Most of us who have ever listened to a bitcoin talk delivered by Andreas Antonopolous come away with renewed clarity as to the “obviousness” of bitcoin being the best thing since… ever.
Why then is it so hard for us to get our friends to become even mildly as enthusiastic as we are? This short article aims to cover the five topics to master when bringing people into the bitcoin / crypto revolution.
Keep It Simple
You might think that dropping jargon like “decentralisation”, “block rewards”, “satoshis” and “the Federal Reserve” in your first few sentences when describing bitcoin sounds awesome but your mate doesn’t. Once it’s over their head, you have lost them. And you might not realize where you lost them because they won’t tell you. When making a point and introducing new words… keep it simple! Phrases like “Does that make sense?”, Do you agree? Are you with me?” cannot be used often enough. Make sure your audience is with you every step of the way. When you get stuck on a topic great! This is where the real learning takes place.
Most of us didn’t “get it” the first time we heard about bitcoin. Learning this stuff is difficult not only because of new words and technology but also because this subject challenges beliefs people have had all their lives. I know it’s exciting and you want to tell everyone everything but focus on little chunks and find out what areas peak you friends curiosity and focus on that.
In a way, us earlier adopters had it much easier because back then most of the information out there on the net was actually useful. Now a newbie has to sort through the ocean of rubbish, click bait and scams online to hopefully get correct information. Help them navigate this minefield by giving them people to follow on youtube like Andreas.
Give your mates time to absorb the information and encourage them to continue the discussion with you later.
Know When to Drop It
It is easy for us bitcoin believers to get a bit over enthusiastic when sharing our wisdom and try to push the issue when others don’t seem to grasp the concept.
If you can tell a discussion is going nowhere know when to back off. Not everyone wants to discover the best thing ever right now and sometimes repetition is not key.
It is easy for Bill Gates or Warren Buffet to command attention when they are talking about money, but odds are you don’t have the reputation they do. Before being persuasive in anything you need to understand how you are perceived by your audience. Do people come to you for worldly advice? Are you the guy who always has a crazy idea?
Understanding how you are seen before during and after your chat will help you design your approach. Some people just won’t see you as an authority on this subject. That is fine. The important thing to realize here is that maybe they want a conversation and you may have turned it into a lesson. Just let it be known that you are into this stuff and eventually, if you are open and agreeable, a lot of these people will start approaching you.
Us bitcoiners have all the answers. We have heard every argument against bitcoin 100 times before, and we waste no time correcting our mistaken comrades.
— “Yes the FED is a massive scam.”
— “No, the government can’t just shut bitcoin it down.”
— “No, bitcoin has never been hacked.”
Even though we feel that we are doing a fantastic thing by showing our mates the reality of the world, more often than not the other person feels like we are attacking their views. A wise quote is “He who is convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” Coming at people’s’ beliefs like a bull at a gate is not the best approach. So what is?
Start by finding common ground instead of going head to head. Whether your audience is left wing or right wing, interested in business, charity, history or the arts, there are limitless bitcoin and blockchain examples you can use to show how a situation they care about can be improved.
Once they see clearly how this new technology can improve something they care about, they will naturally start to see how it can apply to basically everything else.
Give Them Bitcoin
All the philosophizing, videos and preaching in the world will have little effect compared to getting your friend to EXPERIENCE bitcoin. Once your buddy has shown any interest at all, do the following…
• Help them download a wallet and send them bitcoin!
• Get them to send it back.
Explain that you just sent money to them like an email and help them understand that you can send it anywhere in the world 24/7 and that it can be 2 cents or 20 million dollars.
And… fish for aspects of bitcoin that peak their curiosity.
Sometimes it can seem crazy that people don’t see how awesome bitcoin is like we do. In 20 years though, convincing people that bitcoin is a great thing for the world will seem as necessary as convincing people that the world is round today. In the meantime, sticking to these tips will help you spread the gospel of bitcoin more effectively as well as help you keep your friends and sanity along the way.
How have you helped your friends jump on the bitcoin bandwagon revolution? Let us know in the comments below.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock, Tradeblock, Coindance
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