This is not a rhetorical question. I’m genuinely asking what you, as freelancers, businesses, and consumers feel about this.
Why do I ask? Because I’m tired of every piece of whatever I’m reading lately making a demand.
We’re in a pandemic.
Sometimes, I want to read something and, you know, get INFORMATION.
Instead of reading information, but being told that if I want the REST of the information, I need to buy another book/product/article/whatever in order to get it.
In other words, instead of the author of the nonfiction writing/marketing/wellness/business/whatever book giving me the information promised in the title and the blurb and the marketing materials, I get a portion of the information and have to buy another book or product, because it only does a portion of what was promised.
You know what? That makes me angry.
It ranks right up there with those webinars and “courses” that promise to teach you something, but are actually elongated commercials to buy something from the presenter.
If it’s a course, TEACH ME something (other than I was a fool to sign up for it, and now you have my email and send me marketing crap every day).
If it’s a book that’s supposed to provide information, provide it.
When I like the writing and feel that I’ve gotten something out of the book/course/newsletter/whatever, then I will continue to the back of the book and look for information on other materials or products by the author.
Because I’ve had a full meal in the author’s restaurant of ideas, and now I want to be a regular.
The craft and the skills of the author, the actual content of the material are what encourages me to buy more. NOT a promise that what I really want will be in the NEXT thing I buy, that then only gives me part of something to lead me to the NEXT book and so on.
When I want to read a series, I turn to fiction, and I like it when each book is part of a bigger arc, yet stands on its own. For non-fiction, I expect it to deliver on its promises.
When there’s an advertorial in the midst of the text, I am turned off. Maybe I’ll finish the book. Maybe I’ll put it down right there with the thought that all the author wants from me is my money, and it’s becoming an unbalanced transaction, because I’m not getting worth out of the money and time I’ve already put in.
Not only that, I stop trusting the author or the company. If the only intent of this piece is to get me to buy more, and not even pretend to give me value for money, why would I keep putting my money here? And how can I trust what is said, when its only purpose is to get more money out of me?
Hmm, maybe it IS teaching me something – not to spend any more money on this individual’s work or this business’s product.
Yes, I’ve been to all those seminars and chats where the marketing “guru” insists that EVERY web page, every newsletter, every transaction needs a “call to action” to convert potential audience into actual audience into customers.
I’m HIRED to get a lot of those conversions.
But we’re in a pandemic, people, and the way we market needs to change. Hundreds of thousands of people are sick, grieving, unemployed, hungry, possibly losing their homes.
When all we are is predatory, we DESERVE to have them turn away, and we DESERVE to lose them permanently, even when things start to even out three to five years or so down the line (and that’s if we get the sane one elected next week).
When every interaction is ONLY about getting more money out of me, and about nagging me for it, I back off. I walk away. I cross that author/business/person off my list. I don’t like to be nagged.
I like to be invited. I like to be encouraged. I like to be seduced.
Not screamed at.
Yes, businesses have to work harder to stay alive. But remember that PEOPLE are working harder to stay alive.
As you craft these strategies, look at it from the other side of the equation. If someone came at you with the techniques you are using, would you engage? Or would you slap it down and walk away?
I am disengaging with more and more businesses during this pandemic because of the nagging and the screaming and the constant “me, me, me” from them instead of an approach of, “you know what? It all sucks right now. How about taking a breath and taking a look at this for a little distraction?”
Not the “I’m so glad you’re here and thanks for your money and yes, I’m talking about x, but if you want the y and the z I promised in my marketing materials, here’s the link to buy some more.”
Deliver on your teasers.
Invite and engage me.
Cut the nagging.
Don’t demand I DO MORE every time we interact. Sometimes I just want to read something complete to fully enjoy it. Then I want to go away and think about it for a bit. Then, I will come back and buy more.
If you demand an instant response to your “call to action” you are telling me that you believe I am such a moron that I can’t hold a thought in my head for more than 15 seconds, and if I don’t do what you demand in this second, I won’t remember you.
I’ll remember you just fine.
But I won’t return.
How do you feel about incessant “calls for action”, advertorials within text, and daily nagging emails demanding purchase?