Let me begin with an anecdote. Mary was actively involved in community service. She became the president of United Way of King County ? a non-profit community organization – in 1975.
Mary would passionately tell anyone willing to listen about her son and his new company. One of the people who listened was a fellow United Way board member: John Opel.
Five years later, John Opel ? president of IBM is looking for a computer operating system. And where does he go? To Redmond, Washington to meet Mary?s son ? Bill Gates.
Thanks to that deal with IBM, Bill Gates today is one of the richest men alive. Arguably IBM would never have sent people to Redmond to see a virtually unknown company as Microsoft was then, if John Opel hadn?t heard the name before.
Ah ? the power of contacts!
The Limitations of Networking
Aristotle Onassis ? the shipping tycoon – was once asked: what would you do if you suddenly lost all your money?
His answer: ?I?d get a job, and work till I had saved up $300. Then I?d go buy myself an expensive suit, and go to where the rich people hang out.?
Onassis knew the power of networking.
Of course you only have so much time in a day. You simply can?t network with everyone you’d like to. There are a thousand and one bloggers out there you probably should network with. On top of that, there are all those various forums and social networking sites where you should sow your seeds and network. And that’s just online networking. Add to that: the offline meetups and seminars?
How can you ever be at all these places? You just can?t! So what should you do?
The Solution: Get Others To Talk About You
Bill Gates landed the IBM deal because his mother talked about him. But what can you do to get others besides your family to talk about you?
1. Do Something Noteworthy and/or Outrageous
P. T. Barnum hired a plump beggar to promote his museum. He gave the beggar 5 bricks and told him to place 4 bricks on the 4 street corners around the museum. Then go to the 1st brick and replace it with the 5th brick? then go to the 2nd brick and replace it with the 1st brick? and so on. Without telling anyone what he was up to. At the end of one hour, the beggar should show a ticket at the museum door, enter and walk through each and every room in the building and then leave. He should then resume his brick exchanging work again.
Within one hour, close to a 1000 people were following the beggar to see what he was up to. And when he entered the museum, a few dozen others entered behind him too.
The beggar continued the idiot?s play throughout the day for several days. And every time he entered the museum, a small crowd followed him.
You don?t really have to do something smart to get people to talk about you.
Do Something That No One Else Has Done Before And People Will Start Talking!
A while ago I hired a programmer to create a donation plugin for WordPress. But instead of calling the plugin ?PayPal Donation Plugin? ? I called it the? Buy Me a Beer? plugin. And that has made all the difference. Others had made donation plugins before me. But no one had made a beer plugin before. And that?s what got people talking.
Question: What unusual thing can you do to get others to talk about you?
2. Convert Readers into Friends
It?s a no-brainer. People who consider you as their friends will tell others about you more often than people who don?t. But how can you turn your blog readers into friends? Surely you can?t call all of them up frequently and chit-chat!
Here is the quickest way to make more friends: self disclosure.
Two behavioral psychologists: Collins and Miller conducted research that found that those who disclosed their small secrets were more liked than those who didn’t. Disclosing things about yourself that many don?t know forms strong relationships.
Dave Dee became the # 1 reseller for Dan Kennedy information products by using this simple method. In every email that Dave sends out to his subscribers ? he makes sure to tell them something about himself or what he did recently Things like his favorite sports team, what fun thing he did last week, who he met yesterday. Disclosing small seemingly useless facts about himself created a bond between his subscribers and himself. As a result, a very high percentage of his subscribers buy from Dave repeatedly. And an even higher percentage of people talk about Dave to their friends and associates!
Question: What can you reveal about yourself to your blog readers that they wouldn?t normally know?
3. Give Tools to People to Talk About You
Gandhi is known as one of the masters of viral marketing. How can one man preach his message to 300 million people living in various corners of a large nation? One can?t. Gandhi himself didn?t personally deliver his message to 300 million Indians. Instead, he got others to talk about his ideals. He wrote countless pamphlets and newsletters that Congress leaders could give away to their villagers.
Gandhi influenced the Congress leaders. And in turn, these Congress leaders used the tools that Gandhi gave them to influence the village folks.
Text-Link-Ads helps blogs make some money by showing text ads on them. It?s hard for people to convince others to start using Text-Link-Ads to make money from their blogs. So Text-Link-Ads came up with a Calculator tool that bloggers could use to see how much they could earn. People could talk about this one tool with far more ease than they could talk about Text-Link-Ads!
Question: Can you create supportive material that people can use to spread the word about you?
4. Reward People who Talk About You
Napoleon Bonaparte created one of the most loyal armies ever built by using one trick: he rewarded baubles to his worthy soldiers. Baubles are nothing but fancy ribbons. Napoleon gave these baubles to a few of his soldiers frequently. What this achieved is: it made all his other soldiers fight a lot harder for Napoloen. Because they wanted to win the baubles too!
You don?t have to reward people with money. In fact, its ok if your rewards cost little or no money too. The infamous blogger John Chow came up with a fantastic reward idea. He linked to other people?s blogs from a highly trafficked page – if they wrote a review about him. It cost John absolutely no money to give the reward out! Yet the perceived value of the reward to the bloggers was enormous. As a result, more than 800 bloggers reviewed John Chow?s blog!
Question: What can you give away to people when they talk about you?
- Do something worthy so that people can talk about you
- Make more friends with self disclosure
- Provide tools to people that makes it easy for them to talk about you
- Reward people when they promote you
*This post was guest blogged by Ankesh Kothari of How To Grow Your Blog Traffic. Go visit his blog and comment on one of his posts, letting him know that you are coming via NorthxEast.com, and he’ll send a secret goodie to you.