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Where Buddha Meets Business

All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World by Seth Godin

This was one of those books that I listened to on Audible while I’d go out hiking. What was really annoying about it is I had to stop and take notes almost every 20 steps because there was so much good stuff in there! Thank goodness for Evernote on my phone that made it much easier.

Seth Godin got a bit of flak from the marketing community on the title of this book when it first came out – “All Marketers Are Liars”. Also, in the latest version, the subtitle has changed – The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All.

I’ve always admired Seth Godin for his honesty, and authenticity, and for bringing some unique and bold ideas about marketing. He’s had some amazing successes and has this ability to tell amazing stories in printed form.

He came into my orbit years ago after starting my own business. My mentor Rob Berkley knew him and had encouraged me to read his books. Whenever he told me to do something, I always did and whatever it was I reaped many rewards.

What I was attracted to after devouring all of his books was his view on marketing. It definitely aligned with mine – Soulful Marketing. It’s about getting to the heart of your business and reaching into the hearts of your dream clients/customers to share how you can help change their lives, help them heal, make their lives better and so much more.

The most impactful way to do this is to tell some amazing stories that your dream clients/customers will be able to relate to emotionally. Remember, we all buy on emotion, then we rationalize it afterward.

To give you a better understanding of this – think back to a recent time when you bought something. Why did you buy it? What was it about this “thing” that encouraged you to get it? How did it speak to you? Did you get a feeling somewhere in your body? A Thought pop into your head? Start to notice more about what attracts you to something. What’s your process of how you go about buying it?

Knowing this is incredibly important. And will help you on your journey to create your online dream client/customer experience.

How important were the customer reviews when you were looking to buy it? (Most of them are mini-stories. And a lot of them help companies address objections buyers may have.)

This is one of my favorite concepts he talks about and is in the tagline of my business – “How to Market Anything Soulfully, Authentically & with Integrity.” Entrepreneurs that are authentic in their marketing not only thrive – they also create amazing success.

Some key overall concepts about your marketing that I totally agree with Seth on:

  • Be Remarkable
  • Be Consistent
  • Be Authentic

A quote I love and use often is – “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde

A Book Summary to Inspire You To Read It!

Quick Summary: I love this book and am so aligned with it because Godin challenges you the reader to look at marketing differently. It’s not about selling your stuff. It’s about connecting to your dream clients/customers by telling a story that resonates with them and meets their emotional needs and desires. This is wholeheartedly by total viewpoint about marketing. It’s about being aligned with your mission, vision, values, and your soul’s purpose. Knowing this, you take your time to define your dream clients in much emotional detail and craft your marketing and core messaging themes and stories around it.

The best parts of the books are all the stories he tells! And how he examines the major role of storytelling in marketing. He argues that the most effective marketers are those who are able to tell a compelling story about their product or service that speaks to the values and beliefs of their dream clients/customers. Godin emphasizes that the story must be authentic and true to the values of your business. Plus, as a marketer, you have to be willing to take risks and be vulnerable in order to connect with your dream clients/customers on a deeper level.

WHO Ought to Read this Book: If you’re interested in authenticity in your marketing, branding, and how to use storytelling in your business then this is the book. It’s also relevant for entrepreneurs, marketers, and business leaders who want to create authentic and effective marketing strategies that resonate with their dream clients/customers. It is also a useful resource for those interested in the psychology of consumer behavior and the role that storytelling plays in marketing and branding.

Why Read this Book? There are so many books on marketing out there – sheesh! I don’t think I could ever read them all. Yet, there are several authors (like Godin) that I resonate with who have the same beliefs, vision, and values that I have. If that’s you – then just get this book! Godin truly gives you practical insights and advice on how to create and tells stories that align with the values and beliefs of your dream clients/customers. It will encourage you to be authentic and honest in your marketing efforts and to focus on creating truly meaningful connections with your customers. If you’re interested in understanding how to create successful marketing campaigns that are both effective and authentic – then get this book!

Things You Will Discover:

The psychology of why people buy – “They don’t buy facts – they buy how (what you’re offering them) makes you feel. They buy a story.”

Authentic marketing is extremely powerful when you combine it with story, purpose, and values.

2-Step Story Process:
1. Invent things that are worth talking about.
2. Tell good stories about what you have invented.

The 5 Steps to Storytelling & Authenticity In Your Marketing:

Step 1: Their Worldview And Frames Got There Before You Did
Step 2: People Notice Only the New and Then Make a Guess
Step 3: First Impressions Start The Story
Step 4: Great Marketers Tell Stories We Believe
Step 5: Marketers with Authenticity Thrive

Great stories: What Your Dream Clients/Customers Want

  • Capture the imagination of large and important audiences
  • Are true because it’s consistent and authentic
  • They are trusted
  • You need to earn credibility to tell the story
  • When engaging your dream client/customer – Your first impressions are huge
  • Match the voice in your dream client/customer’s head and don’t appeal to logic – appeal to their senses
  • They work when the story actually makes the product or service better and comes true
  • Your dream clients/customers want to buy a story.
  • Creates something so remarkable that your dream client/customer shares it
  • Tell a different story than your competitors

Ethical Marketing – 2 Questions your dream client/customer would ask you as a marketer and you need to answer in your copy.

  1. If I knew what you knew about this product would I choose to buy what you sell?
  2. After I use this and experience it, will I be glad I believed the story or will I feel ripped off?


Tell A Story:
“Tell an easy-to-believe story that is easy for people to tell.”

Why People Buy:
“People buy to feel better about themselves.”

Don’t Persuade Consumers to Switch:
“Don’t compete on price or speed- when you persuade them to switch from a competitor, it means that have to be persuaded to be wrong and they hate that.”

Live The Story You Tell:
“You win when you make your story coherent and if you live the story you tell, they are more likely to believe it.”

You Will Succeed When:
“You need to create the story first that you want to tell – if you are authentic and complete and live that story you will succeed.”

When Story Telling Works:
“Storytelling works when the story actually makes the product or service better and come true.”

“Marketers didn’t invent storytelling. They just perfected it.”

What The Best Stories Do:
“Best stories don’t teach anything new. It makes them feel smart secure and how right they were in the first place.”

Your Dream Client’s/Customer’s Worldview is Important:
“Don’t try to change someone’s worldview is the strategy smart marketers follow.”

Focus On What Your Dream Clients WANT:
“Marketers profit because consumers buy what they want, not what they need.”

The Psychology of First Impressions:
“Humans are able to make extremely sophisticated judgments in a fraction of a second. And once they’ve drawn that conclusion, they resist changing it.”

About the Author: – Seth Godin

Seth is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, and Most of All, A teacher. In addition to launching one of the most popular blogs in the world, he has written 20 best-selling books. His book, This is Marketing, was an instant bestseller in countries around the world. The latest book is The Practice, and creatives everywhere have made it a bestseller. He also founded two companies, Squidoo and Yoyodyne (acquired by Yahoo!). By focusing on everything from effective marketing and leadership, to the spread of ideas and changing everything, Seth has been able to motivate and inspire countless people around the world.

In 2013, Seth was one of just three professionals inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. In an astonishing turn of events, in May 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame as well. He might be the only person in both.

Where I Would Recommend Getting Your Copy:

All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World by Seth Godin

Other Books by Seth Godin:

Lynchpin: Are You Indispensable

Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends, And Friends Into Customers

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable

This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (And When to Stick)

The Practice: Shipping Creative Work

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Unleashing The Idea Virus: Stop Marketing At People! Turn Your Ideas Into Epidemics

Soulfully Yours,

Shannon McCaffery

Shannon McCaffery

Strategic Marketing Coach & Consultant

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Seth Godin

All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World by Seth Godin


Hey there, I'm Shannon! Being a voracious reader and passionate about learning, I started this site in the hopes of sharing my thoughts and my love of inspiring nonfiction books that can help you. It's kind of like Buddha meets business. I truly hope you enjoy!

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