Seth Godin is somebody you should follow if you are running an internet marketing business. This powerhouse of a human being can and will change the way you look at business, life, the universe.

If you head to Seth Godin’s website (, the first thing you will notice is the simplicity and impactful messages that draw you in. He’s a master at understanding people and marketplace needs.  He’s a true marketer – sharing, caring, and reaching you where it matters the most – the heart.

In fact, many say that Seth was one of the first ones out of the gate when marketing online began to be discussed. Seth has inspired countless others to build, change, reshape and make money online and we’ll dig in to understand more of how he does it.

Where / how did Seth Godin Get Started?

Seth started, like many other marketers, in business school – Stanford, actually. After getting his MBA, he worked in software and book packaging, eventually creating one of the first online marketing companies, called Yoyodyne.

During this time in this business, he began to realize that the market is not a place where one can simply hope for the best. A person needed to have something really special, something that set him or her apart from the rest of the crowd in a big way.

Seth also introduced the idea that many marketers had forgotten: customers matter and they deserve to be respected. When dealing with customers online, Seth pointed out that spamming and other forms of lies were just not the best practices. Customers were smarter online and they had more power than they do in the stores, as they had more options.
Thus a new book was born.

Huge Product Launches To Admire

“Purple Cow” could be considered the book that started it all for Seth Godin. This book discussed the idea that having a remarkable idea was the way for an internet marketing guru to prosper. Having something which stands out from the rest of the pack, while also being something amazing, will create the circumstances for permission marketing. (Permission marketing: A business provides something which is relevant, personal, and anticipated.)

Seth started out with only $20,000 for his first company, but then in 2003 came upon the launch that would allow him to attract nothing but fame and notoriety from that point on – “Purple Cow.” This book has been printed 23 times and has sold over 150,000 copies at this time.
Even before then, Seth did something special for his customers, but it’s really no surprise since he’s made it clear that he considers his customers to be friends, rather than just credit card numbers – he released an eBook for free.

Though of as one of the most popular eBooks to date, “Unleashing the Idea virus” continues to be used by internet marketing gurus, young and old. It’s now sold as a hardcover and a paperback, and it’s not free anymore, though it can be found online in segments.

Seth Godin Insider Marketing Secrets You Can Steal

Important things you can learn from Seth Godin’s experience:

  1. Treat customers the way you would want to be treated: When you treat customers like people, they know that you care about them. Be real, be transparent.
  2. Offer free books and downloads to entice people to learn more, but only if the books are valuable: The idea of a freebie will draw attention to your ideas, but having the freebie be worth something to the reader is priceless marketing. Make it easy to share.
  3. Ideas need to be exciting, relevant, and personal: You can’t be like everyone else and hope to make enormous profits. Give to gain.
  4. Be prolific: Seth has released 11 books as of 2010.  You need to be prolific as well in order to continue to be in the minds and the eyes of the people who buy what you sell. Think like a publisher.
  5. Keep your website simple and direct and interactive: Flashy websites might be fun to look at, but they can be confusing and are unnecessary when your content is strong. (Ed note: Flash is not great for search engines either)
  6. All of these tips might seem like common sense, even too simple to use, but as you can see, Seth has used them to create an empire of sorts.

What do you think?


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.