On Wednesday, we featured a killer how-to post on how to make your Facebook Fan Page appear as your employer in the new Facebook layout. Step-by-step instructions. Michelle, the author, even told people to ping her online and that she’d so Skype sessions with people to help walk them through. Folks, right there is awesomesauce and you need to spread that shit on your professional like truffle butter. Why?
Because as we discussed, that is ground-level kinda shit.
Yesterday, the monthly SOBCon twitter chat (transcript link) had me as their guest to discuss online strategy. What do you need to consider when you’re looking to establish one? How often should you review one? And then the inevitable question came: do you have any examples of an online strategy? What do you use during your research phase to build the strategy?
And here’s the Bitch Slap: that information is mine, mine, mine.
I am a giver to a fault. A generous partner in a relationship and I have historically given away entirely too much for free in my professional life. But here’s the rub: I’ve spent my entire career developing strategies, methods, tricks and fancy-schmancy little things that help me get my job done – and I’d be a blithering idiot if I just teed that stuff up for the taking by the masses for free.
Think about every keynote speaker you’ve seen at a conference. Brene Brown gives an incredible TED talk on vulnerability. She’s a research professor at the University of Houston and has more letters after her name than a reproductive endocrinologist. Mad street cred. Mad skills. But in her entire presentation, she doesn’t give you the HOW. Nor does she offer you a one-on-one counseling session (though she’s waaaaay credentialed to do so). She’s teeing up some pretty powerful theory.
If you want to learn how to do something so that it is:
- tailored specifically for your needs
- relevant to your nuances
- repeatable and scalable according to your goals
that is going to require some teaching. And as a rule, my friends, that teaching isn’t free. I would be be dumbest of the dumb among businesspeople if I hosted a one-hour webinar called “How to Build an Integrated Marketing Strategy.” There’s no way I could do it and be useful without giving you a metric ass ton of my intellectual property. So here’s where we sit down and talk about things you have that people need to pay for and things that people can reasonably assume are available somewhere for free.
Theory is Free, Teaching Ain’t
Wanna know what I think? I’ll tell ya. You don’t even have to buy me coffee. But you need to do one thing today: you need to have a clear understanding in your professional life of where to draw the line on “theory.” I’ll tell a how I do it:
- If I’m telling you some things to do that you can find on Google or are solely my thoughts about a subject, that’s theory.
- If I’m telling you how to do something that’s a result of my research, my experience and my processes, that’s teaching.
Fremium as a business model is bullshit and you’re going to be stuck in the second job at Starbucks rut if you keep giving the milk away for free. And if you keep trolling the interwebz and your local professional events in search of people who will tell you how to blow your business out of the water for free, you’re an asshole. I will call you out, deny you that cup of coffee and tell you that my brain and time have price tags attached to them.
But that doesn’t make me an asshole. It makes me profitable. And it also keeps people who want to spin me through some gauntlet-type proving ground before hiring me from wasting my time.
A Bit on Intellectual Property and Proprietary Information
This will be short. Me? I have a little penchant for the carbonated bevvies. Fresca. Coke Zero. Yes, yes, I love them even though I know they will cause me cancer or make me rot in nine ways. Here’s the power of intellectual property and proprietary information: I can’t pick up the phone and call Coca Cola and say, “Hey! I just love Coke Zero. Can you send me the recipe?” Alex, I’m going to take “Shit that Doesn’t Happen for $500.” And that’s all you need to know about setting expectations on getting intellectual property and proprietary information for free.
U Can Haz Value
So stop it. And please, stop it right fucking now. Mom was right about a lot of things, and if you put out on the first date, the guy probably isn’t coming back for more of anything other than the free, good stuff. What you do and how you do things has value and if you’re going to be successful at whatever you endeavor to undertake in business (and life) you need to place appropriate values on your time and property. And there are ways to do it.
- Proposal processes: Christ on a cracker, a proposal process shouldn’t take eons. How can you stop the bleeding of time and energy spent on earning business and start making clients shit or get off the pot sooner?
- Pick your brain session: I won’t let you put your finger in my nose, so why am I letting you stick it in my brain and dig around? It’s super fun to get together for drinks and coffee, but draw the line on the time and information you share for free.
- Lower your expectations: You don’t walk into Nordstroms and expect to walk out with a bag of free clothing. Why do you walk into free webinars and bitch when you leave with a bunch of theory?
- Open your #$%^&*(! wallet: Back to Nordie’s – free samples at the cosmetics counter are theory. A full makeover session complete with eye cream, moisturizer, eyeshadow, mascara and a firming masque is teaching. For the dudes, Grand Theft Auto on your Playstation is theory. Getting behind the wheel of a tricked out Porsche on a racetrack and moving it around without killing yourself? Requires some teaching. We are all teachers in some regard and we all deserve to be paid.
So that’s it, my monkays. Establish barriers to entry for your time, expertise and intellectual property. Mama didn’t raise no fool and nobody want to be the easy girl at prom. And maybe you’re the person looking for the easy girl. Well, that’s fine. But if I have anything to say about it, some of those legs will be closing up and you’re going to have a tougher time finding the business poon.
You’ve been slapped.
And now, the winners of the two copies of Carol Roth’s “The Entrepreneur Equation.”
Devon Jordan, CEO and Founder of Epsilon Nu Tau at Cal State University Fullerton, the nation’s first (and maybe only?) entrepreneur fraternity. I’m sending him a copy of the book so that it can get put on collegiate reading lists and we can start finding the right business path earlier in our intellectual careers.
Ben Anderson, who’s looking to put an end to being a serial job searcher (a feeling I can relate to oh so well). Hopefully,the book will help him hone-in on where his real niche is and put him on a path of charging The Man instead of working for him!
If you’re a winner, please use the contact form on my site to send me your information no later than Sunday, February 20. If I don’t receive your information by then, I’ll award alternate winner.