Word of Mouth in action discussing you!As a sales and marketing practitioner, I read books on a regular basis to improve my skills and learn about relevant case studies. While I am not sure I believe the saying that if you “read three books on any subject you know 90% more than the rest of the world”, I do enjoy learning from those in the industry. This past weekend I was catching up on Andy Sernovitz’s “Word of Mouth Marketing, Revised Edition”.

If you have visited my blog before you know I am a big fan of personal branding and social media marketing. Word of mouth marketing can be facilitating through online channels, but as we know, the most successful long-term successes come from face-to-face conversations. With that in mind, how would one apply some techniques to get people talking?

Definition of Word of Mouth Marketing

1. Giving people a reason to talk about your stuff

2. Making it easier for that conversation to take place

– Andy Sernovitz

The “stuff” here relates to you when discussing personal branding. It’s my opinion, with all marketing, word of mouth is the outcome of having a fantastic product, something to share, and brand loyalists. Of course with social media you need some form of content to share. Whether that’s a video, comment, or story, it needs to be so compelling that folks would take the time to comment, tweet, or post elsewhere such as Facebook or LinkedIn or some old technology called email (just kidding).

8 Ways To Use Word of Mouth Marketing to promote Your Personal Brand

  1. Have a unique opinion about something in your industry
    • Share your opinions with folks in person when networking and collaborating.
    • Write about your opinion. Obviously a blog is not the only place to have a voice. By leveraging Twitter, Facebook, and by commenting on other blogs you can engage folks in a discussion for a longer conversation to take place. The other value of social media, is it facilitates many conversational transactions to take place which creates a viral effect. Do something wrong and of course many folks will hear about it fast.
  2. Develop a memorable elevator speech or bio to describe yourself. This does not always have to be about your career. It could be something about you personally that makes you unique.
  3. Have a differentiated business card. We have all seen some unique business cards that provoked a comment and had us complimenting the other person. Our next question is typically “Who made this for you?” Here is a link to some very unique business cards that you could probably have the designers create for you. Of course, once designed you could use VistaPrint to get some free ones to start out with.
  4. Have a defined social object
    • Mojito’s – Realtor and blogger Ines Hegedus-Garcia @ines has done a phenominal job by developing a Mojito 411link on her blog. Folks expect her to post pictures of mojito’s as she travels around Miami. More importantly, it has provided a great value to local restaurant’s and clubs, thereby bringing more referrals.
    • Bacon – If you have seen me on Twitter, Facebook, or in person, you know I have a bit of a liking for bacon. As a cyclist and new P90X owner, it doesn’t appear on the menu much any more. Whether this helps or not, it has definitely led folks to send me the most interesting links to photos and blogs about bacon. See this link to understand Why Bacon? Besides, bacon is Meat Candy!
  5. Speak to others: The quickest and easiest way to get folks talking about you is to speak to an audience. I have experienced this in the past and it’s led to some unbelievable relationships and conversations. BlogTalkRadio.com also offers a platform as well. I have had one interview and have another this Thursday at 8:30am Central.For some quick tips on getting booked for speakers see links here:
  6. Go out of your way to help folks in need. For example, if someone you know approaches you for help, be the person that not only offers advice but goes agrees to meet them face to face. Often times, you will find this leads to additional referrals or ideas.
  7. Be memorable by having a presence and a positive attitude. You have heard it said time and time again… be in the moment. We have all sat at that meeting or Starbucks appointment as the other person looked at their phone or gazed at folks walking in. Do your best to be an active listener. Ask questions and let them speak 60% of the time at a minimum. Lastly, don’t forget to smile.
  8. Leverage video: Many of us have seen the stats and the stories confirming that video has a much higher response rate. More importantly, evidence suggest that folks will more likely complete watching a video vs. reading a complete blog post or new story. 

For marketing businesses, there are two word of mouth organizations worth looking into:

  1. Word of Mouth Marketing Association
  2. Society for Word of Mouth

What have you done to create buzz for yourself? Let me know your thoughts here in the comments or on Twitter @mikedmerrill.