I was delighted to see that TED posted Amanda Palmer’s talk from last month on its site. Amanda is one of the main music case studies in Think Like a Rock Star, and it’s because she does an amazing job of not only connecting with her fans, but asking her fans for help and support. She is constantly giving her fans free and secret shows, then again she is constantly asking her fans to help her, either by providing her with an item she needs, or by supporting efforts like her record-setting Kickstarter project.
But the core lesson of her talk was about the power of asking for help. This is a topic that resonated with me because it’s one I struggle with. As Amanda said in her talk, asking for help makes us vulnerable. A lot of people don’t like being vulnerable or being put in a vulnerable position. But the upside of this is that it also makes it easier for others to connect with us when we are vulnerable.
Every week during #Blogchat I will have people tell me that they get so much value from the chat. That’s honestly a big reason why I continue doing it, because I know it is helping so many people become better bloggers. I love that I have created a way for hundreds of people to come together every Sunday night and help each other. But I absolutely hate the idea of bringing on sponsors for #Blogchat, because I hate asking for help. Honestly, I rarely push for sponsors unless there is a perfect fit, or if I really need some extra money. Otherwise, I simply hate doing it because it feels like I am trying to monetize something that we all create together.
But with my book, it’s a completely different story. I love promoting the book, because I don’t see it as asking people to help me, I see it as asking people to support an idea. People have asked me over the last year ‘How can I help support YOU and your book?’ I clam up when I hear that, because I don’t want these people to support me, I want them to be excited about the idea behind the book.
So in light of Amanda’s talk, I found that dichotomy interesting between my reluctance to ask for help personally, versus my wanting help spreading an idea I am passionate about. I’m interested to hear what you think about it.
Here’s her TED talk:
And in light of her talk, I wanted to make it the focus of our first #RockstarChat on Wednesday at 1pm Central on Twitter. We’ll chat about how brands can do a better job of asking their fans to help and support them. Hope to see you then!