Seth Godin doesn't mince words. But the entrepreneur and marketing guru writes a whole heck of a lot of them. To date, he's written 18 books--several of them New York Times bestsellers.
The bald guy with glasses has lots of game-changing ideas on the topics of marketing, entrepreneurship, and business transformation in the digital age. Over the past few decades, those big ideas have reverberated through MBA classrooms, marketing courses, and the minds of those striving for business success worldwide.
What if you don't have time to read all 18 of his books? There's his blog. Godin writes one of the most-read marketing blogs on the internet. (Just Google his first name and it's the first hit.) He's known for his short, to-the-point posts, some of which are only a handful of words long.
His concise posts contain nuggets of wisdom. One of his recent posts stood out, and it was even shorter than average for Godin. In it, he reveals the marketing strategy that has carried him to the top of his game and led him to become a multi-millionaire author, speaker, and content creator.
4 words that drive Godin's success
It's all in the title of the post: Selfish marketing doesn't last.
This mantra has been behind every book Godin has ever written. In Purple Cow, Godin tells his readers how to make their products stand out by being remarkable. In All Marketers Are Liars, he guides readers in creating a marketing story that captivates their audience. In Linchpin, he tells people how to become indispensable in any organization--and helps business owners learn how to identify and hire more of these people to build up their organization.
Every marketing book Godin writes is focused on giving his readers tools, tips, and ideas to succeed. It's not about himself and his own success. It's about you, the person reading his books. That's why everything he writes is so popular. People can get real, actionable advice from spending time with his work.
Help yourself by helping others first
In his blog post about selfish marketing, Godin challenges readers to think about why this matters for your bottom line. "If it helps you, not the customer, why should she care?" he writes. He acknowledges that there may be some overlap between your selfish needs and your customer's, but the ultimate end goal should be servicing your customer.
Think about this in your own business. Say you're building out your blog for your company. What content should you write? Option A is to write about all the great features of your product or service. Option B is to write about something that solves a problem for your customer. Put yourself in your customer's shoes. Which one will resonate more? The selfish, self-serving post or the one that offers helpful content?
It's a no-brainer, according to Godin.
"In the long run, your selfishness will catch up with you," he says. "Day by day, the long run keeps getting shorter."