Before Asking, What Value Are You Giving Your Customers and Followers?
I had never heard of Amanda Palmer or her music before I read her book the Art of Asking. But whether you like indie punk rock or not, you will be a fan of Amanda Palmer and her ability to connect with her fans and ask for what she needs. One of the most impressive facts about Amanda is that she was the first musician in history to get $1 million in funding for her music from Kickstarter. And she has over 1 million followers on Twitter, all organically acquired.
Asking is All About Value, Transparency and Love
What lessons can we all learn from what she did?
- Get to know your customers, your fan base, your clients really well- even intimately, when you're asking. Starting in Harvard Square as a still statue of a bride complete with white face makeup, she gave away flowers to those who donated to her performance. The actual act of connecting with the person through the flower was amazingly intimate. She gazed into their eyes and connected deeply. She learned to form those same deep connections through Twitter and all her social media.
- Be vulnerable and real with your customers. Amanda is utterly transparent with whatever is happening in her life. She shares it all very publicly. And as a result, she creates real trust. After Kickstarter, she had to postpone part of her world tour because her dear friend, Anthony, had cancer and she needed to be near him for treatments. She told the truth to her fans and they understood, so much so, they sent love and letters and gifts to Anthony.
- Asking specifically for what you need when you need it is key. Amanda toured the world by couch surfing while performing. Whether she needed to borrow an electric piano or a place to sleep, she'd ask her fans for it. She's post on Twitter that she needed a place to stay that night, and someone would offer a sofa, a bed, or some other place to sleep. She was always safe and she always had what she needed.
- Love your customers and demonstrate that love in dozens of ways. Amanda showed them how much she loved and trusted them by continually sharing, giving, expressing and reaching out. She responded to comments, emails, tweets and shared her passion through love. . Her fans knew it was genuine and they responded in kind.
- The single most important lesson from Amanda about asking is to give incredible value back and loving her fans. When she sold her Kickstarter packages, she gave so much more than the average artist. She sold $5000 house party performances for no more than 50 people, and included $1000 worth of merchandise as well as performing for an hour or two. And then she mingled and had one to one intimate conversations with her fans. They told her painful stories from their lives, they shared vulnerably because she had and because she loved them. She accepted them.
And she usually spent the night, so she had extra time with the hosts. Love is a keynote to all her interactions.
What can you do to add extra value to every customer and client experience? How can you demonstrate more transparency and intimacy in the interactions you have? How can you show your love for them before you do any more asking? Think about it.
Wishing you great success, joy and love,