“Promises Architecture” – foundation of Advocacy

If you read my bio or what this blog is all about, you will realize that I am all about helping people and businesses build advocacy.  While it started a long time ago when I was consulting in the areas of corporate strategy and customer experiences.  I never claimed to be the brightest person in the world but I do pick things up quickly when it looks like someone is onto something. Well, that was the case when I create the “Promises Architecture” several years ago.  This architecture works as well today as it did back then – only better with the introduction of social media.  Let me explain…

I saw early on that the “Holy Grail” for any organization (for profit or not for profit) was one word – ADVOCACY.  If an organization could achieve this state with more people than their competitors, they would win the number one spot.  Sounds simple, right?  Not exactly.  Let’s start with my simple definition of Advocacy – “when someone is ‘proactively’ talking about you to others because they trust you and believe in who you are and your character.”  That’s it!  While this may sound simple, it is much more difficult to achieve.  Let’s break it down so you understand how Advocacy really gets built.

It starts with something that is so basic yet very difficult for people to consistently achieve – PROMISES.  Everyone makes them, but the question is, how many actually keep them after they have been made.  My research says not very many of us and while we might consider many of them to be “insignificant” in the scheme of things, it builds a foundation of who we are and how others will interact with us.  Simple concept – if you make a Promise then find a way to keep it or don’t make it.  If people and companies just did this one simple thing, their business would flourish.  But in most cases, we aren’t very good at this simple act.

But if you are good at keep the Promise you make and you do it over and over and over again, you establish a pattern of reliability and this is what starts to build TRUST.  Think about it in your personal relationships.  If you promise your girlfriend or spouse something and deliver on that promise, and  you do it consistently over time, they will develop a great deal of trust for you.  If you occasionally or continually fail to keep your promises, you can’t get out of the starting gate and you never build any real Trust. But as Trust is being built, you begin to form a RELATIONSHIP of some kind with this person. This is a critical component and puts you at a level where you believe in the person and feel good about what they stand for and their character.

As the Relationship grows, you realize this is a person who you Trust implicitly and now you are willing to go out of your way and “proactively” tell others how great they are – you have become an ADVOCATE for that person.  Advocacy is rooted in the foundation of Promises and building Trust.  Without these key components, it won’t happen.  No one is willing to put their own reputation and character on the line for someone they don’t Trust – it just doesn’t happen.  Yet we, as business leaders, expect our products and services to build trust just because of who we are or what they are.  We might really like them but we aren’t going out of our way to proactively talk about them and literally sell the person, service or product.

Put yourself in this pyramid and see who you might be an Advocate for – it probably won’t be many people or companies is my guess.  Most haven’t done a very good job of building Advocacy.  Now with the massive adoption of social media, where others can freely say good or bad things about you on the airwaves, Advocacy has become paramount to success.  More on that later.  For now, I hope you have a better understanding of how Advocacy is built and what it takes to achieve it.  Now, go count up your Advocates…

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11 Responses to “Promises Architecture” – foundation of Advocacy
  1. […] few weeks ago I posted on my blog the Promises Architecture showing that making and keeping Promises is key to building Advocacy personally or […]

  2. […] say I can deliver?  If not, it’s time to go back to basics and remind yourself about the Promise Architecture, which leads to helping you develop the foundation of advocacy.  If you have, CONGRATULATIONS, you […]

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