Why I Follow People Like Michael Hyatt (and Not Random Twitter Marketing Dude)
It’s funny. Since I’ve been talking on Twitter with generous people in the online business world, some of the marketing bots out there have noticed me. At least, I think they are bots. If they aren’t, they seem to be passing the Turing Test in reverse.
Their tweets have links to blog posts all over the Intertubes, full of advice on how to grow my audience and increase my sales and so on. I have nothing against growing my audience, of course. The more of you there are, the happier I am. Especially if you like what I have to say enough to come back again now and then. Aside from my services, I’m not selling anything on this blog at the moment. Maybe some day that will be different, and I hope that our relationship will be strong enough to weather that transition. But I don’t follow any of those accounts, and I do follow Michael Hyatt.
So who is Michael Hyatt, and why do I make sure to follow his podcast, read his blog and follow him faithfully on Twitter and Facebook? He’s a businessman who was in the publishing business for 30 years, and now writes, speaks and consults full-time. His specialty is leadership – the characteristics of good (and bad) leaders, decision making and delegation, the tools that he uses to make the most effective use of his time, why it’s important to take notes at meetings. He speaks directly from his own experience. He has tens of thousands of followers, and yet he manages to sound like he’s talking to me, or to you. Guess what – he is. He doesn’t know us personally, of course, but the way he shares his journey is deeply personal. Whether he’s talking about Evernote, which I now also use and love, or making a screencast to help a neophyte set up self-hosted WordPress in 20 minutes, he is clearly driven by a desire to support others in their journey.
Of course he has things for sale – he has a family to support. He sells his books, his exclusive membership site for business leaders, other targeted products. But he gives away so much, because he works on the generosity model.
I’ve been listening to some of the debate on that model – Chris Brogan and Pat Flynn are major proponents. Give away your knowledge and help, and eventually your grateful tribe will be happy to pay. On a recent episode of Business Jazz I listened to Roger and Jane express trepidation about this model. I don’t know how it would work for a photographer, I must admit. Maybe it isn’t suited to real-life businesses, as opposed to disseminating knowledge and other value online. I’ve seen it work amazingly well for an online fitness guru who tells people to pay what they want.
This is all so interesting to me! Yay, I’m learning something new again – how people make a living online. Don’t worry, I’m not going to bombard you with spam, and I’m still planning to finish Jesse’s book for the WordPress Project.
I was not made to fill a niche, that’s for sure! I hope you will stick with me for this wild ride.