I wasn’t thinking about Seth Godin when I got to Los Angeles for the Ph. D. robing of Dr. Barbara Yablon Maida. But a couple of evenings ago I found myself at a party attended by some very smart people. And talking about Answer Guy Central with one of those people. And I told him about the way statistics lie, using our traffic numbers as reported here as an example.
And he told me I was marketing the wrong way.
He wasn’t telling me that my elevator pitch stunk, by the way.
His comment, immediately upon hearing that Answer Guy Central ranks in the top 3.6% of all web sites for traffic, but that this seemingly impressive traffic rank represents less than five thousand visitors each month, was that I needed to get my customers and clients to evangelize for me.
My jaw hit the ground; this man isn’t a marketing person, was impressed by our relative ranking and even by the number of visitors we get, and still, in a fraction of a second, hit upon the only point that matters: unless your tribe is talking about you, you have no chance to turn whatever successes you have into large-scale success.
Kinda like the idea of the viral video. A gazillion hits equals success, and you can’t get a gazillion hits without big word of mouth.
I say all the time that you need to drink your own Kool-Aid. And you know what? I do. We practice the same techniques we lay on our clients. And those clients are mostly small businesses, just like Answer Guy Central, and what we tell them works. But they rarely become large businesses; they become more successful small businesses.
That’s where Seth Godin comes into this, and where he entered my mind the other night.
Seth is a near-legendary marketing guy. So far as I can tell, Godin actually coined the word “tribe” as it applies to getting your business circle to evangelize for you. That’s customers, co-worker, employees, everybody … all talking you up. Seth even founded Squidoo, a social networking site that’s had some success, if not exactly attaining Facebook-like status.
I presume that guy at the party in LA was hearing me say I wanted to be huge. I never said that, and I’m really pretty happy doing the great consulting work we do at Answer Guy Central. PC-VIP is the best fixed-cost managed care you can get, The Computer Answer Guy lets me continue to indulge my inner geek while helping small businesses succeed, and our SEO Consulting and Search Engine Optimization services work—and I honestly have a great time making Google find our clients.
But sometimes I think that bigger would be better. I’m guessing you do, too.
And until you get your tribe talking, bigger just isn’t going to happen.
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