David Fagan Interview

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David Fagan Interview

Author of Guerilla Rainmaking / Former CEO of Guerilla Marketing

David Pierpoint:  Today I have the pleasure to be talking with David Fagan. David is a recognized marketing expert. He’s the former CEO of Guerrilla Marketing, and he currently owns Cutting Edge Ventures, LLC. David is the author of the Guerrilla Rainmaking book, a popular speaker at business events around the country, and a business development consultant with over 15 years of experience. So, welcome, David.

David Fagan:  Thank you.

David P:  Well, all right. Let’s just jump right in. My question for you today is, what is your favorite marketing strategy or tactic that’s working really well for you or your clients right now?

David F:  That’s a good one. I think it would really have to be the icon builder process – like the Icon Builder Program that we do – which is really all about making someone, or their product, an icon in their industry. And there’s really a pretty specific recipe to doing that.

David P:  Sounds interesting. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

David F:  Well, it really involves a lot of third‑party recognition. How to get testimonials and endorsements. How to leverage the news, the media, TV, and radio. What you’ve been seen on, or seen in. This includes the awards that you’ve received. We find that there are lots of opportunities for exposure, and, even when clients take advantage of those opportunities or get some of this third‑party recognition, they don’t always know how to leverage it.

And there’s been a lot of laws and rules and compliance issues that have come down on people over the last year, that have changed the way people can give testimonials or endorse you. People have kind of backed away from that, which has really made the people who know how to leverage those things all the more powerful.

That’s really what has been working for a lot of clients. The first thing is knowing how to get those types of testimonials, endorsements, and third‑party recognition. And, second, how do you display those online and off-line, and really leverage those so you can separate yourself from the competition.

David P:  Perfect. That’s great. Now, one thing that would be helpful for our readers, is if you can distinguish between the different types of attention you get from the media. I think that probably the first thing that pops into their mind when they hear the term “media” is national television shows, or big name news publications. Is that all you’re talking about?

David F:  Oh, no. There’s a lot more than that. But, yeah, I guess those are the obvious ones. And I do deal with a lot of big name clients and companies, so we are a little bit spoiled to already have some of that attention. But, I find that even some of the smaller companies are able to go out and get awards through Chambers of the Commerce and local leads groups, and we help people find those things. But there are all kinds of radio shows, even local radio shows, which are always looking for guests.

There are organizations online that, if you know where they’re at, you can go through. Just to give you one example, there’s a group called HARO – which stands for Help A Reporter Out – that anybody can get involved with. You can do a search and you’ll find their website. There are lots of opportunities to access the media and get involved with different things that are going on.

David P:  Interesting. That’s great information. When someone is getting started with this strategy, do they need to have a pre‑established brand and product, and all of that ready to go when they make those introductions? Or, is there a simple way to start building those relationships to get that attention earlier in the process?

David F:  You can start with nothing. But you want to round up whatever you already have. So, we ask people the first question, which is, “Who do you know?” And then, next, “Who do you know, who knows who you want to know?” That’s in several of my books and one of the things that Jay Levinson – from Guerrilla Marketing – and I talk about.

So again, that’s, who do you know, and who do you know who knows what you want to know. And what I tell people is, imagine you were going to have a wedding. Who is everyone you would invite? Who’s that top 100, 200, or 300 people? You’d be surprised, when you’re making that list, where these people work, what these people do for a living or occupation, or what industry they’re in. Not only that, you would be interested to find out who do they know. And, we’re not talking about several levels out, but just the one level up. Who do they know?

[…read full interview]

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