The Approachable Tshirt

The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and everyone was generally in a good mood. It was tshirt weather, and I wore this one:


People smiled at me. More than one person complimented the shirt. It’s hard not to laugh when you see it. In short, it’s an Approachable Tshirt.

In my line of work, people are often categorized one of two ways: suits or tees. Either you’re VP/C level/business person or you’re a techie with a more casual dress code. In marketing speak, these are the “technical decision makers” or “TDMs” (why spell something out when you can make an acronym?).


Hanging out with my fellow Geek Whisperers. (Photo credit: Nick Howell)


So this is part of a continuing effort to answer the question I’m most frequently asked, “how can I connect with this community/audience/buying center?”

First Get Up, Dress Up, Show Up. Effort matters, and there are no shortcuts. When you do dress up, consider a tshirt. It’s not the right choice for all occasions, but wearing a “Will Virtualize for Bacon” shirt is almost guaranteed to start a conversation at a tech conference. (Shirt credit and thanks to Gabriel Chapman!)

I would like to claim the concept of the Approachable Tshirt as my own, but credit goes to my mentor Brian Gracely (check out his CloudCast podcast!). When I was getting started in this industry and in the role that would become Influence Marketing, attending my first local meet-ups, I asked him about dress code. He said jeans and a tshirt.



Little did I realize then what good advice it was. If you want to know your audience, join them. Wear an Approachable Tshirt.

For more about the practice of Influence Marketing/Community: