Marketing Madness

Back in the 1980’s, I was co-coordinator for the Nuclear Weapon’s Freeze Campaign in Michigan, a statewide ballot proposal. I had the opportunity to meet with a local businessman who had made his fortune through mass mailings using specific techniques. He taught me those methods for fundraising for the campaign.

Throughout the years, I would get mailings, open them and recognize those methods. Whenever I would get these mailings I would think to myself, “That’s one of ‘Joe’s’ mailings.” (name changed) I looked for the techniques but I didn’t read the mailings because, after all, I knew they were just trying to get me to buy what they were selling. At times I would use some of the practices for church mailings, adapting them to fit me.

I’ve been thinking about this recently as over the past few months I’ve been inundated with free webinars telling me how to make my fortune using certain email marketing methods. I signed up for some of them, which required me giving them my email address so that they could use those techniques on me to see if I would buy what they were selling, usually a class.

As long as all it cost me was my email and some time, I’ve gone along with this, gleaning what information I could from the freebies, but not doing anything that required money. You might say I’m one of those free-loading, dead-weight, bottom dwellers scooping up what scraps I can without paying for the privilege, or any other such term some of these marketers might use.

I’m to the point where I think I’ll start unsubscribing to these emails. I have picked up some helpful tips along the way, but some of the methods are just not me. If nothing else, I recognize the techniques when they appear in my email box.

I now know about the importance of emails over social media and a number of “sure-fire” ways to grow your email list. I know about the importance of freebies and a landing page to catch emails and about setting up a “marketing funnel”. Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, maybe you’ve attended the same webinars.

Some of it has been helpful, some is just not me. So after almost two years of learning about publishing and marketing, I have come to this conclusion. Marketing is important and it’s not easy. There is no sure fire way to make millions. There are some techniques that are better than others, but sometimes it’s a guessing game.

Why does one u-tube video go viral while another, equally as cute, stagnates? There are people who study this stuff, but it’s after the fact. Did they know it would go viral when they posted it? Unless you are Taylor Swift or some other celebrity with a great following, no. And sometimes you are told one thing to be told the exact opposite by someone else.

The bottom line for me is to keep putting out good content, building relationships one by one, and maybe someday I’ll strike a fire.

That being said, one marketing professional, whose opinions on book marketing I value, is Rob Eager of Wildfire Marketing. I attended his workshop at the Write-to-Publish conference in Chicago in 2013 and was impressed. I have his book, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire, and receive his weekly e-newsletter. I don’t have the money to hire him, but the newsletter is free and his book is under $20. Well worth the investment.

Now that’s the kind of marketing that you can’t buy. The best marketing is word-of-mouth. It’s not a gimmick. It happens if you are good at what you do and put yourself out there.

Rob doesn’t know me and I don’t get anything out of this recommendation except the satisfaction of sharing with others a good resource in the world of marketing madness. This week’s marketing newsletter is on Four Big Mistakes Marketers Make. Chances are you’ve made these as well. Check it out at http://www.startawildfire.com/2015/03/big-mistakes-marketers-make.html.

And if you like this post, share it with others! That’s my marketing plan.

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