Thursday, December 30th, 2010
The title of this post is a quote by Guy Kawasaki. Guy is a “somebody.”
I had my first interaction with Guy in 2009 when I approached him through Twitter to see about obtaining ten signed copies of his book, Reality Check.
Although he was busy with a leading blog, How to Change the World, a media website, Alltop, a venture capital firm, Garage Technology Ventures, and numerous writing, consulting, and speaking projects, he took the time to personally respond to me and fulfill my request.
True story: My original request was for ten signed books. This was the number of books ordered and paid for in advance.
When the box of signed books arrived from Guy’s Palo Alto office a week or so later, there were only eight books in the box. 20 percent of the order was missing!
I immediately wrote Guy a note on my stationery thanking him for taking the time to personally sign the books and fulfill my order. I also mentioned that, for some reason, there were only eight books in the box, instead of the ten books originally ordered for which I had prepaid.
I’ve never met Guy but know from his writing and speaking that he has a great sense of humor. With that in mind, since he had sent me only 80 percent of my original order, I decided to send him 80 percent of my original thank you note and business card.
After carefully snipping 20 percent off the right-hand sides of my business card and thank you note, I then mailed the remaining 80 percent of the note and business card to Guy.
About a week later, two more books and an Alltop t-shirt arrived in the mail.
Fortunately, the 20 percent strips from my original thank you note and business card were still on my desk. I mailed them to Guy the next day.
Months later, I sought Guy’s advice pertaining to an unconventional marketing idea that my wife, a marketer, opposed.
In his response, he endorsed the idea saying, “Steve, tell your wife that the way I got to be Guy is by doing stuff like this when I wasn’t Guy.”
In other words, the way Guy became a “somebody” is by doing things differently when he was a “nobody.”
Fast forward to Dec. 23, 2010: Because my blog is listed on Guy’s media website, Alltop, I received an exclusive email offer to preview an advance copy of his upcoming book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions (Available March 2011).
Guy’s thinking is that, because recipients of his offer are bloggers who are loyal to Alltop, there’s a good chance that they will dedicate a blog post to his book around the time of its release in early March. As a result, Guy will gain exposure to his fans’ fans and the endorsements (and book sales) will multiply.
This is an unconventional (and brilliant) marketing strategy. Guy knows that anyone who has been introduced to his work through social media, by reading his books or blog, or hearing him speak at an event, and, further, has taken the time to register their blog with Alltop, will likely be receptive to his offers. And, due to the exclusivity of this particular invitation, I suspect his response rate will be quite high.
Contrast Guy’s unique approach to engaging with and marketing to his fan base with the familiar and predictable patterns of other well-known business authors and entrepreneurs who set up Twitter and other social media accounts in order to “connect” with their fans.
In my experience, these high-profile accounts generally connect with each other (i.e., well-known “somebodies”) and are indifferent towards others (i.e., lesser-known “nobodies”) and their attempts to engage.
In so doing, they may be unwittingly forfeiting opportunities to enchant their fans and influence their hearts, minds, and actions—in the way that Guy Kawasaki does so masterfully.