Need Your Help With My New Book: How To Get People To Do Stuff



If you could get people to do stuff, what is the stuff that you would get people to do?

I’m working on my next book (due out on February 2013), How To Get People To Do Stuff. I have a long list of “stuff” that I think my readers would like to know how to get people to do, but I’d like to hear from my readers about what stuff you would be interested in getting people to do.

Here are a few things I have on my list:

  • Buy a product
  • Sign up online
  • Donate money
  • Donate time
  • Take initiative
  • Pay attention
  • Meet deadlines
  • Do a task more carefully

But I’d like to know what YOUR list would look like. Write your ideas in the comments of this blog, or send me an email at:

Thanks in advance for your help!


23 responses to “Need Your Help With My New Book: How To Get People To Do Stuff”

  1. Ryan Avatar

    This already looks like a good list. How about “Advocate a product or service (be a returning customer)”

  2. Cliff Avatar

    Vote. How about just to get people to vote?

  3. Dan Avatar

    Hey, Susan.

    I am very interested in ways to motivate people to live healthier lifestyles. I don’t think anyone’s figured that out yet.

  4. Bianca Avatar

    Ask for help if they need it.

  5. paul Avatar

    How to get children to do homework when they don’t have great home support.
    How to get 17 year olds to work using new routines consistently when more casual working methods have brought them exam success in less demanding courses just a year earlier.
    How to get intelligent children who have been told that they can achieve anything to differentiate between potential and capability and so have a reason to take a more thoughtful, focused and diligent approach to preparing for their exams.

  6. Ian Avatar

    Pay your taxes fairly.
    Consider the other side of an argument (and even dare to imagine that your interlocutor may *not* be a f’ing idiot just for having a different opinion!).
    Do what you consider to be the right thing, not just follow the mob.
    Leave the car at home for short journeys.

    Oh, and “File a useful bug report, dammit” … but that’s probably a bit too much of a stretch goal :)

  7. emma Avatar

    Tell us what they like/what we got right, so we can do more of it/not mess it up. we tend to only hear about stuff that went wrong, which is fair enough – it’s easier to spot.

  8. Luis Tenorio Avatar
    Luis Tenorio

    How to give orders!!!! inner a company

  9. François Avatar

    Modify their opinion about a subject.
    Improve their skills.
    Abandon a bad habit.
    Overcome a fear (of flying, …)

    It may be an idea to include a section about children and teenagers.

  10. Mike Avatar

    Pick up litter in the company parking lot, throw away trash in the cafeteria, and all sorts of other disappointments that are chalked up to “the tragedy of the commons.”

  11. Mark Avatar

    Sign up for a loyalty program

    1. Lorrie Avatar

      That hits the target dead cetnre! Great answer!

  12. Reg Avatar

    Hold a conversation, read a book, and go out on a date.

  13. Ivan Avatar

    Leave personal details when they are needed for account security. Like second email and/or phone number to recover lost password for an email service.

  14. Christine Freeman Avatar
    Christine Freeman

    I think that you are very skilled in “How To Get People To Do Stuff”! We all need to realize that the way your request is worded has gotten us to eagerly respond with helpful ideas !!! LOL :D

  15. Christine Freeman Avatar
    Christine Freeman

    Hidden agenda?

  16. Pamela Avatar

    I’d like people to:
    give me a good price
    hire me (as a contractor)
    call me only at certain times and not others
    give me advice in their areas of expertise [Answer: rule of reciprocity]
    help out in a neighbourly way when needed [ditto]

  17. Simon Schofield Avatar
    Simon Schofield

    Be more effective

  18. Vanessa Avatar


    The thing I’d like to know how to get people to do the most is to ENGAGE online. I can never get people to comment on things. Even ‘liking’ or ‘favoriting’ something is an effort it seems. How do we get people to participate in social conversations or engage online?

  19. JAG Avatar

    How to get kids to get off the computer/phone/video game and start interacting with their peers face to face?

    So much texting these days, I think our kids have forgotten how to speak.

  20. Eric Olive Avatar
    Eric Olive

    Hi Susan:

    Convince children and adults that mastery is valuable. Many worthwhile skills require time, attention, and commitment.

    Teach people the value of listening. Authentic listening is rewarding because it helps us open our mind and shift our thinking.


  21. Dan Gayle Avatar

    I often find that building trust is a major goal of the websites I’m working with. How to get people to trust you or your website would be a great topic.

  22. Johnas Avatar

    How to get people to agree with you and like you. Both as a person and as a company/brand.
    Also how to get people to follow you (not social media ‘follow’).

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