Book Review: "Purple Cow" by Seth Godin

“This book is about the why, the what, and the how of remarkable." —Seth Godin

How many real estate agents does the average person know? In many towns across America you'd be hard-pressed to throw a rock and not hit a real estate agent. And we're all selling the same things. That's right: We are all selling the same thing every other agent in our area is selling.

So what sets us apart if the product we sell is the same? How can we be heard above the noise? How can we be the agent that is chosen among the three or four our friends know?

When I first saw “The Purple Cow" I almost didn't buy it, as I thought it was unrelated to my career as a real estate agent and manager. But I had heard of the author, Seth Godin, so I gave it a shot. The book really is a must-read for real estate agents. It's only 137 pages, so it can be a one day read, but it should be kept close by as you plan for the year.

Godin, a marketing guru, writes, “Something remarkable is worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting. It's a Purple Cow. Boring stuff is invisible. It's a brown cow." In an industry where we are competing with hundreds or even thousands of other agents in the regions where we practice, we need to stand out. As you read the book you will be forced to reflect on your Unique Selling Proposition, your marketing plan, and—in general—what makes you remarkable.

Godin points out practical approaches on how to create a remarkable message and who to send that message to. Throughout the book he delivers great case studies that drive his point home.

Godin's advice is not for the timid or faint of heart. He says, “If you're remarkable, it's likely that some people won't like you. That's part of the definition of remarkable. ... The best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out." The book identifies the problems with remarkable, but it attacks the failure inherent in mediocrity.

As I read “Purple Cow," I found myself asking questions about my own business. Was I a purple cow, or was I just one of the herd? After reading the book I analyzed each facet of my business and was able to improve on my marketing, management of my team, and my focus on avoiding being mediocre by being remarkable.

For agents looking for a kick start that will give them a map for creating remarkable, I recommend you read "The Purple Cow."

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