Generous Marketing

A few weeks back I was stopped in my tracks by something Corwin Heibert said in an interview with Faded and Blurred (you can hear the full interview here).

“What would happen if our marketing strategy started with being really generous? We just want to contribute to other people and things we care about, things we click with, things we love. Just be nice and be kind and be generous to those things, those people, those organisations.

If we are so hell bent on pushing stuff out. We think we are sharing, but, in fact, if we are pushing our work at people, it’s not going to get an awesome reaction – it kind of hits that SPAM mentality. And, we really don’t want to associate our creative endeavour with SPAM.”

I am a big fan of Corwin (he manages David duChemin) and his eBook, Growing The VisionMonger: 10 Things a Manager Can Teach You About Running & Growing Your Business was tremendously helpful to me last year. Moreover, I followed with keen interest the Creative Mix conference he helped develop.

Which matters to me because Corwin isn’t just sprouting some kind of digital utopianism, he’s talking from a position of real leadership in his field. So when he says that marketing is secondary to building relationships, that marketing should start from a place of generosity and hospitality, it makes me wonder about my efforts and the arc of my online commitments.

That kind of thinking also resonates throughout Chris Guillebeau’s book The Art of Non-Conformity,

“When you reach the convergence between getting what you really want while also helping others in a unique way. I call this “world domination,” where you live a life of adventure and focus on leaving a legacy that makes a radical difference for other people. There’s no need to settle or accept anything less.”

The Art of Non-Conformity came to my attention via longtime friend Steve Knight back in November This mini-documentary, from the book tour, provides a wonderful insight into the relationship Chris is trying to build with his readers.

The Unconventional Book Tour stops in Durham, NC. from crystal street on Vimeo.

Speaking of books that look at alternative ideas about marketing, Hugh MacLeod is about to release his second book, Evil Plans.

“Sigmund Freud once said that in order to be truly happy in life, a human being needed to acquire two things: The capacity to work, and the capacity to love. An EVIL PLAN is really about being able to do both at the same time.”

One of the reasons I keep coming back to Hugh’s blog, Gapingvoid is because of the way he circles in on questions of authenticity, sincerity and narrative. Hugh talks a lot about people he works with and people who inspire him. His blog is a personal story, it sounds like it comes from someone (and from somewhere) and I think that’s part of what helps Hugh cut through the noise that clogs so many online “conversations.”

Which brings me back to Corwin’s question – “What would happen if our marketing strategy started with being really generous?”


  1. says

    Comment re The Big Battalions

    I wrote this – thought I’d join in.

    It saddens me too – prob is that Brian Eastman (whose idea it was, though he gave me a free hand to build a drama from it) is no longer involved in Carnival and the people running it now aren’t interested – at least I get no response. The notion in tv is that repeats aren’t popular but for the price of repeat fees to the cast etc, it’d be a very cheap thing to fill six hours!

    Though some Asian people I know were transfixed by it, for the main audience it was too soon: the kind of people who watch this kind of drama, in 1992 anyway, didn’t think religion is an important subject. People were rather mystified by it I think.. How wrong they were! It’s all the gone other way now – people are rather nervous of the material.

    I’d love it to be out on DVD but not sure how to persuade people.

    Anyway, delighted to hear there are fans out there.