Don’t ever use tools as an excuse. I hear it all the time, I’m sure some of you are thinking it right now. Christmas is a ways away, or Hanukkah, or whatever, your birthday, and you’re waiting for that new toy. But do not let it get in the way of creating something that you’re excited to do, just create it. It might suck, it can get better. I mean, I remember in 2004 when I recorded my first podcast. Yes, I’m old school when it comes to podcast, 2004 baby. And all I had was my microphone on my computer and it sucked and like, I still have the file too, and I’m like (imitating distortion) this is C.C. and it just sound horrible. I didn’t know what I was doing. But then as I got going a little bit, I got a little bit more comfortable, I started recording more and more, bought a mic. Bought a mic, you know, it was like 100 bucks, and I remember I bought it ’cause it looked cool. I didn’t know anything about audio. I’m like, this looks cool, I look like a radio guy now. And I did the podcast and it got bigger and better and I kept using that microphone. You don’t need crazy, crazy tools, alright. Don’t get hung up on that. This is a picture I took in Detroit. Detroit, anybody from Detroit? No?

(audience member cheering)

Woo, go Lions! No (laughing) They’re my daughter’s team. I don’t know how she’s a Lions fan but it happens. I’m a Dolphins fan so–

(audience member cheering)

I’ll admit that. You gotta understand, living in New England, living in Patriot nation being a Dolphins fan is tough, but we had a good season. We had a good one, better one next year. Better one next year, get a real quarterback, right, hell yeah. Sorry, non-sports people. Had to go there, I never get Miami love ever, ever. Alright, back to my heart. Right, your heart. People ask me all the time, “C.C., how are things going?” And my typical response is, my heart is full, my wallet could always be fuller. That’s like my go-to line, ’cause let’s face it, a long time ago I left the marketing world, I still do marketing, but it’s not what I love doing. And I started following my heart. Everything I do is with my heart. I recently had somebody say that to me and I didn’t realize that like, “C.C., everything you do “is with love. “You’re driven by love in your heart, “you don’t care about anything else first.” And I was like, wow, that’s a really nice thing to say, I didn’t realize people realized that. When Eric was talking about what one word, I was like, that would be good, I could deal with love. But I want you to create from your heart. I want you to think about your heart first. Too often, don’t get me wrong, there’s money out there to be had, there’s plenty of money out there, finding it’s not easy. Getting paid to do what we love to do, all the creators in the room, it ain’t easy. That’s damn sure, it’s hard work to get paid for, especially creative stuff because let’s face it, “Oh, I’ve got an iPhone, I can take pictures, “why do I need to hire you as a photographer “or a writer or a videographer?” All those things. And pay your creators, damn it, to all the brands out there, pay, pay, alright.

(audience cheering applauding)

You can tell all the people who’ve gotten nailed for you know, give me free stuff, right, sucks! Follow your heart, be driven by your heart. That’s what the whole thing about living like no one’s watching, don’t worry about the other people. If you’re creating beautiful stuff,  people are gonna find it. Yeah, share it, cross-post it, promote it, link to it, make friends who will share it, all that stuff, yes, yes, yes, do all that. But when you’re creating, when you wake up in the middle of the night and go, “Oh, I’ve got this idea,” and then don’t ever follow it up with “Well, should I do it?” Do it. The cost of entry is so little these days. We all have a production studio in our pocket. Web server space costs nickels and dimes. You can always spend more money, don’t get me wrong, I get that. But if you wake up, if you feel compelled to do something, if in your heart it feels right, then do it. Do not worry about, are people going to like it? Do not worry, am I going to make money doing this? Yes, we all have to pay the bills. I have a kid about to start college and I’m scared to death of how the heck that’s gonna happen, but it’s gonna work out. I know it will, and I’m okay with that. And this drives everything I do as I think with my heart. Also, along with that, do not wait for permission. This is actually painted inside a buddy of mine’s bus. They run this company called Misfit Incorporated, coolest company ever, A.J. and Melissa Leon, and they bought this old, (laughing) this old bus, and they painted all these inspirations all over the inside of it. It was like this old white school bus. And this is right over the driver’s side, driver’s seat and it says, don’t wait for permission. And I think it’s perfect advice. You know, I’m one of those beg for forgiveness, don’t ask for permission sort of guys. Don’t wait for someone to tell you you can do something. You can be the best at whatever you want to be. You can get right out there and say it right now, I got the best damn cooking show on YouTube. You want to take me on? I can’t say that, I don’t have one, you can do it. You can create content, you can create stuf and you don’t have to have permission from anybody. We used to have gatekeepers. You used to have to, I used to have to get a publishing deal to write a new book. Now I can go self-publish tomorrow as long as I write the book, I still gotta do the work. And let me tell you, anybody who wants to write a book, a little secret about book writing, by the way, is you’re gonna work just

as hard self-publishing as you are with a publisher. Don’t get me wrong, I love my publisher, they’re gonna hate me, but it’s true. They put me on bookstore shelves, I love ’em for that, but I still have to market it and pimp it as hard as anything else. So don’t think, I know a lot of people are like, “Oh, I want to be an author.” It’s awesome, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing cooler than somebody finding your book in another language and taking a picture of it. The first time I saw my book from a woman in Saudi Arabia with the Arabic translation of my book, I nearly cried. I was like, oh my gosh, I wrote a silly book and she’s reading in in Saudi Arabia, that’s amazing. I didn’t wait for permission. I mean, I was the guy who followed my content marketing, hugely successful book, with an inspirational leadership motivational book. That’s not how business works. That was a stupid business decision, but I followed my heart, I didn’t wait for permission. Any Gaping Void fans in the room? Nobody? Wait, does nobody know Hugh?

(audience member cheering)

Oh, thank god. I’m like, there has to be, okay, oh god, okay. Alright, well we’ll give a little history lesson here. Hugh Macleod, at Gaping Void, he was a marketing guy, used to drink himself to sleep. I shouldn’t say that, that makes him sound really bad. He used to go the bar every night after working at a New York ad agency and he would doodle on the back of business cards, all the business cards he’d been given from people, he would doodle on the back of ’em. Kept doodling, kept doodling, started showing them around to people, starting posting them, just taking a picture of his business card doodles and posting them online. This was pre-Instagram, this was pre-YouTube, might have been pre-Facebook being out there for everybody outside of college. But he started making these little things. Now his art hangs in galleries around the world, he’s a cartoonist. He has a little kid, has a very good living. This is one of his, I actually have a print of this hanging on my wall. My office is covered in his artwork, ’cause I gladly support him. But I love this one because it’s one of those good reminders. I turned 40 semi-recently, and I vividly remember looking thinking, huh, I probably have less years ahead of me than I do behind me, and that scared the crap out of me. And this is why I share this quote no matter what topic I’m talking about, I usually share this quote. Because it is, it’s true, life’s too short not to do something that matters. And this doesn’t mean you have to start a non-profit or a social entrepreneurship company, although that’s great. I wish more people would go that route, because there’s more to life than just money. But Hugh’s my living example of that, and I’m kind of happy no one knew who he was, I don’t usually talk about it, I usually just fly through this. But yeah, Hugh took this idea of drawing silly little cartoons and he’s not a crazy good artist as far as, like, his pictures are very simple, like this. Sometimes they have people and stuff, they’re not like works of art, but I love ’em, and so do thousands and thousands of people. He’s making a living now just as a cartoonist. He didn’t wait for permission. He wrote a great book by the way, I’ll plug that. Ignore Everybody is a great book he wrote. New York Times bestseller I think, and stuff. But he just, he followed his heart. He started doing it and it took a lot of years, a lot of hustle. I met him at South by one year and have been a fan ever since, so check out his work. Now this is my daughter. She hates me using this picture. I’ve used this picture for years, right, and she hates it. She despises it and I still do it ’cause I’m a dad and I can do whatever I want. But here’s the thing, so Emily is an amazing little girl. And this picture, I had to look ’cause I was curious, she was about eight years old when I took this picture, and usually when I talk about her and this picture, I talk about the fact that I hate the fact that as we get older we’re scared to have fun, we’re scared to be different, we’re scared not to be normal. And I used to get really scared, I used to talk about the fact that I knew she was about to enter an age where girls are really mean. I’m sorry, girls are ngh to each other, just to each other, really. Guys, we’ll punch each other and be like, hey, you’re a jerk, and then we’ll go play. Girls, you go for the heart, you go for the brain, you are vicious to each other. It’s true. And I can see, half the women in the room are going, and the other half are like, is he really saying that? Yes I’m saying it, ’cause it’s true. But I point out Emily because I was really worried about her and I was worried it was gonna, ’cause she was an artist, she’d do silly stuff like this, she’d paint, she did all kinds of crazy stuff. And I was worried that it was gonna get knocked out of her. Because let’s face it,

as we get older, we do, we worry about this, we worry about what other people think more and more. I get up in front of audiences all the time, I don’t care. I’m like, yeah, I’ll fall down, I’ll be a goofball, it’s all good, it’s from my heart. But I was worried about her, and it’s funny ’cause she’s now, she’s now this age. She’s a lot older, this is my son, Dylan too, and they’re goofballs, they’re complete idiots, I love ’em. And it’s funny ’cause she’s really gonna hate me. I don’t think she’s watching this, but I love the fact she’s got purple hair. It’s now blue, actually, this was the first day of school this past year, her hair’s now blue and like pinkish, it’s weird, it’s changing. But both of these kids, I’m really happy to say, her more than my son, they’re following their hearts, they wear their hearts on their sleeves, they’re having fun about it, which is hard to do in high school. I mean, I remember high school, I hated high school, hated it. But I look at these two and it gives me hope, because they are following their hearts, they don’t really care what other people think for the most part. And that’s really hard in today’s world, ’cause let’s face it, I mean, if anybody has kids in this room, they’re all on Instagram and Snapchat and all those things and people are vicious. But they’re my example to show me that, you know, they’re still having fun, they’re okay with it not being vanilla, and they’re living life like people aren’t watching, they’re having fun, and that’s what I want you to do. While you don’t all have purple hair, and you’re not all 18-year-old kid boarding a plane to Italy making me jealous right now. I mean, he’s literally getting on the plane right now, drives me nuts. I’m excited about it. And they give me hope that you guys can live life without thinking people are watching, alright. So thank you, I guess, I don’t know if we have questions or not.

– [Woman] You have time for questions.

– Do I have time for questions?

I just want the cool microphone.

– [Woman] You want the box?

– I want the box.

– [Woman] You want me to give you a box  Okay, (speaking faintly).

– Yeah, some of you

– I am not taking that bait.

– caught that.

– [Woman] Alright, thank you.

– I’ve been with my wife since I was a sophomore at high school, I’m not taking that bait.

– I think we just need one. Yeah, thank you.

– I’ll get in trouble. Honey, I love you. Where’s the box? Yes!

– Here it is!

– What is this thing? This thing is the cool, thank you for your box.

– [Woman] You’re welcome. Treat it kindly.

– There are many like it, but this one is yours. Do you know how much trouble I can get in right now with that? Does anybody have a question? Somebody so I can throw this, please. Ha ha. We’re covered by liability right, Ted? Oh watch, duck! Jesus!

(audience laughing)

– Is it this way? This one, yay, okay. What have you found to be the hardest obstacle when you’re writing a book or deciding what you’re gonna do for a book as far as deciding whether or not you would go down a self-publishing route versus publisher, going through your publisher? Like, what is your pros and cons on it?

– I’ve been very fortunate that both books I wrote were picked up by a publisher, Wiley picked them up. They came to me, the first one. The second one, they published it. For me, what I usually tell people is when they say, “I want to write a book.” First thing I say is, write a book proposal. Because that will tell you if you have a magazine article or you have a book. Writing 65,000 to 80,000 words is a lot harder than you think it is. So I always say, write a book proposal first. And if you need a book proposal, I should have put my email up here, but it’s just cc.chapman@gmail.com. I’ll send you a book proposal template to help you. After that, really figure out, do you need the publisher to start? Meaning, how important is it getting on bookstore shelves? That’s the biggest thing. You can’t get there easily without a publisher. Two, are you willing to wait? Because even if you have your idea right now, even if you have your book completely written right now, if you were to sell it to a publisher, it probably wouldn’t hit shelves for at least a year. Do you want to wait that long? Is it okay to wait? Some people are like, “No, I want to publish right now.” Now we get the house lights. If you want to wait or not, that’s the other way. And the thing I would tell you too is, there’s nothing wrong with shopping it around, if you get a proposal done, find an agent, look for an agent or just, you know, there’s plenty of people out there online, just say, hey, I’ve got this book idea. Shop it around. Worst case, they say no and then you can self-publish. Best case, you get a publisher. Working with publishers are great, I love working with publishers, I’ve had a very good experience with mine, but at the same time, I did self-publish one book, I always forget about it, ’cause it was such a quick little thing. We had this idea, my buddy’s like, “Hey, let’s write  “this book.” 101 Video Tips, boom, there we go, published a book, it was on Amazon within a week. It’s a cool thing to do. So just figure out what your goal is, ’cause let’s face it, publishers, you don’t get paid a lot of money for books. But, books are the coolest and most powerful business card you can ever have. It makes no sense, but the minute you publish a book, even if someone hasn’t read it, you all of a sudden get more credit because you’ve published a book. It’s very strange, it makes no sense. I was getting called to do content marketing audits before my book came out on the shelves, and people said, “Well you wrote the book on it, “you must be good at it.” So having a publisher definitely gives you a little cred. It gives you good speaking opportunities, lots of those things. So if you can go a traditional route, go for it. I highly encourage it. Any other questions? You get to throw it over, stand up sir. She’s coming from the other side of the room. You got it, you got it, girl. You can’t play for the Dolphins.

– [Man] It this the mic, guys?

– Yeah, that thing is so cool.

– [Man] What’s up?

– What’s up, man?

– [Man] So you mentioned that anyone can create like, online content. How would you go about establishing an audience and reaching the people that you’re trying to reach?

– [C.C.] Sure, what kind of audience are you looking for?

– I mean, I’m more so talking about YouTube content. I don’t know if I want to go towards jokes or more serious stuff. I’m definitely gonna like put my face out there, so just trying to, hey, how’s it going?

– [C.C.] There you go.

– Yeah, just trying to think about how to–

– See, if you had the channel already?

– No, I don’t have the channel.

– See, no, that’s why I’m schooling you. If you had the channel right now, you could go, go visit my YouTube channel at blah blah blah dot com, and a whole room would see it. No, I’m sorry, I’m picking on you, but seriously, how do you build a community? Start by making content on a regular basis that’s good quality, I mean as good quality that you want to produce. I’m not saying it has to be the slickest video in the world, but that you’re comfortable producing on a regular basis. People will start, ooh, five minutes. People will tell you, I mean, people will come to expect your content, right, that helps. Share it everywhere you can. If you have other, I hope you have other properties already, as far as Twitter accounts and Facebook accounts, those sort of things. So that way you can share every new episode. It’s gonna take a while. Building community is not overnight. Everybody wants it overnight, I want it overnight. It takes time. The only way to get a community fast is to buy it, and they are not real community. I can buy views, I can buy a million views from Manila in no time on a YouTube video, it’s super easy to do, costs you a few hundred bucks. Don’t do that, it’s not worth it. But the only way to do it is to be constantly engaging, talking and creating. If you create anything similar to somebody else, or you think somebody else will like it, say hello to ’em. Hey, Casey Neistat, or hey C.C. Chapman, check out my new video, I think you might dig it because of this. Not at spamming ’cause people do that. It’s gonna take a long time. I mean, unless you get lucky. Unless you get him to do your theme song on a McDonald’s cup, which would be a really cool, do you do theme songs? You should, right, you do? What? Ring, ooh, ringtones. See, this dude figured it out. That’s smart. I didn’t even know people still did ringtones, I had no idea. I’m on silent all the time. Hire him to do a theme song and a ringtone they can download with you like rapping over something, I don’t know. Alright.

– Perfect.

– Oh, up here. You, then you, actually, ladies first, sorry, I’m old school.

– Hey, quick question, I just wanted to know what book you’re currently reading?

– [C.C.] What am I currently reading?

– Mm hmm

– I am currently reading The Book of Joy. Book of Joy, it’s a fantastic book. It’s the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu, and they sat down for a week at the Dalai Lama’s house and talked about joy, and it’s a really powerful, I always go fiction, non-fiction. And I’m trying to finish that book ’cause I have a fiction book I really want to read, but it’s a fantastic book on joy and sadness. Yeah, oh sorry, behind you, then we’ll go back to you, we’ll hang in this court, he’s like, “I already gave it away once.”

– Mic check, mic check. So I just want to say, thank you for this talk first of all.

– You’re welcome.

– And, so you were mentioning a little bit about being vanilla and not being vanilla, so what would you say helped you and your children to be your own, unique flavor?

– Ooh. For me, it’s just the way I am, and it makes no sense ’cause my dad’s a blue collar, he’s a forester, working in New Hampshire. I am not, like there’s nothing in my DNA that makes any sense why I’m this way, they shake my head. If they’re watching right now, they’re like, why does C.C. do that? I just, I don’t know, it’s the way I’ve been, I was in theater in fifth grade, my teacher Mrs. Pet, god bless her soul, put me on stage and said, “C.C., play the Lorax, “you’re the Lorax, go.” And I got in love with the vibe, I love, I feed off of this. My kids, I think it’s because we’ve always told them, we’ve told them from day one, you know, do whatever you want, we weren’t the parents that said, you know, no, no, don’t go climb that tree, you’re gonna get hurt. We were like, yeah, go for it. And when they fell we cleaned them up and hugged ’em and kissed ’em and told ’em we love ’em.

– [Man] Okay, so what would you recommend for people who, for example, you know are getting people trying to make them be vanilla, you know, injecting vanilla into their bowl of–

– Get rid of those people. I’m sorry, I mean, it’s true. I mean, we’re all gonna have doubters, we’ve all got ’em, right. We have those family members, I’m really lucky that I have a wife who completely supports this crazy life that I live. Usually I start with her, I couldn’t do any of this without her. Plus she also has a stable paycheck and health insurance which makes it really good. But it’s true, you’ve gotta take care of your world. You know, you can’t go out and be like, I’m gonna be a YouTube star and then be homeless, that’s not a good, the starving artist is a shitty way to live. Sorry, I was doing good too! But sorry, it’s not a good look. The starving artist is not a good look, so get ’em out of your life. Alright, yeah man.

– When was the last time you were impressed by a content creator and what was it about them that impressed you?

– I get impressed every single day. The other day, the one I’ll think of, this guy, um, shit, Ben Brown, he’s a travel blogger. I’m a huge travel guy, and he made this video and I can’t think of what it’s called, but he was in Antarctica and it’s all like these chilled music vibes, and there’s drone shots, and it was like a six or seven minute video that was just really gorgeous. And he’s like a vlogger, he does stuff. He’s funny, he’s like this ultimate pretty guy, he has the gorgeous girlfriend, they’re always surfing, got their clothes off and stuff. But they made this beautiful, they do, this beautiful piece of content and I wish I could think what it, but it’s Ben Brown, he’s all over YouTube. You’ll be able to find him. But it’s a beautifully shot video and it just was really gorgeous, and I thought it was fantastic. Alright, I’m getting kicked off the stage. Can we sneak in one more?

– [Woman] Ah, no.

– No? Sorry, I’ll be right over here, you can ask me afterwards

Thank you, everybody.

– But, you’re welcome to announce your email address, I’d sure like to email you. Okay, alright.

– Oh, I did.

– [Woman] Thank you so much C.C. Oh my god, you guys.