Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead's quote is a favorite. Mead's quote doesn't say how to organize, motivate or empower a group of "thoughtful, committed citizens". How To create the kind of "rebel tribe" Mead hints at is important for Internet marketers.
If you aren't creating revolutionary marketing then good luck in your next profession. The problem with "revolutionary marketing" especially "revolutionary Internet marketing" is you aren't likely to recognize it when you see it. Revolutions, by definition, are too new.
Teams I've managed have made over $30M online. Our biggest challenge? Realizing that we were curators and not creators since we started as one and needed to become the other. Internet marketing tends to attract Type A CREATORS who want to SELL and BE HEARD so learning to LISTEN was hard and felt strange.
When we tested THEM vs. US we lost, and lost and lost. Finally we realized our jobs were changing. In the halcyon days of the web creating was selling and presence was all. You WON by showing up. When we created FoundObjects.com (now RIP sadly) it made $100,000 in its first 8 weeks because we launched in November and competition in 1999 was scarce.
Competition isn't scare anymore. The nature of our jobs as Internet marketers went from process oriented (get a website up) to sales (pitch your stuff) to curation and finally to platform curation (encourage User Generated Content via gamification and curate responses mashed up into new merchandising and digital products).
As we create CureCancerStarter.org, one of the first crowdfunding cancer research websites and CureCancerStore.org a cool store and the beginning of a community portal here are a few of the Secrets for Revolutionaries we are learning:
5 "Secrets For Revolutionaries"
* Revolutionaries need a PLAN.
* Revolutionaries need TOOLS.
* Revolutionaries need to compete.
* Revolutionaries need to PLAY.
* Revolutionaries need to be THANKED!
I would add one more. Revolutionaries need a sense of higher purpose. We need and want to feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves. We are strengthened by service, generosity and kindness. And the kindness, generosity and service of others makes us stronger.
There is a fascinating book by Fowler and Christakis, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives that explains how YOU can lose weight when your friends friends do. Do the experiment yourself.
Have you ever been in a line of cars passing a person with a "Please Help" sign? How do you feel when the car in front of you gives something to the person looking for help? You feel empowered and more generous even though the gift came from someone you don't know and was given to someone you don't know.
I've discussed why all marketing must connect with a Save The World Ideal (Save The World Marketing on Slideshare) before. Recently I had a HVAC person tell me they do boring work and their work doesn't save he world. I begged to differ and here are the points I made:
- To a mother with a baby in North Carolina in August you can be a lifesaver.
- When you do your job well you help save the ozone (sure we would save the world more if we all lived without AC, but not going to happen here in NC anytime soon).
- Connect your marketing to something larger like Tom's Buy One, Give One idea (buy a pair of Tom's shoes and they give a pair to a child in need somewhere in the world).
- When in doubt return to what YOU (the business or brand "owner") care about pets, cancer, childhood diabetes? Using personal connection can help my friend's HVACs brand create distinction from other HVAC providers.
The key idea is to 1. DO SOMETHING bigger than you and connect with something bigger than your brand and 2. Connect To MEANING for either your brand (like Tom's) or your experiences (if you love dogs or have a sister battling cancer for example). Find something BIG and connect to it in an open, honest and authentic way because doing so provides a new dimension to your branding even if you sell air conditioning in North Carolina like 40 other providers.
The only thing capable of making your product, brand, service or company ordinary is YOU and the reverse is also true. The only person capable of making your brand, product, service or company extraordinary is you. My advice? Opt for the later and always be extraordinary since it pays better and is more fun.
Fixing some of the spelling errors on this post (it was late when I wrote it) I realized one BIG IDEA is missing. Create MOVEMENTS don't sell campaigns. CureCancerStarter.org wants to create a NEW cancer research revolution to cure cancer in our lifetime. The new cancer research revolution is the movement, the BIGGER IDEA than the individual campaigns we create within that umbrella.
Thinking in terms of movements instead of, "What do we need to sell today," moves your Internet marketing up the meaning and connection ladder.