Disclaimer: Everything written is this post is not true, not real and just a reconstruction of my and Raah’s daydreaming. Although both I and Raah had the same dream, we tend to think it was all real. Moreover, Seth Godin, the author of several bestseller books on marketing, once said that many things are true only because people believe that they are true. So, it is your turn to decide whether it is for real or not. End of the disclaimer. Now the story.
Me: I imagine Seth Godin’s first question when he meets anyone is not “How are you?” but “What is your story?”. At least, this is the question, according to Seth, that any successful marketers should ask themselves to check if they stand out of the crowd.
Raah: I would expand the questions like this: “What is your story that people will want to believe?”
Me: But how to do you think, do I, as a marketer, need to believe in it as well?
Raah: Better you need to. Otherwise you people will not believe you or it will be hard for you to be consistent.
Me: Right. Look, here is the next point in my list that suddenly contradicts with what Seth already said: “All marketers are storytellers. Only losers are liars.” So marketers are not liars anymore, they have been promoted by Seth to storytellers!
Raah: I don’t believe you’ve caught Seth so soon on a contradiction. Are you sure you did not miss anything?
Me: I know. In fact, Seth said also that he cheated with his book’s title to attract readers. ‘Liars’ sounds much bolder and intriguing than a milder ‘storytellers’.
Raah: Yeah. No one wants to be labeled as a liar. So people wanted to read the book being afraid that their ego is under attack. He challenged people and got more readers this way.
Me: Exactly. But all in all he lied right in the very beginning – in the title!
Raah: Well, not lied, but started telling his readers a story. And then, as you say, he confessed that it was a trick that worked well and he shared with his readers this secret of his success.
Me: Nice. A lie becomes a story.
Raah: Yes. So marketers should be not liars but storytellers.
Me: Seth says more: marketers should be the storytellers that make their story be true, they should live their story, scrutinize and prove it for their readers.
Raah: And how does Seth suggest doing it?
Me: He explains it in details later in the book. If I were Seth Godin I would say that marketers should be transparent and truthful to the extent which is necessary and sufficient to comply with the story that they tell their readers.
Raah: Nice idea. This is like Seth did it – he started his successful story with almost fake title, and then he explained why he lied, but the deal was already closed – the book was bought by the reader.
Me: Yes, and the reader will not get angry and will not throw the book away because Seth was consistent with his storytelling. His title was a part of his story and he proved that it worked. And the reader wants to know more now, admitting that the trick with the title was a good one. The reader want to know what else works so efficiently.
Raah: Agree. And I am curious what other marketing tricks and secrets Seth Godins has prepared for his readers. So, the previous point in your list, as I got it, stated that marketers should be storytellers and not dumb liars. So what is next?
Me: Seth says that being a storyteller is not enough. You need to tell stories that will spread out, or you will become unnoticeable and irrelevant.
Raah: Pretty obvious, but very true.
Me: Agree. There are a lot of obvious things that people don’t get until they are repeated several times.
Raah: Not simply repeated but wrapped into different and attractive forms. For example, it is not attractive enough for many people just to put Seth Godin’s ideas in the boring text list. People still consume even when they learn. And therefore they prefer “delicious” and “tasty” content rather than just useful but content.
Me: Agree and disagree at the same time. Agree when it is about occasional visitors who scans a page. And if nothing catches his eye, he drops out. But the story is different when a visitor already knows the author and will want to read you even if you post everything in a plain text.
Raah: But you still need to make a story that people will love consume.
Me: Right. Looks like we can draw a line here. Here is Seth Godin’s marketing secrets that I have in a boring plain text, although they still remain great.
– What is your story that people will want to believe?
– Marketers should be the storytellers, not liars, to make their story be true, they should live their story, scrutinize and prove it for their readers.
– Tell stories that will spread out, or you will become unnoticeable and irrelevant.
…to be continued. In the next part we will be discussing how Seth justifies lie.
Also, the table of contents is here.
Meanwhile share with others in the comments below how you make your story be noticeable and believable? Or maybe you have anything to add or argue with?