Let Other People Spread Your Message

I want to quickly outline two scenarios for you.  Lets just assume for a minute you are looking to buy a MacBook Pro (because well, they’re freaking awesome right?)

Scenario #1

You are in the Apple Store, you just decided to make the leap to buy a 13” MacBook Pro (it’s probably the most you have ever spent on a computer).  They are wrapping up your new baby, and you feel a strange mix of excited, nervous, and maybe even a little nauseas (as you just spent $14-1500).  The person helping you, asks if you wanted to invest in the Apple Warranty (better known as Apple Care) for an additional $250.


You shake your head in disgust.  Why is this person who has clearly drank the “Apple Kool-Aid” trying to take MORE of my money?  I mean warranties are always bullshit, and I am sure this person makes a commission on each warranty they sell.

Scenario #2

You are on Apple.com, after 3 weeks of agonizing and doing research you finally decide to take the plunge and buy your new MacBook. You see the option to add “Apple Care”, and can’t figure out why you would ever want to spend MORE money?  But being the curious entrepreneur that you are, you google – “Is Apple Care worth it?”, as well as shoot a few of your geeky friends an email.


You read the first 3 results on Google and realize that they ALL say AppleCare is one of the most valuable warranties.  You are pretty much convinced but then one of your buddies responds to your email and in all CAPS says “Dude, you need to get AppleCare.  Your roommate could trip, spill a full beer all over your new laptop…and you would still get a replacement for free.  Enough said right?”  This is more than enough “social proof” for you, so you buy.

I lead off with this because its important to me that you buy into the idea that:

The most powerful way to sell your product/service is actually through other people.

Entrepreneurs trust other entrepreneurs; and frankly its hard to trust someone who is selling you something – no matter how genuine they are.

Not only will your brand message become more organic, but perspective customers will actually feel more comfortable giving you their money and in turn spreading your message to their community!

Here are 2 examples that really smack you in the face with how powerful other people can be:


Example #1 – How to get 3 Million Youtube Views

3 Million YouTube views in 3 months…not bad right?  Luc-Oliver, the man behind the video, really understood the power of getting other people involved.  Its human nature right, people will naturally want to spread and share content they are involved in!  Its the reason guest blog posts tend to always have the highest traffic, you are tapping into two networks (instead of one).

But how about 172 networks?

Luc-Oliver rallied together 172 enthusiastic college students and involved all of them in a ridiculously well done LibDub of “I Got a Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas.

Each of these students sent the video to their average of 130 Facebook friends, with a pumped up message saying “OMG, you NEED to check out the crazy video I was just a part of!!!”  Those people in some way or another then spread the message to their average of 130 friends….

172 people x 130 friends x 130 friends = 2.9 MILLION VIEWS

(note: a year later this video has nearly 9 million views)


Example #2 – How a Love Letter got me to Tweet (and blog) about LessFilms

I mean seriously, when was the last time a company you are friends with sent you a video love letter?  Shit when was the last time anyone sent you a video love letter!?

Backstory: The guys from LessAccounting, put on an awesome conference every year called LessConf.  They are also launching a new product/service called LessFilms.

LessConf was 2 weeks ago and because Grasshopper (the company I work for) and LessAccounting have such a good relationship we like to help out by sponsoring beer & food at their pre-party!

Fast Forward to earlier this week.  I get the following email from the founders:

“Hey Jonathan

We really appreciate you guys sponsoring this year’s LessConf. It was an amazing time and it’s all thanks to Grasshopper.

We created a video… It’s our love letter to you.”


I mean I repeat…really?!?  Who does that?  Its so amazing (and yet so smart).  They took a clever, risky, and fun approach to say “thanks”.  And the best part of it all, is that this is really a HUGE advertisement for their new service LessFilms.  Not only did they make me feel like I had to tweet about it (because it was damn unique), but here I am blogging about it right now!

I bet you reading this post & seeing this video makes you want to work with them more than seeing a banner ad or hearing a radio spot?

The power of people & word of mouth my friends.


You guys have any examples where someone (or some brand) was so clever you just HAD to spread the word??

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6 Responses to Let Other People Spread Your Message

  1. Elliot Nash says:

    Love this post man, and I couldn’t agree more – nothing is more valuable than WOM marketing. I heard about a site called BzzAgent a few years ago that specializes in it – not sure how they’re doing now though. Keep up the awesome posts! Oh also, I know about a company that sent out chocolate covered grasshoppers to tons of media outlets/bloggers. That definitely got people talking.

    • JonathanKay says:

      Ya Bzzagent is definitely still around…and actually doing well I believe. They have a pretty interesting model. They are essentially paying people to be testers/advocates for products. So its a bit less genuine, but on that type of scale i am SURE it is effective though.

  2. Erin Bury says:

    Love the new blog, and great post. When you work for a startup you have to rely on other people getting the word out for you – winning over users one at a time is way less efficient then getting in front of big audiences. Those are both great examples of how to get people to spread the love for you, and I think they both demonstrate that it’s not about asking people to talk about you, it’s about doing so extraordinary that people feel compelled to talk about it.

    • JonathanKay says:

      Erin, that’s probably the best point…and something I implied but did not say. The most powerful part is not having to ask, rather making people feel compelled.

      Thanks for stopping by =) Can’t wait to get back to Toronto!


  3. alex stetson says:

    Wow, that definitely is a great idea. We might have to start doing this for fresh tilled or webomatic. Talk about good customer service…plus it’s easy & inexpensive to do, but is a personal way to say thanks,without relying on the old fashioned hand-written note; on top of that, I’m pretty sure it would help encourage clients to make referrals : )

  4. You ARE SO CLEVER darling! please don’t wait till next year’s BarcampNOLA to come to the Big Easy!

    keep making the world a better place to be!

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