Jay Baer’s Advice: #FF Feature

by Network for Good Specialist on ‎10-04-2013 3:00 AM, EDT

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG


Youtility by Jay BaerWhen I become interested in something, I can’t stop talking about it. Some may call it brand advocacy (I can talk hours about the wonders of Boloco), others may say I’m obsessed.


Exhibit A: Jay Baer’s Youtility. Baer posits that marketing should be about “help not hype” and provides marketers with lessons on how to capitalize on the collaborative economy. It’s a fantastic read—I’ve written several articles and shared many social status updates on Baer’s book.


Fortunately for me, sometimes my fandom is helpful. I was lucky enough to get in touch with Baer, interview him for our blog, and share some youtility-inspired lessons with you.



AM: What inspired you to write Youtility?


JB: I wrote the book for two reasons.


First, to give non-profits and companies a strategic scaffolding for content creation. Lots of interest around content marketing these days - and rightfully so - but not a lot of overall understanding of "why" content matters. Youtility is the playbook for that.


Also, I wrote the book as a reaction to the culture of "amazing" that currently pervades marketing. Many consultants/speakers/authors are advising companies to be "amazing" - as if wanting to be like Zappos makes you Zappos. It's seductive advice, but not very sound advice.


A better, much more viable success formula is to just be useful. Thus, Youtility. 


Social Media and YoutilityAM: The book contains myriad lessons for companies and nonprofits alike. If you were to give one piece of advice to each of those audiences, what would it be?


JB: First, create the ultimate FAQ. Methodically and comprehensively answer every question prospective customers/donors/volunteers have about your organization, and keep on doing it. Everyone thinks they have enough information about their organization online, but almost nobody actually does. 


AM: The point you underscore again and again is that listening to customers is crucial to determining their needs, and helping meet those needs. Other than @HiltonSuggests, what are other companies and/or nonprofits doing this well?


JB: Dozens of examples. You see it every time a company pays attention and delights someone by working "off script". This requires empowering your people (like Hilton does) to seize opportunities. I actually wrote about that kind of thing a lot more in my first book, The NOW Revolution


Question for discussion: What are the most frequent questions you encounter? How is your company seeking to answer them?


Stay tuned for part II!


Photos are author's own.


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Companies for Good shares insights on cause marketing and corporate social responsibility topics to inform your charitable engagement with consumers and employees. Network for Good empowers corporate partners to unleash generosity and advance good causes. The blog celebrates that work and provides expertise and resources to help you do well and do good. Learn more

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