How to Build Buzz

Did you notice on Monday how many blogs talked about Dave Balter’s book, “The Word of Mouth Manual, Volume II”? Godin, Kawasaki, Peters, and a bunch of others talked about it.

The guy really knows how to create buzz. (Which makes sense, since Dave Balter is also the CEO of BzzAgent.) I wanted to find out how he does it, so I called him up.

You should listen to the call for yourself, but below are a few of my notes from the conversation:

Dave Balter

Dave Balter


Dave Balter is the CEO of BzzAgent, a word-of-mouth media network.

A few lessons from this program

Where’s Volume I?!
So this book is called “The Word of Mouth Manual, Volume II,” but there’s no Volume I. Dave did that on purpose. If you want people to talk, you need to give them something to talk about.

You’re not trying to be the next Numa Numa Guy
Building word of mouth isn’t like creating a viral video. You’re trying to tell a series of stories that help you connect with your users. Think about how Apple creates buzz by building on the stories they’ve told us over the past 30+ years. A competitor might catch our attention for a minute with a hot new feature, but they’re not going to keep us talking the way Apple does.

Luck is for losers
You’re not hoping people will talk about you or your product. You’re leading the conversation. Dave didn’t put his book out and hope bloggers would write about it. He talked to each one and convinced them to write about his book on the same day.
BzzAgent has “Communications Developers” who talk to each one of its “Agents” and helps them spread the word.

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