Your Heroes are Accessible

Drawing of a person wearing a superhero cape.

I was first introduced to Seth Godin’s work around 2004 when my sister recommended his book, Purple Cow. I loved his fresh approach to marketing and quickly became a fan.

Being Seth Godin, when he published The Dip a few years later, he did things a bit different than the typical tour of bookstore signings.

Instead, he announced that if you could get a hundred people to pay $50 each, he would come to your city and give a talk. Plus, everyone who attended would get two copies of his book – one to keep and one to give to a friend.

I lived in Phoenix and wanted to hear him speak, but there was no centralized way to sign up or express interest. Seth left it to everyone to figure that part out on their own.

I found a website that was basically an early version of crowdfunding. It allowed people to pledge to do something if a certain number of others did as well. So I created a landing page and launched the campaign to bring Seth Godin to Phoenix.

I emailed my friends and posted to Facebook, Reddit, Slashdot, and any relevant forums I could find.

People started signing up and when the list was somewhere around 50 and still growing, Seth emailed me. He said he was in and asked if I could line up a venue.

I partnered with a local marketing firm for some help with sponsorships and logistics and we hosted the event at the Tempe Improv.

Before bringing Seth out on stage, I got to introduce him to my parents and my sister who flew in for the event.

We often think of our heroes as existing on a different plane. They seem unreachable. If they have a million fans, how could we ever cut through all that noise and actually talk to them?

But our heroes are accessible. They need help just like everyone else. Most of their inbound is people wanting something from them, so offering help is an easy way to stand out from the crowd.

My favorite podcast is My First Million. It’s two friends, Sam and Shaan, talking about business ideas.

Sam shared a story about a listener who offered to edit their YouTube videos into short clips for TikTok for free. Some of those clips went viral, racking up millions of views.

The listener now has a business offering this service to other content creators and business owners, generating six figures in revenue per year.

Some people want selfies with their heroes, but helping your heroes is a lot more fun and makes for a way better story.

- Matt

PS. I couldn’t find a selfie of me and Seth, but I found this photo on Flickr:

Photo of Seth Godin at the Tempe Improv on May 24, 2007. Photo by Adam Nollmeyer.
Seth Godin at the Tempe Improv on May 24, 2007. Photo by Adam Nollmeyer.

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