August 04, 2010

Give 'Em Something to Talk About

Who wouldn't kill to make a viral video on Youtube? To be the next OK GO or "double rainbow?" The problem is how do you determine what that will take?

I recently met a man who was a nurse turned CEO of a collection of psychological hospitals. The hospitals were in a bit of a business crisis when he took over and he had no real background in business. He managed to turn them around by utilizing various techniques but the one that stood out most to me was his ability to make it personal. He asked his employees and fellow executives if they would be willing to bring their family members to their facilities for treatment. The response was silence. So the CEO made it a goal to make each facility a place that anyone would gladly bring their family to and focused on the details of the patient and family experience.

The key was making it a place worth referring a friend and giving customers a reason to talk about it. In the hospitals' case it meant service, attention, and nice facilities but the concept can and should apply to any business. If you give your customers a reason to talk about it, in a positive light, word will logically spread on its own and you will build loyalty. On Youtube, this may just translate to making a video so remarkably entertaining the viewer feels compelled to send it to friends and then watch your other videos. In music, it means practicing and writing until your performance your songs are so compelling you fans bring a friend next time or post a video on their Facebook. As an intern, it means showing up on time, learning as much as your can, behaving professionally, and doing a great job with each task you've been given. Until you have reached that point, the point where you are so good at what you do people feel the need to tell others about it, whether in business, music, or youtube, you have not reached your potential and you certainly shouldn't expect to reach your potential audience.
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