For something to be exciting, to become viral or sought out by others; it has to be unleashed by a positive and sincere enthusiasm from the creator and her the community who give life to it.
When you ask someone who reluctantly organized a party how it went, their response is most likely going to be one of disappointment or indifference. “Ah, it was fine. I mean, the food wasn’t great and the music was too loud; and I told them that it would have been better at the Plaza.”
Such a testimonial certainly won’t encourage others to participate. Enthusiasm can’t be faked. You can’t expect your team to create buzz about your new project, product or service simply because you held a staff meeting and told them that it is something that matters to you or the business. It has to matter to them.
So how do you create an environment of enthusiasm about your projects, products and services so that your entire hive is buzzing with a contagious desire to share it with customers, family, friends and people they meet at the market on Saturday mornings.
1. Create real value. You can’t fake value. There are measuring sticks available to everyone. A service that truly makes someone’s life easier, a great bargain (value for money) or a product that saves lives or heightens the life experience and responds to emotional needs are all perceived as valuable to people. Clever marketing can’t compensate for true value.
2. Create that value together. If your entire team isn’t part of the creation of that value, they will not feel attached to it or compelled to communicate it effectively to others. Every member of your team should have a stake in the creative process – responsible for an essential ingredient in the pie.
3. Celebrate the value created. Show appreciation for value creation by regularly expressing how important each ingredient is – how instrumental every individual effort was in creating and continually improving the recipe. Celebration should occur before, during and after the process.
I was at the 8th grade graduation of my daughter’s school last year (she just finished kindergarten.) During the graduation ceremony, the teacher talked about each individual at length; and each graduating student then talked about their individual experiences. The parents, teachers, students and all grades were involved in planning, organizing and participating in the day – and we all celebrated the accomplishment afterwards. The entire teaching staff sang a song for the graduating class; the parents sang a song to the graduating class; and the graduating class sang a song for the entire community. It was touching, and we all felt very much part of the excitement, not just of the day, but for the milestone that this moment was for each unique individual sitting on the stage.
Interestingly, each student talked about how the other students in the class, their teacher, parents and community each contributed to their own experience and made it richer. The value was shared at every level and the buzz from the day filled the air as a result of this shared experience of creating that value.
My father always told me not to communicate something when angry – to think about it and let my emotions settle before writing to someone who upset or disappointed me. When we communicate, our attitudes and emotions are conveyed in our language, even subtly. Even if we are consciously trying to be objective or positive, it is difficult to mask our true emotional language. When communicating in person, our body language reveals our true thoughts, often contrasting the words that come out of our mouth. If your receptionist, copywriter, sales team, engineers or management team are not truly engaged in and affected by the value of your project, products or services; their communication will not effectively convey it. And if they aren’t buzzing about it, you can rest assured that the people they are communicating with won’t be buzzing about it either.
Buzz is an inside job. Is your hive buzzing?