I hate Seth Godin.
All right, that’s a little extreme. I’m sure Seth is a lovely guy. But I can’t stand his blog posts. When I read one of his posts, it’s as if a yogi has stepped down from his mountaintop, where he’s been meditating for the past decades on the secrets to life and business, to impart his words of wisdom upon me. It’s not that he doesn’t have good things to say–he does. But when I read Seth, I never get the idea that he’s a person who’s made mistakes and screwed up and lived some of the lessons he teaches. And that means his words, no matter how right or wise they might be, leave me cold.
Obviously, Seth Godin is incredibly popular, so he must appeal to a large segment of the population. But for my money, I’ll take vulnerability over imperiousness any day of the week. I’d rather hear the stories about how that knowledge was born of hard luck and repeated failure, of the story behind the knowledge learned. Hearing the back story gives weight and credence to the advice that’s being offered. Anyone can spit out a vague maxim like Seth’s “Once the water is deep enough that you must swim to stay afloat, does it really matter how deep the pool is?” but without context, it might as well come out of a fortune cookie.
That’s why I press hard to make sure that transparency and vulnerability are part of our marketing strategy at Roundpeg. We might be a company with a lot of information to share, but it’s made up of people who are fallible. That’s why you’ll read stories about our reactions to losing clients, or how we dealt when something didn’t go according to plan. Might it scare some people away? Possibly. But there’s genuine value in showing that you’re a human being who’s constantly changing and evolving. Even though it can be scary to admit our failings, time and again, it’s the blog posts where we show the most humanity that rise to the top on traffic, SEO and comments, rather than cold, clinical posts.
Do you show your vulnerability?