I’ve been a follower of Seth Godin for the better part of two decades. I found him through his blog, and hung out with him and a couple hundred other people in an online community that grew out of his book Tribes.
I wasn’t very active in that community. I was shy, and didn’t know much about interacting online. Still don’t, to be honest.
I didn’t know much about marketing, either, which is Godin’s field. But I was a small business owner, and I needed to learn. So I stuck around and I learned.
One of the best descriptions of the kind of marketing I have come to embrace comes from another member of that Tribes community, a woman named Bernadette Jiwa, who has since gone on to found her own company, The Story of Telling.
Good marketing, she writes, involves putting your energy into making things your customers want, as opposed to trying to persuade them to want the things you make.
Good marketing is about relationships.
It values interaction over transaction.
It puts the focus on trust, because people have to trust you before they let you know what it is they really want, before they become fans.
It takes time to market your business in this way. Which means good marketing is slow.
I like slow. So I’m a fan. Of Bernadette Jiwa, and of Seth Godin, who has has a brand new podcast. If you have a business or a side hustle, or want one, or you just want to think a little differently about how to connect with the world, you might want to give it a listen.