Early last week, I launched an interesting new campaign to promote Personality Not Included on the BzzAgent network through an area called the Frogpond. The Frogpond is a service offered by BzzAent where brands can submit some sort of online experience for BzzAgents to visit and evaluate. Unlike full BzzAgent campaigns, these campaigns are typically involving a virtual experience (such as a website) instead of a physical product and usually result in a high volume of comments (several thousand is average).
As a result of my Frogpond campaign for Personality Not Included, I received more than 2500 comments about the book from agents with a variety of backgrounds, from those who work in faceless organizations to stay-at-home-moms who have no connection to business at all. Reading through this volume of comments is a sobering experience because it gives you a lens to what "real people" think about what you write, as opposed to simply listening to the digerati or social media types who can offer an insulated message. Most of the 2500+ comments I have received so far fall into one of three categories:
- Not interesting – for BzzAgents who are just not into business and don’t know anyone who runs a business or works in business … the book didn’t have much to offer.
- Like the book, but the website was confusing – many people read and enjoyed the excerpt (though many people wished for more content from the book to consume). Others thought it could be interesting, but were confused or turned off by the website.
- Loved it and bought it – this was my favourite category (obviously!) of people who loved what they read on this site or through the excerpts and said they would go ahead and buy the book.
I haven’t done a full analysis, but these categories seemed about equal in their spread (33% each). As I spent some time this weekend thinking about what to do to incorporate this feedback, I decided to focus on two things. The first was to correct some BzzAgents who thought the campaign was run by a big organization (it wasn’t … it’s just me). The second was to offer the second group from the list above more information to hopefully address their concerns and help them figure out if the book may actually be useful for them or someone else they know. To that end, I redesigned the main section of the homepage to use a better description of what the book is all about.
In addition, I’m releasing another book excerpt of material, available at www.personalitynotincluded.com/pnibonusexcerpt.pdf. This excerpt is the first several pages of Chapter 6. No matter whether you’re a BzzAgent or not, check out the bonus excerpt and let me know what you think!