You've started your own business, and you need customers. In the 21st century people are going to come to you and say, the way to get customers is to get into search engines. You have to rank. You have to rank on Google. So you go and you hire. What we in the industry call a search nerd. And that person goes off and does mysterious stuff to help you move up in the rankings, and they send you a bill once a month and that's about all you know about it. And then, for the rest of the lifetime of your business, you wake up in the middle of the night screaming because of one of two things.
Either A, you're not ranking yet, or B, you're ranking in Google, and you're terrified that for some reason you're going to lose that ranking. Because as it turns out, Google specifically, or a couple of search engines generally, are driving all of your customers to you, and that's your only source of business. So, what's wrong? Why has this changed? Because this is not the way marketing used to work. What's changed is that the existence of search engines, have really altered the dynamic of marketing. We've chased search engines into this weird corner where all we focus on is on rankings.
And we've forgotten about the rest of marketing. There's a lot more to marketing than search, even today. It's part of this very complex cycle. And, that complex cycle works to your advantage, it's not a disadvantage. It's important to keep that in mind. One way to look at it, and the way that I generally look at marketing, is that marketing is all about significance, and search engines, all they want to do, is deliver significance. They're just trying to do what works at the core of marketing and always has. And if you keep in mind that marketing is about significance, then you can start to understand that what marketing is really about is showing yourself to the weird, making yourself useful and using those two things to build significance around you and your company and your brand.
If you look at the definition of significance in the dictionary, it's the quality of being worth of attention. I have my own definition that I've adapted to marketing, which is the quality of being worthy of attention to people who may never buy from you but will always spread the word about you. And that's very, very important. And significance is not something that you can go out and buy. You can't make people think you're significance, you can't, significant. You can't force it. You have to invite it. And you invite significance by standing out to those who are compelled to respond, what I call the weird, and what Seth Godin originally called the weird in a great book called We Are All Weird.
You also establish significance by making yourself useful.
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