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TED talks are a great way to develop yourself and relax at the same time.  All you have to do is sit back, relax and watch a video that will teach you something awesome.

I've watched nearly every TED talk over the years, so I wanted to share what I consider to be the very best TED talks for digital marketers - whether you are an SEO, blogger or social media specialist.

Each of the talks below will help you to develop your digital marketing skills and best of all?  They cost absolutely nothning to watch but are jam packed with lessons you cannot find anywhere else.

All of the talks below are listed in order of duration-

Talks 0-6 Minutes

#1 - Derek Sivers: How To Start A Movement

Duration: 03:09 - https://sivers.org

In this short but content packed talk, Derek goes into detail about how to create a community and why it is important to help build momentum for you business.

This is a fast paced, entertaining talk will teach you everything you need to know to start a movement of your own.

#2 - Matt Cutts: Try Something New For 30 Days

Duration: 03:28 - https://www.mattcutts.com/blog/

Now I know Matt Cutt’s isn’t exactly a favourite in the SEO community for a lot of you – but he is a pretty cool guy behind the scenes.

He takes a light hearted look at trying something new for 30 days and a fun way at setting goals. He has written a novel and learnt to play the ukulele.

#3 - Richard St. John: 8 Secrets Of Success

Duration: 03:33 - http://www.richardstjohn.com

Richard has spent more than a decade of his life researching success which he has boiled down into 8 simple secrets that anyone can follow.

Although this is a short video, it is packed end to end with great information that should be compulsory viewing in every school in my opinion.

#4 - Renny Gleeson: 404, The Story Of A Page Not Found

Duration: 04:07 - http://www.rennygleeson.com

Renny Gleeson takes us through the story of 404 pages and how to turn them into something cool.

He looks at a range of creative and funny 404 pages that turn the page not found error into something useful.

If you want to customise your 404 page check out this plugin.

Talks 6-12 Minutes

#5 - Kevin Allocca: Why Videos Go Viral

Duration: 07:21 - LinkedIn

Kevin is a YouTube video trends manager and one of the world's leading experts in viral videos.

In this video he shares the 4 key reasons that videos go viral and you can engineer each of those reasons for your own marketing campaigns with real world examples.

#6 - Dan Cobley: What Physics Taught Me About Marketing

Duration: 08:09 - Ted Profile

In this engaging talk Dan combines his passion for physics and marketing to explain the fundamental theories of branding.

He breaks down Newton's second law, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, thermodynamics in layman's terms and shows you how to apply them to your marketing to create deeper connections with your audience.

#7 - James Veitch: What Happens When You Reply To Spam Email?

Duration: 09:48 - http://veitch.me

As a digital marketer it's likely you have received your fair share of spam email in your time. Everything from pharmaceutical sales to unclaimed money in a foreign bank account.

But what happens if you actually reply to these emails and engage the people that are trying to scam you?

This hilarious talk focuses on exactly that when James put the spammers to the test in true comedy fashion-

#8 - Black: My Journey To Yo-Yo Mastery

Duration: 10:29 - http://www.officeblack.com

One of my favourite talks about finding your passion in life and then finding a way to make money with it.

Black dedicated his life to his passion expecting fame & fortune after he become the world Yo-Yo champion – that’s not quite how it worked out though.

Follow your passion. Even if no one else cares about it.

Talks 12-18 Minutes

#9 - Amanda Palmer: The Art Of Asking

Duration: 13:47 - Amanda Palmer

Amanda is an artist that relies entirely on her fans and other artists to help her become a success much like bloggers rely on their regular readers and new traffic.

This talk focuses on the relationship between artist (blogger) and fan through the power of asking after Amanda was able to raise $1.2 million from her fans.

#10 - Steve Jobs: How To Live Before You Die

Duration: 15:04 - Wikipedia

If you haven’t seen this talk where have you been for the last years?

Steve Jobs teaches you how to live before you die through a series of personal stories and experiences in his life.

At the time of the talk he was diagnosed with terminal cancer – inspiring words from one of the world’s greatest innovators.

#11 - Kevin Slavin: How Algorithms Shape Our World

Duration: 15:23 - Ted Profile

As a digital marketer, nearly everything you do is affected by an algorithm in one way or another.  Whether you are trying to rank a website or run Facebook Ads - algorithms are core to everything.

What you might not realise though is just how much algorithms shape our world and control our daily life including things like movie scripts, architecture, stock prices and even your grocery shopping.  

Warning - this talk will make your jaw drop.

#12 - Gary Vaynerchuk: Do What You Love (No Excuses!)

Duration: 15:26 - https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com

If you only watch 1 video in this post it should be this one. Gary Vaynerchuk is my kind of guy, down to earth and straight to the point.

He built his success by turning his back on his multimillion dollar business to follow his passion with Wine Library TV.

#13 - Rory Sutherland: Life Lessons From An Ad Man

Duration: 16:40 - Wikipedia

Rory has spent his whole career in copywriting and advertising and shares his lessons in a fun talk.

He looks at how value is perceived and how by changing that perception we can add real tangible value.

This talk will teach you how to challenge peoples perceptions in order to increase perceived value and make more sales - whether that is affiliate sales, digital product sales or physical product sales.

#14 - Mena Trott: On Blogs

Duration: 16:46 - Wikipedia

If you don’t know who Mena Trott is, you could say she is the founding mother of the blogging revolution.

Mena and her husband Benn have created products like Moveable Type, TypePad, LiveJournal & Vox – they know a thing or two about blogging!

In her talk she shows how blogging can connect people all over the world to break down social barriers and cross cultural boundaries.

#15 - Seth Godin – The Tribes We Lead

Duration: 17:27 - http://sethgodin.typepad.com

Seth Godin gets his first listing here with his tribes we lead talk.

He takes a look at how the internet has changed mass marketing and inspired trible like human social units.

A very thought provoking talk!

#16 - Stefan Sagmeister: The Power Of Time Off

Duration: 17:37 - http://sagmeisterwalsh.com

I’ve spent the last years of my life working stupid hours rarely taking time off. Although that’s because I’m an internet marketing addict we all need a break!

In an effort to readjust my work/life balance this talk from designer Stefan Sagmeister provided great inspiration!

Talks 18+ Minutes

#17 - Chris Anderson: How Web Video Powers Global Innovation

Duration: 18:53 - Wikipedia

Way back in 2010 Chris Anderson gave a talk about the importance of online video and how video is going to change how the entire world learns forever.

If you've been paying attention in the past few years you would have seen the rise of platforms like Udemy and more video training courses than you can shake a stick at in every niche you can think of.

Chris (the owner of TED) predicted this trend in 2010 and shares how small businesses and blogs can take advantage of this trend for profit.

#18 - Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From

Duration: 18:56 - Wikipedia

If you have ever had a problem coming up with good ideas then this TED talk is for you.

Steven explains how good ideas are developed over time and shows you how some of the most creative people in history were able to tap into their creative conscious to develop good ideas.

Watch this talk with your marketing hat on as the concepts he teaches are directly related.

#19 - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, The Secret To Happiness

Duration: 18:56 - Wikipedia

This talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi hit me personally.

He describes how we enter a state of flow that is ecstasy like achieving a heightened focus and immersion in what we are doing.

If you’ve ever had that rush from doing what you love you’ll know what I mean! Internet marketing is my ‘flow’ – what is yours?

#20 - Seth Godin: How To Get Your Ideas To Spread

Duration: 18:59 - http://sethgodin.typepad.com

Seth Godin has done some remarkable things in his life – he is the guy that created Squidoo don’t ya know!

In this talk he explores why bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.

Some great advice from one of the world’s leading digital marketers!

#21 - Morgan Spurlock: The Greatest TED Talk Ever Sold

Duration: 19:28 - http://morganspurlock.com

I love everything Morgan Spurlock does and the unique angles he cuts with his documentaries.

This talk looks at the path Morgan took to create The Greatest Movie Ever Sold documentary – which is awesome by the way!

Be sure to check out his other stuff as well!

#22 - David Blaine: How I Held My Breath For 17 Minutes

Duration: 20:19 - http://www.davidblaine.com

A bit of a curve ball but a true example of mind over matter!

David Blaine gives a very personal talk about what it took to hold his breath underwater for 17 minutes straight!

The talk is only 3 minutes longer than what he is able to hold his breath for!

Which Are Your Favourite TED Talks?

Those are all of the best TED talks that have stuck with me as a digital marketer & blogger.  Each have taught me a valuable lesson that I have applied in my life and business in one way or another.

If you want to watch even more TED talks there are a bunch of others about the internet, our digital lives, social media & more!  The ones in this list are just the ones that I consider to be the best TED talks for digital marketers.

So that leaves me wondering, which TED talks are your favourites and why??

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54 Responses

  1. I love the BLACK TED talk the most. His story is inspirational and brings a very important lesson: If you love something, pursue it and you *will* do good.

  2. 7.18.2013

    I watch the steve jobs one all the time to tell myself I am getting somewhere, it just takes time :)

    I found you’re blog a few weeks ago and I have been reading and studying for about 3 years on SEO Marketing and now I am finely going to put that to action :)

    Thank you for you’re help!

    Quick question on one of you’re videos you said you use ultimate demon for most things. I dont have that but I do have SEO PowerSuite and Senuke. Are you still only using ultimate demon for everything?

  3. 7.19.2013

    Gary is an awesome public speaker! He tells it like it is.

    • July 22nd, 2013 at 7:57 am

      Straight down the line with no bull s*** ^^ Not everyone likes that though in my experience lol

  4. 7.19.2013

    Hey Matt,

    I saw Gary’s video just a few minutes. This is brutally awesome, man! It’s really amazing. Like it very much and yes, this is indeed a good watch for the weekend.

    You really rock, man!

    Phil

    • July 22nd, 2013 at 7:57 am

      Cheers Phil – hope you enjoyed the weekend, back to the grind today eh!

      • July 22nd, 2013 at 12:26 pm

        d***, did you really need to say this. :)

  5. 7.19.2013

    TED has always been inspiring. It shows us the real world and real people.

  6. 7.20.2013

    Some really good stuff here, Matt! I love producing music, designing/coding websites and pretty much anything that has to do with the web. I guess that’s why I find “IM” so attractive.. ..I just don’t know what avenue I should take at this moment. You would think a 26 yr old would have his mind made up, but that’s not the case. I do know that feeling you mention – I get it when producing music, or doing anything design related. My problem is “focusing” -having a family, it’s a bit of a challenge when I would like to give all my attention to something.

    • July 22nd, 2013 at 7:54 am

      Hi,

      You sound like me then :P

      Spend some time out of the house and brain storm, work out your passion, see how the aligns to your skills and then take over the world ^^

  7. 7.20.2013

    That wine guy, he’s something else. :) Thanks for sharing.

  8. 7.21.2013

    Matthew — I always love listening to Seth Godin. I find that I am a little more intelligent whenever I listen to him. They guy definitely makes you thing. I also like the Richard St. John talk. His thoughts on “serving” made me think of great advice I recently heard Strategic Coach founder Dan Sullivan recently say — “The fastest way to change your circumstances is to become more useful.”

    • July 22nd, 2013 at 7:52 am

      Hahaha thats funny :P Got a link to the dan sullivan stuff you refer to?

  9. 7.21.2013

    Incredible stories and people, BUT the most amazing part is that everyone of us can do amazing things just like them or better … the secret, BELIEVING IN OURSELFS AND WORK WITH PASSION !!!

  10. 7.21.2013

    Amazing bro :) thanks for sharing these going to watch them all! They look great.

  11. 7.22.2013

    hello Matthew

    well done with this compilation post…

    my favorites would be Gary (he’s the most passionate guy I’ve heard talk about business) and Seth — one of my favorite authors.

    I’m also keen to watch these guys next…

    Black: My Journey To Yo-Yo Mastery

    Richard St. John: 8 Secrets Of Success

    Steve Jobs: How To Live Before You Die Read more:

    Rory Sutherland: Life Lessons From An Ad Man

    David Blaine: How I Held My Breath For 17 Minutes

    Best!

  12. 7.22.2013

    Hey Matt!

    Have watched all of these, a few of these I had already seen but still an amazing share.

    I’d love to see more this type of posts, i.e what books you have read and would recommend. Gary’s book “Crush it” is pretty good, started with the audiobook from audible yesterday and was like “w**” this sounds kind of familiar…

    Came back to this page, watched the first video again and then it hit me, it’s the same guy! :D

    P.S. Can recommend “Crush It” already, although I haven’t even gotten halfway through, Gary is awesome.

    All the best,
    Karl

    • August 13th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Hi,

      Thanks very much :)

      I might add a dedicated resources page for this kind of thing

  13. 7.22.2013

    Love the videos Matthew. I think another one that fits well with this list is Amanda Palmer who broke free from the traditional music industry by using blogging and social media to fund her projects.

    Plus she’s married to Neil Gaiman which lends her some geek cred. :-)

    http://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking.html

    • August 13th, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Not actually watched that one, added to the ole watch list thanks!

  14. Tim
    7.23.2013

    Cracking post with some important lessons, thanks for putting these together.

    Rory Sutherland was entertaining, laughed out loud while at the gym this morning. Love this sort of stuff generally and the gym is a great place to listen to it, for one thing if you hate the treadmill etc,. an engaging talk is much better at passing the time than music and you get inspired or learn something at the same time – win win!

  15. Iain
    7.24.2013

    I really the black one. It’s a great message.

    Follow your passion and make it work. Improve and take your passion to the next level.

    Thanks for sharing Matthew.

  16. 9.7.2013

    Richard’s 8 Secrets to Success was awesome and brilliantly put together. Awesome post!

  17. 10.2.2013

    Thank you for sharing this, very interesting and inspiring as well. I would definitely watch all of it.

  18. 10.29.2013

    I’ve watched them all. All of these people are just so inspiring.

    I LOVE the passion that David Blaine shows at 19:50. He sure loves what he does, without a doubt!

    Thanks for sharing man.

    -Matt

  19. I saw all videos, it’s really awesome, I like your post, it’s really a great stuff that you shared here, What a commendable work you have done. Thanks for such a great posting.

  20. 4.6.2014

    The black one was special, it reminded me of the beat box guy from a sydneyx talk. Doing something without monetary benefits or other extrinsic rewards is a very beautiful thing.

    Other favorites include Jon ronsons, amy cuddy, and james Flynn among many others. Never watched a ted talk I didn’t like. Would be nice if more people started watching ted talks vs. The bachelor and other trash on cable tv.

  21. 7.16.2014

    That post really hit the spot especially today as the wifey is busting my chops over my “internet hobby”, doesn’t she know how long it takes to rank a new site ;)

    For me trying to balance a mortgage, 4 daughters, 2 day jobs, and my IM business comes down to daily activities. Doing a few things per day that are not heavy lifting but cumulatively add up.

    The biggest one is developing content daily for my new niche site…..

    • July 16th, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      Keep pushing forward Scott! I’m sure the other half will stop busting your chops when you can work from home with the family all day :)

  22. meghana
    11.27.2014

    Great videos, very informative stuff, I really like your post, & look fwd to reading most of your articles. Thanks for sharing such a great posting.

  23. 1.14.2015

    TED has always been inspiring, very informative stuff to read here :)

    • January 14th, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      I love it :) Although recent talks have been pretty poor

  24. Kani Poly Design
    7.23.2015

    Very interesting ! Love your sharing

  25. 9.15.2015

    Very nice collection of ted talks.. Thank you for sharing this, very interesting and inspiring as well. Love to watch each and every one..

    Thanks.

  26. 3.21.2017

    Oh, I do need to listen to Matt Cutts))

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