Seth Godin had a very introspective moment yesterday as questioned what exactly blogs are. He has historically prided himself on using his blog to inform and excite its readership – not to contstantly push his books, businesses and other endeavors at us. Interestingly, he views his books as the beginning of a conversation – he’s writing about topics and ideas that he admits he hasn’t fully thought out yet, and the point is to start a dialogue where we hopefully all learn from each other.
If these books represent the starting point, the beginning of conversations which he hopes to continue (with his blog serving as a big tool for such dialogue to take place,) then would it be prudent of him to make sure as many new folks are reading his books as possible? Otherwise, the risk is that they join a conversation taking place midsentence – lacking the context that the books are meant to provide.
I wonder how often that’s truly the case though. I think one of the things that makes Godin’s work unique is his effectiveness at getting the mind to work. It’s difficult to read his books or his blog and not immediately be compelled to find out more. I imagine that most people who stumble upon his blog are infected by the Godin ideavirus and promptly begin seeking out more info. It seems the Seth Godins and Tom Peters of the world are effective and compelling on the web because they focus on being remarkable, not on selling their products. As a result, people read what they have to say, become interested, and end up investing significantly more time and energy digesting the ideas they present. Their message is one of authenticity, and I think people appreciate that.
So, while one could make the argument that there are more people who would conceivably be compelled to buy books or go to seminars if one were to use their blog as a marketing medium, I think it comes back to the old ideas about what works in marketing, many of which were made mainstream by Seth himself.
- Never lose focus on making something worth talking about.
- Make your idea easy to spread (via blog posts and handy books one can take on the train or give as a gift.
- Obsessively cultivate influencers or ‘sneezers’ to spread the word for you in a way no marketing plug could.
- Spend time to milk your current success, but focus much more time on the next remarkable innovation so you avoid getting stuck.
- Remember that current customers are 8 times more likely to buy from you than newbies.
- Most importantly, be true to yourself and what you value. If it’s important to you that you be an idea person who makes people think, don’t worry about the fact that you’re losing out on a few sales.
I’m a marketer by background, but I realized a while ago that I buy from people who aren’t busy trying to market at me. How about you?Follow @intentionally