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WWW SETH'S BLOG

SETH'S BOOKS

Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list

all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

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IN STORES:

linchpin

Linchpin

An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.

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IN STORES:

meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.

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IN STORES:

permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

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IN STORES:

poke.the.box

Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.

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IN STORES:

purple.cow

Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.

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IN STORES:

small.is.the.new.big

Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.

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survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).

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IN STORES:

the.big.moo

The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.

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IN STORES:

the.big.red.fez

The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.

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IN STORES:

the.dip

The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.

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IN STORES:

the.icarus.deception

The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.

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tribes

Tribes

"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.

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unleashing.the.ideavirus

Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.

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v.is.for.vulnerable

V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.

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we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.

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IN STORES:

whatcha.gonna.do.with.that.duck

Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.

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THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




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Member since 08/2003

Bulldozers and bullwhips

Bulldozers work because they are incredibly heavy. It's fine that they're slow, they're powerful indeed.

Bullwhips work because they are incredibly fast. The superlight bit of leather at the end of the whip travels faster than the speed of sound, hence the crack.

Organizations often thrive because they have huge mass, they are irresistible forces, going where they are pointed. But they don't get there quickly.

On the other hand, it's quite possible to make an impact by being fast, light and quite focused.

Important to not confuse which you're using, though. Trying to make your bulldozer go faster might not work out so well. And you can't build a road with a bullwhip.

Two ways to listen

You can listen to what people say, sure.

But you will be far more effective if you listen to what people do.

What does, "it's too expensive," mean?

Sometimes it means, "there isn't enough money to pay for that." Certainly, among the undeserved poor, this happens all the time. And for things like health care and education, tragically, it happens too often.

But most of the time (in the commercialized, wealthier part of the world that many of us live in), the things that are within the realm of possibility could be paid for (even the edge cases could, if we found friends and neighbors and went deep into debt). One person might say a stereo or a sizable charitable donation or a golf club membership is "too expensive" while someone else with the same income might happily pay for it. "It's too expensive," almost never means, "there isn't enough money if I think it's worth it."

Social entrepreneurs are often chagrined to discover that low-income communities around the world that said their innovation was, "too expensive" figured out how to find the money to buy a cell phone instead. Even at the bottom of the pyramid, many people find a way to pay for the things they value.

The same is true for real estate, ad buys and productivity improvements in the b2b sector. If an investment is going to pay for itself, "it's too expensive," rarely means, "we can't afford it."

Often, it actually means, "it's not worth it." This is a totally different analysis, of course. Lots of things aren't worth it, at least to you, right now. I think it's safe to assume that when you hear a potential customer say, "it's too expensive," what you're really hearing is something quite specific. A $400 bottle of water is too expensive to just about everyone, even to people with more than $500 in the bank. They have the cash, but they sure don't want to spend it, not on something they think is worth less than it costs.

Not everyone will value your offering the same, so if you wait for no one to say, "it's too expensive" before you go to market, you will never go to market. The challenge isn't in pleasing everyone, it's in finding the few who see the value (and thus the bargain) in what's on offer.

Culturally, we create boundaries for what something is worth. A pomegranate juice on the streets of Istanbul costs a dollar, and it's delicious. The same juice in New York would be seen as a bargain for five times as much money. Clearly, we're not discussing the ability to pay nor are we considering the absolute value of a glass of juice. No, it's about our expectation of what people like us pay for something like that.

Start with a tribe or community that in fact does value what you do. And then do an ever better job of explaining and storytelling, increasing the perceived value instead of lowering the price. (Even better, actually increase the value delivered). When you don't need everyone to buy what you sell, "it's too expensive" from some is actually a useful reminder that you've priced this appropriately for the rest of your audience.

Over time, as influencers within a tribe embrace the higher value (and higher price) then the culture starts to change. When people like us start to pay more for something like that, it becomes natural (and even urgent) for us to pay for it too.

The rotten fish problem

On the first day, all the fish at the fish stall are fresh.

Some sell, some don't.

The second day, the sold fish are replaced by newer, fresher fish. The unsold fish remains, even though it isn't so attractive.

By the third day, of course, the unsold fish is noticably unfresh, and it doesn't take much effort to avoid them.

At this point, part of the fishmonger's stock is demonstrably unappealing, bringing down the quality of the entire counter.

Pretty soon, of course, the dropoff in business means that the owner can't afford to buy the freshest fish, even to replace his sold inventory, and the end is near.

The alternative? On day two, discard the unsold fish.

Obvious, but difficult. So difficult that we rarely do it. We'd rather lower the average and see if we can get away with it instead.

Happy wowday

Halloween gives you permission to dress up. April Fool's, a chance to play a prank.

What if there was one day of the year where you had permission to do things that made people say, "wow."

Acts of generosity or bravery or insight...

What if you focused and practiced and got your nerve up and leaned way over the edge, just one day of the year? If you could get out of your comfort zone for a few hours in a way that benefitted and delighted people you care about, what would that look and feel like?

Today might be your wowday.

Or tomorrow.

Up to you.

What's not here?

When you show me a business plan, a wireframe, a features list... whatever you're building, it's not enough to talk about what's there.

Tell us what's not there.

Tell us what you're choosing not to do, what you're not supporting, who you're not interested in working with.

If the there + the not there doesn't add up to the universe of choices, you've missed something.

Confidence is a choice, not a symptom

The batter has already hit two home runs. When he gets up to bat for the third time, his confidence is running high...

It's easy to feel confident when we're on a roll, when the cards are going our way, or we're closing sales right and left. This symptomatic confidence, one built on a recent series of successes, isn't particularly difficult to accomplish or useful.

Effective confidence comes from within, it's not the result of external events. The confident salesperson is likely to close more sales. The confident violinist expresses more of the music. The confident leader points us to the places we want (and need) to go.

You succeed because you've chosen to be confident. It's not really useful to require yourself to be successful before you're able to become confident.

Most ramen is pretty good

So is most pizza.

But people don't drive across town for "pretty good." They don't make lists of "most convenient to your dorm room" or "works fine if you're around the corner."

If you want us to travel, you have to choose to go beyond pretty good. If you want us to click, you need to give us a reason to leave the usual page and go to yours. And most of all, if you want us to talk about you, pretty good isn't going to get you there.

Pretty good is a choice. It works, often. But it doesn't change anything.

[PS If you are better than pretty good at marketing: Acumen is looking for a world-class marketer.]

Better than free?

Without a doubt, free enables an idea to spread, it creates opportunity for sampling, it can open the door to engagement.

But when you buy something, you're paying for something that you can never get when it's handed to you.

Buying requires emotional commitment. Even a small payment has been shown to change the way people set expectations, not just for what they receive but how much energy and effort they're willing to contribute. It begins with confirmation bias, because if you paid for it, it must be worthwhile. But in the constantly-free world of digital media, I think it goes beyond this. 

In my new Skillshare course on modern marketing, I see this every day. Instead of clicking away and giving up, people devote more energy and effort to pushing through the hard stuff. That energy and effort, of course, opens ever more doors, which creates a virtuous cycle of learning.

One way to play in the digital age is to appeal to those that browse, the window shoppers, the mass audience that can't and won't commit. The alternative is to focus on impact, not numbers, and impact comes from commitment.

Price is more than an exchange of coins. Price is a story, a powerful tool for changing minds and one way we persuade ourselves to make a change. Lowering your price (all the way to free) isn't the only way (or even the best way) to move your market.

Commitment is a benefit.

Save the date: With Dave Ramsey and Gary Vee in NYC 10/2/14

Dave's team has booked the beautiful Rose Theatre at Lincoln Center for a day-long event with the three of us on October 2, 2014. I've known Dave and Gary for years, and it promises to be a really special day.

Find out more here. Apologies if it's already sold out. For the next twenty-four hours, get first dibs on seats and save $100 with code sethsblog.