Do you want your message to spread far and wide – without a whole lot of marketing effort on your part?

It sounds like a dream come true – the dream of going viral. Getting hundreds and thousands of clicks and opt-ins for your “thing” and having other people pass it along for you!

When your free gift goes viral, you get the credibility boost of having other people talk about it instead of you having to make all the marketing noise for yourself… which gets to be a little huffy and puffy at times.

The question is, how to make a free gift that’s hot, without sounding like you’re full of hot air?

I surprised myself last month when my new free gift went viral. Since I’m filled with curiosity, I wanted to know why… so I deconstructed the experience, looking for the lessons.

I asked some of the people who helped me go viral what was so attractive to them… and this is what I learned:

There’s a set of 7 strategies that I combined to go viral. Read on to see what they are and how they worked:

  • Remarkable, cool technology

If you want to go viral, make a gift worth talking about. You can go about this in several ways – and the way I did was to make my gift with some very cool, brand-new technology. It’s innovative and has the “have you SEEN this?” factor that gets people talking! I created my gift as an iBook – an interactive eBook – which is very cool and new.

  • Getting there first during that cutting edge moment

New technologies are only new for a short time… because before long, everyone decides to jump on the bandwagon and try them. To harness their power and go viral with them, you’ll want do them first before everyone’s using that technology and it becomes “normal”. There’s a very short moment in time where the new thing can be cutting-edge and that’s when you want to do it. You’ve got to do it before everyone else muddies the waters.

  • A message I was proud of and that served my clients

To get your message out there, it needs to be something that you’re proud of. You want to feel like the message you’re spreading is your great work – that you’ve given it your all. That way, your energy will be aligned behind getting that message out and people will get the best sneaky-peek at your work possible.

Also, you want your gift to be truly useful to your clients and your tribe so that they’ll have a really excellent experience with it to talk about.

  • Packaging your message in a beautiful, engaging, entertaining, & fun way

The “wrapping” of your gift can add that boost of specialness that helps get it talked about.

Beautiful: people love to share beautiful things. And, have you noticed that the “bar of beauty” has been raised lately? That things online keep getting prettier and prettier? You’ll want your stuff to be gorgeous to stay up-to-date.

Engaging: You want people to get absorbed in your gift. To get involved with it, to learn from it and to do the exercises. Putting the gift together in a certain way (like in an iBook) can make that happen.

Entertaining & Fun: People don’t want to learn from dry, boring eBooks anymore – they like videos that are entertaining, too. I embedded videos directly into my iBook to make the whole experience more fun.

  • When you see your opportunity, move fast.

Waiting is not going to do you any favors when it comes to going viral. You want to move quickly to take advantage of the new technology. Plus, moving fast again builds up energy behind your gift so that it can spread more quickly.

  • If you’re going to go viral, it helps to start in a bigger pond.

Sure, sending a new free gift out to your existing list and getting your affiliates to promote you helps get the buzz started – but what if you started in a bigger place? Like in a bookstore, or featured on a hot website? My iBook is published in the iTunes Bookstore, which has brought me all kinds of great traffic – because they have a wider reach than I do from the start. Where can you get outside of your circle?

  • Become a published author. People dig it!

When I published my iBook in the iTunes Bookstore, I posted a little casual note to my Facebook wall. I was shocked at the response – dozens upon dozens of people liked it and commented on it. My conclusion is that publishing a book is a big deal, and people like to make a big deal about it. The iBook is an easy way to get published without printing hundreds of hard copies of your book!

These are the 7 strategies I used to create my free gift that went viral. How can you use these ideas to get more reach and create more buzz about your gift?