platform, branding, and Seth: meaning is the new money
It was only a matter of time before Seth Godin quit traditional publishing. (Apparently he’s tried it before. But I bet he really means it this time.)
When he talks, or writes, or posts on his blog, or gives away free stuff, people pay attention. Lots and lots and lots of people. He no longer needs a third party to print his books (he can do that himself) or distribute them (he has all the shelf space he needs) or promote him (the old ways are no longer cutting through the clutter and noise filling up our world).
He has what some would call a hell of a platform. A brand. He is a publisher’s wet dream, which is why they can no longer have him. They simply can’t contain him. Godin flows into his books flows into his marketing of his books flows into his engagement with the people formerly known as the audience. He doesn’t spam you on Facebook or stalk you on Goodreads. He spreads his ideas. He gives them away. He is so strong and consistent and passionate with his message, so grounded in what he stands for, that he’s become a breathing embodiment of those ideas. He wrote a book about TRIBES, and hey, look, he’s putting such faith in the power of his own tribe that he says Screw You to an entire industry. More or less.
His actions are his ideas made manifest.
That’s some powerful stuff.
If you’re a fan of Seth Godin, then I have some idea of what you believe in, and who you are, and I can connect to that because I believe in those things too. Godin’s platform actually means something beyond self-promotion. He passes that meaning on to us, which is why we’ll stop, lift our heads, and listen. And then go buy his books on Amazon.
Godin is his platform is his work is his voice is his brand is his identity.
So many authors will rush to emulate him, and they will fail. And it’s not just because they haven’t put in the time and the effort that Godin has (over ten years of doing cool stuff that people found useful and meaningful), or shown his level of generosity, smarts and savvy. They won’t stand for anything other than themselves and whatever book they want us to buy. They won’t give us any meaning, or feed us with cool ideas, and that’s what marketing and branding need to be now: something that satisfies, and flows naturally from its source.
Don’t try to sell me on anything. Show me who you are through what you stand for. Then maybe you’ll be what I need.