No Compromises

December 8th, 2008

I work in the marketing profession. That means I try to stay on top of the latest trends that marketers are using. Keeping abreast of things like email marketing, social media marketing, Twitter marketing, etc.

Almost all of it is bullshit. Thinly-veiled fads. In reality, we don’t really know what makes products and services sell, we can just convince people to buy part of the time. And what may work one day will be ignored by consumers the next.

But that’s not what I want to talk about.

There’s a lot of people starting blogs and signing up on social sites who aren’t there to connect with their friends. These people are there to sell stuff and try to make money. It’s only inevitable that consultants are hawking Facebook as the next great sales tool.

As a result, those of us marketers who write and blog about marketing are getting in on the whole business by giving ‘advice’ on how to take advantage of social marketing. It’s just like moving to California in the 1840s and selling groceries or liquor instead of mining for gold: in the end you’ll be the one making the money.

Here’s what they’re saying:

  • Create a blog that focuses on a single topic, preferably in your field of expertise.
  • Create accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. and ‘friend’ other people in your profession.
  • Use Twitter to sell yourself.
  • And other silly rules

Please don’t listen to them. You’ll turn all of those tools into chores and it won’t be fun or interesting at all.

Instead, think of the reason blogs and social sites were created: to communicate with other people.

If I were to follow the advice of my fellow marketeers, Budaeli would be writing about marketing and workplace culture, my Twitter account would be hawking my posts and my employer’s products, and I’d connect with every sleazy marketer on LinkedIn – while my posts and tweets on technology, music, movies, and gay rights would be relegated to separate blogs. “Oh no,” they’d say, “you can still talk about those topics, but you should concentrate them – more people will read your work.”

Bollocks, I say. This blog still exists because of the fun I get from occasionally writing on whatever interests me – and it’s all interesting, so I’ll write about every little subject area that worth writing about. Since having separate blogs, or just writing about a single topic is unappealing and so goddamn boring to me that I won’t do it. Hell, if I want to diss people in the same field of work I’m in, I won’t be stopped.

All I’m going to worry about is not doing anything that will get misconstrued or doesn’t represent who I really am.

What this means to you:

Do what feels right to you, personally. If you shine with a 140-character limit, but can’t form complete thoughts in much larger blocks, stick to Twitter. Even if you’re not that great with Twitter but you’re comfortable with the limit, there you go. Perhaps you are more compelling when speaking: start a podcast.

Just don’t compromise.



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