Download Audio | about 20 mins
Welcome to the first Remarkablogger podacast. It has come down to “keep waiting to do this because x or y isn’t yet in place, yet” or “just do it and ship it.” I’ve had enough with waiting for things to be right, and I simply hit “record” and went for it. I have no idea if you’ll like it. It’s actually kinda different from anything I’ve ever done before. But if you like what I do and how I do it, well then maybe you’ll dig it.
What’s it about? This episode is my take on how marketers tend to misrepresent themselves. I share with you an email I received that was a perfect example of what not to do, and I rip it apart.
It’s about the bullshit we put up with constantly in marketing and from marketing. Stuff that, as marketers who aren’t sell-outs and scammers, we need to think about.
Give a listen, and then give your feedback in the comments (or any other way you can reach me). The volume level may be a bit too low. I’ll make sure that’s fixed next week.
Sorry it’s not on iTunes yet, but that along with some graphics to go with it are next.
UPDATE: I now have a transcript of the show, thanks to Terese Strickland of ScriptLand.
Hey, this is Michael Martine, from Remarkablogger and welcome to the podcast. Right now, it’s just me, just me and you actually. I’m the little voice in your head right now, especially if you’re using headphones. Okay. That was creepy. Nevermind.
We’ll have guests on eventually. Right now what I’m doing is just thinking about the kind of people that I want to have on the show and the kinds of things that we would want to talk about. And, that’s a really, really easy way to just keep putting off not doing it. So, I was just like, “You know what? Fuck it. I ‘m just going to record some stuff and call it a podcast and off we go.” You know, create something. Get it out there is the thing. You can’t just imagine and dream about stuff forever. That’s ridiculous.
But, here’s what I wanted to talk about in this episode, and it basically has to do with bullshit. It has to do with bullshit and how you represent yourself. It has to do with internet marketing bullshit. The kind of stuff that rips peoples off, that tricks people, that makes people feel like they have been used and really just gives everybody a bad name.
What inspired me, for this particular topic right now to kick this off and to begin this, is this email that I just got. I just got this email. And, I realize that I could probably name names in here and all this kind of stuff, but I think I’ll just hold off from that, because frankly I don’t want to send them the traffic and I’m not interested in really getting into a fight with people. I just want to talk about these issues with you, people who are going to probably see things the way that I see it. Otherwise, why are you listening to this?
Anyways, here’s the email I got. This came through the Contact Form on my site.
My name is blah, blah, blah. I represent blah, blah, blah, CEO of blah, blah, blah, a leading content marketing and publishing house company. Blah, blah is looking to expand his expertise by submitting articles that focus around business development, social media analysis, and internet marketing.
His knowledge covers all areas realting [should be relating] to your viewers interests [and viewers’ should have an apostrophe in it, because it’s fucking ownership] in the expertise of content marketing, branding, blogging, SEO, leadership and finally, entrepreneurship [as if all that wasn’t enough].
His goal is to spread is his credited knowledge in order to motivate and enrich others. His current blog can be reached here. Here are some links for referral. If you have any suggestions or feedback please let me know.
Looking forward to your response. Have a good day.
Now, all-in-all, this is not actually a terribly bad email. It comes from one of the people who also works for the same organization that this person is from. So, when he says, “Hi, my name is blah, blah, blah and I’m representing this person,” it’s not like this guy is like an agent or something like that. They’re all working for the same entity.
And, yes it’s cool they provided links for referral, that’s actually kind of cool.
But, here’s the thing. If this guy was leading in these things, I would have heard of him. And I haven’t. So, that’s red flag number one.
Red flag number two, and I hate to actually admit this and say this, but the reality of the situation is this, if this person was leading he would not be wanting to publish it on my blog, okay. I’m not that big, honestly. I would love to be bigger, and someday I will, but I’m not. So, that’s bullshit. That’s a red flag.
They gave me the URL for his blog. I went and checked it out. You know how many retweets and Facebook shares his posts had? One or two. Which would be probably this guy and the guy that he claims to be representing. You know how many comments his posts had? None.
He gave me links for referral. They’re all sites where it’s, you know, you would have to be a complete moron to not have your guest post accepted. And, again, really no shares, no comments worth anything. And, just dumb articles. Like, one of the articles was supposedly about tricks that internet marketers use to control your mind. You know what one of the tricks was? Attention grabbing headlines. Color. Pictures. Really? Really, those are your mind control tricks? Pictures? Nice. Thanks. Pass.
I mean this whole thing is just like reeking of bullshit. It’s just oh my god, complete misrepresentation and the content is as empty as a plastic bag with all the air sucked out of it. It’s just worthless. I just don’t, like, how does this guy even do anything. I just don’t get it.
There are a couple of lessons here for us in this. And, one is that when you’re trying to grow don’t act like you’re bigger than you are, because nobody’s going to buy it and nobody’s going to believe it.
If people are dialed into an industry they know who the big names are in the industry. And if you’re one of them they’ll know it. And, if you’re not, they’ll know it. And you can’t even get away with that. You have no hope of getting away with that.
Now, if somebody’s a complete newb and they have no idea what’s going on, like let’s say for example that I just started a blog and was like, “I’m going to blog about making money online,” and that sort of thing. Well, I probably wouldn’t have gotten an email from this guy in the first place, because of that. But, you never know, because this shit is automated to a really high degree.
It’s not unheard, you know, I get automated emails of this nature all the time. All the time. Or, automated enough rather, I should say. It’s like essentially copy and paste and somebody took a whole two seconds to figure out what my name was and put it in there.
But, in this case they didn’t even do that. They’re, like, “Hey, Remarkablogger, must be his name.” They didn’t even figure out that it was Michael or Michael Martine. So, you know, that kind of automation is a real turn off.
When you get a handcrafted letter from somebody, you know. You know. And this wasn’t it.
So, misrepresenting yourself, making out like you’re bigger than you are, is not going to help you.
I mean, I suppose, in some ways it might, but damn, if you’re going to go through all that work, why don’t you just buy followers. Go to some cheap-ass site and spend your 200 bucks and get your 1,000 or 10,000 Twitter followers, your Facebook Likes, or whatever you’re buying. Just do that. Seriously.
And then the other thing is that this is exactly the kind of empty content that I simply cannot stand anymore. I mean the internet is just flooded with this crap and the thing that really galls me is that people eat it up.
And, the reason why I believe that they eat it up is because it’s so easy and harmless to deal with. It doesn’t require you to think. It doesn’t require you to actually change anything. You get to feel good about clicking the Like button. You get to feel good about reading it, because you’re in agreement with it, because how could you not be? Because you were not challenged in any way by the content.
There is no call to action. You’re not required to do anything. Change anything. Be better now than you were a moment ago. Reading the content, consuming the content, did nothing to you. It didn’t change you. It didn’t make you a better person. It didn’t spark anything new. No inspiration. No new ideas.
It was just a really temporary sort of mild, good feeling that you had, to sort of stave off the fear that you’re actually wasting your time. And that you’re actually engaged in a completely empty pursuit, which is a pretty legitimate fear for a lot of people to have, because that is exactly what they are doing, They just make a bunch of noise to sort of scare away the monsters in their heads.
You got to let those monsters out and look them square in the eye and grab a stick and beat the crap out of them, because this is hard work and you will face fear. If you’re doing it right: You will absolutely face fear. You will be challenged. You will be stretched. And you’ll be scared.
Because unless all those things happen you’re not trying hard enough, basically. That’s how I see it anyway.
And, the other thing I wanted to talk about on this podcast is trading favors, reciprocity. This happens all the time. I engage in it myself, but I’m careful to make sure that when I do it, that there’s certain criteria that are being met.
So, here’s an example of the kind of reciprocity I’m talking about. Let’s say that I see somebody’s article on Twitter and I like it, so I retweet it. Why would I do that? Well, I want to provide valuable content for the people who are following me. I want to submit my own knowledge, expertise and authority in the subject of blog marketing and business blogging, especially as it synergizes with social media and email marketing, because those are the three main marketing channels that we have online. Right? We’ve got blogging, we got email marketing, and we got social media.
So, I’m always curating content for my followers in order to provide value for them. Now, a great deal of that value is my own content actually, but I am not prolific enough to just solely provide just that. And, also if I did that it would be pretty myopic. It would be pretty narrow. It would be like operating with blinders on. You need to provide industry wide context, I believe. And, so that’s a big part of why I do what I do on social media the way that I do it.
So I retweet this guy’s thing or whatever and usually there’s one of three things that are going to happen: 1) nothing; 2) I’m going to be thanked; and then in addition to that, or instead of that the other person will retweet something that I did. So, that’s an example of reciprocity. They did it as a way to thank me. If they have any kind of true reach or influence, then it does help me, because I just got my thing retweeted by this person and I’m exposed to their audience, just as they got exposed to my audience, and that’s cool. It’s very good. Very good.
I didn’t do it in order to get them to retweet my stuff. Now, I can say that know after the fact, and who the hell’s to know whether or not that’s true. But, the fact is, if you operate motivated by the expectation of reciprocity, I believe in the long run that will become obvious to other people and you will fail.
I think people can see through that, especially if you keep doing it that way, people can see through it. And, sooner or later your façade of nonchalance will crack and one of these days you’re going to snap and you’ll be mad. You’ll be like, “Why is this person not retweeting me, urgh?”
Because, you were expecting them to do it all along and honestly you had no reason to expect them to do that, because it’s not like you had an agreement with them or anything. I mean, sure, if you help somebody there’s a chance that they’ll help you back. But it’s only a chance. And if you do it because of that, that’s just the wrong reason.
When I retweet somebody else’s stuff on Twitter, it’s because I think that their content is useful for my followers. And I don’t give a shit if they retweet my stuff in return, or afterwards. I mean, yeah, that’s great. Cool. Thanks. But, that’s not why I did it. And I don’t think it’s why you should do it either.
You know there’s this whole discussion to be had here, there’s like an undercurrent, a really powerful undercurrent below the surface of a lot of what we do and how we do things online, and that undercurrent has to do with means versus ends.
You’ve all heard the expression the ends justify the means. I don’t believe that for one second. I hate that. Really.
Because, if that were true, then that means that if your end is to acquire money and the ends justify the means, then you can justify any means necessary to acquire money. So, hey, go rob a bank.
“Oh, I could never do that. I’m gonna build a legitimate business.”
Well, if all you want is money go rob a fucking bank. Go beat up an old lady and take her purse. That’s fast. It’s easy. You’ll get results very quickly. If the ends justify the means then that’s the logical conclusion of that philosophy. So, once you start down the path where do you stop? If the ends justify the means, cheating is acceptable.
And, so that’s why I do not believe that the ends justify the means. That might sound like a fairly stark black and white way of looking at things. And I don’t actually believe that. Everything is not black and white. However, if you have principles, what’s the point of having – well let me put it this way. What’s the point of having principles if you don’t stick to them? Right.
Life is a little messier than that, but we got to have ideas, don’t you think? We got to try to live up to something, do we not?
So, the reverse of that is of course that the means justify the ends. So, if I provide value to my audience, and I do cool stuff for them, and they like it and appreciate it, then yeah, people will retweet my stuff. That’s awesome.
But, as soon as I switch my motivation, and having that as being the goal, I have begun to lose. I have begun to lose.
My goal is to provide you with the best information I possibly can, because that’s going to be the best for everybody in the long run.
So, basically the way that I look at it is like this, I understand there’s a good chance that if I do something for somebody that they’ll reciprocate, but I never count on it and I never allow that to be the motivation for why I do it. It’s one of those things where if it’s nice it happens and I’ll be pleasantly surprised every time that it does, but I never expect it. I never expect it.
Something to think about there with that, when you’re building your own content strategy and you’re trying to provide, you know, when you’re engaging in social media, why are you doing it? Are you doing it to provide value to your audience? Are you doing it to build trust and build relationships so that in the long run if you ask for a sale, there’s a good chance you’re going to get it? That’s really kind of what it’s all about. I mean that’s the ultimate goal of marketing, is to result in having those needles move. You know you want to make money.
But, it also really, really tightly relates to why the hell are you doing any of this in the first place? If it’s really just to make money, you’re probably going to have a problem sooner or later. But, if it’s because you love what it is that you’re doing, and you want to help people, then things are going to work out for the better in the long run.
And, by the way, if you’re not even sure about your own motivation, here’s something to think about. If what you really want to do is help people, do you ever find yourself helping people even though there’s never going to be anything in it for you? You don’t ask for any payment. You don’t begrudge the help. Just sometimes, for whatever reason, you just feel like, I got to help this person because it’s clear that I can help them. They need it. It will be awesome. I’ll feel good if I do it. They’ll feel good if I do it. Everybody wins. And, it’s just like you just have to do it.
And if you do, do that then you’ll make plenty of money anyway. It’s like you don’t even have to worry about it or think about it. As long as you’re doing other things that actually and genuinely build a business. I mean money is not going to just magically fly into your face out of the computer screen. You still have to create a product and sell it, and ask for the sale. I’m not saying none of that has to happen. But, you know, think about your motivations and why you’re doing things.
Because, if the ends justify the means that gives you permission for all kinds of trickery, deception, lies, cheating and so forth and so on. And you may not even admit to yourself that that’s where it’s going to end up, but that’s the slippery slope that you start to walk down.
And you see people going down this path all the time as they grow and they get bigger and bigger and bigger and they accidentally get more and more and more disquietingly the opposite of what they started off as. They become the very thing that they hate.
And, the real kick in the face for all of this is that I am concerned about that for myself eventually. And, I don’t know what to do about that, other than just to try to be as mindful of it as I possibly can. I hope that you guys keep me in check with shit like that.
This was an interesting first podcast. I had no idea it was going to sort of go off in this direction, but that was fun. I hope you enjoyed it and got some value out of it. If you did, let me know.
Any kind of response is cool. Leave a comment. Email me privately, MichaelMartine@gmail.com. There’s a contact form on my blog. You can do that. Any way in which you want to reach me is cool. Twitter is cool. Google+ is cool. Any way you want to try to reach me is fine. I’d love to hear back from you about this, if you’ve got any feedback at all.
This is really super bare bones. There’s no intro music. There’s nothing fancy. It’s just me talking. About the only thing I’m going to do to process this recording is run a noise removal on it and then that’s it. Just get it on there.
Maybe we’ll get some nice, pleasant things in there later on. I kind of would like that, but I’m not worried about it right now. Right now, I just want to deliver. That’s my main goal is just delivering it. I’m not letting anything stand in the way.
So, thanks for listening. This has been Michael Martine with Remarkablogger at Remarkablogger.com. Have an awesome day and we’ll talk to you soon. Bye.