Strategy & Positioning

The Simplest Marketing Strategy: Make New Friends
The Simplest Marketing Strategy: Make New Friends

Note: This post was part of the “Marketing That Works” Ideas Contest, showcasing 20 of the most innovative marketing ideas from the blogosphere’s up and coming marketers. We’ve since picked a winner – check out this post for the details! :)

Marketing strategies on the internet are as prolific and omnipresent as a trust-fund hippie bragging about his wanderings in a hostel in Hat Yai.

I will never apologize for my lack of reverence, tact, or muzzle. I will also never brag about how awesome I am at making you a lot of money.

Let’s agree to deal with those two facts.

Today I’m going to give you 4 simple steps that will ensure lots of (1) money, (2) fun, and (3) super-duper sexy sex.

Have I got your attention? ;-D

It’s important to realize that all of this online marketing is a brilliant extension to offline marketing, not a replacement of offline marketing. Alan Weiss is a consultant and consultant trainer, and according to Weiss (and, according to Craig, because Weiss has made me many moneys), profitable business comes from a “sphere of influence”. Put plainly, if you are the center of your universe, everything around you will move towards you. In business, writing, or service, you need to create your universe.

Luckily for you, that means you get to create your own gravity.

One very exciting aspect of marketing is getting to know people. If you would rather sit in your office sending emails and Popup Domination javascripts to collect lists, send a pre-sell formula to those lists, and only focus on the selling, then you are a douche and this post is not for you. (Craig’s words, not Danny’s. Danny is too nice to say that.) Business is about making other peoples lives better. Focus on your purple cows and your product, then figure out how to let people know. Not the other way around. And today, I’m going to show you how being an awesome person, living life to the fullest, and getting drunk and talking to strangers might be the best thing for your business

Offline marketing techniques have made my internet business lots of money. Let me show you how humor, irreverence, and balls made me a winner:

Three years ago I was taking public transportation with a circus performer friend of mine to an art show in Bangkok, Thailand. We saw this black guy looking at us; we smiled and went back to talking about Burning Man or Lollapalooza or some rockin’ music festival.

When we got to the art show, we drank a few glasses of wine, mingled in broken Thai, and ran into the same black guy. My friend, Mel, told me, “wow, that African guy is at the same art show. Pretty cool, huh?” Obviously, I replied, “are you serious? That guy is 100% American.”

Naturally, it was on! She was calling him African because of the color of his skin and I was calling him American because he was kind of dressed boringly. Our invisible scripts were manifesting themselves in the most ugly (re: hilarious) of ways. But, we went forward. Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the shamelessness, or maybe it was because this guy, despite our misguided conviction of his birthplace, seemed to be really cool.

So, we went up to him, said, “hey, we saw you on the train. Are you from America or Africa?

“I’m from Atlanta, guys, and that’s kind of racist,” Dwight Turner replied with a laugh.


Not only did I get a free meal, but I also made a friend. Dwight, it turned out, ran charities in Thailand and knew so many people in SE Asia that I was instantly transported into another beautiful, people-filled world. After about 10 minutes, I told him that he would be my friend.

And I made him my friend. I invited him over, we had dinner, we had drinks. Slowly, but surely, he introduced me to some really cool people. Whenever I had a friend coming to visit wanting to volunteer, I sent them to Dwight. Whenever a refugee boy needed some help getting a scholarship, Dwight ask me to help. And that’s what we did.

We become friends. Rock and roll, sushi at midnight, wine by the bucket friends.

And there wasn’t anything tactical about it. A lot of offline marketers, networkers, and college flunk-outs are really only interested in what people can do for them. Others like to say, you need to find people whom you can help. It’s always about giving and taking. Give and take. Take take take. No! Give, give, give.

Fuck that noise.

Money, money, money. Take, take, take.

Do you have a family to feed, wife to love, information to give? Rock on. I’m 100% into people making money and living their lives. Hell, I think Sarah Palin is AWESOME because she legally scammed an entire nation into mega-wealth. Seriously.

But relationships and friends shouldn’t be about that. I like a friend whom I can talk to about my problems. I like a friend who likes tequila almost as much as I like tequila.

And out of those relationships beautiful things happen. Dwight is directly responsible for my success. He introduced me to people who introduced me to people. Friends of friends became friends of clients became solopreneurship, joint ventures, and serious cash. (Note: Dwight is directly responsible for something like 65k USD in client cash in my pocket this year because he introduced me to a client network that I would never have known.)

The Lesson

I have a lot of lessons to teach. Today, I will teach you this:

Stop thinking about yourself. Seriously, you are boring, or ugly, or worse. Boring AND ugly. And NOBODY wants to hang around boring people. Ugly is okay. To an point. But if you are boring, you suck. If you only think about yourself, you suck. If you only talk about your projects and your money, you suck. But also, don’t think about other people and service so much, too. I mean, that’s so business-like. We are all trying to make money, sure. But we are trying to make money to get a lifestyle.

Part of your business is to have a great lifestyle. Why not mold those a bit? I hate it when people are always talking about some business project they are working on. Those people are fucking lame. So, who are the cool people? Those who already did a project, or don’t care about a project, or just like talking about food, music, hot women, or adventure. Seriously, let’s just talk adventure, tasty food, neat places to travel, kids, or sex & drugs.

Four Steps To Instant Wealth

Step 1) Find something cool to do. Today or Tomorrow.

How? Go to the newspaper, internet, Facebook and look for an event. Do NOT pick a business event, pick a fun event. Food tasting, wine drinking, movie watching, game playing, music listening, art confounding event. Tonight I’m going to a couchsurfing event. I am a couch surfing rep and moderator in Thailand and I go every Wednesday to meet travelers, talk about food, and flirt with cute girls. (Note: If you are my girlfriend and you are reading this, that was a lie to make me seem cooler than I really am. 😉 )

Step 2) Go with 1 friend.

Why 1 friend? While I think going alone is better, you may be shy. Go with one friend, and only one friend, so you can, together, get the courage to go talk to people. At couch surfing it’s easy, I just say, how long have you been in BKK? For you, it doesn’t matter. Having a friend can make it impossible to leave when you know no one, but having too many people makes it impossible to get out of your clique. Only go with one person. Trust me, we are about to get to the marketing strategy that will make you an overnight billionaire.

Step 3) MAKE 1 friend.

Make one friend. Find a stranger looking at a piece of art that sucks, go up to him, and say, “seriously, that is a piece of shit.” If he says, “I made it.” You better say, “well, don’t quit your day job. I’m Craig. What else have you done?”

And make him your friend. This is the point of living our life, right? Sartre was 100% wrong. Hell is loneliness, not others. You make a friend today, and your life will be so much richer. Get it? Not only is your life better, but who knows who this friend is and how he might help you in the future. I just wanted Dwight to be my friend because he liked wine and food. Who knew it would help business. If I was a douche only looking for people to help my business, I’d be hanging out with other douches. And that shit is WHACK!

Step 4) There is no step 4. If you make a friend today – you don’t need any other business networking tips – you will have gained so much more in your life than connecting with a jackass who might send a client to you in exchange for back links and shout outs on a website 100 people go to.

Craig Gonzales has one goal in life: have the fun. Sometimes he is on Twitter @CraigGonzales. Other times he’s staring at himself in the mirror wondering how one person can be this crescent fresh.