The Do’s and Don’ts of Evangelism

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.)


By Mike

Comms Exec. Ex-Calvin Klein underwear model. Photographer. Hey, 2 out of 3 isn't bad.

One reply on “The Do’s and Don’ts of Evangelism”

Do believe. The difference between evangelism and sales / marketing is you have to actually believe this stuff. Typical (read: bad) sales guys will sign up to sell just about anything if the commission is right. Evangelists, however, should (to your earlier point) go a layer deeper, know their products and services inside and out, know when there’s a good market fit, and believe they have the best solution for their potential customers.


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