Seth Godin: this is the future of digital marketing for creators

Marketers around the world face challenges of constantly adapting to consumer needs, an ever-changing economy, and controlling micro and megatrends. This is so much to address that even experts have a hard time making adjustments and staying current.

In today’s new creator economy, web builders – the talents who design, build and market websites and digital assets – must constantly create innovative solutions and come up with the next great things. All of this work with a limited team, or even on their own, puts web builders in a difficult, yet empowering position.

I recently interviewed Seth Godin, the godfather of modern marketing, to talk about web builders and the importance of evolution, balancing marketing for them and their customers, and the future of the internet. On June 16, Godin will be featured as the keynote speaker for Elementor’s # webcreators2021 event, the leading WordPress website builder platform.

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

Schwantes: Creators must be experts in marketing, design, and web creation. How should web builders get rich and start their journey to mastering the field of marketing?

Godin: It begins with a question: Is this important to you? Is it important to tell a more effective story and earn the trust of better customers? Because if you do, you will bring the same rigor and will put the same effort into finding better customers as you are in mastering the latest software or design innovations.

Skills can be learned. And the ability to engage with empathy, to find ways to help your clients do extraordinary work, can be learned.

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

Effective marketing is about finding the smallest viable audience and not just earning their trust, but showing yourself in a way that is worth talking about, not because you want them to talk about you and your work, but because they do.

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

It is not about putting pressure on people. Nobody wants to be rushed.

How do great website builders find the balance to market themselves to grow their business and brand while marketing to their customers to make their services sustainable?

It is worth focusing on what “marketing” means. It is not about advertising and promotion. It’s about finding a job that matters and choosing to defend it.

Most web builders have an unspoken motto: “You can choose anyone and we are anyone.” If that’s what you do, everyone’s game, then of course you have to hurry.

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

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

Name a brand that interests you. A freelancer that you would love to hire. Because or a leader you trust.

Is there a reason why it can’t be on that list?

What’s stopping you? Not that you are a web builder. It’s that you’ve been pushed into fitting in (or yelling and exaggerating) rather than doing the actual work of creation.

The Covid era connected traditional and old-school businesses by revolutionizing entire trades and expanding online, creating an influx of opportunities for web builders and digital nomads. What’s the next challenge web builders will face, and how can they ensure success?

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

Why is flexibility and radical agility so important to the future of web authoring?

Well, you’re not developing for GeoCities, are you? This whole industry is all about change, and it won’t stop changing anytime soon.

Can you give us a sneak peek at what you’ll be talking about in “Essential Skills for Freelance Creators”?

Freelance web builders have a lousy boss – ourselves! And as a result, we spend too much time working for lousy clients and don’t take advantage of the opportunities around us. My talk is about five ways freelance creators can make the most of the effort they are already putting into their career … it is possible to level up and find better clients.

The opinions expressed here by the Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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