What is it that makes a book or product or event known by everyone? The Tipping Point is a very interesting book that addresses the concept of epidemics and why they occur. Two concepts that particularly stood out to me were connectors and stickiness.
Connectors know things and people. They are actively involved in things and have the ability to send emotion. “Connectors know lots of people. They are the kinds of people who know everyone.”1 The book uses the example of the six degrees of separation.
But Gladwell also brings up a good point that there is always that one person that is responsible for 90% (approximately) of the people you know. For me it was my friend Devin who introduced me to Jill who introduced me to Julia who introduced me to Dave who introduced me to Karl who introduced me to Pete who recommended me for a job serving tables at Trump which I was then hired for a management position within the Trump Organization.
While this was before social media, the concepts still apply. In marketing, this means connecting with clients. Half of my clients today are from one referral. Julia found on Odesk who introduced me to Petalyn who has two business I manage social media for and Lisa who referred me to Nicanor who referred me to Pam. I am always particularly careful with this group because I don’t want one domino to knock down the others.
Online communities continue this tradition and in fact facilitate it. You no longer need to send letters to every Tom Smith in the New York area to find your long lost childhood friend. It is as simple as googling them or searching them in Facebook or LinkedIn. Even if you don’t find them specifically, you will find someone else who can connect you with them or knows something about them.
Stickiness refers to just how much your product or idea or impression will last with others. Is it something they will remember or will they randomly think of it and wonder what ever happened with that/him/her five years down the road. “Reaching the consumer with the message is not the hard part of direct marketing. What is difficult is getting consumers to stop, read the advertisement, remember it, and then act on it.”2 “If you paid careful attention to the structure and format of your material, you could dramatically enhance stickiness.”3
Stickiness is impressing your connections with who you are and what you (or your product) can do for them. When I interviewed with Julie, we talked for about an hour about different things. What stuck with her was the fact that I lived in Italy and I was familiar with the program 1shoppingcart. That was enough for her to hire me. She now trusts me so much she allows me to freely make edits and recommendations to her.
These concepts are all related to networking. And networking is still relevant and always will be in business. Today’s world has been changed by Web 2.0 and has evolved how we network, where we meet people, and how we can impress them.
1. Gladwell, Malcolm (2006-11-01). The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (Kindle Location 430). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.
2. Gladwell, Malcolm (2006-11-01). The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (Kindle Locations 1086-1087). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.
3. Gladwell, Malcolm (2006-11-01). The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (Kindle Locations 1298-1299). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.