This is another in a string of posts that began after I heard Seth Godin say "People don't buy books from strangers."
It turns out this whole idea of selling to strangers is central to what Godin is teaching. Another Godin post on the subject, copied below:Most marketers are organized around more. More share. More customers.
And if you want to do that fast, it means marketing to strangers. Strangers that don't care about you, don't trust you and aren't listening to you.
You market to a friend differently. A friend isn't necessarily someone you went to summer camp with, it's someone who gives you the benefit of the doubt. Someone who will listen, at least once, to your pitch.
I was talking to an author about his next project. The question I asked him was, "are you writing this for strangers or friends?" The implications are huge. It impacts how you design the cover, how you price it, what it's about, where you sell it, when you publish it, how much you pay for store displays, etc...
You need to treat friends differently at every step along the way. First, don't confuse the moments you're supporting them or connecting with them with the moments when you are doing business. Second, understand that the most powerful win is when your friends tell their friends about you. This is worth 1000 times more than you talking about yourself.
The cool thing is that now, everyone has ten times as many friends as they used to. The social graph online is a fascinating, exponential factor in growing the list of people who might be willing to hear what you have to say (once).
Which means that your site and offer and products can be organized around friend selling instead of stranger setting.
Guaranteed: if you sell a friend the way you sell a stranger, you've made neither a sale or a friend.