seth godin

Seth Godin to Headline the 2017 Smart Hustle Small Business Conference Speaker Lineup

Each year, the Smart Hustle Small Business Conference presents a lineup of fantastic speakers - experts on everything from leadership and business development to branding and marketing, with a particular focus on small businesses! But when a marketing superstar like Seth Godin is part of your conference’s speaker lineup, you know it’s going to be an especially good day.

Now in its 12th year, the Smart Hustle Small Business Conference has emerged as one of the premier events where small business owners can learn what it takes to create successful companies. We’re happy to announce that for this year’s event, on November 1st, Seth Godin will join a lineup that is already chock full of amazing leaders, including winning SharkTank contestant Becca Brown, co-founder of the wildly successful SoleMates, innovative strategist Lisa Hendrickson, founder and CEO of Spark City, and Chief of the NYPD Transit Police, Captain Joseph Fox.

With 18 books that have been translated into more than 35 languages under his belt, Godin is one of the most recognized business authors and well known speakers in the world. We couldn’t be more excited to have him join the Smart Hustle community. As we gear up for his presentation, we decided to have a look at some of Seth’s marketing wisdom that is particularly focused on the needs of small businesses.

Godin’s approach to marketing is decidedly human. As he says in this interview written by Bruna Martinuzzi, Founder of Clarion Enterprises, Ltd., “The marketer’s job, then, is to tell a true story, one that resonates, one that matters to people, and to repeat it often enough that it creates value.”

Here’s another, longer excerpt:

Martinuzzi: You talk about the importance of emotions in marketing, and primarily two emotions: fear and delight. This is probably one of the most challenging concepts to put into practice. Can you give an example of how a small-business owner can use these emotions in marketing?

Godin: Stop being a shopkeeper! We have plenty of shops. We need artists.

M: In your book We Are All Weird, you advise companies not to pursue the mass market but to focus their marketing efforts on the "weird" buyers, the niche markets. Are there any potential pitfalls for a small business in pursuing this marketing strategy?

G: The biggest pitfall is that you will be on the hook, that choosing to focus on a niche means you can no longer treat the market as an indifferent mass of mass.

M: There seems to be a consensus that cold calling is an old-school marketing idea. Should a small-business owner abandon this practice altogether? How about email marketing?

G: You mean spam? Should small-business people spam by phone or by email?
Next question!

M: What are the biggest challenges marketers face today, and what can they do to address them?

G: I think the biggest challenge is to stop acting like a marketer and start acting like a human.

In this interview by Inc.com contributing editor Geoffrey James, Godin offers up a few more pearls of wisdom:

James: What marketing mistake do most small businesses make?
Godin: They believe in the mass market instead of obsessing about a micro market. They seek the mass market because it feels harder to fail--there's always one more stranger left to bother. It's the small, the weird, and the eager that will make or break you.

Fascinating! Godin’s approach is counterintuitive to those of us who have been raised on the notion of spreading as wide a net as possible when advertising our brand. He goes on to say this:

J: Why are most marketing messages so dreadful?
G: Because marketing is an artifact of the industrial age, and the industrial age is about mass and volume and average stuff for average people, produced in bulk. Of course, once you have an assembly line in the works, you're going to play it safe...

In this article from his own blog, Managing the very small business, Godin gets down to the structural nitty gritty of creating and managing a team of 2-9 employees. Clearly, as you’ll find when you read it, Godin possesses special insights as to the inner and outer workings of small businesses. We can’t wait to hear what he talks about at the conference in November.

Stay tuned here for more news and updates about the Smart Hustle Small Business Conference, and don't forget to purchase your ticket while they're still available!