We’re all looking for evangelists to help promote our company and/or product. But what would the best one be? How does one really define what an evangelist is and is it only an individual or is it more widespread than that? And how does one leverage the tools at their disposal to bolster their company’s presence? Well these questions and more are at the forefront of Guy Kawasaki’s new book Enchantment.
I was given an advance copy of Enchantment and it is a pretty good read. For people interested in helping to reach out to influencers and create an army of passionate supporters (or evangelists), then this is something that you should read. As soon as I heard the word “enchantment”, one of the things I immediately thought about was the company Zappos.com. For me, this company really knows how to do customer service and they have easily created a model army of evangelists that any other company would probably kill to learn the secret. But in Enchantment, Mr. Kawasaki shares some really important tidbits and advice on how to create that own system. From his very own experience as the former chief evangelist for Apple and his other vast other experiences as an author and investor, there are many tales that he shares in this book that many companies can take to heart.
The “Reality Check” continues
As you read through Enchantment, I felt that it was almost like I was reading the sequel to Mr. Kawasaki’s previous book Reality Check in that it had several sections that were almost tailored towards people reading that book. In fact, the book is very much a process that you have to glance through. From its first part of understanding what enchantment is, the next step is to overcome several key things: likability, trustworthiness, preparation, launch and resistance. In the next few chapters, it becomes a bit more tactical in that we learn how to leverage push and pull technology and focus on techniques to create our own foot soldiers from our employees, bosses and many others.
If you’ve read Reality Check, that book gives you a scattered view across multiple disciplines and points of view on creating your business and while offering you a dose of reality, it’s probably meant to empower you to move forward with your dream. And now that you’ve started gaining that momentum, the hope is that with Enchantment, you’re going to be able to take what you’ve learned and now grow that passion outward to help create passionate customers.
Changing attitudes and perceptions through your magic
Kawasaki says it’s a golden age of enchantment because “reaching people around the world has never been easier, faster, or cheaper” and he’s right. The Internet has really helped shape the way that we consider ourselves to be influencers. In my last post, I spoke about how influencers are no longer the people that we consider to be our neighbors or friends, but rather from more credible and professional experts on the subject. So for marketers and business people interested in reaching out to these evangelists, what’s one thing to do? How can we influence people? Well there are some general principles that are listed in Enchantment that would really be helpful:
- Engage fast. Don’t just sit around on your laurels and hope that people will be patient. Make sure you respond fast and make sure that you’re using technology to its fullest potential to be a true effective enchantment tool.
- Engage many. There are no niches to evangelizing or enchanting. Leave no stone unturned. Make sure you target and reach out to everyone and anyone – you don’t know who will be your strongest and most passionate supporter.
- Engage often. Simply putting yourself out there once is not going to do it. As Kawasaki says, enchantment is a process not an event.
- Use multiple media.In the past, I suppose we were limited to only newspapers, television or radio. Now we’re able to reach out to the masses through text messaging, pictures, video, live chats and audio. Play the odds.
- Provide value. Simply putting out content isn’t going to work. It needs to be relevant to your customers – not you. Make sure that you’re offering one of three types of value: (1) pointers to useful, inspiring or entertaining content; (2) personal insights, observations or content; and (3) advice and assistance.
- Give credit. Make sure you give credit when its due and offer positive comments to things that you like – constructive feedback and positive reviews when warranted is a good sign that you’re out there and are singing the praise of others.
- Give people the benefit of the doubt.Don’t think of people the wrong way. First impressions are often swayed by bias. Instead, assume that people are decent human beings.
- Accept diversity.Don’t be so narrow minded!
- Don’t take any crap. Don’t tolerate trolls or people disrespecting you – even after you’ve been courteous and gave them the benefit of the doubt.
Show your company is worth something
Companies are always trying to find a way to distinguish themselves apart from their competitors. And maybe it’s not always with a discernible feature. So in that case, what will you say you’re going to have as your competitive advantage? Why is Zappos so much more successful than another shoe dealership online? Why can’t I create the next Zappos or Virgin America? The reason is because of the customer service and the enchantment that these companies have cast on their customers that convert them into evangelists. By reading Enchantment, companies and business people can get a glimpse into steps they can take internally to better their perception.
Kawasaki’s new book is NOT something on public relations. It’s not on how to frame your press release or how to properly reach your influencers or spin your product to the members of the press. Instead, you’re going to be reading some interesting anecdotes that he has inserted into his book to help put some context into it. I’ll admit that there are some that are just too short and leave you wondering “what the heck was the point of that story?”, but overall, Enchantment is a pretty solid read and for those that read the book, it’ll offer you some self-help guidance on how to grow your business and help generate enthusiasts and supporters who will help bring in more business and customers.
Disclosure: I was given an advance copy of Enchantment by the publisher. In doing so, I promised no review of any kind and was not compensated for this post. These words are my own.