Is “Everything But” Marketing Sabotaging Your Online Success?


It’s the number one bitch-session complaint online: “I do everything I’m supposed to do. I write blog posts, I’m on Twitter, I’m on Facebook, I’m doing everything I’m told, but I’m still not making any money online. What am I doing wrong?”

Sound familiar? You’re busting your ass for a whole lot of nothing while other people online seem to breeze by with no effort at all and lots of cash in their pockets. It’s a pain in the ass, sure, but let me ask you something:

ARE YOU REALLY WORTH PAYING FOR?

I’m not asking if you’re an expert in your field. I’m asking if what you DO for your customers, your readers and followers right now is worth paying for. If your answer is “maybe,” this is an uncomfortable question.

HOW TO HANDLE THE HATERS

When it comes to handling haters and critics, my old theater professor gave me the best advice:

“Sometimes you just have to smile and out-class the bastard.”

Best. Advice. Ever. When it comes to flamers and haters online (or, hell, real life for that matter) the best strategy is no strategy at all. Chances are good that if their comments sound stupid to you, they sound stupid to the other readers and listeners too.

LET THEIR STUPIDITY SPEAK FOR ITSELF.

Responding feeds it and pulls you further in (it’s like sinking in idiot quicksand). If someone rants about you on their website, don’t respond unless it’s really worth defending yourself. Writing about you is sending people your way. Those new people will be reading your stuff and some of them might actually like you and become raving fans.

ANY PRESS MIGHT ACTUALLY BE GOOD PRESS

If someone wrote about me “Daniel Roach is spewing some of the most ridiculous drivel I’ve ever read” (which hasn’t happened yet, to my knowledge) it might sound like bad press, but it’s still going to send a flood of people my way, wanting to see just how ridiculous my spewing drivel is.

Some of them are going to stick around. Now, sure, that might also convince some people that they shouldn’t read my blog and that I’m not to be trusted, but that’s just one more reason I (and you) should strive to make my (and your) work as good as it can possibly be.

Anyone who comes from a hater’s recommendation, reads my blog, and doesn’t like me, wasn’t going to like me anyway. The point is: don’t pander and don’t challenge. Stupid people will reveal themselves for what they are in the end. Your classiness will do the same.

“Sometimes you just have to smile and out-class the bastard.”

Thanks, Dr. Rankin.

WHY CAN’T YOU COMMUNICATE LIKE A FRAKKING HUMAN?!

I love marketing. I love being on newsletter lists for other marketers who give me great content and talk to me like I’m a human with a brain. But I fucking hate getting those shitty, spammy emails from half-assed marketers who think I give a shit.

THESE ARE (I SHIT YOU NOT) ACTUAL EMAIL SUBJECTS LINES I RECEIVED JUST TODAY:

“how little Jonny made BIG money on these here intronets” “I make thousands of dollars a month trading on the forex market in my boxershorts. Do you?”

. . . Um . . . Seriously, guys? Only one of these I actually signed up to received (I am now unsubscribed btw). But come on. This is what they’re giving me? I don’t know these people from Adam. What makes them think they can talk to me this way and have me respond in a positive and relationship building way?

THEN I GET THIS TWEET:

“@danielroach We’d love to be followed And we’d like to hear what you think of our crowdsourcing music discovery platform!”

Okay, first off – if I wanted to follow you, I’d have done it by now. Second, I don’t care what you’d love. I don’t know you. Third, I do nothing that is even remotely related to “crowdsourcing music discovery”, which pretty much proves to me that you’re a robot or spammer shotgunning your shitty offer to anyone and everyone. Now I’m definitely not going to follow you.

COMMUNICATING LIKE A HUMAN: THE (APPARENTLY) LOST ART

When did it become common practice for marketers to talk to us like we’re complete idiots? More to the point, when did it start actually working? The best thing you can do for your business and your market is to talk to them like they matter. Like they’re people.

Chances are good that you’re in a niche where people have problems. Help them solve those problems. Be cool to them. Don’t be a jackass. Not that I didn’t say “don’t sell.” By all means sell to your list, that’s kinda why you collected those emails in the first place, right? But remember that you’re selling to other humans.

You’re not tricking anyone into doing anything with your slick phrasing. You’re just giving them the “uh-oh” feelings. Tell them what you’ve got. Tell it how it can help them. Tell them why you stand behind it and offer them the chance to get it.

BILLY, DON’T BE A JEDI

The great myth of selling or marketing anything is that somehow great copy acts like a Jedi mind trick, shutting down your reader’s brains and forcing them to buy anything you’ve got. Well the people who wrote me those messages up top are not Jedi and neither are you.

Your readers won’t be fooled by used car salesman bullshit. They know better. They want substance, content and above all to be treated like someone that matters. If you think what I posted from my inbox today sounded like damn good copy writing, you need to go learn more about writing copy.

It’s actually supposed to make you sound like less of a jackass, not more. So from now on, let’s all just forgo the mind games and buzz words. Let’s communicate like humans and build relationships that actually encourage trust and sales. And that’s right, I made a Battlestar Galatica AND and Star Wars reference all in one post. And oh yeah, I’m proud of that.