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  • Hey, it's Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business

  • and life you love.

  • Now, if you want your work to make an impact in this world, my guest today is one of the

  • most thoughtful and prolific teachers of our time.

  • Seth Godin is an author, entrepreneur, speaker, maker of ruckuses, and most of all teacher.

  • Over the past quarter century he's taught and inspired millions of entrepreneurs, marketers,

  • leaders, and fans from all walks of life via his blog, online courses and lectures.

  • He runs themarketingseminar.com and created altMBA.

  • He's the author of 18 bestsellers that have been translated into more than 35 languages.

  • His latest book, This is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn to See, is available

  • now.

  • Seth Godin, thank you so much for coming back on the show.

  • Marie Forleo, thanks for having me back.

  • I thought I blew it last time.

  • Here I am again.

  • It's great.

  • Are you kidding?

  • You blowing it doesn't even like... it doesn't register.

  • It's because you raise the bar so high.

  • The work you put into it and the spirit is such a privilege to talk to you.

  • I adore you.

  • Thank you.

  • You guys, I know you just saw a cover.

  • You saw it.

  • This is Marketing, I'm gonna say this is genius, this is a book you have to get for yourself,

  • your friends, your loved ones, anyone who cares about making change in the world through

  • what they do.

  • Seth, you have so many incredible books.

  • Why this book, this topic, right now?

  • Books are different than they used to be.

  • There's so much work.

  • It's a year, as you know or more.

  • Then you got to go and bring it to the world.

  • You just make a blog post, reach more people.

  • Why not just make a blog post?

  • Or why not publish it yourself?

  • My last book I published myself.

  • It did pretty well.

  • There's something about a book that let's the reader say to his or her peers, read this.

  • The three of us, we're all gonna read this and meet about it tomorrow.

  • You can't do that with a Ted Talk, you can't do that with a blog post because the book

  • itself contained no batteries required.

  • Here, read this.

  • I run this seminar online called The Marketing Seminar.

  • I got to watch six thousand people go through it and see how they changed and see what worked

  • and see what didn't.

  • I said, “Oh, I should write this down.”

  • The book itself, once I made the course wasn't that hard to make.

  • Then I said I'm willing to go through the pain of bringing it to people.

  • Because if groups of people that want to make change happen can share this conversation,

  • they're gonna disagree with a lot of what I said.

  • Fine with me.

  • At least you're gonna talk about it.

  • That's why it's worth the journey.

  • That's really freeing for me even because as we were talking before the camera started

  • rolling, I was telling Seth how I'm in the last leg of my book right now.

  • Can't wait.

  • I love it.

  • I'm gonna remember this.

  • I'm like, highlighting this in my brain.

  • People are gonna disagree with a portion and that's fine, but to get them talking.

  • You say in the book and I'm gonna do a lot of this in this conversation, because literally

  • I have so many highlights and so many underlines.

  • You say, marketing is the act of making change happen.

  • Making is insufficient.

  • You haven't made an impact until you've changed someone.

  • Right.

  • A lot of people don't like marketers, more than don't like accountants, which doesn't

  • make a lot of sense because accountants have a job and marketers have a job.

  • What do marketers do?

  • Here's what we don't do.

  • We don't spam people, interrupt people, trick people, force people to do things they don't

  • want to do.

  • That's a different task that calls itself marketing.

  • That's not what we do.

  • Marketers make change happen.

  • If you can make someone better, if you can open a door for someone, if you can shine

  • a light, that's the act of marketing.

  • Because what you've done is brought an idea or a product or a service to someone who needs

  • it, and offered them help.

  • A lifeguard knows how to swim.

  • Until you get the drowning person to hold onto that ring, you haven't accomplished anything.

  • That's marketing.

  • Persuasion.

  • What I wanted to do once and for all is say, that other thing that you don't like, that

  • other thing that some people call marketing, programmatic, and pop ups and pop unders and

  • all that nonsense, no.

  • That's not what I'm talking about.

  • This is for us.

  • Work that matters for people who care.

  • You also write, “The answer to just about every question about work is who can you help?”

  • You also haveInstead we begin with a group we hope to serve, a problem they seek to solve,

  • and the change they seek to make.”

  • Talk to us about starting with the human, the person first.

  • Not necessarily what we want to make or our creations, but this approach.

  • I'm gonna come in sideways a little bit because one of the controversial ideas is that we

  • need the smallest viable audience, not the biggest possible audience.

  • A lot of people have trouble with that.

  • They say, why should I do all this work if I don't want to reach everyone?

  • If you want to reach everyone, that means you've denied the people you're serving their

  • humanity.

  • Because you're saying you are the masses, you are average.

  • If you can pick someone, if you can be specific, the smallest viable group of people and say

  • I live or die with you.

  • You are who I'm here to serve.

  • If I can't please you, I didn't do a good enough job.

  • That's different.

  • That puts you on the hook to see other people for where they want to go.

  • If that's not where you want to go, well then they're the wrong people.

  • If no one wants to go where you want to go, then you are not gonna achieve what you seek

  • to achieve.

  • To be honest here, what we have to begin by saying is, who would miss me if I was gone?

  • Who will say to me thank you for bringing me this?

  • Some skeptical people say, that's impossible.

  • No one wants life insurance.

  • My answer is, so then don't make life insurance.

  • Let someone else do that.

  • You get to pick what you do.

  • Do something worthwhile because it's gonna take blood, sweat, and tears to go to the

  • next level.

  • If you're not who it's for, and what it's for, and obsess about that because we don't

  • do marketing to people.

  • We do it with them because they have a choice now.

  • They didn't used to have a choice.

  • With so many things a click away, they have a choice.

  • If they're not gonna pick you, then you're out of luck.

  • I love your simple three sentence marketing template.

  • I feel like for our audience and for most people, especially if they're uncomfortable

  • with marketing or they're still trying to get over that other thing, I feel like I talk

  • about this a lot in B-School as well.

  • Part of my job with my B-Schoolers is to help them unlearn a lot of the icky, aggressive

  • associations that they have with what marketing even is.

  • Giving people a simple template I think can be helpful for a lot of folks.

  • Oh, this is how it is.

  • Do you want me to read it or do you want to go from there?

  • I change it every time so you go first.

  • Okay.

  • My product is for people who believe blank.

  • I will focus on people who want blank.

  • I promise that engaging with what I make will help you get blank.”

  • It's so simple.

  • But if people started there, it switches the entire perspective.

  • There's all this empathy involved, which empathy it doesn't have to be mushy and soft.

  • Empathy can simply be a willingness to let people be who they want to be and not insist

  • that they be who you want them to be.

  • The template begins withif you are the kind of person who believes blank,” if you're

  • the kind of person who believes in authority over affiliation, if you're the kind of person

  • who is an optimist not a pessimist.

  • All these different things, different people believe.

  • I might not believe what you believe, but I'm okay with what you believe.

  • You want a certain kind of change.

  • Then this thing I'm bringing you, I promise you will help you reach your dreams and goals.

  • Let's think about Harley Davidson.

  • I don't have a Harley.

  • Do you have a Harley?

  • I do not.

  • It's not for me.

  • That's because I don't believe blank, where believe that having a 15 thousand dollar heavy

  • motorcycle will make me feel more complete or part of that group.

  • I don't want that.

  • If they go to people who do want that, then they say here's our next one and that's why

  • they don't make a competitor to the Vespa scooter.

  • Because they could and it would work, but it wouldn't address the dreams and desires

  • and hopes and fears of the people they seek to serve.

  • They don't make scooters.

  • They make big motorcycles.

  • Big motorcycles.

  • When I think about the extraordinary success you've had leading the people that you lead,

  • you don't spend any time at all worrying about the person on Wall Street who's not tuning

  • in.

  • It's not for her.

  • You're right.

  • Right?

  • It's not for her.

  • That's okay because there's so many people.

  • You and I have big followings, which is such a privilege.

  • 98% of the people in the United States have never seen your show, never read my book.

  • 98%, fine.

  • Nobody knows who the hell we are.

  • It's perfect.

  • Yes, totally.

  • Absolutely.

  • I want to talk about positioning as a service.

  • This was one of my favorite examples.

  • I actually shared when I was reading the book over the weekend.

  • Two of my friends I shared your example of the piano teacher with, because I think it's

  • so genius.

  • I know that folks watching the show and I heard this.

  • I was speaking at an event in San Francisco and a woman stood up and she started talking

  • about it.

  • She's like, but there's so much noise out there.

  • How am I going to stand apart?

  • I thought when I read your ingenious idea about the axis and specifically the piano

  • teacher.

  • Can you share that?

  • Because I think people will see themselves in a whole new perspective.

  • Traditional marketers if you went to business school or whatever, talk about differentiation.

  • They talk about how do I cut through the clutter and the noise?

  • That's selfish.

  • That says I've worked hard.

  • How do I get people to me?

  • Let's throw that out and say that person you seek to serve, they have a problem.

  • Their problem is just too much noise.

  • Their problem is they don't know what to pick.

  • The problem is they've got a kid they want to educate in music but they're not sure how.

  • Can I offer them a service to help them see what their choices are?

  • Now it's generous.

  • In the case of the piano teacher, what I know is that no one drives more than 20 miles to

  • go to a piano lesson.

  • Let's call it five miles.

  • That's the circle of people who can send someone to take a lesson with me.

  • Then I can create axes and I can have as many as I want but two is all that will fit in

  • my brain.

  • I get to pick what the edges are.

  • Some of the edges could be cheap and expensive.

  • Some of the edges could be kind or eastern European in their strictness.

  • Some of them could be focusing on jazz, some of them could be focusing on classical.

  • You can look at an axis this way and an axis this way.

  • If you draw oh this one, this one, this one, this one, there's someone who's already over

  • here, there's someone who's always over here, but there's no one who offers this combination.

  • On your behalf, I will live in this corner.

  • If that's what you're looking for, great.

  • If I talk to you and I realize it's not what you're looking for, I will eagerly send you

  • to that other teacher because I am here to help you get what you want, not to persuade

  • you that you are wrong.

  • Yes.

  • That shift is so important because it gives us this feeling of sufficiency, which is not

  • that I have to clear everything off the table so I can go public one day.

  • It's there's enough as long as I stand for something.

  • I can ignore the critics because the critics are critics because it's not for them.

  • Thanks for letting me know.

  • There's someone over there who's for you.

  • This is for someone else.

  • Yes.

  • I loved it.

  • I was sharing with my friend too with the piano teacher example.

  • If someone gets excited and passionate about being really rigorous and says, you know what?

  • If you want your child to have the best chance of winning in a competition, you want the

  • practice to be like this.

  • It's about discipline.

  • It's about showing up.

  • It's about winning, whatever that means.

  • I'm the teacher for you.

  • On the other end of the spectrum, let's say you're a piano teacher and you're like, it

  • is about the holisticness of the experience and the creative expression and your child

  • is gonna love playing.