The theme of this month’s Word Carnival is ‘what carnies want to tell the A-listers’ but the truth is that I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them, especially especially not when it comes to the writing business. (Actually I find the whole idea of A-listers slightly annoying, but that’s another story.) Here’s why I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about A-listers:
1. Although I’m always open to learning, I already know my business. I’ve been writing professionally for 25 years (yes, I know I don’t look old enough, but I feel it sometimes, believe me). The so-called A-listers are great at getting noticed, but I’m confident in my skills and I have a nice range of clients and writing buddies who know my worth.
2. I don’t care about getting rich quickly, really I don’t. Like everyone else, there are times when a bit more income would be welcome, but I’m not interested in learning how to hard sell the people who have subscribed to my newsletter and blog updates. In fact, the marketing movement I’m most interested in at the moment is Slow Marketing. Sure, it takes longer, but I’m building great, enduring relationships as I go.
3. Long sales pages for items of dubious value to me give me the heebie-jeebies.
4. Having 20,000 or 100,000 fans isn’t enough of a reason for me to respect someone. To paraphrase Janet Jackson’s old hit, I want to know what people have done – and done for others – lately.
5. Here on the blog, I try to provide info both for people starting out in freelancing and those who have been doing it for a while. Some people start out trying to do something new and benefit the world but then they get a bit successful and start thinking about how to milk the list. (I could be wrong, but that’s how it looks from the outside.) Last time I looked, I wasn’t a cow.
6. Speaking of the list, I don’t really want to be on an A-lister’s list – and if you happen to entice me in with a freebie I want and sell too hard, I’m off like a shot. I prune my list memberships regularly because I only want to get mail from people who provide something of value, people whom I respect or those with whom I have a personal connection.
7. Hard sell techniques turn me off. Saying something is about to run out if I don’t buy now just makes me yawn. If you want to get my attention – make me curious and teach me something. Just the other day, I watched this video (which it turned out I’d seen before), followed the link to the site that created it, watched some more and then bought the author’s book. Find something I really need and I might buy – but I’m hard to convince.
8. Since I’m great at researching stuff (it goes with the job) and love to read, the convenience of having someone package something up for me doesn’t always appeal, especially if they want to charge hefty amounts. I’m not going to part with $997 unless I’m really, really sure it’s worth it (did I mention that I was hard to convince?) I work hard for my money, know a lot of stuff and know where to find out more so my ideal price point is much, much, lower.
9. I just don’t have the time. I’m too busy writing. And there’s so much stuff. And I’m too busy writing.
10. In the last seven years I’ve connected with a great network of people in the writing and blogging business whose opinions I respect and who bring real value to others. Those are my A-listers – and that’s enough for me.
This post is part of the October 2012 Word Carnival, a monthly group blogging event for small business owners. The carnival is the brainchild of Tea Silvestre and you can read the rest of the fabulous posts here. Don’t forget to check out all the previous collections of carnie goodness on my free marketing ebooks page.
Image: Leo Reynolds