What do you do?

doing-it-wrong-ballAs you may know, I’m a HUGE fan of Seth Godin.  The guy’s just plain brilliant, in a practical, no-nonsense, direct and to-the-point kind of way.  There are so many things that I’ve learned from Seth over the years, but the one that keeps coming up is the idea of Talking vs. Doing…Thinking vs. Planning.  Seth has a great blog post on the topic – and the best part of it is, the post is less than 100 words (98 to be exact).

Marketing is about ideas, creativity and finding ways to get people to listen to what you have to say.  But the point of the matter is that ultimately, you need to do something that makes people want to listen to you.  You can talk and talk and talk, but if what you have to say isn’t interesting, compelling or relevant, no one is going to listen.  If they don’t listen, then you have failed in your job as a marketer.  Our job as marketers is to convince people to buy more of our stuff – whatever that stuff is.  That’s it.  Now there are lots of ways to do that – that’s where the ideas, creativity and such come in.

Where I see entrepreneurs getting into trouble is that they talk, and plan and think…and never do anything.  What do you do?

Seth’s at it again (thank goodness)

I admit it. I’m a Seth Godin fan. He’s a really smart guy, who doesn’t take himself too seriously, who is willing to take chances and take credit whether it works or not. He’s the kind of person I’d like to chat with at a cocktail party – although I hate cocktail parties.

Seth’s latest endeavor is a creative little e-book called “What Matters Now“. He is giving it away; asking people to email it to friends, post it on their blogs and tweet about it. I’m doing all three.

The idea is to ask yourself what matters to you, and then make plans to think about and do things that matter throughout the year. Seth asked a group of well-known individuals, big thinkers and generally cool people to tell him “what matters now” to them. The e-book is a collection of their thoughts. PLUS, it is a brilliant marketing device, of course. Many of the contributors have books coming out in 2010. This gives them an opportunity to promote their new works in an unassuming way. PLUS, there are well placed statements, I hesitate to call them ads, for a very worthy group called “Room to Read”.

So in a nutshell, Seth has given us a tons of great ideas to think about, allowed people to promote themselves and their works, and given visibility to a worthy cause. We should all aim so high.

Seth Godin has rules too.

I first saw this video of Seth Godin last year at the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference, and it made its way to me again today. If you’re interested in branding and marketing, it’s worth 30 mins of your time…believe me.

Seth Godin has rules too

After re-watching it, I realized how right on track we are with 42 Rules. 42 Rules is about helping people get their ideas out of theirs heads and out into the world in a variety of formats – books, webcasts, blogs, videos, etc. Here’s is what I took away from Seth’s rules as it relates to 42 Rules:

  • We are doing the right things – just not enough of them
  • We invite readers to participate in the conversation – These Are My Rules…What Are Yours?
  • We give away content – via Get 5 Rules
  • We are strictly permission based

What can you do to apply Seth’s rules to your marketing efforts? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have permission to talk with your audience? Or do you just think you do and are hoping for the best…
  • Are your ideas worth sharing? Are they the words you hope your audience cares about, or, are they the ideas your audience cares about in your words?
  • Why are you doing what you do? Because you’re passionate about it, or, because you hope to make money at it?

The key is to understand yourself, understand your audience and identify where the two intersect. That is how you build your brand and your business.