Winners in technology evangelism focus on a mindset shift, not the product itself.
Last week I raised the question: If no one realizes what you do is possible, how do you grow predictable traction?
The answer to that is evangelism.
For the last 1.5 years at Unit 4, I was the Chief Evangelist, so let me zoom into what I learned in that period. But first, let’s define the role:
An evangelist is a person who builds a critical mass of support for a given technology, platform, or approach and then establishes it as a standard in a market that is subject to network effects.
The two key ingredients stand out:
- builds a critical mass of support
- Establish it as a standard.
Let’s put that into context by sharing a quote from my podcast interview with Sarah Hawley, CEO of Growmotely:
What I’ve understood more recently is that while companies and people worldwide are very open to remote work now, the idea of working in a globally distributed team is still really new.
I completely missed that. For me, it was a bit of a blind spot because I’ve been remote since 2014. And the very first thing I did when I was remote was hiring someone from another country. So our big hurdle is not the remote work part; it’s helping companies understand the benefits and the power of hiring a globally diverse team.
In other words: Building critical mass support starts with creating a mind shift
Then comes the second part: Establishing it as a standard
To do evangelism right, I’ve come to learn certain things are essential:
- Crafting a clear vision. What future state are you building for, and why is that important?
- The mindset that you’re building awareness in this stage, not necessarily transactions (yet)
- It’s about community, connecting with people, and bringing them on this journey together.
- Storytelling – inspiring people about what can be and getting them to believe in it.
- Language – and in particular, the use of inclusive language
Question for you to reflect upon
What aspect of your approach to driving value with your SaaS product could you evangelize to establish it as the standard?
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