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.)


One response to “The Do’s and Don’ts of Evangelism”

  1. 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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