This cartoon from Hugh Macleod always makes me chuckle!
I was reminded of it when I read a great article about persuasion by Derek Halpern of Social Triggers blog. He talks about the ways people fail when trying to reach others with a bigger platform. They want their attention to get more exposure but they make one crucial mistake. The pitch is all about: ‘Me Me Me.’
Ironically I’d received such an email the day before, about someone wanting me to plug a product of theirs. Great product, lovely guy and he had a good heart. But the focus of the email was all about him and his product, and he was requesting me to write an endorsing blog post, that had no relationship with my readers or the niche I write about. (To his credit he did acknowledge it may not be suitable to post, and my niche is a little broad currently!). I knew he hadn’t stopped to think of the incentive for me, and I don’t blame him. I’m not looking to be unkind – as we’ve all made the mistake.
‘It used to be don’t ask don’t get. Now it’s don’t give, don’t get.’ Tweet This Quote
It’s not smart to ask. Everyone’s good at that. Twitter has made us focused on building our personal brands and we’re become pretty narcissistic. We’re all rather wrapped up in ourselves and our projects. Though I’d like to categorically say, clearly that’s not me. (PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER.)
Even though I wanted to encourage him, I actually knew if he added this incentive approach to his tool belt, he’d be able to kill it, as his product is delicious (though I still can’t write a blog about it, as it’s a drink). So I decided I’d pass him this post, my thoughts and encouragements, and hope it will help make the next pitch to someone even better.
Time for some honesty. I know what it’s like to desperately try to launch your own business, product and service, forgetting the incentive of the other person you’re pitching to.
I mean, I’ve definitely done that.
Although, clearly a very long time ago.
Well….perhaps not that long.
Maybe. Two and a half hours ago.
Yep. Shame. Humiliation. I’m Busted. Having read Derek’s article, I just chuckled and realised that earlier this morning, I’d got caught up in the ‘Me Me Me’ mode! I’d dropped an email to Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income which had been a ‘Me Me Me’ email. It wasn’t as obvious as ‘can you plug me’ but it was more of a ‘can I be your friend’- which is really a ‘I’d like to get to know you email.’ But I wasn’t stopping to think if he had ‘time’ for any more ‘friends’ and what benefit I could be to him in the here and now. I was in too much of a rush. I was being selfish.
So I humbly and jokily sent an email back offering to help and included some incentives for him. Took more effort. Required more time. If he takes me up on the offers, these will take time to do. And I may not get anything ‘out of it.’ But isn’t that what friendship is about- putting others first. And don’t we tend to do business with those we like the most?
So simple. Yet we so often forget.
What about you? What incentives are you offering others. What motivations are you giving in enabling people to WANT to respond to you. Not to feel obligated to, but to enjoy the prospect of getting back in touch. Do people look forward to writing the email back to you? Please do read the article about persuasion to get some great ideas.
Ditch the ‘Me Me Me’.
Make it all about them.
So on that note, I write a lot of posts, and I get a level of traffic, but it’s T.I.N.Y in comparison to what I want it to be. I think my approach hasn’t quite been right. My writing is still about Me. In some form or another. Boring.
I’m going to change it up somewhat. I want to make it ALL about you! I thought it was, but it’s not entirely. I’m not transparent enough, and I want to end up looking good. My ego has taken a bruising and I look to recover it by writing in a specific way. That stands in conflict with what is most helpful to you. And. It. Has. To. Go.
So in the spirit of helping you I want to know: ‘What challenges are you facing that you’d love to see solved?’ I’m not going to try and sell you anything when you respond; I just want to get a handle on how I can best help you.
Doesn’t matter what it is. Could be anything. But if it would be helpful to get some external perspective on your challenge, drop me an email or leave me a comment and I’ll respond soon. If you feel weird emailing in, let me help you with an opening one liner: ‘Caleb- thanks for the post. Here’s a challenge I face……’. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. And I’m gagging to get helpful.