Thanks for the Gift – What’s the Catch?
it’s a transaction.
The idea of gift giving has been in my thoughts a lot recently. Not only because Halloween is now past and we are sliding crazily towards Ho Ho Ho season. But because I am currently reading the chapter entitled: ”The Powerful Culture of Gifts” in Seth Godin’s book; Linchpin.
I found his take on “the curse of reciprocity” particularly interesting. We’ve all been there. We try to figure out what price to pay for a gift while at the same time calculating the expected value of the gift we expect to receive in return. (You do, right?)
Giving with strings attached is now so embedded in our system that there is little wonder that we have all become cynical e.g. the saying – “If it looks too good to be true; it is!”
People do give freely; artists do it all the time. They create because that’s what they do and that’s why we call it art and not merchandise. If someone purchases their work then the artist has benefited both monetarily and influentially.
And it’s not just our traditional definition of artists who do this. People in the service industry who go that extra mile to give a genuine smile and give exceptional service can be considered artists. They do so because it’s who they are. Sure they’re paid but that pay scale was probably based on providing an average level of service and “artists” aren’t average.
Neither is that guy in the office who volunteers to organize the Christmas party or the policeman who volunteers to take seniors out for a pub crawl. They give because that’s who they are, not what they’re do.
People like Chris Brogan, Mitch Joel, and, Mari Smith and hundreds more give all the time. They are professionals who have established careers and make big bucks selling their expertise. Yet they give the equivalent of libraries full of free advice. Why?
By giving so freely, they have become trusted influencers. They connect with their followers. They have become the go-to people in their individual area of expertise.
In return, all those people who have downloaded their e-books, podcasts or read their blogs are now buying their books, attending their speaking engagements and passing theses along their references to their friends.
Gift giving is very empowering.
So how do I convince business owners to share freely online?
How do you do it?
About Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Social Media Strategist with management roots in restaurant, hotel and performing arts. A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social". Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.