Seth Godin

9 Free Resources You Can Use Every Day to Market Your Creative Business

Sometimes you just want to do everything yourself. Or, you don’t know how to delegate your marketing needs to another person, because quite frankly you haven’t figured out what works and what doesn’t.

And then there’s that feeling when you say want to say f**k it. Or, “what’s the point?” But then you resign - you know you must must promote your business, but you get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.

So here are 9 free marketing tools and resources you can use on any given day. Each provide various sparks of motivation plus a good dose of reassurance that you’re probably doing a lot of stuff right.

1) I start with the marketing Queen, Marie Forleo. Delivered in a straightforward manner, she‘s a New Jersey gal who knows how to sell. And she’s full of heart and freebies. Her paid program, B School, has some 40k participants around the globe, plus she’s creative, funny, outgoing and motivating. She provides formulas for how to drive traffic to your site, and use ‘inbound marketing’. I.e - get more customers to come to you.

2) Miki Agrawal - she’s not a “marketeer” but she kills it at marketing. Her brands like Thinx are a result of a personal need and when it comes to creating visual marketing assets for any project I find myself frequently repeating her advice : “Does it pass the refrigerator test?” (jump to 15 minutes where this is addressed) I.e - is your postcard, business card, poster, ad, etc personal enough that someone would want to put it on their fridge? If so, you discovered something powerful. Watch her youtube videos (for free) and take notes.

3) Interested in Geeking Out over SEO? (Search Engine Optimization - the results in Google or Bing that get your site higher up on page one). SEMRush Webinar series are a GOLDMINE of information. These free webinars are live, and did I say free? And they’re held by the best and brightest SEO geeks from all over the world. There is zero gimmick, here. These brilliant people just enjoy talking about what they do and want to share it with you.

4) Amy Porterfield. This warm, generous host of a podcast called ‘Marketing Made Easy’ offers a ton of online courses for how to market your business. But her email is free and so is the podcast. While she targets individuals who’d like to run an online only business, she offers tons of free and very applicable tips for any business. Oh, and she worked for Tony Robbins so she knows her stuff.

5) Seth Godin. The master marketeer. His quirky, brainy, and insightful advice is loaded with digestible tips. If you’re bootstrapping, if you have investors, if you have an agency, or you’re freelancing, he offers little bits that apply to the bigger picture.

Image via Unsplash

Image via Unsplash

6) Add some laughter to your morning email routine with Talking Shrimp, and learn a bunch about writing your own copy. Laura Belgray, the mini genius behind Talking Shrimp works for NBC, Nick at Night, TNT, and has a daily blog and plenty of paid classes, too. But for free you can get her email delivered to your inbox which will remind you every day the critical value of getting your copy RIGHT (she also offers a free copy-tips download).

7) Very cool agencies that inspire, or good companies who present a powerful online presence are worth noting. Enter Sister London. Take a peek at their site and see what grabs you. These ladies are doing it right. Remember - you can always learn something new. It’ll become your own when you execute what inspires you.

8) Duct Tape - Owner, John Janstch is pretty buttoned up if I do say so myself. In his t-shirt and sports jacket or button up shirt + blazer, he delivers for big-box company. But here’s the thing - the marketing formula used by a marketer at Verizon or Nike is the same formula you can (and ought to) apply to your own small business. And Duct Tape offers a very special funnel-like resource for a very streamlined and specific method of implementing your marketing strategy. And John Janstch really wants to help. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re probably slightly Type A and that part of your personality will be thankful.

9) This one takes a little work - but more like mental work. Get into the mind-frame of consistently thinking about people (influencers) or companies (brands) that really grab you. You may find that you’ll go back to these again again. Or you’ll get excited when you see their images on Instagram or read their posts. Do a study of these businesses. What ‘voice’ are they using when they write? What style or tone do they communicate by use of images? Are they partnering with anyone? What are they promoting and how? Let these case studies become your best teachers. Their examples and triumphs can easily be replicated - but remember, when you do it, the idea becomes your own.

Here’s a few more people and co’s that inspire me every day:

Block Shop textiles - These sisters offer daily creative sparks via their Instagram feed and Stories. They’re also marketing savants, so take notes.

Casey Neistat - The quirkiest video producer out there. Or “Vlogger”. He rose from nothing to securing an amazing video deal with CNN through his daily vlogging experience. He’s a born story-teller.

Mother Bees - A service-provider and distributor of nutrient-rich food products, this sweet company has totally nailed their target market with a soothing and trusting approach.

Justina Blakeney - She’s a self-made interior design guru with a Target partnership while openly sharing she only pays herself $60k/year because she’s more interested in long-term investing for her business than a short-term pay-out.

The Best of Badass Leadership - Without the List

I wrote this blog post, below about leadership before the new year. Then it sat in my drafts folder. I felt it wasn’t’ really done. I was writing about leadership but I have no leader. I don’t like to think I have one nor need one. But I do need to be inspired and if happens to be by someone who also leads me to becoming a better person, a better business woman, a better friend, a better listener, and better liver (someone who lives life abundantly, not the organ), then I’m in - and in this department, Miki Agrawal has gotten my attention lately, and she’s pretty badass.

If you got to this blog post as a result of my Instagram post, the next paragraph is redundant. If not:


Miki Agrawal speaks with a strong voice, and with her businesses (plural) she’s making CHANGE in this world. She’s determined to break taboos, build businesses that everybody told her she can’t, plus have FUN while doing it. Her resume is killer: companies valued at a collective $150 million, filmmaker (for the likes of Justin Timberlake), soccer player through college, several amazing books under her belt, speaker, restaurant owner, dancer - I mean come ON. This woman is exactly what we need more of in this world. And in fact I believe there ARE a lot of women like her out there, we’re just still finding our voices. If you want to find yours via some incredible inspiration, check her out. Below, I’ve linked to one of her talks that got me filled with all the good fire. But prepare yourself - she touches on topics so pointedly and directly that the ideas have the potential to make some uncomfortable - and then she holds your discomfort in your face and shows why it’s time to get rid it.

The link you’re looking for is, here (scroll to the video below the huge block of logos). This talk is 16 minutes, and heads up her message only gets better as it goes on so give yourself the whole 16 minutes.

A couple good reasons to watch:

  • Building business around taboo topics requires 3 processes to ensure success

  • What’s the 1 for 1 model, what’s its flaw and the solution (hint Tom’s Shoes, and Warby Parker use it)

I couldn’t let the topic of leadership go to the wayside, so the rest of my post is below. There’s a few additional links to some other really cool people doing really cool things in both business, marketing and changing the world. So please check out if you have time!

Original Post:

I’ve been thinking about leadership - a lot. And thinking about next year. It’s coming fast. 2019 is coming fast, that is. Leadership it seems is a slow, steady, persistent tortoise race won as a result of many things - and moving too fast would not be one of them.

When I began this work - that is starting my own little company just over a year ago, it felt right. Not only that, a number of life-events lined up simultaneously allowing me to work for myself with clients I like and trust. I felt and still do that I was able to provide valuable insight and tools to a group of various companies who were so busy with their really good ideas that they just couldn’t find room to enjoy promoting their business - and mostly they don’t really know how. They have so much to say, too little time, and experience real confusion about why whatever they try isn’t really getting them exactly where they want to go. The initiation of this work - my work, solving these problems - began, admittedly with some trepidation. I had ideas, too, but why would my ideas work for others, and were my ideas valuable?

Today, I have plenty of clients to keep me busy and they pay me for my ideas! My rate has gone up, the quality of my work has gone up and my commitment to this work has been defined. My work is working and I want more of it. Enter a bit more of trepidation, mixed with impatience, mixed with ambition, curiosity, a lot of unknowns, plus a solid dash of excitement.

And enter thoughts on leadership. Enter a new year approaching. Enter all the opportunity I could ever need to take the next big step and go deeper into the commitment of this work. To keep me motivated rather than stuck in fear, I allow the daydreaming to begin and the opportunities to enter. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that day dreaming leads to showing not only what you want, but what you can achieve. And remaining open and awake to the possibilities breeds discovery. And the thoughts aren’t just a dream impossibly out of reach without tangibility, the thoughts are the process of creating ideas which are entirely desirable and possible. Kinda like: if you can see it, you can build it.

And in every daydream, I’m responsible for big ideas that require bigs groups of people to help the ideas come to life:

  • an independent firm filled with the outlier creatives who have the ideas which convention typically shuns. Yeah, I want those people.

  • the success of said firm funnels resources (i.e cash, mission and values) into an organization that participates in civil society. Said organization is run by people who have ‘giving’ running through their very DNA. They can’t help but….help.

So these two recurring ideas remain a bit loose, but the overarching themes and concepts are there. And they’ll require: leadership.

Seth Godin, an all time favorite, reflects: “Leaders…know where they’d like to go, but understand that they can’t get there without their tribe, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen…Leaders take responsibility.”

That’s a big bite. Taking responsibility. Taking responsibility for the notion that where you’re headed is great enough to bring along others - to bring in their time, resources and ideas in order to achieve what you believe will affect change. I added that last bit about affecting change. Because I want to affect change. I want to do things differently and affect people differently. I want to run a business that shows people that marketing isn’t gimmicky - that everyone uses marketing every day and when used correctly this small tool can help amazing people achieve phenomenal things.

I want to grow an organization (foundation? collective?) which will approach issues that move me: food waste, diversity in schools, girls and STEM, pollution/recycling and getting kids on board, nutrition and food integrity + education…the list goes on and could include an initiative to plant more trees because we need them and why not? All this could be done in non traditional ways. Rather than getting a group of volunteers together to plant trees, why not work within a city’s structural system to penetrate the schools so the health of our forests and clean air is a lesson across all classrooms? Then, donate the resources for each child to plant 1 tree every spring until they are 18? Simultaneously work with (an) artist(s) or arts institutions, like Laurene Powell Jobs did, to create gorilla art which boldly communicates the importance of climate change and preservation? Talk about leadership.

What would it take? At this point, the only thing I can think of is leadership. Leadership to be daring, to take the next step and do the damn thing. Starting is achieving and achieving can last forever if you just take one step at a time.

I began this post wanting to write about the poor leadership I’ve experienced in the past year, purely as a result of circumstance. I was going to list all the things I’ve learned that are required in leadership, with a smattering of what not to do, but the internet is already slathered with millions of lists. And I wanted to explain my take on leadership…differently.