How to be an Evangelist:
From Guy Kawasaki
By Shlomo Maital
Guy Kawasaki is the legendary marketing guru for the Macintosh computer. Apple hired him, even though he was in the jewellery business at the time, had a psychology degree from Stanford, and knew next to nothing about personal computers.
Why did Apple hire him? Because – he believed. He felt that MS-DOS, and Microsoft in general, were “crimes against humanity”. He felt that “Bill Gates brought darkness to the world.” He set out “to right a wrong”. He was in his words – an evangelist.
The Greek roots of the word evangelist mean “one who brings or proclaims good news”. The word has come to mean someone who preaches the Christian gospels.
Kawasaki became a VC (garage.com), and how is Chief Evangelist for Canva, a startup whose mission is to democratize design. In the latest issue of Harvard Business Review, Kawasaki sets out the rules for becoming an evangelist. Here they are:
- Schmooz. Build social connections. It’s easier to evangelize people you know.
- Get out of your cubicle. Network. Talk to people.
- Ask questions. Initiate a conversation, then – shut up and listen.
- Follow up. Make sure that you follow up on a meeting, within a day.
- E-mail effectively: Optimize your subject lines, and shorten your text. Always respond quickly.
- Make it easy to get in touch.
- Do favors. If you do things for others, they are more receptive to listen to you.
- Public speaking: An evangelist must master the art of public speaking. Kawasaki says it took him 20 years to master the art and get comfortable.
- Deliver quality content. 80% of the battle is having something worthwhile, interesting, perhaps novel, certainly meaningful, to say. It is NOT just about how you say it, but what you say.
- Omit the sales pitch. If people think you are pitching, you’re dead. Don’t.
- Customize. Use the first few minutes to directly address the audience, show them you’ve done your homework, know who they are and what they seek.
- Focus on entertaining. If people are entertained, they are more receptive to the information you bring.
- Tell stories. Make it personal. Tell stories about yourself and others, that support your message.
- Circulate in the audience beforehand. Make contact with them, especially with those in the front rows.
- Control what you can. Try to speak at the beginning of an event; choose a small room, if you can. A packed room is better than a half-empty one.
- Practice. You need to give a speech 20 times to get good at it.
Rules for Social Media:
- Offer value. Share good stuff – of four kinds: information, analysis, assistance, entertainment.
- Be interesting.
- Take chances. Don’t be afraid to take strong stands, express feelings.
- Keep it brief.
- Be a mensch.
- Add drama.
- Tempt with headlines. How to… top 10, etc.
- Use hashtags.
- Stay active: 3-20 different posts a day.
“Evangelism is not about self-promotion. It’s aobut sharing the best of what you, your team and your organization produce with others who can benefit. “