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Jonathan Littman

Jonathan Littman

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The Path to Enchantment: Success in the Age of Twitter

Posted: 03/ 8/11 03:38 PM ET

Read Guy Kawasaki's new book. Now.

This is a man who breathes buzz. Others talk about how to create product lust, marketing momentum, and runaway sales. Kawasaki is the original Apple evangelist, and in his latest book, he's compressed a quarter century of wisdom.

When Kawasaki's publisher first sent me Enchantment, The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions, a month ago I knew it would be a bestseller. The cover is drop dead gorgeous. The title, so important with any product or offering, is spot on. Kawasaki has hit on a captivating word -- Enchantment -- that elevates what we'd all like to be doing on our good days, enchanting customers, colleagues and partners, and, yes, inspiring ourselves to a level higher than we imagined possible.

Why did I know Enchantment would be a bestseller? Because Kawasaki understands that books -- like many products or new offerings -- live or die based on building an early wave of fans. I wrote this review the day before this title was released on March 8, 2011. By then Enchantment was already ranked #77 on Amazon, and climbing. That's extraordinary for a book you can't even buy yet. The reason: Guy knows how to enchant a lot of people.

Enchantment is proof positive of Kawasaki's method -- a cheerleading, social-media fueled blend of product creation and enthusiasm that is ultimately about the art of persuasion. No less than Sir Richard Branson of Virgin has given Kawasaki a blurb, and the advance reviews and articles seem likely to snowball into the kind of buzz that becomes self-perpetuating.

This is Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People for the twitter generation, from how to smile, Facebook, tweet, craft a message, and most of all earn the trust necessary for achieving lasting enchantment.

But first my own disclosure: I am one of the many who was long ago drawn within Kawasaki's enchantment circle. While promoting one of my recent books, I found that if Kawasaki liked an article that I wrote related to my book, he'd tweet it and suddenly thousands of people would be drawn to my author's website and potentially my book. That's gold for an author, and I quickly learned his tastes and interests. Kawasaki knows how to wield this power. With more than 305,000 followers on Twitter he can create his own little tsunamis.

By the way, I am fulfilling one of Guy's Enchantment Rules, found in Chapter 3, "How to Achieve Trustworthiness." Conflicts are not conflicts if you're honest up front. Guy advises to come clean early, "Most People won't care that you are an interested or conflicted party as long as you disclose the relationship," he writes. "Also if you're trying to enchant people because you love a cause, disclosure is good marketing. It means you believe in the cause so much that you have chosen to work for it."

Kawasaki is no ordinary marketing messiah. One of the original evangelists for the Macintosh, he cut his teeth as a marketer back in the day when Apple's success was anything but certain. IBM dominated the market, and Steve Jobs and his maverick computers were not considered hardy or practical enough for the Fortune 500.

That's hard to imagine today, as Apple takes over the world, and IBM and Microsoft struggle to play catch-up. And that's why Kawasaki is the ideal mentor for a new generation. He's old enough to know what it takes to overcome the naysayers, yet has managed to stay youthful and relevant.

Enchantment is about how to succeed on a personal and product level. You'll learn how to "Push" and "Pull", technically, of course. Kawasaki is a master of social media, and how to use his influence to build his buzz. He knows how to inspire interns and countless others to join his cause. Indeed, each chapter ends with an individual's personal story of enchantment set off in a box with a photo.

Many of his truisms are classic, such as "Make it Short, Simple and Swallowable." As someone who does corporate branding I enjoyed a section on how people respond to words, rhymes and the importance of a good brand name. Sprinkled within the narrative you will find stories of how Virgin, Zappos, and yes Apple got ahead by being good--taking the enlightened path of trustworthiness and a good cause to market success.

Enchantment
is really about how to enchant you, how to create something far more authentic and enduring than a personal brand. If some readers wonder why there aren't more tales of knock your socks off enchanting brands, I've got news for you.

Kawasaki is no fool. My hunch is that Enchantment The Sequel may focus on the end result. On the enchantment blog he launched to help create his new book, I found this intriguing note: "I would like to include a few personal stories of enchantment in my next book. I am looking for examples of how people, products, services, organizations, ideas, or causes (sic) swept you off your feet."

Time is a wasting. Kawasaki wants it under 200 words. My advice is to start writing now. Who knows? Get your act together, and you just might find that you -- and your company -- will ride the Enchantment wave.

 

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