Getting Strangers to Talk About YOU, Seth’s Way

By Michael Stelzner

Are you trying to get some attention? Not a simple task these days…

Some of the world’s smartest people keep their secrets tight to their chest.

Not Seth Godin. Seth is full of marketing genius and you can learn a bunch by watching him.

One of his new ventures is called Squidoo.

While attending a major trade event for eBay, Seth’s goal was to get everyone talking about Squidoo.

He succeeded. Here’s what he did:

We printed 600 t-shirts with a long, hand-written letter on the front, explaining how Squidoo helps eBayers. And we gave the shirt away to anyone willing to wear it. The incentive? Each day, Megan picked someone who was wearing the shirt and gave that person $9,000 worth of ads on Squidoo.

Within an hour, you saw orange t-shirts on the show floor. By the second day, every single t-shirt was taken and more than 5% of all the people there were wearing the shirts.

Total cost: $3,000. (plus the ads)

So by giving away free advertising on his site (which of course costs him nothing), he was able to get some great buzz going!

And, what is more interesting is that they had to strip their mannequin of its shirt (should have printed more Seth!).


This is not the first time Seth has worked this angle. Check this out for example.

How can we apply such tactics to the Internet?


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  • carrie

    Wow, thanks for this info about Squidoo. I just looked at the site and thought it was fabulous and am going to register right away. A lot of great information and a great business idea. I noticed an “I Love Lucy” “lense” which really resonated with me since I just wrote a blog entry 2 weeks about missing Lucy. As for the Ebay sales pitch and the t shirts, I am a t-shirt lover and collector from way back, starting with a lot of running races I did in the 80′s and then morphing into t-shirt collections every time I visited a new city (including last weekend – Pasadena!) so I’m not surprised this tactic worked so well, although the speediness of so many people wearing the shirt eveyrday is impressive. I have heard of Seth Godin but am going to research him further now, he seems like a genius to me!

  • Michael Stelzner

    Carrie – Seth is a very smart marketer. Be sure to check back tomorrow here for some more wisdom from Seth. – Mike

  • Whitney

    Carrie: I’ve had lenses on Squidoo for a little more than a year now — as part of the Web-ucation efforts of an animal rescue I work with — and have found them very useful for sending traffic to our blog and main site.

  • Michael Stelzner

    Hey Whitney – I found just the opposite on my Squidoo page :(

  • Whitney

    I can’t say our traffic has been stellar, but the numbers are consistent from week to week. In the stats for our Typepad blog, Squidoo is second to Google as a referrer of traffic to the blog. Over time, though, the gap between Google and Squidoo has widened.

    What I find Squidoo useful for is the practice in copywriting. “Writing short” doesn’t come easily (technical documentation is one of the ways I pay the rent), but it’s become easier after writing on my lenses for more than 18 months.

    Squidoo also forces you to look at a topic differently, and come up with better titles and headings. The “How To Spoil Your Guinea Pig” lens has always been a slightly better performer than the other lens…and I think the title has something to do with it.

  • Susan

    I have just recently discovered the wonderful world of Squidoo and must say I wish I had found it months ago. I agree that lens are good for practicing copyrighting and that is what I am currently using them for. Thanks for the article and the information. Now to go check out that lens about Spoiling your Guinea Pig.

    I would like to thank you for making my stumbling that much more enjoyable. Your blog made the Life Is Risky Blog Stumbling for today! (Note: The post is updated as I am stumbling. If you don’t see your site listed check back!)

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