Will they let you crash on their couch? How to get your tribe to stop saying “Why?” when you ask them to buy

rest fatigue sleep on the couch Siesta pop art style retro. Businessman tired. A man sleeps. Laziness and a bad day

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

You have no trouble giving your followers great stuff: Whether it’s in your zine, your blog or on Facebook. But when it comes time to ask them for something … specifically to buy your stuff, it’s a different story.

It’s awkward. It’s uncomfortable. And no matter what you do, you can’t get people to respond with their wallets. Even though they “love your stuff!”

Well, I recently stumbled on a video from musician Amanda Palmer, who has a rather novel way of finding a place to bed down for the night, after a performance on one of her worldwide tours:

She ASKS. On Twitter. Honest.

And her followers respond, over and over. Hundreds and hundreds of times. And it got me thinking:

How does she get her Tribe to respond, like clockwork? With something as intimate as letting her crash on their couch? When so many of us struggle getting ours to pay us a few bucks for something we offer?

The problem, as marketing maven and Lead Pages founder Clay Collins once said, is:

“You can’t give your way to receiving.”

Meaning you can’t just shower your followers with free stuff, and expect they magically “get it” so they start showering you with money. You have to ask.

And not only do you have to ask, you have to do it in a way that gets a response.

And if you’re struggling with this (and my guess is you are) here are a few keys to effective asking. So your followers start seeing your “asks” as the fastest path to what they want.

GIVE: Build the relationship by giving them what they want

This is the part you’re probably already good at. But there’s something you’re missing. Because what builds the relationship with your followers in a way that prompts them to want to work with you isn’t giving them what you think is important.

It’s giving them what THEY think is important.

The keys they’re already looking for. The tips that can change their lives. That get them started on the road to the breakthrough they dream of.

Because when you give them what THEY are looking for … they start looking to you as the person to take them the rest of the way.

Which is a crucial first step, because it brings us to …

ASK: Don’t just give them free stuff. Ask them to work with you.

Uh-oh. you knew I was going to go there. And that’s where you need to go as well. You need to start offering your list the opportunity to invest in themselves by investing in you.

Because when you’re serious enough about what you do to create and offer programs to your list on a REGULAR basis (not just once in a blue moon), your list will get serious enough about what you offer to buy it.

Because when you’re serious about what you do, and serious about creating outcomes  people want, they expect to pay for it:

  • When you go into the Apple Store and walk out with an iPhone you expect to pay for it.
  • When you decide to get rid of that old TV and get that crystal clear new wide screen, you expect to pay for it.
  • When you finally check into that amazing hotel, for your dream vacation, you expect to pay for it.

And when you finally start to offer your serious stuff to your tribe on a regular basis, two things will happen:

  1. Some will walk off in a huff because you’re “trying to sell them”. (Don’t worry about them … either they weren’t serious enough to invest in themselves, or you just weren’t a match).
  2. But others will see you’re serious about creating the breakthroughs they yearn for and either put you on their radar screen, or buy right then.

And I have to tell you, the first response is a
small price to pay to experience the second.

People like to ride with folks who got it going on. And by making regular offers to your list, by fearlessly asking without apology, you’re identifying yourself as one of those people.

Because your offers are the ultimate way you serve your followers, by allowing them to work with you at a level where they actually get to experience what they want most. Instead of just dreaming about it.

BUILD: Always offer new stuff. And give the folks who missed out on your previous stuff another chance to jump on.

This is another big beacon that lets your tribe know you’re the one they need to hitch their wagon to. You’re always growing. Evolving. Getting better. And sharing that growth by developing even bigger, better more effective programs that give them the chance to get bigger and better too.

And while you’re offering folks the chance to grow with your new stuff don’t forget to give them the opportunity to jump on your existing stuff if they missed it the first time. Because having a flagship signature program you’re known for, that takes your tribe where they want to go, is another key that makes it easier to say “Yes!” when you ask.

When you’re able to combine the two: Great new stuff, with previous stuff that’s proven to work — not only do you position yourself as someone who is always on the cutting edge. But someone who knows how to create outcomes and transformation, time and time again.

So if you want followers that will let you “crash on your couch”, that answer in the affirmative when you ask them to invest so you can help support their dreams, here’s how:

  • Give
  • Ask and offer consistently, fearlessly and unapologetically
  • Grow and share your discoveries

It creates a buzz and an attraction that makes folks want to be around you. And invest with you. So they get better … as you get better.

Remember … Amanda Palmer wasn’t doing open mikes down at the corner coffee house. She was touring. She was happening. And when you let your tribe know you are too, they will be grateful for your free stuff. And they will jump at the chance to benefit from your paid stuff.

Because when you:

  • Build a relationship through your free stuff.
  • Let them know you got it going on with your offers.
  • And let them know you’re here to stay by creating new offers and making the old ones even better …

… you build the the response that not only takes your followers to their dreams, but takes you to yours as well.


Oh yeah! In case you want to see the Amanda Palmer TED talk that literally wrote the book on asking, here it is:

It’s my favorite TED Talk ever. And what she says just might change your take on asking  forever.

3 Responses to Will they let you crash on their couch? How to get your tribe to stop saying “Why?” when you ask them to buy

  1. Now one other thing … when your list is very small, you’re best served finding clients offline … events, networking, and speaking. But once your list gets large enough so it’s worth your time to make offers, you want to use this blend of “Give – Ask – Grow” to maximize your profits.

  2. Wow – I love to be asked to help, for advice, for support. I give it when I can. Say sorry when I can’t. The people I want to work with may be like that too, interesting thought and something of a game-changer.