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.

Aug 27, 2010

7 comments · Add Yours

Yes, the dude has definitely perfected his formula and now makes one hek-yeah of a concoction. I love hearing him speak his truth, it’s absolutely lightening.


“Don’t try to sell me on anything. Show me who you are through what you stand for.”

Very powerful words. Thanks for sharing.


Yes. It’s about meaning. Something that is bigger than the person, the big idea that the author is just the spokesperson, the evangelist for.

And, that is pic my fav @gapingvoid print – hanging on my wall above my monitor right now. :)


Authenticity can’t be faked. Sounds obvious, but even children – especially children – pick up what doesn’t ring true. ‘Show me who you are through what you stand for’ and, for heaven’s sake, not what you don’t stand for.


Most certainly. Thriving now and into the future will depend solely on providing “value”. But value, if it is to flow, it must engage in every dimension, not only intellectually, but also emotionally. To engage emotionally you must LOVE… love what you do and love who you serve. As Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan stated “when you choose a path, make sure it has a heart”. Your best competitive advantage is LOVE and your only guarantee that you will be able to persist and carve your place in the world is by loving consistently and expressing it eloquently and with PASSION. Humans have a distinct ability to perceive when someone is talking from the heart… it is intuitive and universal. It is the only credential moving forward. So, it is all about authentic value, loving what you do, and loving who serve, and expressing it eloquently… So does your path have a heart? Justine, I love this Post thank you!


What you also serve to highlight here, for me, is how the continuing wave of social media revolutionaries is littered with ‘try-hards’ that lack creativity altogether. This is something that is driving me nuts lately, so-called experts who try to build a brand-website-business on nothing more than a constant stream of re-hashed articles, cut ‘n’ paste blogs, re-tweets and old links to some one else’s work somewhere else. Most of the time it doesn’t qualify as plagiarism, yet it screams of being completely unoriginal! Worst of all – they’re making money…
Sorry, didn’t mean to vent.
I’m enjoying your work because of it’s originality. For that I thank you.


Less is more.At least in the case of you and Seth.Okay, he’s got you beat as far as legnth’ goes; his posts are prtety short But you both deliver thought-provoking blog posts that possess actionable activities or thought-processess that can make a difference in your business.Where I think you’re heads and shoulders above him is in the actionable activities department for businesses.I read and learn many things from both of you I appreciate your work, thanks Jim!


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