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Talking About The Dip with Seth Godin

Seth Godin joined me for a special live taping of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast (we had about 500 callers listening in.) to talk about marketing and his new book: The Dip – A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (And When To Stick)

I first picked up this book thinking, from clues in the title, that it was more about quitting things that weren’t going anywhere – and I guess it is, but I couldn’t help thinking that it was more about being realistic before and when you started about what it really takes to be the best in the world at something.

I found the book to be more inspirational than really instructional – and I mean that in a very positive way. I read too many strategy books and not enough books that remind me what why I do what I do. I told Seth that I thought he had written a self-help book and he flatly denied it. I need lots of self-help, so I meant it as a compliment.

What does it mean to be world class? How do you know when to stick and when to quit? Do you need a niche to be first? When is the worst time to quit? Hear the answers to these and more.

Delivering Personalized Information via RSS

Just when you thought you were getting the hang of using RSS as a research tool, someone, like me, comes along and tells you that it’s not enough.

Now it’s become ultra easy to use RSS technology to create individual feeds of information and supply them to your best clients. You know they want to figure this RSS thing out but just can’t seem to get around to it. So, do it for them.

Here’s what I would suggest. Go to www.mysyndicaat.com and create personalized, search specific, RSS feeds, mash them together and deliver customized information to your clients on a daily basis. The current trendy name for this is a newsradar

Syndicaat allows you to easily mash multiple feeds together creating one very focused and personalized feed. (Yahoo Pipes does this as well, but my results with it have been spotty)

So, let’s say you have a client that produces tents for active outdoor types. You can search very specific terms and phrases in Google News, Yahoo News, Bloglines, Technorati, Google Blogs, Outdoor Forums, and anything else that produces an RSS feed and mash all the content about your client, their competitors, the industry, specific keywords and phrases, you name in, into one digestible, personalized newsfeed that changes daily. (Don’t tell your client how easy this is, just do it and bill them for it – they’ll thank you.)

Talk about a great way to get a competitive edge. It’s like creating personalized publications for each client or each marketing segment you serve. What if you did this for your prospects as a way to show them what you could do? You can make all this content public or create private password protected feeds.You can also republish the RSS feed and data on any web page on your site using simple javascript or even Feedburner’s Buzz Boost and then put it in your client’s private page on your website. So now they come to your website for their industry news everyday – you got to like the sound of that.

Here’s an example of the results from the type of search I described above using the mashable RSS feeds and syndicaat for the term duct tape marketing.

How to Change the World: The Essence of Duct Tape Marketing

Guy Kawasaki gave my book Duct Tape Marketing a wonderful piece of real estate on his very high traffic blog How to Change the World.

The post is titled the Essence of Duct Tape Marketing and features a list of 10 key elements contained in the book.

If you don’t read this blog, you should. If you haven’t read Guy’s books, again, you should. If you haven’t heard him speak, you’ve missed plenty. Guy Kawasaki is regarded widely as one of the leading voices of passion for this entrepreneur thing and draws serious cred from a little start-up called Macintosh.

Here’s something you may not know about Guy that impresses anyone who gets to know him just a bit. For all the business fame he remains one of the most thoughtful, generous and enthusiastic supporters of small business on the planet.

He can hold CEOs rapt with thoughts of new strategy initiatives, venture capitalists court his attention, but my impression from several interviews I’ve conducted is he’d be pretty happy shooting pool at your favorite roadside joint. Not a bad model for the biz world.

Tuning Up Your Blog

Mack Collier, a race engine of a blogger, networker, and evangelist, contributed a great article at Marketing Profs titled – Eight Ideas for Revitalizing Your Blog.

Mack shares simple truths about building and feeding a blog audience. The piece should be required reading for any blogger, seasoned or just getting started.

And on that note – a growing number of Duct Tape Marketing Authorized Coaches have started blogs at my nudging. More great marketing resources for small business owners.

A Growing Sphere of Content

The folks at Sphere just created a customized Sphere Contextual Widget for my site. This tool allows readers to click on the “Sphere It” link at the bottom of any post and get a pop-up of contextually related content from around the web. I’ve also added some links to blogs that I think you will like if you like this one.

What is Sphere?

From the Sphere site- “We bring you the good stuff — a very simple idea that takes some smarts to do right. Sphere’s advanced search algorithm helps you discover high-quality, relevant, and timely blog posts and makes it possible for publishers to integrate contextually relevant blog posts alongside their articles.”

Sphere also recently created a WordPress Plugin so I’m guessing you’re going to be seeing alot of this tool.

A Google Calendar List of Events Feed on Your Web Site

If you’ve ever wanted to easily publish a schedule of upcoming event, deadlines or even birthdays as a dynamic list rather than a calendar style page here’s an RSS trick for you to use. (This can be done on a public or private page)

  • Create a free Google Calendar account and slug in all the dates on the calendar (Any shareable calendar will do)

  • Google automatically creates an RSS feed for your calender – take this URL and create free Feedburner account
  • Optimize the feed using the Event Feed option from Feedburner
  • Publish the feed using Feedburner’s BuzzBoost option – lots of options for display
  • Paste the code Feedburner produces for you on the page you would like your list to show

Using this formula produces a dynamically changing list of events that will run from first up to last, automatically drop events that have passed, and automatically bring in future events per your settings. Now, anyone with access to a web browser and your Google Calendar account can update and edit your events list.

Here’s an example I use for my upcoming speaking events (see the right sidebar) Bonus – you can easily set this up so others can subscribe to this events list too.

What Do You Want To Know About Using RSS in Marketing

I’m participating in a panel on RSS for Marketing at SXSW in Austin on March 11th.

I thought it would be fun to do a podcast show with some of the esteemed panel members prior to the event. My guests for this show are Tom Markiewicz of EvolvePoint, Bill Flitter of Pheedo, Emily Chang of Ideacodes and Greg Reinacker from NewsGator

Okay Duct Tape Readers, here’s where you can play. I’ve set up a listener comment line for my podcast and you get to be a part of the podcast when you use it. Simply dial (214) 615-6505 ext 2357 and record a question for this panel. Let’s hear your greatest burning questions about how to use RSS as a marketing tool.

Best question or two will be part of the podcast – your actual voice – so sound smart. (You can use this line to ask any marketing questions or comment on past shows too.)

Podcast Slideshow from Fast Company

Last week I pointed out that Fast Company named the Duct Tape Marketing podcast a must read for the creative class. They put together a nifty little slideshow to walk you through the 12 podcasts you should be listening to.