What’s on the iPod: More Than a Feeling by Boston
It’s been quite the week. I didn’t have a ton of work, but I had a lot of busy stuff. So far, I’ve had two evening events/outings, and there’s another tomorrow. It’s not even Thanksgiving and parties are starting.
It’s Friday, and time for another edition of Free Advice Friday. Actually, every day is a free-advice day. Today is no different, except in the title.
Since this post series was a direct result of something that got under my skin a bit, I wanted to return to that theme. I’d seen a few writers, who were newbies themselves not so long ago, offering to “help” their colleagues by charging them for advice. I get it, and yes, we all deserve to make money. If someone is willing to pay, who am I to say?
But this was different. This was a continual deluding of the audience into believing that these “experts” had all the answers (and the only answers, as a few of them framed it), and that their advice would be solid, actionable advice that would improve a writer’s career. And in one or two cases, it was the continuation of that theme to ridiculous levels.
You’ve seen what I’ve seen, I’d bet: promises of response rates, conversion rates, and “This will work for you, too!” pronouncements. Or my personal peeve, the overstated bullshit that under-delivers every time: “Try this one method that GUARANTEES your freelance success!” or “I changed one thing and it doubled my income!” Then you find out it’s something ridiculously mundane like “I sat down and wrote!”
The problem with nearly every failed attempt can be traced back to consistency. Sure, Jane can get Ralph to pick up a phone and maybe even be good at it, but if Ralph doesn’t do that on a regular basis, he’s just wasted his money. The same goes for your method, her method, his method, and my method. Regular attempts net better results. Think of it in sports terms — the more times you attempt to score, the more times you actually will.
If everyone is running left, it’s time to run right. Sure, those long sales pages may work for the three people you know, or maybe surgical instrument manufacturing is the hottest specialty out there. But for how long? And if you aren’t all that enamored with it, why bother? Diversify because you want to, not because you’re trying to chase the tail everyone else is clinging to. Instead, create your own way and own it.