It seems like forever since I had a good old fashioned self-indulgent rant/whine.
So today after receiving what seems like an avalanche of e-mails recently from people who really haven’t started with the end in mind as per The 7 Habits, I thought I’d rectify the situation.
What’s my end in mind other than venting my spleen, you may be wondering?
Simply having a bit of fun and maybe giving you some takeaways at the end as to how you can get what you want more often.
1. I’m A Life Coach, Can You Tell Me How To Get Clients?
I probably get 7 or 8 e-mails in a similar vain each month and I have no problem with that because I encourage people to ask for help.
Here’s what I have a problem with.
My contact form asks for a phone number and at least half of the people don’t give me one.
So let me get this straight, you want me to spend several hours of my time composing a response (because it would take that long for it to be meaningful) and give you the keys to the castle via e-mail?
Yet you’re not prepared to give me your telephone number or give me any clue that you have done the slightest bit of research?
Of course I’ll do that no problem, about 5 minutes after I have nailed my testicles to a the back of a truck that is just about to move off and mailed you the shirt off my back.
I regularly talk to newbie Life Coaches (if they’re in the US and I can talk whilst I’m dog walking or in the car) and give them free tips.
I also regularly work with other Life Coaches who actually hire me and help them with that stuff, but there are limits.
2. Can You Give Me Free Life Coaching?
This is another request I don’t mind getting even if at the moment I’m full on the pro bono front, but this happened to me last week when a lady made such a request.
The e-mail was great. She seemed a genuine person and gave me enough relevant information to make her case without writing her life biography.
I’d decided to say no partly because I’m not taking on any more pro bono work at the moment, but also because she had a full time job and I reserve pro bono work for people in serious financial difficulty.
By the way, in the e-mail she had told me she’d signed up for my newsletter twice and never got the follow up e-mail to opt in.
This was the following sequence of events:
- I replied via e-mail – it bounced back
- I tried again a few hours later – that bounced back
- I checked in Aweber to find the other e-mail address she’d used - That bounced back too (no wonder Aweber couldn’t get through!)
- I called the cell phone number she gave me – it was an unknown number
- I Googled her name to find a work contact number and found one – hurrah! Only she didn’t work there anymore and there was no forwarding number
I thought about Robert The Bruce and that annoying spider and realized I had indeed tried, tried and tried again, so I quit.
No doubt she thinks I’m an arrogant ass for not replying.
By the way, notice the lack of please on the sub-heading. That wasn’t a mistake because I’d say over half such requests don’t even employ that word.
3. Are There Typos In This Book?
A recent subscriber to my newsletter sent an e-mail asking me that about a FREE book she had been sent on motivational quotes that goes out to all my readers
She’d experienced the traumatic and quite honestly downright harrowing event of finding a typo and she was probably scarred for life.
Ok maybe she didn’t use those exact words but she did want to know if there were any more typos before she continued reading.
My response was (as you can probably imagine) highly sarcastic and I urged her to seek out as many typos as possible and get them to me. Then I’d recall all 10,000 ebooks and make sure they were changed.
If I give you something for free that cost me time and money and you then you complain about it, expect to be mocked mercilessly.
Also, you probably need to hire me to help you work on your gratitude and tact skills.
If it upsets you that much, delete it!
PS. The first letter I ever got after we gave about 5,000 copies of How To Be Rich and Happy to good causes was from a guy who admonished me because as he quite correctly pointed out:
“This book is useless for people with Bi-Polar Disorder.”
Er, yeh, I guess it is.
4. I Can Make You Rich
Each week I get at least a couple of e-mails requesting me to help with some kind of book or product launch.
Yet again that’s fine, especially if I know the person. I won’t always do it by any means, but I’ll consider it and respond one way or the other.
It’s less fine if you don’t know me and you haven’t even bothered to find out my name. And it’s completely unacceptable (to me) if you start by telling me how much money I can make from forming a joint venture with you.
I couldn’t give a fuck how much money I can make, I’m only interested in how much value your product can add to people who are kind enough to trust my opinion.
So go ahead and offer me 80% for your $500 product, but you’re probably already being filed under ‘Spam’.
I don’t think I have ever signed up for more than about 3 or 4 affiliate deals in any one year, unless you count Amazon, and the reason for that is very, very simple.
Most requests are slimy, they focus too much on the money, they make guarantees that are at best total bollocks and at worst flagrant lies and I almost never know the person concerned
Which is amazing considering how many of them claim to be best-selling authors with a database the size a small continent. If you have 4 billion subscribers sell your crap to them, you don’t need me.
5. I Have A Great Idea For A Guest Post
I hate getting pitches for guest posts and it clearly states that in my FAQ’s for anybody who can be arsed to check.
If you send me an awesome idea and I say it sounds interesting, write it up for me. I have then made a tacit agreement to post it.
For all I know you may possess the writing skills of a blind drunken chimp on acid, and I’m not going to run a post that will have the lady from point 3 firing up her laptop in apoplectic rage again.
If I know your work, cool, send me an idea, but if I don’t, don’t.
Not Just One, But 10 Takeaways
Ranting can be fun sometimes, but a rant without a message is a tad pointless.
In the last week I have had two budding Life Coaches contact me who had researched the crap out the industry and to a certain extent me, prior to contacting me.
They both had read my site, had interesting and thoughtful questions lined up and were incredibly grateful for my time.
I spent an hour talking with both and at this point neither has hired me. That may or may not happen because I’d love to work with both of them, but if I don’t I’m not thinking I wasted two hours.
The reality is, I had two really interesting chats with women who were prepared, open-minded, passionate about Life Coaching as I am, fun to chat with and very grateful at the end.
If you want somebody you don’t know to help you follow these steps before you go steaming on there:
- Research them, read their website and get a feel for them as a person
- Maybe follow them on Social Media and subscribe to their blog and/or newsletter. In other words, start to build a relationship
- Be respectful – but don’t kiss ass! Some people may like it, I hate it
- Explain to the other person what’s in it for them, what do you have to offer. That may be something as simple as you’d be a passionate fun person to be with.
- Don’t lie or overstate your case
- Talk about value to their audience if you want to affiliate or joint venture
- Understand they probably get many requests for help and a no isn’t a sign they hate you or they’re a self-centered bastard. The same goes for no reply. You have have been snagged in a spam filter, they may be overwhelmed with e-mails or you may have failed to make a compelling case
- Give details, but don’t go nuts. I groan when I get e-mails that are longer than my average blog post
- Don’t hassle people, take a no gracefully
- Learn from whatever results you get and then fine tune for the next person
And The Winners Are!
It’s down to you to now get in touch with me and I’ll arrange to get everything to you.
Thanks to everybody who entered I appreciate your help very much.
As such if you still want a copy of the book and are prepared to pay half price, e-mail me through my contact form and I’ll send you a coupon code. This offer is only open until Sunday 20th January.
Laura Eades – collected
Fabiana Grisanti – collected
Ciaran Murphy – collected
Rakesh B – collected