So its a matter of record that I do things a little bit differently. Im a little edgy is probably the best word. Someone recently referred to me as the Bad Girl of Marketing, which I thought was adorable, if not entirely accurate. Ive been called a Brat, which I thought was rad and hence the Marketing Brat moniker. Ive also been called a lot of less complimentary things that even I wouldnt put into print (and that, my friends, is saying something).
And being so openly strange and different, I attract a more focused level of feedback than many other, more corporate marketers. Which makes for some interesting (and intense) experiences.
One of my favourites of late, has been the gleeful berating that begins,
I would have bought from you BUT.
The overall message being:
Youve lost a sale, because if you were someone different Id buy from you.
And I think the reaction they expect from this comment is very different to the one they get
There are two things that are wrong with this statement:
#1 Its a Lie
And its the same lie you always hear from people who want to attempt to exert some form of control over you, whether its societal, bosses in corporate, your peer group when you were a kid:
If you behave in a way I approve of, you will be accepted.
And of course, its never really true it requires compromise after compromise after compromise to make one person happy. Someone who frankly is the kind of person who requires everyone else to change to suit their view of the world.
What a joy theyll be to work with! Perhaps you can get REALLY lucky and find five or six people exactly like that!
(In case you couldnt tell, I was being sarcastic. Homer J Simpson)
I call these people: Demandor the Clienator. And their goal is to devour your soul by capturing you in their neon grips
My belief is that theyre working from their own values theyre so desperate themselves, that if a potential client told them they were wrong, theyd bend over backwards to change.
#2 I Choose My Clients
I started my business for freedom.
The freedom to never answer to a boss. The freedom to say what I like with no filters. The freedom to go tatts out to be who I am without conforming to anyone elses idea of who that should be.
I saw someone write the other day that when you start your own business, youre not really your own boss because your clients become your boss.
I was like dude. If you believe that, youre doing it wrong.
Clients are important and of course, you should over-deliver constantly.
But that doesnt mean letting them call you when youre supposed to be at dinner with your family (Id be your client, if only youd take my calls in your sleep ); it doesnt mean letting them dictate to you when you take holidays (Id be your client, if only you worked 365 days a year ); and it certainly doesnt mean changing your values and behavior to please other people (Id be your client, if only you were someone else ).
For no amount of money on the face of this planet can you own me.
Changing the way you market or run your business to please someone who isnt even a client is a zero sum game. Hell, changing your business to please a CLIENT is a zero sum game!
My game my field my rules.
And contrary to what the lack-focused desperados so want you to believe this has a phenomenally positive impact on your business. More (and better) clients. More money. And probably most important, more fun and less Demandor the Clienators.