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Seth Godin highlights from the Country Radio Seminar

These notes are courtesy of KMPS's Tony Thomas:

Radio used to be “perfect.” So was the music business. It used to be all so clear. Scarcity used to be the reality for radio and records – no longer true. In 4 years, every Ford pickup will ship with Wi-Fi included. For radio, how many competing stations will there be then? 

Seth outlined the concepts from The Long Tail relating to music choice. As for the music business – “the strategy of suing your fans didn't exactly work out.” 

“Timid trapeze artists are dead trapeze artists.” 

Talked about permission. How many of your listeners are waiting to hear from you? “Date” your listeners. How did the Grateful Dead sell out shows without hits? They had a relationship with their fans. 

It's not about listeners tolerating your station or music, it’s about them loving it. If you're giving your listeners something they love, they will pay attention. “Pay” you – with their attention. 

Tribal management. We have more tribes than people to lead them. There’s the opportunity. You can't be mediocre and expect people to follow you. And the tribe is looking for a heretic. Heretics go out on a limb. All the tech you need to lead a tribe is everywhere and it’s free. You build a tribe one convert at a time, who wants you to succeed. Members of a tribe desperately care about an issue. 

Old model – finding customers for our products. New model – finding products for our customers. 

Step 1: be brilliant. 

Step 2: tell a story. 

Step 3: tribe members will spread the word. 

Is your future dependent on yesterday holding on just a little bit longer? 

Your product possibilities are limited only by your imagination. 

Create a culture with rituals, a “secret handshake.” Help your tribe members to connect. You don’t need charisma to do this. Doing it, leading your tribe, will give you charisma. 

Stand for something. Have a manifesto. Persuade 10 people. They will spread it. If you can’t persuade 10 people, you don’t have a strong enough message. 

Don't go after an existing tribe. Find the group that's out there with no one to lead them. 

Don't get hung up on tactics. Focus on whether or not you have something worth following. 

“Radio ads are spam.” 

Magazine readers look at ads because they're aimed at them. It's not easy to educate advertisers to think about this (permission). Represent the tribe to the advertiser. Then you have the power.

If I ran a station, I'd reward people on how they serve the tribe. How they defend the tribe. The old AOL defended their business model, not their tribe. And lost them. 

Consumers are looking for authenticity in your brand. That you're keeping your promises. 

Question on to do this at a corporate station. Seth: “maybe you don't.” Ask for the chance to try, and show results. “Either your boss gets it, or leave her behind.”

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