I mentioned earlier in the week that there was one more response to come in from bloggers responding to my 1 Question interview on how they improved their blog in 2007. Today I’m happy to present it – a response from Frank Warren – the blogger behind the wildly successful PostSecret.
I come from an entrepreneurial background and have composed more than one “elevator pitch” for past ventures. So when I started PostSecret one of the first things I did was come up with a short but precise description of my Blog. (In fact, it is still the first line at www.PostSecret.com) But I soon discovered that just having an “elevator pitch” wasn’t enough.
I found that my friends wanted a deeper explanation of my project. “Why are you collecting secrets from strangers?” Was the most common question, and it took more than one sentence to answer it. I began to talk about meaningful secrets I had seen and recount poignant email messages from people who, like me, had been moved by the courage and art on the postcards.
Struggling to answer these questions helped me further locate where the true value was in my Blog. It also prepared me for a consequential meeting with a publisher. I was not given a book deal from Harper Collins because I had a great “elevator pitch”. It was because PostSecret had become a community and I was able to convey that through the stories and vignettes I had been shaping and sharing with friends.
All this really came together to help me improve my Blog during the book tours. Public speaking was a great challenge for me but going to dozens of cities and talking face-to-face with members of the PostSecret community gave me a better understanding of how to share the full value of the of the project.
Speaking at bookstores, colleges and museums has lead to other unexpected opportunities. I was invited this March to deliver one of the keynote speeches at SXSW. I can’t wait to meet some of my heroes there; and I can’t wait to learn more ways of improving my Blog by talking about it (and actively listening).