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Creating Enchantment: An Interview with Guy Kawasaki

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Guy Kawasaki chats with Peachpit about creating an enchanting web site, overcoming resistance, and his really simple but extremely powerful tip for enchanting people in our age of social media.

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Peachpit:  In Enchantment, you talk about how to achieve trustworthiness.  Is the concept of trustworthiness the same as it’s always been, or has the meaning of “trustworthy” evolved in this era of social media?

Guy Kawasaki: The core values of trustworthiness remain the same: a willingness to trust others before they trust you, an approach to life that is a win-win not win-lose, a default attitude of helping others, and a belief that to succeed you must have other people's best interests at heart. Social media, however, amplifies the effect—whether good or bad. That is, more people can learn about your trustworthiness or lack of trustworthiness much quicker and easier. But when you come right down to the core, a person is either trustworthy or not. Social media is just a way to expose this fact.

Peachpit: How can the designers use enchantment to further their goals and careers?

Guy: Let me count the ways. First, web designers will learn that design is a crucial part of how people judge quality. A web site is window into the soul of a company. Ugly, slow, confusing website = No soul or ugly soul = not enchanting. Second, web designers will learn how to enchant customers. Can a web designer be enchanting? Sure. The keys are likability, trustworthiness, and quality. Show up for meetings on time, be prepared, understand the customer's business, meet or beat time and cost estimates, and make beautiful sites. Think: likability of Virgin America, trustworthiness of Zappos, and quality of Apple. Third, how can a web designer make his or her career endure? The answer is to provide social proof—for example, show that many clients are happy with his or her work and build an ecosystem of other service providers like hosts, email marketing expertise, security services, and writers. I could go on but then people might not attend my speech if I give everything away.

Peachpit: Can you offer a few tips for how a web site can use enchantment to overcome resistance?  For instance, how can a conference's web site use enchantment to encourage people to come to a conference?

Guy: I alluded to this a little already: one powerful factor to overcome resistance is to provide social proof. Social proof for a conference involves showing that there are good people who have accepted speaking invitations and that well-known companies are sending their employees. You can also use the testimony of attendees of past conferences to "prove" how good this one will be. And it would be great if you're already sold out—that's the ultimate in social proof because it also taps into the perception of scarcity. Another thing to do is to be sure to enchant all the influencers. That is, you should enchant not just the web designers who are the attendees but anyone else who might influence the decision to attend, like colleagues in the company, management, spouses, and even kids. 

Peachpit: If there is just one takeaway that you want people to get from your book, Enchantment, what would it be, and why?

Guy: Here's a really simple but extremely powerful tip for enchanting people in our age of social media: Answer your email. Very few people do this. Even fewer do it fast. The simple act of responding to email within forty-eight hours can help you change hearts, minds, and actions. Ask yourself: what percentage of the people that you send email to answer within two days? Right there, you'll stand out from the crowd. Caveat: I'll be the first to admit that I don't always fulfill this requirement myself!

Peachpit: What has enchanted you recently?

Guy: Can I be a total geek? I just love my Dymo LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo printer. You can put two rolls of labels in it: one for the address and return address and one for postage. It's so cool to use that I was able to make an offer to send personalized covers to people who had bought the book. This action has resulted in dozens of pictures of people with their copies on the Enchantment Facebook fan page and helped me create an Enchantment community. 

Looking for more information on Guy? Here are some helpful links:

Web quiz:
Facebook quiz:
Speech video:
Bio and background:
Facebook fan page:!/enchantment?sk=app_4949752878

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