Setting your mind on fire

Setting your mind on fire

“This is going to be a bit provocative”.
When I saw Scott Berkun speak at the World Domination Summit 2014, I wasn’t sure I was going to like everything he had to say. I’d been riding waves of inspiration over the last few days, and was ready to change the world. My head was brimming with ideas, and I’d even been focused enough to jot a few down. Scott wasn’t somebody I’d heard of, and his style got my back up.

Scott BerkunPhoto Credit: Armosa Studios

And that’s perfectly okay.
And now, with the benefit of having read his book Mindfire, it’s probably exactly what he intended to do.

So I followed him on Twitter.

It started with a RT

This piqued my interest enough to go ahead and buy on Kindle.

The book itself is fantastic. A collection of short, thorough essays written over the course of 10 years of Scott’s life. The essay titles are just as provocative as Scott’s talk, with titles like How to Detect Bullshit, Why You Must Lead or Follow, and How to Make a Difference. The timing of the book coming is quite salient as I kick around and develop my own book – more on that later.

The words made a lot of sense, and I particularly liked Why Smart People Defend Bad Ideas. As someone that considers themselves a smart person, I saw shadows of the techniques I’ve employed in the past to justify why I was right (when I was wrong), or even why I’m mistakenly caring about being right/wrong. It made me take a long, hard look at myself.

It got me thinking

In digital marketing, the best people advocate something called relationship marketing. While this may sound like another buzz-word from the land of bullshit, it’s a great analogy to adopt. For example, Scott ‘met’ me at the World Domination Summit. Instead of trying to sell something to me on the first date, he was merely very interesting. I left it at that. I was following the #WDS2014 stream later that weekend, and saw Scott had summarised all the talks he’d seen and posted his notes on his blog. This was useful enough for me to take the next step, and follow him on Twitter. I enjoyed his Tweets enough that when he Tweeted about his book I was ready to purchase and absorb. This lead to me writing about him now and probably reading more of his books.

So what does this example tell you about relationship marketing?:

  • Don’t close on the first date – first time you meet someone, taking the relationship to the next step immediately is most likely rude. Instead, bide your time and get to know the person.
  • Be as interesting and as useful as you can – the way you get value from people is by going over and above and demonstrating as much value as you can. Scott could have sat on his arse after speaking at the World Domination Summit, but knew he wanted to add as much value as he could for existing and new followers, so he went over and above by delivering a synopsis of the event.
  • Be consistently helpful – Scott Tweets useful and provocative stuff in an ongoing fashion, that kept me following him on Twitter
  • The incidental sell/close – by the time I was ready to buy his book, I’d been “seeing” Scott for a little while, and was more comfortable with him sharing something that he thought was useful. By that stage, he’d been consistently sharing useful, interesting, and helpful materials to me and I felt a hell of a lot more comfortable buying his book

Can you imagine the difference if he had just yelled – buy my book! (This happens on the Internet all the time).

And thinking even more

Since turning off the consulting full-time, I’ve had a number of requests for help on projects. This has been tricky, as I can’t help everyone as much as I’d like, as time would escape me. As I was reading Mindfire, an idea popped into my head that had been there before, but hadn’t germinated the way I wanted it to. To go along with my new book aspirations, l’ve got a new/old idea that I’d like to rehash.

This idea would combine things I’ve enjoyed doing in the past, such as video, writing, helping and engaging with people. It would also help develop skills that I’m keen to build on, such as building a web presence and following, outsourcing, and creating. It might even be a way of helping the existing project help requests I have at scale. I’ll keep you posted.

Surprisingly, I got a lot of positive feedback for my post on productivity. It was nice and got me thinking about how I can write more helpful posts (instead of just bad writing). So thanks for sending me notes and sharing your appreciation. If you’re really interested in the topic – A Year of Productivity is a very fun, experimental series.