As some of you may know, I regularly ask people whether they would like to 'opt in' to a circle on Google+. As some people may wonder what the heck that quirky Brit is up to, I thought I would explain very openly how it all works.
Note: I have gone into detail on the process of a campaign here, for total transparency.
When I build the circle I may simply say:
Who wants to be involved in a fun campaign re: [insert subject]?
That is often all of the 'content' matter. It will be in the follow up email to the list that all of the details will be stated as to the rules/aims/nature of the experience.
I will always disclose upfront and immediately if I am getting paid in any way for the campaign.
Note: this is something I consistently see Guy Kawasaki do, and I follow his lead.
Social Play - the process
I've applied this approach so many times now and it works very well.
My apologies to those who would like more details at the front end. You are probably not best suited to my approach, and I wish you all the best.
Thank you to everyone who trusts the way we approach things at PYB.
We do our best to deliver on our promises, increase trust through transparency for those involved and to build relationships using these methods.
Who gains from all this?
My aim is for everyone who wants to be involved to benefit in the following ways:
1. For that period of time we come together around a theme and take action together. We become a tribe. It feels great to come together, to be a part of something.
2. Lately we have been using Nod3x.com to analyze the spread of the information across Google+, and then give those reports back to the community so everyone has the opportunity to understand Google+ a little better.
"Was about to give up with G+, but decided about 10 days ago to give it another go. Started pushing out more graphic posts (laboriously created in Illustrator & Photoshop) to test what got me better results. All of a sudden I get an invite from to do some stuff on #CanvaQuest and my circles have suddenly gone bonkers, with people following me from everywhere, I know not how..."
4. People will learn about e.g. what content people relate to best on Google+; they can also compare their results with other people's and learn how to adjust course direction in the future.
5. Along the way, people get the chance to learn how I run such campaigns through having contact within a campaign context.
6. If we are featuring a cool app, a website, or a tool, then that company will almost certainly benefit.
This is the same as Google benefits every time I create a new Google+ video, or talk/post about about Bufferapp.com, circlecount.com etc.
How do I benefit?
There are HUGE benefits to myself and the Plus Your Business team and community, including.
1. I find out the people who are a) willing to play, and b) who trust my judgement and like my approach.
I connect further and deeper with everyone who is involved, and this is really important to me.
I connect even more with people if we are hanging out.
2. Plus Your Business gains another case study, and it is great to point people to the things we've done as a community together.
3. I gain another story that can be told at events and on interviews. I had no idea Jay Baer was going to ask about #WilliamShatnerWednesday on an interview here, but it all adds to a broader story about what you can achieve with Google+.
4. The Plus Your Business community finds more people, who share experience and have the opportunity to learn together.
5. It allows me to be creative, to keep having to come up with new ideas and makes Google+ learning a truly fun and enjoyable experience for me every day.
Finally, there is another benefit about which I want to be explicit:
If I approach someone with whom I want to build a relationship e.g. Guy Kawasaki, I will work for free without any expectation of ever asking for anything in return.
Well a) if we are seen to be working together in some way then I benefit through 'borrowing authority', and b) as Guy tells people to say, I'm sure he would do the same thing for me; he also told me: 'He has, and will again in the future.'
As it happens with Guy, I feel we are over the hump with needing to make sure he knows that I think that.
He 'takes my call', he even initiates them and as with any relationship when they work, well, they work and you don't need to remind people they are so often based on the feeling of reciprocation.
When I am charging $10,000 a day for talks, it is handy for me to say "This is what we did as a community when we explored how to use e.g. Canva.com for image creation." [in reference to one of the campaigns]
I hope you can use it in your story telling too; these things take it from fluff to meaning for people.
All in all...
This approach is something that has developed out of the early days of Google+ when we all used to build circles, i.e. prior to Google+ communities. I simply have kept up the tradition and refined the process along the way.
I hope this helps to give you even greater understanding of how we approach things at Plus Your Business!