Confessions of a customer evangelist: promoting Kawasaki

It is amazing to find that sometimes, you have been ahead of the curve and didn’t know it. I worked in a neighborhood bookstore as part of my "portfolio career" (a.k.a.,lots of jobs; little money) in 2002-2003. I was going to graduate school full-time and making the break from corporate life to consultancy. One of the benefits of my $8/hour job was access to pre-release copies of books. I was the only one in the shop that gravitated to the business books, and by now you know that I’m going to tell you that Creating Customer Evangelists… was one of the treasures I found. I recommended it several times, and even loaned it to someone who probably didn’t "get-it," ‘cuz I need to buy another copy after sending the link to a client!

Truth be told, I’m not comfortable with the "good news" connotation of customer evangelism, but the idea that clients are likely to enthusiastically promote my services if I make it easy for them to do so is almost a "no, duh."  I incorporated the term, "buzz," into my vocabulary; I even had to define and defend it in a presentation at Temple University. My sense of urgency about this now stems from yesterday’s global summit honoring "The Brand Called You," the 1997 Fast Company article that I’ve been sending to prospective clients for several years. To kick-off the 12-hour teleseminar (it was recorded, so look for it online), Guy Kawasaki facilitated an excellent session, "Evangelizing Evangelists to Build a Business and Build Your Brand."

Few business books stay with you the way this one has for me. This book’s authors are Ben McDonnell and Jackie Huba; Kawasaki wrote the forward and introduces the book’s discussion of customer evangelism and viral marketing through engaging case studies (no dull Harvard Business School  curriculum for you). I recall the one about Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks, and will have to wait to get another copy of the book to remember the rest. Okay, so I guess I am sharing "the good news" after all.  Buy the book; tell ‘em Karen sent you!

(As a cyclist, I had to add the picture of "Bike Friday," one of the products that has been successfully marketed through customer evangelism – not sold through retail bike shops!)    Bike_friday_customer_evangelism_2_3