A while back someone asked me if I knew of Seth Godin to which I responded with something like, "Heck yeah, I think he's remarkable." After we talked a bit he asked me how I thought he could "Seth Godin" himself...meaning he was wondering about the secret to Seth's seemingly widespread success through unconventional means and how could he replicate it. The person I spoke to has developed himself as a brand in his area of expertise and sees Seth as a model to follow for further growth. I agreed with his take and gave him the following thoughts on how he might be able to Seth Godin himself (without shaving his head):
Seth leverages his blog. Blogs are unique for many reasons:
- Blogs have tremendously positive effects on Google rankings because the content is updated regularly and therefore shows Google it's more active than a static website thus ranking it higher.
- Blogs allow your ideas to be easily distributed by allowing people to reference specific posts and talk about them on their own blogs (thus beginning the word-of-mouth marketing).
- Blogs give you an immediate forum to expand your base of readers, post new ideas, coordinate a meet up on the fly, get feedback on an idea, or respond to critics quickly and informally.
- Blogs let people connect with you through comments (though Seth actually doesn't do this on his.) With a blog people get to talk back to you and you can listen but don't have to respond to every comment. It allows you to get valuable and immediate feedback in a way you can't (and won't) get on a standard website or email newsletter.
- Blogs give you an opportunity for greater to . If a well known blog posts about your blog it will take the awareness to an entirely new level. Though it's possible one could do that without a blog, it seems like bloggers prefer to link to other blogs because they want to reference something specific most of the time and blogs make it possible.
- Blogs are accepted as more authentic than traditional marketing. With so much marketing today people have natural filters and defenses up to deflect the barrage of ads. Those defenses drop when reading a blog that they respect so if a blogger talks about you, people are more accepting of the idea and more willing to respond or research it further. They're taking the blog post as a personal recommendation from the blogger rather than a professional promotion by marketer.
Seth limits his accessibility (but is highly accessible in other ways.) Seth is interesting in that as a high profile guy, he answers all of his own email and does it rather quickly. He writes numerous blog posts a week as well. People feel like they know him and he accomplishes that through both his personal email responses and frequent blogging. To see Seth, however, you have to be part of a select group but that doesn't mean he selects you, it means you select yourself. He uses exclusivity to his advantage by teaching seminars to small groups and charging a premium for those seminars. That creates the best possible opportunity for him to make money off the event yet also create demand for those who didn't get in on the seminar and want to get in next time.
Seth focuses on quality. Seth believes that if anything is remarkable (reference Purple Cow) it will be talked about (reference Unleashing the Ideavirus) and then people will buy it. Quality is the key rather than a mediocre product or service with a razzle dazzle marketing plan.
So to sum it up: You can Seth Godin yourself by building an audience, leveraging that audience at key times, limit some forms of accessibility, and wrap the whole thing up in high quality and remarkability.