What is an Evangelist?

The other day someone off handedly called me a WooCommerce evangelist. I was happy being called that, but evangelist is one of those words that's hard to define. What exactly is an evangelist? How are they different from a sales person? Or different from a community manager?

For me it all comes down to intent.

Why intent matters

It's always bothered me that the sellers goals and the consumers goals are misaligned. If I'm a salesman I'm incentivized to upsell you and get as much money out of you as possible. As a consumer I want to spend as little money as possible to get the job done. This creates a relationship where one of the two parties always loses and I hate that. We need to change that paradigm so that the goals of the seller and the consumer are aligned.

One of the core differences between an evangelist and sales person is that an evangelist tries to inform the consumer and let them make their own decision. When you have enough evangelists sharing information you don't need sales people. The consumers are informed enough to make the right decision and the product can grow organically.

I'm a very big fan of WooCommerce but that doesn't mean it's the only e-commerce solution I'm going to recommend. There are plenty of use cases where I would recommend something else. I might recommend Magento for very fine grained control, GumRoad for a single product site, or Shopify for a do-it-yourselfer who wants a simple site. While I love WooCommerce I only want to encourage it's use for people that could get value out of it. If it really isn't the right solution for you I'm very happy to point you to someone who can help you with a different solution.

Share Share Share

There's a difference between the people who love a product and people who evangelize a product. A critical component is sharing their knowledge. It really doesn't matter how you share or what medium you use; the important part is that you get the message out there.

Evangelists over Sales People

When I think about popular products they aren't popular because they have the biggest advertising budget. What they do have is an army of evangelists who put the word out for them. If I can see and touch your iPhone and hear your pros and cons directly from your mouth I'm much more likely to buy it. Invest in making a good product that people want to share with their friends.

When I think about all of the incredible power of WooCommerce I can't help but share this information. I don't get paid a cent to write these blog posts. I do it because I love the product and I want to empower other people to use this software and sell anything – beautifully.

If you're reading this blog and want to try WooCommerce then clearly evangelism is working. Make an amazing product and cultivate your own army of evangelists to sell it for you.

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