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Friday, 22 May 2009

Another genius hits me with a piece of who-gives-a-flying-fuck marketing

Since a malign fate* has forced me to keep working**, I subscribe to all sorts of things in the hope that I might learn something. Many are very instructive - too many to mention really.

The best are written by entrepreneurs who've set up their own businesses with their own money. They tend to give simple practical help - though too many are of the "I'll make you rich like me in the twinkling of an eye if you just attend my eye-wateringly expensive seminar" variety.

Nobody knows more about the techniques of selling with words than Gary Bencivenga or Clayton Makepeace. Michel Fortin often makes me think. So do Perry Marshall and David Garfinkel. Karl Blanks and Ben Wesson are great on Google. And Ken McCarthy is perhaps the best of all thinkers about the internet.

It almost makes me want to retire gracefully. But then I recall all the stuff that's useless - usually aimed at the corporate market. You can recognise it instantly by seeing how much fancy jargon and cliche is used. These people talk about "concepts" rather than ideas, are besotted by the "cutting edge" and "state of the art" and induce dangerous narcoleptic trance in the intelligent human being.

No matter how bright you are, once you spend a while in the corporate maze your senses desert you; you lose all sense of reality and start talking and thinking like everyone else. You begin to fantasize. You start to enjoy meetings and believe they achieve something. If Einstein had worked for Aviva or General Motors he would have become a shambling idiot within months.

But back to my subject. Some sources of marketing advice just plain mystify me.

A man called J. P. Maroney promises me I'll make truckloads through public speaking. When he first wrote, I replied saying I'm not too bad after 30 years trying to get it right, but always glad to learn.

There was no reply, because he just squirts his stuff out like so many others; it's what I call fire-hose marketing. The only reason it pays is because it's so cheap to send out e-mails. (If you write to me and I don't reply, it's a mistake caused by senility or distraction - so write again if it's a serious question).

Anyhow, J. P.'s latest effusion amused me. It read:


Do you speak for association?

Conference / Conventions / Retreats?

(If not, but you'd like to you're welcome
to read the following too)

This was followed by the usual stuff aimed at extracting a few $$$ out of me.

I can't reply to his machine for sending out bilge asking "Is the inability to write English essential to success as a public speaker? Or are you just a lazy, careless bugger?"

So I thought I'd stick it up here for fun.

* An expensive divorce. ** Please don't say "But you love it, Drayton". This is only half-true. Occasionally I get clients I'd like to kill - then I want to retire and live in a wine bar. *** By the way, Steve, I will put up the 78% letter - which incidentally got enquiries at 1/20th of the usual rate - eventually. It will form part of a little venture I'm about to launch.

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