You'll find full reviews elsewhere - my buddy C.C. Chapman gave it a rave, and Guy has compiled a long list of reviews from blogs and the mainstream press. So rather than post yet another plain vanilla review, I reached out to Guy and asked him a few questions about the book. In addition to giving him the opportunity to chat about some of the ideas in Enchantment, this should help you decide if you're enchanted enough to buy yourself a copy.
Q: Hey Guy! As I read Enchantment I couldn't help thinking that a lot of the advice is common sense (smile, shake hands, be honest, make a good product) but then remembered that old adage, "The problem with common sense is it isn't so common anymore." Which brings me to my first question - what was the inspiration for Enchantment and why did you decide to write this particular book?
There are two answers to this question. First, I was in a two-book contract, and my editor wanted the second book. :-) Second, I've been evangelizing things for twenty-five years now. It's required trying to enchant, influence, and persuade people, so I've become a student of these techniques. Dale Carnegie and Robert Cialdini inspired me. I wanted to document and distribute everything I've learned about the subject.
Q: In the book, you seem to place equal weight on how the reader can be more enchanting as a person and how the reader can create a more enchanting company. Do you see this as a necessary one-two punch? In other words, can a disenchanting leader create a wonderfully enchanting company? Can an enchanting leader have success at the helm of a business that is inherently disenchanting?
It's hard to imagine an enchanting company with a disenchanting leader or a disenchanting company with an enchanting leader. It's possible, but I suggest that companies not try to explore whether it can be done and strive for both. There's an old saying that when a fish gets rotten, the head stinks first, so I would recommend that you start at the top.
An enchanting leader will have enchanting employees who will in turn enchant customers. That's the ideal model.
Q: The CEO of a company that has suffered a major moment of disenchantment - let's say BP - calls you in and asks for help. Can a company like this become enchanting? And what's the most important piece of advice you'd offer?
The most important piece of advice is, "Make your reality enchanting." That is, enchantment is not about putting lipstick on a pig. Step one is to fix the pig. After that, work on likability and trustworthiness. Enchantment is not "spin"--it's reality.
Q: On the flipside, let's take a look at a current social media darling - Groupon. They've had some stumbles (the controversy over their Super Bowl spot for example), might be a bit arrogant (turning down Google's billion dollar offer), and I know a number of small business owners who gripe about their business model (most sellers take a loss on the deal and few can definitively say they got repeat customers as a result). Yet people love Groupon and the company has gotten a ton of positive press. Do you think Groupon is enchanting? If so, what makes it enchanting and what can other start-ups learn from it?
It's too early to tell. A company can achieve commercial success and not be enchanting. I can name a dozen tech companies that fall into this category. But suffice it to say that no enchanting company would run a spoof about Tibet. That was shockingly stupid. It created a crater, not just a hole, that Groupon has to dig itself out of.
Want more? Guy offers a handy-dandy infographic that provides a snapshot of all his advice for how to be enchanting in both life and work, a niftyquiz to test how enchanting you are today, and if you want to see what enchantment looks like to other readers to show Guy what enchantment looks like to you be sure to check out the Nikon-sponsored Enchantment photo competition too.
Have Guy and his ideas enchanted you? Ready to get your crow's feet on? Pick up a copy of Enchantment wherever books are sold.
Ask just about anyone who does a fair amount of thinking about social media how to connect with customers today, and the content will most likely turn to compelling content. So it's always cool when someone comes along and compiles a bunch of compelling content from a group of smart thinkers, all in one place. So when Codrut Turcanu, internet marketing strategist, reached out to let me know he was putting together a collaborative e-book featuring a batch of marketers and pro-blogging experts -- and asked me to contribute my thoughts on content, social media, micromarketing and even book marketing -- I responded with (something like) "hella yeah".
Codrut's free e-book, Authentic Connections 2.0 is out now and - in addition to my trademark genius (j/k) - it includes a lot of good thinking about how to make great content, earn attention, attract an audience, and get social media and marketing right. Whether you're a marketer seeking good ideas, a blogger hoping to earn a living doing the social media thang, or a n00b looking for sound tips in an easy-to-read package, you'll probably find at least a few things of interest between Authentic Connections 2.0's virtual covers.
A few of my favorite quotes concern - pay attention people - content. How to think about it, how to get it right, interesting ways to make it work for you, and why great social content creation is about so much more than just getting the word out far and wide.
Go ahead and download your free copy or read it all online at the Authentic Connections 2.0 blog - but if you'd like a few tastes of what you'll find inside, here are some of the thoughts that had me saying, "Right on."
One of my BFFs (best Boston-area friends), Ann Handley, writes about why content marketing can't be an afterthought. Ann writes:
Instead of thinking about "repurposing" or "recycling" your content as an after-thought, think of "reimagining" it. Repurposing is about slapping the same stuff in various places. Reimagining is about thinking through your content, from the point of inception... Noting is a one off... but a piece of a larger whole.
Speaking of best friends, MEC Interaction's Richard Fitzgerald got plenty of offers from girls looking to be his new best friend after he won 52 weeks' worth of free Mexican food as a giveaway at a social media conference. He took the experiences that followed and turned them into a blog called 52BurritoDates. Fun idea, but also some interesting insights for businesses. Richard writes:
I think that the model of 52 burrito dates and by applied to any company, in any industry. Social media marketing is all about creative a narrative, a sustained engagement. It's not necessary to aim for wide reach, concentrating on what the unique offering is... So many companies have... customers who would be perfect to create online content. Specifically, I think service companies could look to copying the format of 42 burrito dates, by handing over their social media presence to a loyal customer in exchange for free services.
And this brings me back to another social media friend, Toby Bloomberg - to my knowledge she wasn't one of Richard's burrito dates (at least not yet) but an awkward segue is better than no segue at all. Toby has been blogging and helping businesses get smart about social media for as long as anybody in the business. She points out that at the end of the day, social content needs to be a two-way-street. It's not just a way to say but a mechanism for meaningful two-way interactions (just like good burrito date conversation, I'd imagine). Toby writes:
When blogs entered the scene they brought with them a unique visibility that also occurs in social networks. Since people could interact with each in real time a la comments, tweets, status updates, etc. relationships and friends began to form in the digital world. Friendships that began with two or three people developed into networks among twenty and thirty and hundreds of people...That’s the way it was for the corner grocer or baker or candle stick maker. Not only was she involved with her customers but with the community at large. She was the person you bought your cupcakes from but also the women who you met at the PTA. Shop keepers were integrated into the community. That’s what blogs brought back. A way to for the people in companies to get to know their customers better and a unique opportunity for customers to put a face to a logo.
Obviously Ann, Richard and Toby have plenty more to say - as do the rest of the 18 or so contributors (all laid out in handy-dandy interview format, with Codrut asking the questions and the experts answering). And then there's me - and you already know you love me, so what are you waiting for?
Search Amazon for books about social media and the site offers up more than 140,000 choices. I haven't read them all, but I'd wager that most focus on social from a marketer's perspective: how to use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, influencer engagement and all sorts of social goodness to reach consumers and sell them stuff. Soooo along come my friends Jay Baer and Amber Naslund, throwing their words in the ring with their new book The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social (disclosure: Jay and Amber's publisher - Wiley - provided me with a free review copy).
The basic premise? Consumers are more connected than ever, are always on, and demand more from the companies they bless with their business and bucks. Now those companies had better get in gear and change the way they operate. The book has plenty of brass-tacks tips for setting up a listening and response program, dealing with crises and measuring impact. But the real difference between this book and I'd wager most of the other 140,000 is that it isn't really about "doing" social - it's about "being" social.
The best parts of this book aim to convince you (yes you) why you need to lead the charge in making your companies more social at its very core. Jay and Amber advise companies to begin not with showy social marketing tactics but with wholesale cultural and organizational shift (a tall order, but the right starting point for businesses that see social as a driver for something greater than itsy bitsy incremental improvements), and offer practical tips for how to hire the right types of people, models for organizing for success and empowering employees to be part of the shift, and garner the right kinds of support.
Recently, I chit chatted (over email) with Jay and Amber about The NOW Revolution. Read on to learn more about the book and why you may want to read it.
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Q:As a blogger turned author, I'm always interested in why other bloggers went traditional... So let's start with: why this book? Why now?
Jay: As social practitioners, we hear so often questions about tools and tactics, when in reality social success is more about culture and sociology. There are so many books about how to "do" social media - and some of them are great. We figured it was time to write a book about how to "be" social as a company.
Q:One of the key premises in the book is that revolution comes from witihin - that to truly realize the potential inherent in realtime and social, an organization needs to start by building a culture around those principles. I believe you're 100% right but I also hear the voices of countless client-side worker bees crying that they CAN'T affect this kind of change, they really just need a Facebook tab right now. Why is the first step so difficult and what are your top tricks for getting over the hump?
Amber: The truth is that *anyone* can affect change if they're willing to stick their neck out a bit to do it. There's no question that culture shift can be difficult, and slow-going, especially if the business is established in processes and protocols that have been developed over years and years. The trick is that culture change has to be wanted - at every level - and not just endorsed from the top, but believed in at the top as well. Organizations need more than buy-in, they need intent to actually act on and engineer change, and they need volunteers to do the nitty gritty work. Sometimes that means having some difficult conversations in meetings and on the phone about fundamental value disconnects. Those are the things we can't attach to our P&L directly, so we hesitate to spend time on them. But the power of a simple set of conversations around shared values and company purpose - aside from any operational strategies - can be a good jumping off point to translate beliefs into purposeful plans.
Q:In the book, you're essentially talking about what Dachis Group calls social business design - the intentional creation of culture, organization, systems and filters that allow your company to be more social in both how it connects its workforce and engages its outside constituents (consumers, business partners, supply chain, etc). Do you believe that all businesses will need to become social businesses? And why?
Jay: Exactly... Indeed, all businesses will need to become social eventually - customers will simply demand it. It's not too different from customers demanding businesses have a phone, or a website, or an email address. But, the one big difference now is that every customer is a reporter, and every employee is a potential marketer. Social business is an imperative - eventually - for all. But there hasn't been much of a playbook for getting there, so we wrote one.
Q:The NOW Revolution is packed with case studies - including stories about big companies who are making the shifts. Among these companies, which one would you say is furthest along the path and why?
Amber: If I have to pick one company that really embody the principles we lay out in the book, I'm going to go with ThinkGeek. They're not a "big" company so to speak, but they've got the culture and hiring thing down, which I think is so very fundamental, plus they're actively out there listening and engaging with their community, and building and growing their business to bake that stuff right in. I'm also super excited about what larger companies like H&R Block and Autodesk have done to organize cross functional teams to steward company-wide social strategy; that's really how you get started treating social as more than just a marketing channel, and it's quite an accomplishment to rethink your organizational design and progressively keep up with the shifts brought about by real-time business.
Q:You use Microsoft Tag throughout the book to link readers to enhanced content and additional material. How have readers reacted to the blend of traditional and mobile/digital?
Jay: Of all the pieces in the book, the use of Microsoft Tag has probably gotten the most chatter. To some degree, that's intentional. Very few books have incorporated Tag (or its cousin, QR codes) as comprehensively as we have. There are 22 Tags in the book, each unlocking videos, PDFs, lists, downloadable infographics and other stuff that extends the book's impact. Truthfully, some people absolutely love the idea. Some people think it's a bridge too far and wish we just put URLs in the text. Other people love the notion, but prefer QR over Tag. The good news is that people are talking about it, and thinking about how meta content of this type can be utilized in their own companies. If Tag starts to take off (and USA Today just incorporated it in the printed paper), we'll be happy to take credit. ;)
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Sound like your cup of tea? Visit the NOW Revolution site to learn more and download a free chapter, visit your favorite bookseller to buy a copy now, or if you'd like a shot at winning a freebie drop a comment on this post. Monday morning, I'll pick one random commenter and mail off my own copy to you.
Are you heading to Austin for SXSW this year? Well, me too - just for one day, but I'll be speaking. So I hope you'll find time to squeeze me into your schedule.
I'll be taking part in the SXSW Interactive book reading series. I'm pretty sure I won't actually read from the book, but I'll spend 20 or so minutes talking about some microMARKETING topic or another then sign copies until by hand cramps. Bring your copy if you have one - or buy one onsite from the SXSW book store.
Here's just about everything you need to know:
When: Friday, March 11th at 2:00pm
Where: Austin Convention Center, Ballroom G
What: microMARKETING (of course)
Who: Me (and you - let's definitely include you)
Why: Fun book talk, sloppy sigs and lots o' South By goodness