From my presentation at 2007...presentation and transcript below. The Video.

Slide 1. So, I’m here today to talk to you about a subject that is near and dear to my heart: “How to Make a Gabillion Dollars with Community Marketing...or something to that effect” And, truly, it’s pretty simple...there really are... Slide 2. ...only 3 ways to make a gabillion dollars online. The first? Slide 3. ...duh...we all know it is... Slide 4. ...the obvious...PORN! Sex! Hubba hubba! ...which is accompanied by its first cousin... Slide 5. ...spam...because you know you will need... Slide 6. ...a few of these in order to... Slide 7. ...get alot like this and the next thing you know you can... Slide 8. ...roll your own... Slide 9. The second way to make that gabillion dollars, of course, is to... Slide 10. ...get extremely bloody lucky. I’ve known more than a few instances where people were in the... Slide 11. right place at the Slide 12. right time and ended up... Slide 13. ...striking it rich. These are those situations where we love to go back in time and examine exactly what it was that...munity have to do with making a gabillion dollars? Slide 25. a whole lot. Because ... Slide 26. ...customers have a whole lot of choice, and if you haven’t noticed, it’s getting easier and easier for them to... Slide 27. ...tune you out. In fact, doesn’t it seem that the harder you try to get a message across Slide 28. the more likely it is that you are ignored? You may be producing the world’s coolest widget (and widget means something entirely different in this crowd), which, much like this sign is good for your customers, yet...they completely ignore it! Slide 29. Do you wanna know why? Do you? Even if you don’t I’m going to tell you (I have the stage)...It’s because... Slide 30. they don’t care what you have to say, sell or even give away. No they don’t. People don’t listen to ads, salespeople or important messages anymore. People don’t listen to YOU because they are too busy... Slide 31. listening to their friends! The people they TRUST! The people they care about! Slide 32. this is not news. The majority of our buying decisions have always been through word of mouth. This hasn’t changed. What HAS changed is that, thanks to the proliferation of online communities... Slide 33. ...our networks have gotten bigger. Which means that we have more options for getting recommendations. This is a screenshot of my ‘Friend Wheel’ from Facebook. As of this day, I have over 900 friends on Facebook. A portion of them I only actually know online and some of them, of course, have more influence over decisions I make than others. But what is important to note here is that even the most distant “friend” on one of these networks has more influence over my buying decisions than any ad or salesperson I encounter. Slide 34. It isn’t just me or the digerati or the “next generation”, there is significant online growth in all segments of the market. Slide 35. Just to put this all into perspective for you, this year Forrester Research found that only 13% of consumers say they buy products because of their ads. Contrast that to 60% of small business owners in North America that say they use peer recommendations to make their buying decisions and over 70% of 18-35 year olds who report the same for their media purchases. With every new social network, the penetration deepens. People are getting savvier and savvier. Their bullshit compass is well-tuned. They don’t want a pretty picture, they want to have the FULL picture. Slide 36. Now, as a word of caution...some companies have gotten smart to this phenomenon and started to join these social networks themselves...not as people, but as companies and characters and as sales. Which leads to a reaction something like this... Slide 37. Companies like Pay-Per-Post, who cater to clients who want to tap into Social Networks and the power of blogging, think they will influence others through word of mouth, but they have it dead wrong. Slide 38. They think that social capital Slide 39. can easily be converted into currency, but it doesn’t work this way. The reason people are on these networks is to... Slide 40. ...connect first. Slide 41. Connections over time equal trust. And trust is the basis of Social Capital - otherwise known as Credibility. Slide 42. When a blogger is known to taken money to review a product, the trust between him and his readers is eroded and he loses credibility. By trying to pay for social capital, the company extinguished it. Slide 43. Without social capital... Slide 44. You lose this. And when you don’t have this, any recommendation you make is seen as... Slide 45. ...spam and met with... Slide 46. ...this. So, if we were to take this equation and reverse engineer it, your first order of business in standing any chance of becoming an... Slide 47. Influencer - that is... Slide 48. ...someone with a whole lot of social capital - is to Slide 49. ...make connections and establish credibility. Slide 50. It’s kind of dead simple, if you ask me. It’s all about... Slide 51. building relationships. Of course, if this is not your cup of tea, you always have... Slide 52. Slide 53. ...lady luck! Now, I think we’ve established the power of this community/relationship thingy and why it is important. But if you have any doubts: Slide 54. You may think you’re all that, but in actuality Slide 55. Your customers are tuning you out, because they would... Slide 56. ...much rather listen to recommendations from their friends, who they can trust have their best interests at heart than they would you any day. Now, if you think you are clever and try to pose as a friend, you will be greeted... Slide 57. ...with this. Really, the only way to avoid this type of reaction is to... Slide 58. ...make those connections and establish... Slide 59. which leads me straight into the HOW of one goes about making those... Slide 60. ...connections...because Slide 61. ...this didn’t happen overnight. Getting there is simple, really. There are really only... Slide 62. 5 sure-fire steps to transform yourself from a ... Slide 63. spammer Slide 64. into a Slide 65. connector. And if you really rock... Slide 66. you could even become an influencer yourself...which will lead to... Slide 67. customer loyalty...and... Slide 68. increased word of mouth, and, of course ultimately... Slide 69. could even make you a gabillion dollars. So, here they are... Slide 70. the 5 sure-fire steps to transform yourself from a ... Slide 71. spammer Slide 72. into a Slide 73. connector. Number one... Slide 74. turn that bullhorn inwards. Slide 75. This is how marketing has looked in the past. Which, of course, led to alot of... Slide 76. ...this and/or alot of... Slide 77. ...this. So, what is the main characteristic of... Slide 78. ...this that turn people off? Well, most of all, the reason people are turned off is because this kind of communication is... Slide 79. ...impersonal. What worked for the more disconnected world we lived in, pre-internet is no longer so effective. Why? Because people don’t want to be... Slide 80. ...treated like a number, they want to be treated... Slide 81. special snowflakes. As INDIVIDUALS. As human beings. This is precisely why they are getting their information from... Slide 82. ...their friends, who know and care about who they are. People they are CONNECTED TO. Slide 83. Truly, beyond anything else, people desire these connections. New studies on Social Intelligence shows scientific evidence that we are fundamentally wired to connect. People WANT to connect, even through their purchasing decisions, so if you are still... Slide 84. ...doing are missing out on... Slide 85. in order to... Slide 86. ...connect, you need to... Slide 87. ...take this and turn it... Slide 88. ...into this...a beacon for constant feedback. This, of course, sounds easier than it actually is. You need to focus on individuals while at the same time understanding the needs of the wider community. I call this process of focusing on relationships, feedback and listening to customers... Slide 89. ...INreach. For me, the OUTreach part of marketing always takes a back seat to INreach because it has much more impact. You’ve heard the saying, “It’s easier to upsell an existing customer than to win a new one” - well there IS A REASON FOR THAT. Instead of always looking for new customers, we need to concentrate on involving our current customers in the growth and innovation of our products... Slide 90. But it isn’t just listening to direct feedback that you need to do, you also need to do the deeper legwork like reading blogposts, watching user behaviour, and the best way to start to really understand the needs of your customer is to... Slide 91. ...become part of the community you serve, which is the #2 sure-fire process. Becoming part of the community you serve means you have to... Slide 92. Get out of the boardroom and... Slide 93. into the community. Of course! Slide 94. ...but what does that MEAN? So, you are out of the boardroom... Slide 95. now what? What do you do now? Where is this elusive community? Well, the first thing you need to figure out is... Slide 96. ...who IS that community you serve... Slide 97. Think of the diversity of the people in this world. Everyone has different needs, passions, interests, desires. Trying to serve each and every one of their interests would take a great deal of time and money you probably don’t have. You need to narrow it down. The simplest way to figure who your core customer to figure out... Slide 98. ...what problem are you solving? And... Slide 99. ...who it is that you are solving it for? Then it gets easier to figure out where Slide 100. ...those customers are gathering, what interests them and what other networks they are using... Slide 101. ...and join them! Not as a poser. Not as a salesperson. Not as a trial. Not as a skeptic. But figure out what is useful and great. Fall in love with these tools and learn from them. I’ve seen WAY too many people wanting to build online communities that have never even been part of them. That’s going to work out as smoothly as... Slide 102. ...this dude trying to fit in at your teenager’s skateboard club. If you really want to learn the secret sauce behind the success of Facebook or Twitter or YouTube, you have to use it until you love it...period. Of course, once you start to really understand the needs of your customers, you’ll ask yourself... Slide 103. ...why would they give a damn? Why would they want to use your product? With seemingly infinite choice in the marketplace, globalism, commoditization, and constant overstimulation and inundation with branding messages, if you aren’t offering anything remarkable, you are going to... Slide 104. ...get alot of this. Boring! Lame! So, what you need to do is... Slide 105. ...differentiate. And that differentiation could look something like... Slide 106. ...Seth Godin’s <a href="Purple Cow">Purple Cow. We’ve seen cows. Lots of them. Cows aren’t that remarkable. Now, if we were to see a PURPLE cow, THAT would be different. We would stop the car, get out, look closer, take photos, call the news stations, etc. That purple cow would be REMARKABLE. In business, it’s not enough to be interesting...YOU NEED TO BE REMARKABLE? Because if you are remarkable... Slide 107. ...some people may just give a damn. However, remarkable is not the only way to differentiate yourself. In fact, the simplest and the best way to differentiate your business is Slide 108. care about your customers. That’s right. Since the bar is set really low... Slide 109. ...your best marketing tool is awesome customer service. It really is the killer app. Which leads us into the third sure-fire step to success... Slide 110. ...delight and create amazing experiences. When I say ‘amazing’, I mean that it isn’t enough to make stuff that works well, if you want to incite passion and connectedness from people, you need to create sites that bring up feelings like... Slide 111. ...gratitude and thankfulness.... Slide 112. ...utter and total joy... Slide 113. ...loads of love...and of course... Slide 114. ...tons and tons of laughter. Because in order to make connections, it is very important that you... Slide 115. your customer experiences for maximum happiness. If you do this, you WILL... Slide 116. ...connect. If you work to touch people in some way, shape or form, those connections will happen. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the least complicated designs for happiness are often the most profound. An example of this is... Slide 117.’s “give thanks” feature. This is a very simple, subtle feature. When you find someone has bookmarked something you find rather useful or you are rather delighted with, you just click on ‘give thanks’ link and you can send a ‘thank you’ to the person to show your appreciation. Several people have commented on how much more warm and friendly this has made the community and when it was implemented, it created a kind of buzz that we didn’t expect, attracting all sorts of influencers to the service. Which leads me to the next sure-fire step to take towards success... Slide 118. embrace the chaos. So... Slide 119. ...what about Planning? Business plans? Models? Strategy? Brand management? Messaging? Well, if there is anything I’ve learnt from working in social media is that when you try to control the future... Slide 120. fights back...and in entirely surprising ways. There are so many hours wasted on coming up with all of the reasons something won’t work or on predicting customer needs that we forget to concentrate on the here and now of customer satisfaction. People and projects are messy. The future is uncertain. It’s far better to... Slide 121. ...lay the foundation for the type of community you want and then prepare to discover... Slide 122. ...the Everyday Magic along the way. Everyday Magic is what happens when you open your eyes to the unpredictable way that the world works around you. Unplanned events can lead to powerful endings. It’s one thing to say embrace the chaos, but here are a few tips on HOW to embrace it... Slide 123. 1. Stop moving and look around you until you see everything clearly. Ever heard, “Stop and smell the roses?” Whatever you are stopping and smelling or observing, do it. And do it often. 2. Transfer the knowledge. Be transparent and open...ask for help. Secrecy and brand management may have worked pre-internet, but your customers are happy to know you are human. The more you reach out, the more great ideas they will give you. 3. Every time you feel anxiety, acknowledge it. Embracing the chaos is a scary thing. Acknowledging you are scared will bring forward all sorts of help you didn’t know you had. 4. Define your own measure of success. Forget what the books tell you. Forget what even I tell you. Success is whatever makes you happy. Think long and hard about what your passion is and then go for it. 5. Get outside of your personal circle. Some of the biggest innovations have come from taking what is happening in other industries and adapting them to your own. Take a look at the iPhone's interface...I'm guessing that someone borrowed alot of wisdom from the gaming interfaces in Las Vegas. 6. Realize that everything is out of your control anyway. It’s a totally freeing feeling. 7. Have patience. These things may take alot of time. Embracing the chaos is a simple concept that will leave you feeling... Slide 124. this about your future and will let you spend more time concentrating on your customer’s satisfaction than on working out hypothetical business issues. Slide 125. Well, we are finally here at the final sure-fire step to getting closer to Slide 126. ...this. To having the kind of network of people around you and your business that the feedback flows and the word of mouth travels fast. But first, has anyone ever heard of a concept called... Slide 127. Whuffie? Whuffie is a concept invented by Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing fame. In his futuristic Science Fiction novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Cory uses whuffie to describe the capital of the future...which looks just like we talked about earlier... Slide 128. ...Social Capital. But in the future, it is the only capital and has replaced currency altogether. A person's Whuffie is a general measurement of his or her overall reputation, and Whuffie is lost and gained according to a person's favorable or unfavorable actions. Now, sure this is science fiction, but... Slide 129. ...I don’t think that “fictional” future is too far off. I’ve been witnessing it all around me. In every online community I’ve been part of, Social Capital is a core component of... Slide 130. ...connections and, in many cases is more valuable than money. Now, as the basis of these social networks is... Slide 131., something must determine how I value the differing opinions of my... Slide 132. ...900+ “friends”. A friend can’t pay me to make a certain choice. Financial transactions don’t mean much of anything in the world of Social Capital. They work antithetically to it. These transactional ties are part of the market economy whereas Social Capital is part of... Slide 133. ...the gift economy. In the gift economy... Slide 134. the more you give away, the more Social Capital you gain. Saving Social Capital for a rainy day doesn’t work. Slide 135. It’s only valuable as it circulates throughout the community. And as it circulates throughout the community, it inherently... Slide 136. ...connects us. So, as I recognize that we still very much reside in a market economy and you still have to make a living, the question is.. Slide 137. ...what can you give away that won’t leave you broke? Which leads me to the most important sure-fire lesson of all... Slide 138. ...find your higher purpose. Finding your higher purpose as a company helps you figure out on what level you can start connecting to your customers and to potential customers. Slide 139. This group of friends have a shared bond: it may be their passions, history or even a common enemy. How do you relate to your customers in these ways? Is what your company does born out of a passion? Serving a need? Fighting a good fight? A company born out of a way to make you money doesn’t give you much of a goal to relate to your customer’s with. Slide 140. But maybe your company just exists to make money...then what? Is there no Social Capital for you?’s actually pretty simple... Slide 141. just have to find a way to give back to the community. And, as is built into the nature of the gift economy... Slide 142. ...the more you give back, the more that comes around to reward you and your company...beyond it just being a nice thing to do, it is part of the growing popularity of something called... Slide 143. ...“Nerd Values” that reads... Slide 144. ...”doing well by doing good”. Which doesn’t mean you have to be a non-profit... Slide 145. just means that you end up doing the right thing by your customers (and the wider community) along the way, even as you grow your business. Craig Newmark is the founder of Craigslist, a really basic site that has crippled the classified industry in most major cities in North America by offering free listings. Craig has done well by doing good. You are seeing this everywhere now. ... Slide 146. All of these companies and organizations either build tools to help individuals go further or they spend loads of time giving back to the community they serve or BOTH. The more that give, the better everyone does in this ecosystem. And you know what else? Slide 147. Some of them make a gabillion dollars, too! I don’t think it is any fluke that those that listen to their customers, are part of the community they serve, design for happiness, embrace the chaos and have a higher purpose are those that are really excelling right now. So, that brings us back to... Slide 148. ...what can you give away that won’t leave you broke? How exactly do you give back to the community? What are considered... Slide 149. in this gift economy?Well, here are just a few to get you started... Slide 150. #1...Democratize something! What is currently inaccessible? Elitist? What are ways in which you can give everyday people the power to speak up? The ability to create? Slide 151. Blogger did this for journalism. Slide 152. YouTube opened up a whole new marketplace for entertainment. Slide 153. Flickr made it easier for everyone to be a published photographer. What can you make accessible? Give people the tools to go further...Number two is... Slide 154. #2...Open it up! Open source it, foster a developer community! If you have created something good, people will make things you wouldn’t even dream of! Slide 155. Wordpress could compete with a crowded market of blogging tools to become one of the most successful because it started Open Source. By having the code open, legions of volunteers helped make Wordpress an awesome product. A word of caution, though. If you are going to open it, you need to support it. It needs to be a core product and not an afterthought. For those of you squeamish or unable to open your code, why not get some deep APIs in there? Become a platform for others to grow their own sites... Then of course is... Slide 156. #3...Building Bridges! What we don’t need are anymore closed networks. Your customers are feeling a pain point here in a big way. They don’t want to fill out another profile, they want their current networks to work together. So, how can you build bridges? Slide 157. For one, you can work on great standards projects like OpenID Slide 158. and Microformats. For another, you can look at how you can work.. Slide 159. ...WITH your competitors instead of against them for the betterment of customer experience. Bridge building is not only good whuffie, but it is good for the customer who WILL reward you for putting their interests first...Number four is my favourite... Slide 160. ...Spread love! I talked earlier about designing for happiness, but what about turning this up a notch? What about designing for generosity? For helping people connect at a deep level? Reaching out to people who don’t get the love all of the time? Designing a site that encourages people to do nice stuff for one another? Slide 161. Jane McGonigal’s alternate reality games, such as Cruel to Be Kind, are a great example of this. She’s created a mixture of online/offline action where, you are sent directives: give a stranger flowers, kill another player with compliments, etc. People react extremely positively and have reported personal transformations. She has a rabidly loving community. And the fifth example of how you can give back to the community you serve is to... Slide 162. #5...Value something bigger than you. Take something that has lost value in the shuffle: like the environment, leisure time, health, families, or slow food and dedicate your time to it. You’ll not only build that valuable Social Capital, but you will meet loads of people who share your passions and will probably be willing to help spread the word about your business. So, to sum up just a few of the ways to give back to the community... Slide 163. You can democratize, Open up, Bridge, Give Love and/or Value something bigger than you. Heck, do as many of these things as possible and your... Slide 164. capital will grow immensely over time...Alright...we’re almost out of time. I know I’ve covered ALOT of ground here...and I don’t know if there will be any time for questions, but to are... Slide 165. The 5 sure-fire steps to transform yourself from a ... Slide 166. spammer Slide 167. into a Slide 168. connector... Slide 169. 1. Turn that bullhorn inwards. Stop talking and start listening! 2. Become part of the community you serve. Figure out who it is you are serving. It isn’t everyone. Then get out of your office and into the community. 3. Create amazing experiences for your customers. Design for maximum connectedness, happiness and joy. Empower and elate. 4. Embrace the chaos. Don’t overplan. Learn to be more agile and recognize everyday magic. 5. Find your higher purpose. Social Capital only gains in value as you give it away. Figure out how you are going to give back to the community and do it...often. Because the surest way to get... Slide 170. this is... Slide 171. through this...and if you still don't believe me... Slide 172. ...I wish you the best of luck... Slide 173. ...making this. Slide 174. thank you