A good friend of mine who runs enterprise marketing for a top tech company recently asked me for advice to help counsel one of his executives on the differences between marketing and evangelism. The list below includes some of the top-of-mind tips I provided based on my experience:
- Be human. Nobody wants to engage with a marketing droid. Be yourself. Don’t worry if a few warts show.
- Educate and inform. Be a good source for people who may eventually buy or recommend your product to turn to.
- Have a point of view. Make people pay attention and engage with you.
- Know your stuff. Your community will smell fluff from a mile away.
- Pick up the tab if you can. You’ll be surprised how far $200 at the bar or picking up pizzas for a hackathon or meetup goes.
- Sell. Selling is the job of your sales team. Your job is to be an engaging human.
- Overly worry about being loyal to your brand. Great evangelists help their community first, even if it means saying a nice thing or two about your competition.
- Engage only when you need something. Influence is a two-way street.
- Attend conferences only if you’re invited to speak. It’s not only conceited, but you’ll also miss out on great content and relationship building.
- Expect anything of your community. Earn it.
This is by no stretch of the imagination a comprehensive list. What do’s and don’ts would you include? Add them to the comments.
(For more, check out my Influencing the Influencers deck on Slideshare.)