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20 Posts From Seth Godin You Probably Missed

Seth Godin’s writing and work continues to inspire marketers and brand storytellers, after more than a decade. I’ve done a deep search through the archives of his blog and uncovered some gems, that you may have missed (some haven’t even been retweeted). Bookmark and enjoy!

Seth Godin on the Internet

We wish Google didn’t exist
Why wishing isn’t a good business strategy and three things to focus on.
Vocabulary: “Landing Page”
Landing pages are direct marketing in action.
Different kinds of traffic
Why you want better and not just more traffic.
How to get traffic to your blog
56 gems that will get you thinking again.
10 Things programmers might want to know about marketers
Your products are worthless without marketing.

Seth Godin on Marketing

Farming and hunting
Which is better for your business?
Understanding the funnel
Shouldn’t you be treating your customers differently?
Your job is to amplify interest, not create it.
What consumers want
It’s not what you think.
The culture of dissatisfaction
Why relationships matter.
Edges and clusters
Getting away from the sweetspot.
Bite sized
The best problems have an easy solution.

Seth Godin on Leadership

Do you want to be that person?
It’s good to be king
You weren’t awarded the right to attention.
A lesson learned at the mall
Investing in more than the minimum.
Leadership is now the strongest marketing strategy
Your job is to do the connecting.

Seth Godin on Ideas

How do I license a great idea?
Sometimes it’s simply how you tell it.
Why are you afraid of process?
Is process underrated?
What makes an idea viral?
It’s not what matters to the originator.
Selling Ideas to a big company.
Two important things to consider.

What are your favourite Seth posts and why?

Image by Dave Durden.

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Being Successful Isn’t About What You Do

Why is it that we’ve all got heroes that many of us haven’t ever met? If heroes are just ordinary people who do something extraordinary, how can they be so ubiquitous and uncommon all at once? I think this video goes part of the way to answering that question.

That was you when you were four. What on earth happened?

For a start you learned that you weren’t superhuman, that you couldn’t really fly and jumping off walls might actually hurt. You learned that you made mistakes and that sometimes people would laugh at you. You learned to be careful about what you said, not to stand out, to fit in. Most importantly though you learned to stop believing in yourself.

Then you grew up and you learned to worry about the important things in life like; Does my bum look big in this? And how many friend requests have I got on Facebook today? You learned how to put your best face forward. And you were saved by the greatest invention known to every the lost hero. The delete key! You might not be a hero anymore, but you could be ‘super’.

You know we’ve got this notion that we’re inspired by the extraordinary stuff that we see happening around us. We’re so focused on the ‘big what’, that we’ve lost sight of the truth about what really inspires people.

Being successful isn’t about what you do, it’s about how you do it.

Heroes touch us by being masters of how. Seth Godin shows us how to inspire. Bono shows us how to be passionate. Richard Branson shows us how to believe in our dreams. And Steve Jobs showed us how to live before we die. You see real heroes aren’t always out there doing extraordinary things every day. They’re often doing stuff you and I could do, if we chose to.

Every Person you impact you leave a heart-print, or not,
and that is your legacy. ~ Oprah

I’d like to propose a new definition of the modern hero. A hero is an extraordinary person doing ordinary things. You have the potential to reach out to people every day and how you do that is what makes your ideas matter.

Image by Charles Van Den Broek.

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Talk About What You’re Really Selling

In the factories we make perfume but in the stores we sell hope. ~ Charles Revlon

What makes clients become regulars and turns customers into evangelists? Most of the time it isn’t what you wrap up for them to take home.

Do you sell photographs or memories? Does your cafe sell coffee or lifestyle? Does your book store sell information or community? Does your pharmacy sell pills or empathy?

At Disney World they don’t sell rides, they sell magic. Zappos sells wow, not just shoes. Pandora sells memories, never charms.

Worth emulating?

Image by Billie Hara.

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Love Is A Marketing Metric

Put your products, service, website, signage, business cards, every touch point to a simple test. Stand in your customer’s shoes and answer one question:
what are three things that compel you to say, I love this? ~ Kevin Roberts

You can’t go wrong with your brand story and marketing, if you truly are putting your customer’s feelings front and centre. Put your energy into creating a product or service that people, (maybe not everyone, but enough people) love, and want to buy into.

Here are the only metrics you need.

  • Did she love it?
  • Will she come back?
  • Why?
  • Why not?

Imagine mattering to the world this much.

Image by Steve Rhodes.

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Not Every Heroine Gets To Choose Her Story

Today, more than 600 million girls live in the developing world. Only a handful get to choose their own story. This year 14 million girls aged 15 to 19 will become mothers, not by choice, or by design, but because poverty and lack of education makes it their destiny.

Imagine having little or no control over how the rest of your life, and the lives of your children will be lived. Imagine having no choice but to live the story that has already been written for you.

The Girl Effect is helping girls in developing countries to rewrite their stories, so that different stories can be written by future generations of families in the developing world.

This post is part of the 2011 Girl Effect Blogging Campaign.

Image by Harini Calamur.

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Artists Don’t Market

Kate is a gifted designer, a true artist. She spends hours foraging through discarded treasures finding just the right fabrics, that others would hardly notice. She lovingly puts them together in her studio, late into the night and creates one beautiful cushion. This cushion is unique, there isn’t another like it in the whole world. It’s got history. It’s been made by someone who appreciates beauty, who doesn’t want to spend her life just working to pay the bills at the end of the week. It contains a tiny piece of Kate’s soul. And every day it stays in her online store, not having found a home, a little piece of Kate’s soul dies.

“I don’t want to do marketing,” she protests. “I just want to create my art, artists don’t market.”

Your art is worthless without a place to call home.

Artists market every day, because they have no choice. They understand the value of their art is not just in the work and love that went into it, but in the pleasure it gives once it’s got somewhere to live, hands to hold it and people to share it. Artists find ways to tell stories about what they do, with website copy, and colour, stories and blogs. They find ways to make people laugh and cry, believe and covet. To reach into their hearts and create an emotional connection, with a book, a piece of fabric, a photograph, a design or idea. The best artists market to save their own soul, so they can keep doing the thing that matters.

Marketing is part of your art now.

Image by Michael Summers.

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Why A Better Business Story Matters

Santoso and Dian live within a kilometer of each other in the once sleepy town of Ubud, in Bali. Both men are master wood carvers and work for hours every day hunched on the floor of their tiny workshops. Happily for them Ubud is now the thriving arts center of the island and thousands of tourists arrive in buses, cars and taxis every day of the year, to shop for souvenirs to take home from their trip.

So every day they sweep the pavement in front of their workshops and set out row upon row of their amazing hand carved, statues, masks, trinket boxes and trays ready to showcase to their potential customers. The only fly in the ointment is that there are ten equally gifted craftsmen, with similar workshops and shopfronts all lining up along the same strip, trying to attract the same customers. Faced with all that competition Santoso and Dian can only see one way to differentiate themselves, and that’s by rushing to the bottom and being the cheapest wood carving artisan in the town.

The wood carvers in Ubud are not much different to artisan bakers on 9th Avenue, pizza chefs of via San Giovanni or crafters on Etsy. It’s all too easy to get stuck in the commodity and needs business. When you should really be in the emotional wants business. What would happen if Dian identified a niche for himself and told his story from a different angle? He might decide to offer wood carving lessons, with free souvenirs to take home. What if he became not just another wood carver in Ubud, but the wood carver to go to in Ubud?

If we want to be believed and not just noticed it’s time to think about telling a better story.

So many huge brands have built their businesses on servicing our needs, but appealing to our wants, Innocent, Apple, Zappos and even TED.

How are you selling emotional wants, and not just simple needs to your clients?

Image by Shenghung Lin.

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Uncertainty Book, Interview With Jonathan Fields

Fear of failure is not something that’s imagined, it’s real. In many ways it’s what drives us and ultimately prevents us from doing our best work.

Uncertainty is a signpost that what you’re doing matters. ~ Jonathan Fields

Jonathan Fields is on a mission to empower us to embrace fear and turn it into the fuel for our brilliance. In his new book Uncertainty (released this week), he explores how successful people overcome their fear of locking down the future and lean into fear, in order to achieve great things. I was delighted to speak to Jonathan recently about the ideas in the book. Enjoy the interview!

You can’t achieve anything great in the world by waiting for perfect. ~ Jonathan Fields

Image by Chaval Brasil.

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The Best Ideas Don’t Start With Solutions

Have you ever wondered why your ‘big ideas’ get stuck in mind map central, never to see the light of day, or don’t end up being as groundbreaking as you hoped? Part of the answer lies in the way you’ve been working on implementing those ideas.

Those moments of genius and excited clarity that you have in the shower, tend to start with a beautiful solution. Your ideas often focus on your brilliance and the unique contribution you can make to the world. This is as it should be, but it’s not where your planning should start.

Innovation doesn’t begin with solutions, it starts at the root of problems

Don’t begin with your answers. Start with their problems. Be secure in the knowledge that you have the skills and the talent to provide those solutions. Then go out and ask questions and find the problem to solve.

Image by INPIVIC.

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10 Rules For Writing A Compelling ‘About Me’ Page

Your about page is one of the most visited pages on your website. It’s the place where prospective customers decide if you’re right for them, and your best chance to convert more website visits to enquiries and more enquiries to customers. That’s why your about page copy is the most important sales copy you’ll ever write.

How To Write A Compelling About Page

1. Know who you’re talking to.

Customer insight is your superpower. You are at your most persuasive when you understand your customer’s unmet needs. Your about page copy should reflect that.

2. Don’t just lead with the facts.
Facts alone don’t persuade. People want to hear your story. Make your website a window, not a wall.

3. Share your values.
Tell people who you are and what you believe.

4. Show yourself.
Build trust by adding a professional photo to your bio and about page. People buy from people. Your potential clients want to see the person behind the business.

5. Tell the story of your professional journey.
Share how you got to where you are today. Help your website visitors to understand how you know what you know.

6. Tell people how you can help them.
Be specific, add links to products and services.

7. Demonstrate how you’ve provided solutions for others.
Link to your portfolio, projects or client case studies.

8. Help people to understand the benefits of working with or buying from you.
Add client testimonials and stories about how you work.

9. Add calls to action and a contact link.
Your about page should not only provide information and build trust, but it must also call potential clients to take action.

10. Don’t make it all about you.
Think about why you’re writing your about page in the first place and how you want the reader to feel when she’s done reading it.

*Bonus* Write like you speak.
Sometimes in our attempt to sound professional, we use words that distance us from prospective customers. The goal is to build trust and to stand out by being and sounding like who you are. Avoid the jargon that everyone else uses at all costs!

Get the guide that’s helped hundreds of business owners to write an about page that works.

The About Page Guide

Examples of About Pages That Work

Go-To Skincare
It’s clear that the company’s founder Zoe has spent time getting to know her audience. Every word on this about page says, ‘I see you’ to the reader.

James Clear
James tells readers exactly what they are going to get, and his home page is one of the best examples of an email sign up embedded in an about page that I’ve seen. He not only tells people what to expect, but he also shows them what to do using great calls to action.

Warby Parker
They know that the about page is the start of a conversation and a huge part of their marketing strategy—it shows.

Michael Hyatt
Michael informs the reader about what they can expect to learn from him and the value he creates for his audience.
He builds trust in several great ways, using photos, information about his professional and personal life, achievements and subscriber numbers.

A great example of an about page that communicates purpose builds trust and helps a prospective customer to know what to do next with calls to action.

If you’re a camera company what better way to tell your story than to use video.

Your about page is a key part of your marketing strategy. Don’t waste this opportunity to connect with your prospective customers.


Ready to get your about page working for you?

Get the About Page guide.


Image by Looking 4 Poetry

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