I’ve never been one for sales. I am a very forthright person. I don’t like to hide behind gimmicks, I don’t like small talk, I don’t like pitches. Unfortunately, everything is sales. And since freelance doesn’t have its own marketing department, I am going to have to get over some of that.
In looking for leaders in my field, I’ve come across some who sound like they know what they are talking about. But then there are others who want you to think they know what they’re talking about. They may be experts, but if there is no real proof, it’s going to be hard to convince me.
So while I will be talking about tactics for online marketing, but I am addressing them as my online marketing pet peeves. These tactics are effective, no doubt. Why would so many successful freelancers do them i they weren’t? But they’re just yuck!
So here are some of my top online marketing pet peeves that I probably should just get over and put into practice:
I like email bringing me great content. I have a linguistics blog and a couple of freelance writing blogs I read that I love getting emails from. But they are a few a week at most.
Then there are the people who email me several times a day! A day!!! And it’s usually a sales pitch or a fluff blog. I. Hate. Those. I have a hard enough time managing my email, I don’t want my time to be wasted with fluff.
Act now! Last day! Just a few hours! Don’t forget!
Urgency is a marketing trick…fine, strategy…that definitely works. I’ve even watched the (many) emails counting down until the webinar/course/article is no longer offered, and then tempted by the “Last chance” subject line. But there’s usually a good reason I didn’t do it to begin with.
As mentioned above, I get a lot of emails in a short period of time that often imply a sense of urgency. At the same time they are asking over and over.
If you’re a parent, you’ve experienced your child wouldn’t accept no for an answer and kept asking and you finally said yes just to get them off your back. There’s that.They ask and finally you cave.
Then there’s the idea that you’ve considered the offer several times and finally you think, “I’ll give it a shot.”
There’s also the chance you’d planned on going for it, but got distracted and the (5th) reminder was appreciated.
Even for stuff I want, I am still reminded of the whining child. And I feel just as taken when I give in to the solicitor…so I don’t
No valuable info
Giving free info does two major things: it sets you up as an expert and it builds trust. Some of the leaders I follow give great, free, practical advice. Others leave it terribly vague or just vague enough you’re left wondering or frustrated.
The idea is you will want comprehensive answers, and you’ll find it in $250+ training material.
I’m not buying it. Literally.
Let’s Be Friends
I get it. You want your tone to be personal, friendly, likeable, conversational, casual, interesting… But starting a mass email with “I want to ask you a question” or “Here’s something I think you’d be interested in” is the opposite of personal to me.
Granted there’s legitimacy to knowing your audience, but that tactic just sounds skeezy to me.
But then again…
There are tactics I appreciate and feel validate the cheap ones above. Like:
Good, practical advice
I need to know you can give me something I can use before I am willing to pay for more.
If you support your competitors/others in your industry, I am more confident you will support me as a mentor.
The ones I pay the most attention to are the ones I can read online, watch videos of, see in Periscope events, listen to podcasts, interact with on social media, etc. Not all for one person, but at least a few.
Freelancing allows you to work in your pjs, but your persona on your website should be of the utmost professionalism.
Your photos should be high-quality. Your branding should be manly, and by manly I just mean not feminine, unless you are specifically marketing to women (which is a great idea in selling freelance training materials). You tone should be friendly and entertaining, but polite and intelligent. You should hire a professional to do your website and anything else that isn’t exactly what you do.
As I mentioned, some of my favs annoy me with their marketing tricks. But if they are valuable in a specific way, I am much more likely to follow. If after a while I see no value, I’m unsubscribing.