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What I Have Learned from Dr. Seuss and Seth Godin about Marketing

I am a big fan of Dr. Seuss, and I guess I have been for as long as I can remember.  I have enjoyed reading his books to my kids for over 10 years now.  When I was a kid myself, I had most of his works on my shelf, along with the Little Golden Books, more than likely.  When he passed away while I was in college, I still remember how sad it made me feel.  The entire campus honored his memory that year. 

On an utterly different note, Seth Godin is a marketing genius, in my humble opinion.  I have read most of his books, too.  The other day, I picked up a copy of "All Marketers are Liars", which focuses on the fact that good marketing involves good storytelling. 

In other words, your potential customers and clients WANT to hear a story.  At one point, Seth mentions that you can never tell a competitor's story as well as they can.  He gives a solid example from when he visited Wal-Mart and saw a sign reading, "You can't out-Amazon Amazon".  This reminded me of a line from Dr. Seuss's classic "Happy Birthday to You" (which I try to read out loud to my own kids several times each year):

"Shout loud

I am I!

Me!

I am I!"

Give this some thought in your marketing efforts.  You are you, not someone else.  What works for others may not work well for you. 

Tell your own story!  I promise you that your potential clients want to hear about YOU.  Every story is unique, and you are wasting time if you listen to coaches/consultants who say anything different. 

Throw away the scripts and anything premade by anyone else.  Focus on the things that will help you to connect with your audience, so to speak.  Do you like to build ships in bottles?  Do you collect antique washboards?  Where did you go to school or grow up? 

Almost every client I have received and friend that I have made from my blog came from someone who found a common connection with me based on one of my posts.  You can do the same thing, with the same results, although it will take an investment of your time.

QUICK DISCLAIMER: I am not advocating being egocentric and/or writing endlessly about your own achievements or how terrific you are.  Rather, I am suggesting that you share enough about yourself in your marketing to allow those who see it to know you as a person, not just another agent.

Thanks for reading!

    

 

If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!

Comment balloon 57 commentsJason Crouch • July 11 2009 11:02PM

Comments

As always, you make the obvious more obvious.  I am I!  What could be more obvious.  I never compete with anyone but myself.  And, that, too, is stupid.  Who else could a buyer or seller want to work with but me? 

Posted by Suzanne McLaughlin, Sabinske & Associates, Realtor (Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael)) almost 10 years ago

This is wise advise! My friend Elayna says "being yourself is the ultimate marketing plan!"

Posted by Demos Kukeas (Amerivest Realty) almost 10 years ago

I have always loved "The Places you will go"  I give it as a gift often

Posted by Eric Reid (Renaissance Realty Group of Keller Williams Atlanta Partners) almost 10 years ago

Jason,

Thanks for pointing out Seth Godin's work.  He is a genius, and I need to get more books of his and devour them.  What happens though to the concept that, "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together"? 

....I guess that John Lennon was never in sales!

Posted by Dan Quinn, Dan Quinn (The Eric Steart Group of Long & Foster Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Suzanne - Thanks for saying that.  I thought this was a concept worth sharing with my friends.

Demos - Thanks!  I agree with your friend.

Eric - That is another classic!

Dan - I have read most of Seth's books, but not all of them.  It seems like I always find a nugget or two of wisdom in each one.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) almost 10 years ago

We all just want to be accepted and understood and have someone to eat our green eggs and ham with who likes it as much as we do. 

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 10 years ago

LOVE Dr. Seuss!  There was a Dr. Seuss exhibit at the Children's Museum in Houston years ago when my kids were little.  I remember we were there on my birthday, and my 2 year old (who could not read yet...just loved the pictures) brought me the book you have pictured "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!"  Never before had I seen or heard of that particular book! 

Scripts can be a detriment if you sound like a robot.  I agree. Let the real you shine through!! :)

Posted by Sonja Patterson, Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou (Keller Williams - BV) almost 10 years ago

Jason

I have worked with our local Hosts Reading Program in the elementary schools for about 5 years and my favorite books to read with the kids are the Dr. Seuss books! Lots of wisdom came from the Doc!

Posted by Trey Thurmond, College Station , Texas Homes (BCR Realtors) almost 10 years ago

Jason...The best story tellers can enhance a story, and have yo look at it and not feel you lied.  I remember green eggs and ham 30 years ago reading it to my first

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) almost 10 years ago

sooo very true... I guess it makes me think of the song .. I've got to be me!  "I gotta be me, I've gotta be me   What else can I be but what I am"

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 10 years ago

Jason,  I really appreciate your message here.  I have really only blogged about real estate and mostly in my area.  I haven't been comfortable talking about me and telling my story - but your post really gives me something different to think about.  I need to add this dimension to my blogs.  Thanks.

Posted by Vicki Pedersen, Providing Exceptional Real Estate Service (Pedersen Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Jason - It is amazing how the connections we make with people through the things we do or share about ourselves do tend to form such a strong bond of trust that turn into long lasting relationships.

I love Dr. Seuss and have read every single one of his books to my children and continue to now read them to my granddaugher.

Posted by Julie Dumaine-Russell (RE/MAX Alliance) almost 10 years ago

I love Dr. Seuss! Somehow I get the feeling that Seth Godin would not enthrall me the way Dr. Seuss does. :)

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Chartwell Kansas City Realty) almost 10 years ago

I like the Thing 1 and Thing 2 t-shirts when I see a family wearing them at Universal Studios.

Posted by Monika Depalo, REAL ESTATE Agent/Stager (GAFF'S REFERRAL'S INC.) almost 10 years ago

I do see your connection about story telling. Clients want to make a connection with our stories. There should be an underlying connection for a relationship to bloom. I also know that people who appreciates stories, appreciates whom we are as a person, and in many ways, appreciates us as sales professionals.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) almost 10 years ago

Jason - I am a big fan of Dr Seuss and even love WWII era editorial cartoons.  Some big meanings in those little stories.

Posted by Ryan Shaughnessy, Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner (PREA Signature Realty - www.preasignaturerealty.com) almost 10 years ago

I love Dr Seuss and always have. Great concept and I love the I am I.

Posted by Leslie Stewart, Realtor, ABR, CRS, Oregon Licensed Broker (Oregon Licensed Broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Professionals) almost 10 years ago

I love Dr. Seuss.  I've never stopped reading his books, and now I get to enjoy them with my boys.

You have obviously found your voice and do a great job of sharing who you are with your audience.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) almost 10 years ago

Jason, I notice that I get the most comments and readership from those posts that come straight from the heart, and tell a story, exposing my personality in the process. This is what is so fascinating about blogging. It has to have a relatable in order for people to relate to you!

Posted by Christianne O'Malley, Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno! (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) almost 10 years ago

Every story is unique, and you are wasting time if you listen to coaches/consultants who say anything different. 

Good evening Jason,

I like your perspective!  As blogging grows in importance, I believe there will be more of the corporate types who see it as just another form of advertising that needs to be managed.  I think they miss the key point of building personal relationships.

Posted by Bruce Brockmeier, Coached By Crouch (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) almost 10 years ago

Jason,

Good blog as usual. I take the nuggets from "gurus", but still be me.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) almost 10 years ago

Hi Jason. Good blog. I was wondering about that. Yes, we can post blogs about real estate, etc., but each of us is a unique individual and, yes, there is probably something that a client can relate to. Part of my philosophy - "I am who I am. Take it or leave it". And I don't mean it in a bad way.

I love Dr. Seuss and used to read his books to my both kids all the time.

Posted by Ally Wangsness - Seattle Real Estate Broker (RE/MAX Metro Realty, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Jason - I grew up with Dr Seuss and I really enjoy your post and congrats on the Gold!

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) almost 10 years ago

Hi Jason. I especially like Dr. Seuss'. Hope you don't mind me posting this excerpt because it is inspiring

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

Posted by Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker, Licensed in Florida and Washington (Aloha Kai Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Wow, so Mr. Demos was quoting me up there...not bad!  I think anyone can post information about anything. Google alerts, CNN...the information is available. What we can really give our readership is our UNIQUE perspective and personality. Personality sells!  (and boy do YOU have personality!)

PS- loved social media edge, but would not compete for a hat...my hair looks prettier if I don't wear them. Do you have xxxsmall shirts? LOL

Posted by Elayna Fernandez, BE Positive and You'll BE Powerful! (The Positive Mom) almost 10 years ago

The cat and the hat,

The myth and the fact,

There's truth in all that,

Said the hat to that act.

Posted by Jim Hale, Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website (ACTIONAGENTS.NET) almost 10 years ago

I subscribe to Seth Godin's  blog and without a doubt, he is a genius when it comes to marketing. . 

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) almost 10 years ago

Great advice Jason!  There is not another YOU - Celebrate your strengths!

Posted by Michele Hess, Home Stager Rockford - Simply Staged Inc (Simply Staged Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Very true, Jason.

Cold hard facts are....well cold hard facts...

Who are YOU?

Facts can be found anywhere but there is only one you, that is the connects we want to make.

IMO you can look at the dashboard in many states and not have a connection with folks or even know them. Top on AR but you know very little about them.

Good post.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 10 years ago

Great Post!!  Everyone needs to go to the Dr. every now and then!!

Posted by Julie Horton (Open Door Realty) almost 10 years ago

Jason...

Sometimes I wonder if certain tales come across as bragging, but if it's working, why not run with it?

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) almost 10 years ago

I LOVE Dr. Suess and miss being able to read them to my daughter (she's 15). Seth Godin is also a great marketer. I agree with your post, be yourself and throw away the scripts. A script sounds just like what it is to our customers.

Posted by Monica Bourgeau, Business Coaching (New Phase Business Coaching) almost 10 years ago

Love this post, Jason. I should send it to some people I know who "push" using scripts. You're so right that what works for one may not work for the other, and that each of us, with some work, need to find what is best for us.

Posted by Peggy Wester, Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County (Realty Executives Integrity) almost 10 years ago

I am often heard referring to myself as a "Shameless Marketer!"  I love this post and love both Dr. Seuss and Seth Godin.  So the question remains...do you like them in a box, do you like them with a fox, do you like them here or there, do you like them anywhere...do you like green eggs and ham??? :o)))

Posted by Jeani Codrey, If you're not learning, you're not living! (The Learning Jeani) almost 10 years ago

Yes! Everyone wants to hear a GOOD story! Thanks for reminding us this!

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Jason: I like the analogies! Thank you. It's so true. We should all be building our own brand. That's what people are looking for; a unique and transparent you. Thanks again!

Posted by Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA. (Paratex) almost 10 years ago

Jason, we are all storytellers and we should shout our story to others from the rooftops. Pass the Green Eggs and Ham!

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 10 years ago

Great article Jason.  Seth Godin and Dr. Suess are incredible.  Outside of our own story, it's extremely important to ask if we are truly telling the story of the property for sale when we list it.  That story is told in many ways and especially in the description & photos.  So how well would that Dr. Suess story read with one word per page and with just one image in the entire book? 

Posted by Kathleen West, Flagler County & Palm Coast Realtor (Trademark Realty Group of Palm Coast) almost 10 years ago

Jason,

Wise words that are so true my friend. Finding that common thread is so important and your blog does let people get to know you before meeting you. If the personalities match they give you a call! Great post..thanks for the reminder.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) almost 10 years ago

Jason- I love your follow me on twitter button, the yellow stands out just enough.

I also love Dr Suess and many of my kids learned how to read through his books. I think Seth if very smart and has some done some phenominal things online like Squidoo however, I have issues with the whole Triibes concept as I do with all people who make it financially but then expect everyone else to give it all away. But that is another story for another day:)

Congrats on your gold star too.

However, no matter who and what Dr Suess and Seth do or do not have in common-

Jason Crouch is dead on in this post:
throw away the scripts, throw out the canned stuff, throw off the phoniness and be yourself. Market YOU. 

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) almost 10 years ago

Blogging = Story Telling. Without a personal voice, it's just a dictionary or encyclopedia. Dr Suess was the master at it, and someone whose stories will remain timeless. Great post!

Posted by Kim Dean, d + b real estate, McKinney, TX REALTOR Broker/Own (www.RealFamilyRealEstate.com) almost 10 years ago

Yes, everyone loves a great story and Dr. Suess was great at telling them. Thanks for getting it out today to AR members.

Patricia

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) almost 10 years ago

I've never read this book before. Actually, had never heard of it. But Im going to look for it. I have to agree with Kim D (#43) that blogging is basically your story telling. Maybe its too long for some, but its a great way for someone to get to know you. As far as something small, I can see your point about making it to the point and provide enough information for someone to get to know you better. Congrats on the feature.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com) almost 10 years ago

Jason: Indeed... marketing like art... As Picasso said, "art is the lie that helps us see the truth!"... great post and thankyou...

Posted by Rene Fabre, Marketing in the Digital Age (First American Title) almost 10 years ago

Jason,

Loved the message..it's so true.

Still laughing at your disclaimer!!!  HAHA

Posted by Sheila Moran, SanAntonioSheila.com, RE/MAX Access, 210-32 (RE/MAX Access (Garden Ridge, San Antonio, New Braunfels)) almost 10 years ago

Jason,

Absolutely true, no one can tell your story like you can...no one can make an impact to your business like you can. I often wonder why business professionals endeavor so hard to be like someone else....just be yourself and find your business strengths and go for it.

Posted by Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant (Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision) almost 10 years ago

Jason - Great Advice! BTW I like the twitter button.

Posted by _ _ almost 10 years ago

I love Dr. Suess. My grandpa used to read the books to me when I was little. I read them to my kids and now that our house is full of little ones I find myself reading them to my grand-kids as well. As for Seth Godin, I will admit that I am not familiar with his work, but I'll have to change that after reading your post and all the positive comments. 

Thanks Jason, you just proved what I keep telling my friends. I learn something new on ActiveRain everyday.

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) almost 10 years ago

I love the Dr. Seuss analogy.  My favorite was Green Eggs and Ham. People do transactions with people. I personally think that's why those big companies no longer make a difference.  They want to know whom they are dealing with.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 10 years ago

I grew up on Dr. Seuss. I loved him and he was such a wise man. I was so sad when he passed away.

Posted by Betina Foreman, Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY (WJK Realty) almost 10 years ago

So cool and so true! I love Dr. Seus like so many others.........I loved how Sean Penn read him in I am Sam.........i am....;-)  Unique and wonderfully made - thats what we are! I also subscribe to Seth Godin -and have read his books and am always finding golden nuggets within.:-)

Posted by Liz Moras Migic, Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor almost 10 years ago

Jason - Great!  As usual!  Thanks! 

 

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR carsonvalleyland.com (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) almost 10 years ago

Jason -

PS  My favorite was the "Sneeches" on the Beaches with Star Upon Thars!  Also ... "Zax in the Prairie of Prax!  Now ... that is literature!

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR carsonvalleyland.com (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) almost 10 years ago

Hey my friend, I was drawn to this post because of the Dr. Suess book, It's one of our favorites at the Lewis house and the reason we spend all week celebrating!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Hi Jason

Came upon this excellent post in a reblog by Bruce Brockmeier. Sorry I had missed it but glad to have found it - some profound learnings here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and guidance.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) over 3 years ago

Thanks Jason,

With a wife who is a reading teacher, Dr Seuss is a very popular fellow in our house.

So many lessons to learn from his books.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities) about 3 years ago

Hi Jason - Bob Crane sent me to your blog.  You made a great point here.  Bob - Dr. Seuss has taught what is important.  Those simple and silly words have a powerful message.  Be yourself and shout it out.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 3 years ago

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