I have read Seth Godin's blog consistantly for the past year. I also believe I have read every book that he has wrote in the 5 years. I even went to his office one day to hang out. In the past he has made some comments about SEO which were a bit off mark, but in the end I agree that for most people SEO is not going to be a long term business model. If you really know your stuff well you might be able to get by just doing SEO, but for some people that will eventually get old. Technology will continue to advance. SEO can enhance distribution but if SEO and selling stuff cheap are your longterm brand strategy you could be making more money creating legitimate value for a growing social network which may eventually market your products for you.
Seth is a smart marketer and knows that on the web it is virtually impossible to give away too many good ideas. Stuntdubl just spent a day in Seth's office, and from his post and an IM chat he said it was great.
A few things you really learn when you visit hyper successful people who are still down to Earth:
- You don't need a suit to do well.
- Hard work does pay off.
- More than you realized you probably share a lot in common with that successful person.
- Being successful does not have to change who you are.
- Many of the people who are successful in your field may be more successful primarily based on past experience or time in the field.
- It is more lucrative being yourself then acting a part.
How does this relate to SEO?
1.) SEO Software:
I recently read a book which recommended a decent SEO tool and appoligized for mentioning it due to sleeze sales copy.
I recently tried another SEO tool, which has recurring monthly fees. The tips newsletter immediately offered me a special deal not promoted on the site - some Cory Rudl affiliate links. I even replied to the person to tell them that I thought it was sleeze.
If you are charging me a healthy recurring subscription on a low cost system do you need to sleeze upsell me? Is an extra $4 a month worth me not wanting to recommend your software? Worse yet, the how to manual for the SEO tool had three pages reminding readers how they can become rich reselling the software. Gross.
[disclaimer: within my sites I market my ebook heavily, but as time passes my sales letter will probably become more and more soft sell. My end goal is to be able to have no need to have a sales letter, but that might still be a bit down the road. ]
2.) Consulting & Services:
As a consultant or person working in a related field the best position to be in is to have more leads than you can possibly use. That way you get to chose what hours you work, set your prices, pick your clients, etc.
By not being a hard seller you miss out on some sales, but it also helps to build trust if you don't immediately go for a hard sell. Taking time to review things and build a relationship you are less likely to waste effort trying to sell to a person who is not interested in buying.
I think Jill Whalen has worked rather hard at developing a soft sell system which lets her pick and chose who she wants to work with.
3.) business meetings:
When I go to SES or related conferences many people are like "do you have a business card?", and I never do.
In that situation I look stupid, confident, or both. If you want to remember me that is great, if not I don't want to be another card in the stack.
Sure you want to build relationships over time, but if you give a few hundred people your card you might get a couple leads out of it. I have a huge stack of business cards and know few of the people.
As long as you appoligize for any mistakes you make or any inconvenience you cause someone they will probably think better of you than if everything just went smoothly off the start.
The added effort to get or give someones data without convenient little cards makes it more personal. If you want to remember me I probably do not need a card.
If you don't have cards and chose to meet a few people really well you might be better off as you will likely stick out a bit more than the average card in the stack.
[disclaimer 2: I might be full of crap, but these are my opinions, and I am sharing them. Please let me know what you think of them in the comments below]
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