Free marketing advice will end up costing you in the long run. Be careful of trying to get something for nothing, especially from a marketer. I have people ask me for free marketing advice constantly. Sometimes I am glad to give it, but not all the time.
When you pick out a goofy name for yourself, for example “The Click Whisperer”, you can expect a lot of goofy stuff to come your way. I picked this name and domain as sort of a tongue-in-cheek joke, as an example of the principle of taking a brand name that communicates value to it’s audience without need for a tagline. It’s been fun sharing what I find from time to time, and this has been an awesome site to try out new features and ideas on first. I don’t like cutting my client’s teeth on unproven and unexplored tactics, so this is where I test them.
I love to share what I know about Online Marketing, mostly in the hopes that someone else will take the ideas to the next level and share back with me. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I love sharing every kind of marketing advice with everyone.
Sometimes people come to me with the goofiest, pre-freshman ideas and schemes for making money online. I guess with a name like “Click Whisperer” I’m asking for it. Some of the ideas that people have shared with me are horribly off base, and would never translate into something viable. This puts me in an awkward position of not wanting to discourage the motivated, but also being politely obligated to respond in some honest way. I’ve bruised too many egos to not see the importance of proceeding gently.
The problem is that an abundance of motivation combined with a lack of knowledge is a money pit rather than a money mountain. To make it online, both are absolutely necessary. What’s tragic is when the abundantly motivated think they’re going to get someone with knowledge about online marketing to provide free advice. So many people have approached me with horrible ideas and expected me to validate them. Others have approached me with ideas that could be viable, but highly improbable of ever succeeding on account of the actors involved not understanding the field.
Having gotten myself involved in several loopy ventures, now my modus operandi is to simply be honest and up front. I’ll spare people the politeness and provide shameless input when I see something they can’t see for themselves.
You get what you pay for, especially when it comes to free marketing advice.
So many other marketers do the opposite of my approach. They rely on the same smoke and mirrors they use for client’s campaigns to bring them more even clients. You’ve probably read some of my other posts, especially the one on the Grey Area of Marketing. I won’t hesitate to overstate the damage that using black hat techniques can do to a brand, nor will I try to trick people into becoming my clients. It would only hurt me in the long run. So we don’t do it at Massive Impressions.
Avoid the scams that waste time and effort
But oh, the scams I’ve heard. Oh the pain of watching good people fall for them again and again! Please people, listen. Listen for the BS in the marketing pitches that come your way, and do your homework. BS isn’t hard to detect – all you need to do is ask simple questions. Often those questions are possible without any knowledge what’s being sold.
For example, I was walking from my office over to 7-11, across Glades Rd, in downtown Boca Raton. In front of 7-11 a guy walked up to me and asked:
“Hey – have you got 50 cents?”
I stopped and looked at him and asked:
“Are you asking me for money in front of 7-11?”
He responded “No!” as if I offended him. What else was he doing then?
I walked into 7-11. He was gone by the time I walked out. Why couldn’t he have just answered honestly? It might have gotten him a whole dollar. See my point?
The same goes for people who are trying to get you involved in their online scheme, or in my case get free marketing advice.
- In the case of a business owner being approached by a marketer, simple questions will reveal their advice to be faulty, and reveal it as advice that is going to end up costing you in the long run.
- In the case of an online marketer like me, be gentle with the folks who have whacky ideas that are probably never going to work. Be honest with them and don’t let yourself get sucked into a pit of no returns.
Steer clear of people who can’t even get their story straight, no matter what angle they’re coming from. At the end of the day “free” may be the most costly direction you can take.