I’ve been Googling myself again …
Just to see what kind of scuttlebutt we’re getting on the web these days. That always cheers me up.
And, I found 199,999 positive listings about The Total Package – and one crappy one …
Now don’t get me wrong – the vast majority of the hundreds of thousands of websites that mention us say only good things.
But in one of them – just one – I found a site owner who’s bitching about the fact that we offer products <gasp> FOR SALE!
Now, this person said nothing about the more than 1,000 articles that we offer in our archives – thousands upon thousands of pages packed with business-building, career-building, response-building insights and advice – all for free.
… Or that we bring you the best response-boosting and money-making ideas, advice and insights from legendary pros like Drayton Bird, Gary Bencivenga, Bob Bly, Yanik Silver, Michael Masterson and many others – all for free.
… Or that we bring you tons of extra ways to intensify and broaden your understanding of direct marketing with fantastic articles about what’s working now by working pros like Daniel Levis, Troy White, Carline Anglade-Cole, Wendy Montes de Oca, and others – all for free.
… Or that we’ve also gone to the trouble to create a comprehensive direct response glossary and other online tools you can use anytime – all for free.
… Or that we spend a not-so-small fortune to pay the wonderful employees – administrators, web designers and subscriber services people to bring all of this to you – all for free.
… Or that our readers have sent us nearly 2,000 unsolicited letters thanking us for all of this and saying how much money we’ve added to their income – all for free.
… Or that neither Wendy nor I or anyone else in my family has ever taken a single solitary penny in return for all this – or that every dime earned through the sale of our products is re-invested to help more marketers grow their businesses – all for free.
No, this bitter, angry old gasbag has her panties in a knot because we also offer a handful of products for sale.
Now I’m not sure; but I can only assume that this holier-than-thou blogger gives away her work product for free – and then panhandles on street corners for change needed to stuff Big Macs into her gaping pie hole.
Otherwise, she is worse than just a harmless idiot. She’s also a brazen hypocrite.
But such is the Web. A place where millions of deadbeats have come to believe that they are entitled to benefit from the fruit of others’ labors for free. And most amusing, a place where charlatans posing as marketers can deride good people who overdeliver and undercharge for great products online.
Now, I’d like to be able say this is the very first time
anyone has said anything this stupid to us or about us.
Unfortunately, it is not.
The fact that we spend a bunch of time, skull sweat and money to create in-depth educational products for our readers – and then have the effrontery to ask a fair price for them – has offended other readers over the years.
Heck: I even included a passage for these folks in our “Welcome Aboard” letter – and I quote:
“… Every once-in-a-while, some yahoo is insulted that we have the unmitigated gall to ask for money in return for a service rendered or a product delivered.
“They’re shocked – SHOCKED, I tell you – that we would dare to advertise and market a product in an e-letter on advertising and marketing(!).
“My advice to these guys? “If you think it’s wrong to ask for money in return for bringing tremendous value to people … if you think advertising is evil … there is a very good chance that you could be … IN THE WRONG BUSINESS!
“’Nevertheless,’” I continue, ‘you can still enjoy The Total Package without getting your panties in a knot: Just resolve not to think of our ads as ads!
“’Pretend they’re like a swipe file: Real-world samples of some pretty darned effective sales copy by a top writer that you get for FREE – in addition to your free subscription!’”
“There.” I said, having written the passage above, “That should allow any spoiled-rotten, world-owes-me-a-living bum, mooch or deadbeat … any schizophrenic, conflicted, muddle-minded airhead who holds himself out as a marketer but who inwardly despises marketing … any commie bastard who believes it’s our duty to sweat, strain and spend our money to help them.
“Now even those morons can enjoy The Total Package – just by pretending our promos are just free additions to their swipe files.”
Evidently, it hasn’t worked as well as I’d hoped.
So is there a point in all this? A lesson to be learned?
Sure. Three, in fact.
First, if you’re going to do anything with your life, you need to know right up front that you will have critics.
Scratch that. First, you’ll have doubters. Friends, family, even spouses who can’t dream as big as you can. Hopefully, they’ll love you enough to support you anyway.
But then, as you actually begin to succeed, a jealous and insecure few will attempt to reduce you through criticism. Because the bigger you get, the smaller they feel. And of course, the more successful you are, the more critics you’re likely to get.
A while back, a presidential candidate was heard to say, “You know you’re over the target when you begin taking flak.” When losers criticize you, consider it a badge of honor.
Second, examine your core beliefs. You’d be surprised at how many people who inwardly hate marketing have chosen to become marketers simply because they believe it’s a good way to make money.
The best marketers are those who rejoice every time a well-done promotion hits their mailbox or inbox … who study it carefully for the thoughts behind the thoughts and for the nuances that make the difference between merely great copy and truly excellent copy.
As the great Bob King is famous for saying, marketing should be the art and science of bringing value to consumers’ lives at a price that is insignificant relative to that value.
If the products you promote do that, you are doing mankind a favor. Any core belief that prevents you from feeling good about improving your prospects’ lot in life should be unceremoniously discarded.
Of course, if you don’t honestly believe the products you’re promoting provide tremendous value, you’ll be a much happier and much more fulfilled person if you’ll find another product that does.
And if you’re promoting great products and still despise what you do, please – for Buddha’s sake – find another career! No amount of money in the world is worth loathing yourself for earning it.
Third, everything in life – including a free subscription to The Total Package – is a transaction. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Or as Robert Heinlein was wont to say, “TANSTAAFL.” Or, as the Apostle Paul famously wrote, “"You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing," and "The laborer is worthy of his wages."
Never, never, NEVER hesitate to require compensation that’s commensurate with the value you’re bringing to your clients.
Yours for Bigger Winners, More Often,
Publisher & Editor
THE TOTAL PACKAGE
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