57 Ways To Connect With Customers Online (the Seth Godin way)

I’ve just finished a webinar by Marketing Profs, featuring Seth Godin.

As you know, we are very fond of Seth here and as I was taking notes I decided to share a quick (I said quick, not short) transcript of this useful webinar. You’ll feel that most are Seth’s word and some are mine I Regardless I hope you take away a few things that can work for you and others you know.

Seth is self-proclaimed contradictory, so pick what works for you.

I hope that you grasp why I’m sharing this in this format, sequence and burst; but if you don’t, the hints are the points highlighted in green

On blogging:

  1. Don’t be a generalist. Be a specialist
  2. Break news (breaking is being the first, I think I’m more doing number 6 below)
  3. Write about timeless things!!! (think Zenhabits by Leo Batauta)
  4. Be the first one to blog about something and explore encouraging the  competition to blog about it too.
  5. The more you share the more people come to you, it’s ironic
  6. Announce news
  7. Short bursts are easier to spread because we don’t need to read all in order to feel confident to spread it
  8. Write long definitive posts (contradicts above, it doesn’t matter!) Every now and then it works perfectly. It’s contradictory because there is no map. No magic rule on length of content
  9. Don’t write about your kids or pets
  10. Write about your kids (again contradictory), use analogies he means, still he’s like a modern Heraclitus constantly contradicting himself
  11. Be snarky, nearly libellous (Seth says be careful), accuse (sort of), shout (sort of), be over the top. Pick a fight. It doesn’t make you trustworthy though (I’ll stop to see a car crash but wouldn’t pay for it)
  12. Be sycophantic, spread link love
  13. Include polls, meters and eyecandy
  14. Think about SEO, tag your posts. Black hat doesn’t scale. Seth is obsessed with scaling
  15. COIN a term or two. Whoever coined “blogs” or “the long tail” can be found (Chris Anderson)
  16. Do e-mail interviews. Plenty of people would like to be in front of your audience.
  17. Answer your e-mail (doesn’t scale but it works). Contradiction 🙂
  18. Use photos, salacious are better… lol
  19. Be anonymous (contradictory). Anonymous people have more freedom (a post by a fake Steve Jobs is of interest)
  20. Encourage your people to Digg and Reddit your posts
  21. Post yout photos on Flickr; still spreads ideas. Well curated galleries rule
  22. Encourage your readers to subscribe to RSS. People who depend on “drive by traffic” are in a losers game. The Big game is subscriptions. NY Times would be out of business, Rolling stones too otherwise. RSS to email is OK, but when e-mail becomes spammy RSS through a reader is the way
  23. Take your readers and bring them to a month’s education, linear, step by step. Seth blogs daily, sometimes you spread a concept gradually
  24. Include comments to create a virtual water cooler. Often comments are better than posts
  25. Assume that people visit you at your blog for the first time
  26. Highlight your best posts on you Squidoo lens. Enter your RSS and highlight your favourite post
  27. Point to useful but little known resources (you get the credit, not Google, not the developer). Here’s a resource by the way to find search for free pics for your posts: http://compfight.com/
  28. Write about stuff that people are interested in (gadgets, web 2.0, things for people that are on the web)
  29. Write about Google
  30. If you have ads, they should be even better than your content
  31. Don’t include comments (contradictory). Seth doesn’t allow them because he doesn’t want his writing to be influenced, fair enough. He also thinks that people should comment on their own blogs about your posts (food for thought for the likes of Disqus and Intensedebate or WordPress?)
  32. Don’t use trackbacks, they are broken
  33. No ads. Seth’s a maximiser, and he cannot write the best and be the best advertiser. He only wants to spread interesting ideas so he sticks to that
  34. Keep tweaking your template (you’ll learn a lot)
  35. Write about blogging/ write about Twitter. It works, period
  36. Digest good ideas of other people
  37. Invent a whole new art or interaction (postcards, secrets)
  38. On weekdays there are more readers, traffic
  39. Cover different topics, neverending parade of topics
  40. Post on weekends, more attention (contradictory)
  41. Don’t interrupt your writing with a lot of links. Talk to people quietly
  42. Dress your blog well like your clothes, tipography, colours, pictures, etc
  43. Edit yourself, ruthlessly
  44. Don’t promote yourself and business at expense of reader’s attention
  45. Be patient. Forget an overnight success. Seth is in post 3500. If you can stick to it 3 to 5 years, it’ll work.
  46. Give credit to those who inspired, don’t steal ideas
  47. Ping Technorati, ask the tech guy how
  48. Write about one thing only in deep detail
  49. Write in English (the Language, no irony here, it just reaches more people)
  50. Better, write in Chinese
  51. Write about obscure stuff that obsesses a minority
  52. The goal is simple: Ask yourself if your community would miss you if you were gone. If the answer is no, quit (read “the Dip”, that’s my own comment)
  53. Don’t be boring (comes from previous point)
  54. Write stuff that people want to read and share

If you are still here reading you’ll notice that I missed 3 ideas out of the 57, what do you think about my attention span? Leave a comment below, be kind.

Bonus 1

Why do people spread ideas?

In real space/ real flesh and bone life, ideas are absorbed by way of interruption (ads, billboards, rent space on busy street). Internet works so well because people spread ideas person to person. Here are some thoughts on why ideas spread.

  • It makes “me” feel generous
  • “I” feel smarter
  • I care about the outcome, I want to be generous to YOU (the idea owner)
  • Because I have no choice (e.g. tattoo, iPhone,)
  • Because there’s a financial benefit (like an Amazon affiliate). Most people fail on this watch out
  • The idea is hysterically funny and laughing alone is not fun
  • Everybody is lonely and loneliness will never go away. Give people something to share and they’ll love you
  • Because I’m angry and want to bring it out (flip side of above)
  • Because close people I know will benefit  or all will benefit (Groupon)
  • Because you asked me to and it’s hard not to say no. Watch out on pushing this, but it works.
  • Because I can introduce other people to other people. That’s why people spread Facebook (combination of selfishness to connect to others and believing the idea that connectedness is good).
  • Because if everyone knew this idea I would be happier
  • Because your idea makes it easy to spread an idea I am uncomfortable spreading
  • Because I care about someone that would be happier or healthier
  • Because it’ll annoy someone (e.g. teenagers do things just to annoy parents)
  • Because the tribe needs to know about this to avoid an external threat
  • Because it’s my job
  • Because I love your art, cannot repay you so I have to share it. You see it with great musicians and writers

Bonus 2

Where do these ideas come from?

  • By being innovative (Michael Dell was innovative and then he hired an army of people that weren’t; the company sneezed…)
  • Risky ideas don’t come from watching TV
  • Often, good ideas come from books
  • Good ideas come from bad ideas (look at 30 crappy iPad apps and you’ll probably work out a great number 31)
  • Almost never a good idea comes from an annual review
  • Ideas occur when 2 worlds collide (ballerina dating a weightlifter)
  • Ideas often happen when you need them (just in time)
  • Ideas fear experts but adore beginners (stay naïve)
  • Ideas come in spurts, don’t come forever nor systematically
  • Ideas come from trouble
  • Ideas come from our EGO
  • Ideas come from Nature (Velcro)
  • Sometimes come from fear, but often come from confidence (more powerful)
  • When you feel the texture of the universe, feeling aware, you are most definitely going to have an idea
  • Sometimes they sneak in when you sleep
  • Out of the corner of the eye, or in the shower
  • Mediocre ideas like copying but bigger ideas leapfrog the mediocre ones
  • Ideas don’t need a passport
  • Expose yourself to other universes

Yes, I took a screenshot of the final slide and grasped a thought which I found motivating:

“In this era anyone can play for free, anyone can put an idea into the universe. You are not gonna make it signing NDAs

The new world demands collision and driving without a map…

Go make something happen”

Seth Godin's final slide

Bonus 2

Where do these ideas come from?

Be innovative (dell example in people not doing things because Dell invented the model)

Risky ideas don’t come from watching TV

Often come from book

Good ideas come from bad ideas (look at 30 crappy iPad apps)

Almost never come from an annual review

Ideas occure when 2 worlds collide (ballerina dating a trucker)

Ideas often happen when you need them (just in time)

Ideas fear experts but adore beginners (naïve, just exposed)

Ideas come in spurts, don’t come forever nor systematically

Ideas come from trouble

Ideas come from our EGOOOOO.

Ideas come from Nature (Velcro)

Sometimes come from fear, but often come from confidence (more powerful)

When you feel the texture of the universe, being aware

Sometimes they sneak in when you sleep

Out of the corner of the eye, or in the shower

Mediocre ideas like copying but bigger ideas leapfrog the mediocre ones

Ideas don’t need a passport

Expose yourself to other universes (iata)

Final slide

Anyone can play for free, anyone can put an idea into the universe. You are not gonna make it signing NDAs

The new world demands collision and driving without a map…

Go make something happen

Comments ( 6 )
  • Ivan Walsh says:

    Hey Facundo, nnYou need to post more often. That’s really brilliant. nnI think COIN a term or two is one that I must work on as the web does reward creativity. A good example is The Oatmeal. It’s just a comic but very very funny. nnNote to self: attend more webinars. nnYou got to invest in yourself!

  • Channelship says:

    Thanks Ivan! I should get more into the “shipping mode”. As for the phrases, I remember coining one or two coloquially in Spanish whithin friends, just between us. Hearing them still use some nowadays is a great feeling, so I guess that achieving that professionally is the very very best

  • Irish Internet Assoc says:

    A great inspiring post Facundo – Thanks! One thing I would say is that we have picked up more spam on http://blog.iia.ie through posts about Facebook & Google then anything else, especially a recent post about Zuckerberg. It’s a head wreck! 🙂 However I would also say that our most commented post on the IIA blog is the one that deals with the Internet Register Ireland scam http://blog.iia.ie/2007/internet-register-ireland-potential-scam/ as people desperately searched for a solution to this problem. So helping people, answering their questions is always a good blog topic too.nRoseanne

  • Facundo says:

    Thanks Roseanne! Indeed, the spam thing is a pain sometimes. Also, a few posts we’ve published brought us a lot of sales people wanting to sell us stuff through the chat widget instead of reading the post… It’s all trial and error I guess and “re-tagging” posts when you start getting strange visits

  • Tomer Tagrin says:

    It was a true brilliant combined with humor, the best post blog are.nI think it is also important to adapt. You need all the time read about every new post/gadget/tool that can help you bring a better experience to your readers. Especially when it comes to social tools which can help you and your readers. Most of the people think Darwin idea is that the strong survive, but if you read exactly what he meant he said that the one who adapt faster and smarter will survive. n

  • Channelship says:

    Thanks for dropping by Tomer. Nice touch on the Darwin quote 🙂 I’ve just checked Yotpo, looks smart indeed, but very secretive! I case miss the update on Twitter or FB, it would be great if you had an e-mail sign up to register interest. Put me in. Best, Facundo

The comments are now closed.