I love Seth Godin. He is an amazing person with a viewpoint and experience far greater than many high personalities. He wants to change the culture and encourages you to make decisions, act in a certain way and shows you the world around.
As he says, it is a craft of seeing. Once you see, there opens a whole different world of possibilities.
He writes a daily blog where he writes whatever comes to his mind. Observation as he calls it – and they are amazing. Not all of them – but enough that you can call him a genius.
He doesn’t miss a single day. And that in itself in a publishing world is gigantic. Writing daily and publishing it for the world to see is a daring act. Because you can’t write magical things every single day. But if you commit then you can write for years. And on average a lot of your writing will be of value.
Seth is an author having written many books over the years. And they are right at the top of the world for you to see. He writes, does marketing, teaches, changes culture and inspires.
It is almost unimaginable what he can’t do. He shares his passion with the world. But it doesn’t mean that it was easy. It never is.
You have to toil hard, learn and adapt. Or be persistent enough to bring a change in viewpoint.
A big part of being Seth Godin is sharing what you want to share. Be it an article, book or teaching. Be generous and share with the world. Of course, you can earn money by selling.
But initially, if you want your ideas to spread badly then simply forwarding your content to your friends is a huge step.
Two things will happen after that. They might like it and so the idea will be shared. Or they don’t like it and no one reads it past your friends. Either way, you can start working on your next project.
But because you want to ship your work to the audience, it ain’t an excuse to do the sloppy work.
Yes, shipping is important. So Seth advocates strongly on the idea that you are never going to feel ready for the market. So set a deadline, work hard on your project and when the time comes, deliver it.
The beauty of shipping a project is it might allow you to do another project. So you don’t have to book a handsome amount each time.
Just enough for you to stay in the game. For example, if you make a painting in your spare time. You can sell it for $10 to cover the cost of canvas and colors used. This will enable you to keep doing another painting. In the long-term, you will be improving your craft which you can potentially make a living off. But now, focus on keep doing projects.
With the advent of Kindle and print on demand, there is nothing stopping you from publishing your book. But with that, the traditional publisher has gone too. Which means they aren’t curating and nurturing new-and-upcoming authors.
So Seth suggests that if you want to bring your book to market, you need to think hard on your pricing.
Is spreading ideas matter more to you now then maybe you can share pdf to all. Or you can price it moderately but if your content doesn’t look or feel professional, it might not land good in the market.
Being a self-publisher has another risk – no one is going to buy your book. So you need to work hard on promotions. Seth says the best time to promote your book is 3 years before you are writing your book. So that you get to a decent size of subscribers with whom you have earned permission and trust.
That way you can succeed in this Kindle world where anyone can publish a book on pretty much anything.
But where does paperback book stand in here?
Ebooks aren’t easy to share. And it doesn’t have the same feel and trust that of a paperback.
So if an idea in a book is of great value to you, try to publish paperback versions. And encourage people to buy in a lot so that they can share.
Regardless, reading a paperback book promotes your book to others. Unlike Kindle which promotes the ebook reader. Anyone can keep their paperback on the table and people will read it. Also, you can give it to your friend thus spreading the ideas within.
Whatever you decide – going with the traditional route or the self-publishing route, make sure you get a paperback version.
Whatever is that you want to put out in the world, it isn’t for everyone. And you don’t need everyone for success either way. Just enough so that you can pay the bills.
That way you can focus on your real customer and not get stressed by the people complaining who are not your audience.
Maybe you won’t know who your audience is initially. And that’s okay – focus on your craft, improve it and serve the people who stand by you. Be the professional to the audience who wants you and sometimes even crave for your work.
It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the criticism. Rather it means that you need to verify who is criticizing your work. If they are someone whom you don’t look forward to serving then say thank you and move on. But if they are the ones who you are looking to serve then take note of the issue and take a call on that.
Focus on the right critique and your work will improve working alongside your audience.
If you need to connect with me then you need my permission. This idea seems simple enough.
But when the email first started, companies didn’t resort to permission. They used to blast emails to everyone hoping that some will convert. You call this spam emails now.
At that time, it seems obvious to do this because every other company was doing it. The customer didn’t complain much because everyone was getting it and since email was new, getting something in your inbox was amazing.
But Seth Godin realized that this isn’t how the email and internet connection should work.
So he created/gave the idea of ‘Permission Marketing’. The simple explanation is that if you need to market anything to someone, you need their permission. You should send emails or any form of communication until someone explicitly says so.
He emphasized that if you were gone tomorrow – how many people will complain that they didn’t receive your email.
If the answer is none, then you were simply being tolerated. Personal, anticipated emails sent with permission is the best and should be the only marketing you should resort to.
Once you have the permission to send emails to readers – you need to get trustworthy. You will become their trust point when you give away 80 percent of your material free of cost.
Which helps them bring out the change you are seeking to make. For example, if you are a money blogger and you might want to share credit card tricks with your readers. Once it works for them, they will start trusting you.
Do this for a long time – keep on giving. Because the focus of marketing, blog, and creator is to give 80 percent of the time.
Once you have done this – you can transition into selling your services or products and it will be a breeze. Because your readers will be waiting for the product. You have already gained their trust and showcased the result. The marketing part is done with permission, trust, and long-term game. Now, you can sell and it is welcomed.
Drip Drip Drip
This is one of the philosophies of Seth’s which I have saved as a wallpaper on my phone. It is a reminder that you don’t have to do a monumental work in one day nor can you.
You can start today – do a small work and do it again. And then keep on doing it – drip by drip.
For example, if you want to write a book of 80,000 words. If you think about the end of the project then it will seem like an unachievable feat. But if you focus and persist on writing 500 words a day, you will have the first draft of the book in 160 days which is roughly 6 months.
Whatever project which you want to focus on to bring it to live, you should work on it in tiny pieces – drip by drip daily.
It Might Not Work
One of the best philosophies from Seth Godin is, ‘It Might Not Work’. And that is the beauty.
I have a reminder on every Sunday to make me read this, ‘it might not work’. It is the essence of every project you will ever create. But don’t excuse yourself to create a sloppy work.
Give something you are proud of. Maybe it won’t work and that’s okay. What else can you do – what is your next project. Keep moving forward and keep making ruckus.
P.S. I wrote a book dedicated to Seth Godin.