Seth Godin: This Is the Future of Digital Marketing for Creators

The entrepreneur and marketing guru explains the importance of obtaining soft skills.

Seth Godin. Getty Images

Marketers around the globe face challenges of constant adaptation to consumer needs, an ever-changing economy, and keeping tabs on micro- and megatrends. This is so much to tackle that even experts have difficulties making adjustments and staying updated.

In today's new creator economy, web creators -- the talents who design, build, and market websites and digital assets -- are left to constantly create innovative solutions and come up with the next big things. All of this work with a limited team, or even on their own, web creators place themselves in a difficult, yet empowering, position.

Recently I interviewed Seth Godin, the godfather of modern marketing, to speak about web creators and the importance of evolution, balancing marketing for themselves and their clients, and the future of the internet. On June 16th, Godin will be featured as a keynote speaker for the leading WordPress website building platform Elementor's #webcreators2021 event.

I asked Seth to explain what he understands will be the future of web creation for web creators and why he is stressing the importance of obtaining soft skills for creators to advance in their careers.

Schwantes: Creators need to be savvy in marketing, design, and web creation. How should web creators enrich themselves and start their journey to master the field of marketing?

Godin: It begins with a question: Is this important to you? Does telling a more effective story and earning the trust of better clients even matter? Because if it does, then you'll bring the same rigor and expend the same effort on finding better clients as you will on mastering the latest software or design innovations.

Skills can be learned. And the skill of engaging with empathy, on finding ways to help your clients do remarkable work -- that's learnable.

For someone who has already developed their marketing strategy, is there anything else they can do to push themselves further, in the marketing space and beyond?

Marketing effectively is about finding the smallest viable audience and not only earning their trust, but showing up in a way that's worth talking about -- not because you want them to talk about you and your work, but because they do.

If you are executing well on your marketing strategy, then the result is growth. Better clients and better work.

It's not about hustling people. No one wants to be hustled.

How do great web creators find the balance for marketing themselves to grow their business and brand at the same time as they market their clients so their services are sustainable?

It's worth focusing on what "marketing" means. It's not about hype and promotion. It's about finding work that matters and choosing to stand for it.

Most web creators have an unspoken motto, "You can pick anyone, and we're anyone." If that's what you do, a jack-of-all-trades, then of course you have to hustle.

The alternative is to be specific. To charge a lot and be worth more than you charge.

What does a new generation of creators have to gain from modern marketing? How does this apply to web creators?

Name a brand you care about. A freelancer you'd love to hire. A cause or a leader you trust.

Is there any reason you can't be on that list?

What's holding you back? It's not that you're a web creator. It's that you've been pushed to fit in (or to yell and hype) instead of doing the real work of creation.

The Covid era connected old-school and traditional businesses by revolutionizing entire trades and expanding online, creating an influx in opportunities for web creators and digital nomads. What is the next challenge web creators are going to have to face and how can they ensure success?

The opportunity is to move beyond the trap of hourly fees and start creating value by leveraging reusable assets. This work is the critical interface between organizations and the future. You can create ever more value and change, and get paid for it.

Why are flexibility and radical agility so important for the future of web creating?

Well, you're not developing for GeoCities, are you? This entire industry is about change, and it's not going to stop changing anytime soon.

Can you give us a sneak peak on what you will discuss in "Must-Have Skills for Independent Creators"?

Independent web creators have a lousy boss -- ourselves! And as a result, we spend too much time working for lousy clients, and fail to lean into the opportunities all around us. My talk is about five ways that independent creators can make the most of the effort they're already putting into their career ... it's possible to level up and to find better clients.

Source: inc