Guy Kawasaki, a very famous blogger, speaker and writer, put out a nice and instructive post recently about being a "secular evangelist". Guy is a Christian so he "borrowed" a lot of ideas from the Bible as to ways we can reach others for a cause, even the cause for Christ.
Here are some of his points.
# Create a cause.The starting point of evangelism is having a great thing to evangelize. A cause seizes the moral high ground. It is a product or service that improves the lives of people, ends bad things, or perpetuates good things. It is not simply an exchange of things/services for money.
# Love the cause. “Evangelist” isn't simply a job title. It's a way of life. It means that the evangelist totally loves the product and sees it as a way to bring the “good news.” No matter how great the person, if he doesn't love the cause, he cannot be a good evangelist for it.
# Look for agnostics, ignore atheists. A good evangelist can usually tell if people understand and like a product in five minutes. If they don't, cut your losses and avoid them. It is very hard to convert someone to a new religion when he believes in another god.
# Localize the pain. No matter how revolutionary your product, don't describe it using lofty, flowery terms like “revolutionary,” “paradigm shifting,” and “curve jumping.” People don't buy “revolutions.” They buy “aspirins” to fix the pain or “vitamins” to supplement their lives.
# Let people test drive the cause. Essentially, say to people, “We think you are smart. Therefore, we aren't going to bludgeon you into becoming our customer. Try our product, take it home, download it, and then decide if it's right for you.” A test drive is much more powerful than an ad.
# Learn to give a demo. An “evangelist who cannot give a great demo” is an oxymoron. A person simply cannot be an evangelist if she cannot demo the product. If a person cannot give a demo that quickens the pulse of everyone in the audience, he should stay in sales or in marketing.
# Provide a safe first step. The path to adopting a cause should have a slippery slope.
# Ignore pedigrees. Good evangelists aren't proud. They don't focus on the people with big titles and big reputations. Frankly, they'll meet with, and help, anyone who “gets it” and is willing to help them.
# Never tell a lie. Very simply, lying is morally and ethically wrong.
# Remember your friends. Be nice to the people on the way up because one is likely to see them again on the way down.
Read more at his blog