Guilt By Association

Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

Some of my pals lately have talked to me about wanting to connect with some of the "experts" in the eBay field. Why? Because they have big mailing lists, and you may be on those mailing lists.

So today, let’s talk about guilt by association. Let’s say a self-proclaimed expert out there has lost his integrity. He’s for sale. Anybody can rent him, and he’ll blog about you, promote your products, send his mailing list emails promoting you, etc… What happens when people find out that he does that? Is he still a respected expert? Do people feel better about your product, or might they feel worse because they feel "used’ by the "expert." After all, you are only there in the hopes that you sign on and give the expert commissions.

If you didn’t know that, you know it now. Some of these people want you on their mailing list, and will try to make their mailing list extra enticing, so that they can tell outside companies how many people are on their mailing list. 100,000! 250,000! Well, we all want to email to that many people, even if we have to rent this expert, right?

I still say no. If his mailing list members are not your target audience, then you’ve just emailed to a zillion people who don’t care, maybe didn’t read about you, and maybe won’t click on links about you. You will have paid this guy to use his audience, and it may not get you very much.

Plus, what is it worth to you to NOT be associated with someone who is falling out of favour with his audience? Or has had to redefine himself to try to build that reputation back up?

I know a bit about this the hard way. I was hired to speak at the same seminars Adam Ginsberg spoke at in late 2003. So our names appeared together in advertising. Well, I got a FLURRY of emails from people, even years later, complaining to me about Ginsberg. People emailed me as if by speaking at the same event, I was endorsing him and everything he’s done to people. Well, no I don’t. But it was guilt by association, and something I could never have seen coming.

Nowadays, there are "experts" out there who make it really clear what’s coming! We know who is for sale. How do we know? Well if you got a price from someone to email to his mailing list, be plugged in his blog, etc… HE IS FOR SALE. You’ll never get a price from me because I don’t do that. I blog about companies I like because I like them. I don’t get paid to do it.

That’s called integrity. Some of these "experts" should look it up, and remember that their 15 minutes is nearly up.

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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

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