Derek Sivers

Are fans telling friends? If not, improve, don’t promote.

The most powerful philosophy of marketing I’ve heard is from my hero Seth Godin, and I think it can be summed up as this:

You’ll know when you’re on to something special, because people will love it so much they’ll tell everyone.

If people aren’t telling their friends about it yet, don’t waste time marketing it. Instead, keep improving until they are.

How can you apply this to your art, product, or service?

Seth says, “Just sell one.” Find one person who trusts you and sell him a copy. Does he love it? Is he excited enough to tell ten friends because it helps them, not because it helps you? If not, you must stop what you’re doing and start over.

This is encouraging, because in the past it felt like the only way to do effective marketing was to spend a ton of money on mass-media advertising.

But now the goal is to create something absolutely remarkable, until customer word-of-mouth generates a buzz.

And that’s only limited by your creativity and persistence, not budget.

Purple Cow