How to Create a World Wide Rave … or NOT
December 18, 2009
There’s a new book out called the World Wide Rave by David Meerman Scott. The book shows you how to create triggers that will get millions of people to spread your ideas and share your stories. And, more importantly … genuinely want to do business with you.
WHAT IS A WORLD WIDE RAVE?
“A World Wide Rave is when people around the world are talking about you, your company, and your products. Whether you’re located in San Francisco, Dubai, or Reykjavík, it’s when global communities eagerly link to your stuff on the Web. It’s when online buzz drives buyers to your virtual doorstep. And it’s when tons of fans visit your Web site and your blog because they genuinely want to be there.” – David Meerman Scott
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
David should know about World Wide Raves, his book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, created one. With literally no advertising The New Rules of Marketing and PR spread around the world, has been translated into 22 languages – and was a number-one bestseller.
RULES OF THE WORLD WIDE RAVE
We’re going to explore the “Rules of the Rave” with David.
Most people don’t know this, but David and I go way back (most don’t know because he denies it). We have a lot in common (he also emphatically denies this). For example, our names. David uses the middle name Meerman to differentiate himself from all the other possible David Scotts. And there are a lot of them. Like the David Scott that walked on the moon as commander of Apollo 15. The David Scott that’s a six-time Iron Man Triathlon Champion, and the David Scott that’s a US Congressman, just to name a few. So, for clarity and search-engine optimization purposes, he chose to become unique among David Scotts by using his middle name.
Steve Beer-Man Kayser … and that’s Donkey Beerman O’Tee with me. Donkey is my writing partner and author of the number-one bestseller, Pompously Obfuscate On Purpose, an article about professional business writing. I’m sure you’ve heard of it – if not, be assured you’ve been “Pompously Obfuscated On Purpose” before by a professional business writer practicing the rules in O’Tees book. But, I digress …
Other things we have in common? David is considered a thought-leader. I’m a well-known thought-less leader.
And therein lies the rub.
Though friends, I’m going to have to take David Meerman Scott to task about his new book. I think his rules of how to start a World Wide Rave are all wrong. Completely. So we’re going to have it out. Publicly. Get ready for an ideas battle royale reminiscent of Ali vs. Frazier, Celtics vs. Lakers, and Moe vs. Curly. It’s going to be the Rules of the World Wide Rave vs. the Rules of the World Wide Knave. Thought-leader vs. Thought-less leader. Hold on and watch as I school David on how to really create a World Wide Rave.
WIN THE BOOK
Surprise! The first 50 people to email me with the subject line “THE KNAVE RULES, ” will win a copy of the “World Wide Rave.” Let the battle begin.
SIX RULES OF THE RAVE
Being the gentleman I am, I’ll go first.
You want to drive business? Start a World Wide Rave? Then concentrate on your product. It’s all about the product. Product, product, product. Think and speak about it every minute of every day. Load it with millions of features and functions that no one will ever use and charge extra for them. Make sure you use the words “seamlessly integrated, robust, leading-edge, scalable, flexible, mission-critical with last-generation supraluminal capabilities,” when describing your product. Pompously obfuscate on purpose (I’d use the acronym — but this is a family-friendly pub). Make sure no one understands what you really mean. That way the features and functions never actually have to work. No one will ever know.
Not really, I prefer to call it “authentic.” Takeaway? Think product, product, product. And be authentically disingenuous, scrupulously unscrupulous.
RULE 1: NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT
You heard me Steve. No one cares about your product. What they do care about is themselves and ways to solve their problems. People also like to be entertained and share in something remarkable. In order to have people talk about you, share your ideas, and create a World Wide Rave, you must resist the urge to hype your product or services.
Create something interesting that people will talk about online. Create something helpful.
Try it. Your robust, seamlessly integrated, next generation, mission-critical product is boring. Something only a WORLD WIDE KNAVE would type and hype.
Spend boatloads of money on deceptive advertising. Trick’em. Offer free shipping (add it into the price), and make sure you use the jib-jab, flim-flam-flummery approach. “Buy now before supplies (don’t) run out.” “This week only … (20% higher cost than normal).” “Buy one, get one free (at twice the price of one or once the price of two).”
Use creative wordsmithing so customers temporarily lose their minds and buy from you. Then go for the gold. Follow it up with a “no-money back, no-return policy.” I mean this stuff is business 101. The World Wide Rave doesn’t even cover it in the book.
For years, companies have thought and acted like the World Wide Wascally Knave. Trying to trick and coerce people to buy and do business with you is old school, outdated and wrong. People easily see through it.
Product-centric advertising is exactly the way to go … if you don’t want to start a World Wide Rave.
Product-centric advertising is exactly the way to go … if you don’t want to build a following, a brand, a business.
Try to be usefully creative. When you create something genuinely worth sharing, people will find it, and share it – no coercion is required.
And … World Wide Knaves are never required.
Create valuable content (even if it isn’t valuable, make it sound valuable). Promote it. Always, always stay on message. Live the message. You are the message. The message is you. Completely control every letter, ellipsis, comma, word, sentence and paragraph. Command and control, control, control.
Done well, the controlling message will drive people to your website. Next Step? Make them fill out a long and complicated registration form. The more information you can get from them, the better. The basic registration form should be at least 56 lines. If possible, get their cell phone numbers, local hangouts and what numbers they play on the lottery. Why? Because it’s all about creating sales leads. Leads, leads, leads. Use their info against them. Blast them with follow-up offers.
It doesn’t matter that 90% of the sales leads will never be followed-up on. It’s the numbers, and the perception of the numbers. Not quality. Like I said earlier, business 101. Control. The most important point? You can use the leads generated as a completely supportable faux ROI business-case. If you generate massive numbers of leads and they’re bad quality or not followed-up on, it doesn’t matter. You still have the numbers to prove or disprove it!
The Knave hit on a point that makes most businesses quiver in their boots. Losing control. To create a World Wide Rave, you have to give up control of your “messages”
To create a World Wide Rave, you need to make your valuable online content (and make sure it does have value —not self-promoting corporate gobbledygook) is totally free. Easy to share. No virtual strings attached. No electronic gates. No registration requirements and no email address-checking necessary.
A World Wide Rave is not about generating “sales leads.” You can measure success, but not through the standard business-case ROI. When executives demand to see ROI, turn it around. Ask them what the ROI is on the trade shows they attended and sponsored over the last couple of years. Not the number of sales leads generated—the actual return on the investment. Have a camera ready. It’ll be a classic photo.
Think in terms of spreading ideas, not generating leads. The World Wide Rave can get your word out to thousands, and even millions of potential customers, but only if you make it easy to find and consume.
There David goes again. Like anyone is going to doubt the necessity of attending trade shows. Sure they’re expensive. And sure, not a lot of buyers are there anymore – most buyers do their research on the web now, but … competitors are there! You need to show the company flag! Let’s get to the next Rule of the Knave … “make ‘em come to you.”
There’s a lot of talk about using Web 2.0 capabilities and communities to help build your business. That’s a bunch of hooey. Stay away from them. Make your prospects come to you at your time, your place and at your convenience. That way you have the high ground. Control. Control is a virtuous vice.
ONE-WAY IS THE ONLY WAY
Broadcast your ideas, information, news. Push. One-way. One-way is the only way, if you want to start a World Wide Rave. Be like the perspicacious Knave, don’t get entangled in these social media “communities.” Don’t engage with people in the communities. How lame. Do you really have time to actually talk and build relationships in today’s world?
JUST SAY NO!
Just say no to Twitter. No to YouTube. No to Facebook, Flickr, Linkedin, Plaxo, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Digg, Friendfeed and all the others. No, no, no. You don’t have the time. Besides, having experimented myself, I found it extremely irritating. People ask you questions about your stuff and expect real answers, from a real person. How annoying.
If you want to receive a letter, send a letter. If you want to meet people, go where people are.
The same thing is true with the virtual world of the web. If you want your ideas to spread, you need to actively seek out, meet, and engage with people and communities who actively share. Let’s be clear. We’re talking about social media here. Social media is a term to describe the way people share ideas, content, information, insights, and relationships online. It differs from so-called “mainstream media” in that anyone can create, comment on, and add to social-media content.
Participation is required. Participation is mandatory if you want people to tell your stories or spread your ideas worldwide. Check out Twitter. Check out Facebook. It’s really just People Skills 101. Something the Knave obviously hasn’t mastered yet.
To really start a World Wide Rave, you need to create. Create news releases chock full of details. Features, functions, speeds, and feeds. Make sure it’s loaded with technical detail and lots of Franken-quotes from company executives that mean nothing to no one – except the person quoted. Always push, push, push. It’s all about volume.
Never, let me repeat this, never try to break new ground. Let the other loser do that. Never try to use humor. It’s just not professional. Not business-like. Break the no-humor rule and all the hard work you’ve done, if you following the other “rules of the Knave” will be totally wasted. Lost.
Think quantity, not entertainment, not humor. Besides, what business can pull that off? You think IBM would ever consider using humor in their promotional events? Come on! Get with it. Join the 20th century. Like I said, it’s just not professional. Not business-like. Just not right.
The Knave really retro-strategically nailed that one.
The way to develop a 21st century World Wide Rave is to create what I call “triggers,” that if done correctly, will get millions of people to spread your ideas and help shape your stories.
WHAT ARE TRIGGERS?
Triggers are simple. They help solve people’s problems. They can be radical ideas, information, products, services, as long as they help solve buyers problems. They need to be communicated in an interesting, storytelling, even humorous way. Humor works. Example? From an old-school company? Checkout IBM’s “Art of the Mainframe Sale” video at the end of this article. It’s hilarious!
Finally, if you followed the rules of the World Wide Knave Rave, you must have a classic website.
By classic I mean full of static content, not easily changeable, not RSS-enabled. Content that tells everyone how great you are.
This is really important. Your website content needs to be static. Don’t go changing it. How is Google ever going to find your great product if you keep adding new stuff?
Stay away from blogs. They’re dangerous in the wrong hands. Blogs can create dynamic content that’s quickly indexed by search engines. That will change your website ranking—and your ability to be found. I’ve heard that from a reputable search engine opthomologist.
Stay away from e-books too. Why would you ever want to give away that much valuable information? For free? Just shooting yourself in the virtual foot and real pocketbook. Stick with 50+page white papers. Use the 56-line registration form. That way you’ll create gobs of sales leads and have something to show for it. Just don’t go changing.
RULE 6: YOU CAN’T TRIGGER A WORLD WIDE RAVE IF YOU’RE INVISIBLE
The Knave once again hit the nail on the thumb.
To create a World Wide Rave, you need to first understand your buyers and their problems. Go to Google and do a search for words and phrases that your buyers would use to find your organization. Look at where you fall in the search results. Are you on the first page of Google? If not, then you’re pretty much invisible. The best way to be invisible is to have a dull, boring, corporate gobbledygook website that is never updated. The Knave explains this perfectly. The way NOT to do it.
People can’t buy what they can’t find, or don’t know about. How to remedy? Simple. Follow the rules of the World Wide Rave above. Point people to your virtual doorstep. Create great content that buyers will consume, share, and link to. Do that and it will generate all sorts of online buzz that will be indexed by search engines, which will move you or your organization up in search engine results. It will help you be more findable.
A powerful way to do that is to create an e-book. E-books are much different than white papers in one radical but revolutionary way. White papers are designed to generate sales leads for most companies. E-books are created to share ideas. Ideas can spread. Make it free. No registration. Don’t believe me? Try it. I bet the World Wide Knave doesn’t have an e-book.
There are many real-world successful examples of every rule of the World Wide Rave in my book. If you want to check some of them out download the e-book summary of the World Wide Rave.
Was that a thrashing or what? It’s completely obvious who won that battle.
But, being the gentleman I am (as I’ve mentioned before), and knowing that everyone’s position is reasonable to themselves (even thought-leaders), I decided to try to reach out the hand and hoof of reconciliation; to soothe the wounds of the vanquished thought-leader of the World Wide Rave.
I know. It’s big of me. That’s just the way I roll. And … it wasn’t hard. I just needed to find some small matter of substance that David and I could agree on. Just one point. Well, we did. Full agreement.
It was a beautiful thing. Simple, yet profoundly complex. So, we ended our battle royale in fine style …
WIN A COPY OF THE WORLD WIDE RAVE
Can you guess what we agreed upon? The first 50 people that answer that question correctly, or send me a great example of a World Wild Rave, will win a copy of the book.
THE KNAVE RULES
Send your answer with THE KNAVE RULES in the subject line to Steve Kayser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You saw it here first! The Animotorized Premiere of the movie trailer for the World Wide Rave VS. The World Wide Knave.
World Wide Rave Goes Global IBM’s Art of the Mainframe Sale About David Meerman Scott: Marketing strategist, keynote speaker, seminar leader and author of the number-one bestseller “The New Rules of Marketing and PR.” For more information visit “The World Wide Rave” website.