Social Architect Craig Williams has a love for people and their stories. He’s taken his ability to remember people that he meets and to quickly get to the core of what they are interested in and passionate about and turned it into a career making connections. SBT managed to catch up with him to discover just what a Social Architect is.
Kristen: Alright, we’re here today talking with social architect Craig
Williams about the power of authority marketing. Craig, welcome,
and thank you for talking with me today. Why don’t we just start
out talking about what is authority marketing?
Craig: Well, authority marketing is basically an area of expertise or
mastery spreading the word. Being the leader in an industry of
sharing adding value or value added service or product. And having
enough followers or experiences to show that you have an opinion
that needs to be listened to.
Kristen: Now, who exactly needs authority marketing?
Craig: I would say everyone, whether you’re in business for yourself
or in business with someone else, and a support system, or the
support system as part of a community. Getting the word out
needs to come from a reputable resource and I think those who
have authority have proven their reputation or they’ve proven
themselves to be considered a dependable resource.
Kristen: So an expert in their field, perhaps?
Craig: Most definitely, most definitely.
Kristen: Could you explain how exactly does having authority in your
field or being an expert help with business?
Craig: Well one credibility. When you’re in business you don’t always
get a second chance. Yes, the first impression makes a big
difference, but people are moving at the speed of light. They
want to have confidence in what they’re about to invest their
time, money or energy into. So, they want to know that what
they’re about to invest in is going to pay off. And it’s all
about a return on their investment, whatever that might be.
So credibility is big, a big asset.
Kristen: Now, a little birdie told me, and it wasn’t the Twitter bird,
that a while ago you were on the TV show The Apprentice. Can you
talk to me a little bit about that and what you learned about
business from your experiences?
Craig: Yeah, it’s been quite a while. Actually the early years when
they were still writing curriculum at Ivy League schools
surrounding the show. What I learned about that experience was
that experience, my past experiences, will always make room for
me, no matter what the challenge that is in front of me. And we
have quite a few of those challenges. It was an encouraging
affirmation and confirmation to the lesson that I learned in my
past experiences, that be ready at any given moment, you’ll have
to reach back sometimes to be successful in the journey of
Kristen: Now, when you went on The Apprentice, did you know that you had
a strong interest in business?
Craig: Oh, definitely; that’s part of what paved the way for me. I’ve
been a serial entrepreneur since sixth grade. So a sense of
providing a service or a product to the marketplace has always
been a part of my life.
Kristen: So what was your first business in the sixth grade?
Craig: Actually, I was an artist on demand. So, I was an early
illustrator. Art was one of my first loves, and just doodled a
lot and people loved the caricatures that I would create of
them, or sometimes I would get pieces of paper and form a 3-
Dimensional architecture of, a visual expression of an
experience I might put together. Like a Gilligan’s Island. A 3-
dimensional Gilligan’s Island with scrap paper or something, and
people liked it so they purchased it. I didn’t do it for the
sole reason of making money, I was pretty innovative and
creative and people liked it. My classmates liked it, so it
started from there and went from that to illustrations to a
number of other things that I was able to conjure up.
Kristen: So what types of businesses can we find you doing today?
Craig: I do a lot in the area of leadership and influence consulting.
I’ve found that those who have the responsibility of thousands
and ten thousands of individuals tend to not have that person
that holds them accountable, keeps them sharp, and it’s because
of my extensive background in engaging people of many levels in
business and life that I’m able to be a voice of reason from a
personal perspective or business.
Kristen: And you specialized a little bit, it sounds like, in being a
Craig: Yes. Yes, ma’am. Because of those relationships for years I’ve
had a very diverse background. Geographically and just literally
as well as figuratively. And I grew up never meeting a stranger,
so always valuing the engagement I had with individuals. Whether
it was on a personal or professional level, and always really
appreciated the opportunity to engage and I’ve always kept a
Rolodex of names and those experiences and those people that
I’ve met in my journey in life. So, always knew what their
passions were. I could remember and file it away mentally. If I
couldn’t remember their name I could remember the conversation
or what they had on and what they love. So it was something to
do with a passion of theirs and I ran into someone who was in
that space, I would always know how to be able to refer and make
the connection for them.
Kristen: That’s an interesting talent, too. Now, when you are working
with clients on building authority for themselves and their
business, what is the biggest struggle that they’re having that
brings them to you to get help with this?
Craig: I think they minimize their individual experience and so I
pretty much just have a conversation just to get the essence or
the ethos of who they are, where they come from and I’m able
from there to build a case on what their value proposition is in
the exclusivity of their life experience. I think we’re all an
expert or an authority on at least our journey, and funny as it
may seem, we all have something to learn from one another. So,
I’m able to provoke them into that area of their expertise of
mastery that they really take for granted.
Kristen: Now, coming up what would you tell people who are just starting
to think about maybe looking into working on authority and how
they might be able to establish their business as an expert?
What’s the first little piece of advice that you would give to
Craig: Make sure they have some passion or an interest, of course.
Don’t just go seek out, hey, is there a great need for
authorities, oh okay, I think I’ll do that. No. If you haven’t
started journaling and if you have journaled, go back and review
what the recurring theme that you’ve written about. Maybe it’s
some of if you’re a reader. Look in those areas that you tend to
read about. Of course, even if you’re a big reader of Harlequin
romances, maybe you want to be in the dating industry.
Kristen: So, discovery your passion.
Kristen: Either through writing about it or through looking at previous
work that you’ve done.
Craig: The natural interest that you have. Maybe it’s a gift or talent
or knack that you have of something, no matter how quirky it is.
I mean, there are 7 billion people on the face of this planet,
I’m sure you can garner an audience.
Kristen: Now, you were talking a little bit in the beginning and you
mentioned words like followers, so you’re kind of referring a
little bit to social media and those outlets. Is that primarily
the way that you’re encouraging clients to get connected and to
build up their authority would be through social media or are
there alternate venues?
Craig: Of course there are alternative ideas. How effective they can
be, efficiently effective. If you have a tool that can reach all
of your friends or all of your contacts, why not use it.
Leveraging resources can help you spend a little bit more time
on those other areas that you may like going to networking
events. But how much energy and cost are involved in that? I
don’t know that there is a more efficient way of reaching the
numbers that you want to reach than social media.
Kristen: Right. Now, I’ll just give you one last question, hopefully I
don’t throw you for a loop here. I’m wondering, since you have
such an interest in business and you’ve been such a solo-preneur
and entrepreneur over the years, building up your own authority
and expertise, is there someone in the business world or
celebrities that really inspired you to really go down this
Craig: That’s a good question and that remains to be seen. Because I
started at an early age, I think it was just a matter of another
way to engage people and create a win-win. So I don’t know that
I had the insight, or if there was, right now I can’t think of
that individual because I’ve always pursued and since business
was one of those avenues that created that win-win, I think I
naturally and organically just rolled into it and didn’t know I
was an entrepreneur until someone said I was an entrepreneur. I
didn’t look at as something to aspire to, it was just who I was
Kristen: Right, so going back to what you told the potential clients
that would work with you. You had a passion and you followed the
passion in making money and being an entrepreneur was really
something that came out of following the passion.
Craig: Yeah. I think it was very much a byproduct, especially the
making money part and although I’ve been able to make money and
had those seasons of great increase, I think the greater
increase is ahead of me because now I have a more healthy
relationship with money and a respect for it and know how to
pursue it for greater benefit and legacy, as opposed to that
being the driving force. It was passion, need, mostly the needs
of others. They were asking and I saw it in their eyes. I
figured I had to deliver since I had the capabilities to do
Kristen: That’s very interesting, Craig. The very last question I have
for you this afternoon, is just talk a little bit about what
does it mean to be a social architect?
Craig: Well, for me, being a social architect means that you’re
considering more than the now, the present, but you’re
considering mankind. The society that you’re a part of and those
that you want to be a part of building. More of a big
picture, beginning with the end in mind type of perspective.
It’s definitely a global one and it involves not only the
commerce, but the lifestyle of those who are involved in the
engagement. Whether it be service or product oriented. It has a
lot to do with principals, for me.
Kristen: Right. Well, Craig, I’m very thankful that you took some time
this afternoon to talk with us about the power of authority
marketing and becoming a social architect, but also really to
address the idea that you need to follow your passion and then
build up entrepreneurship after you have the passion giving you
that driving force. And, also, the same thing applies as an
authority in your field and building up expertise to really let
it come from that space of this is what I love to do, this is my
own personal experience, and I think that’s valuable advice to
share with everyone out there. Is there any last thing that
you’d like to add?
Craig: To yourself be true. I really appreciate the time you’ve given
me and the questions were very thought provoking.
Kristen: Alright. Well thank you so much for joining us.
Craig: Thank you, Kristen.
Kristen: Alright, bye-bye.
For more information about Craig Williams visit http://HoweMarketingConsultants.com