Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What Not To Wednesday on Marketing and WIIFM

Yes, grasshopper, today we're talking about marketing. But don't think you can skip out because it's marketing. It's marketing having to do with writing. And I'll try to be quick about it.

A few years ago, when I first started column writing, I willingly, happily gave my columns to a regional magazine. For free. I needed to learn the ropes, and fortunately for me, a local rope dangled right there in front of me. I learned quite a bit about deadline writing, fitting in the word count, and being funny whether I felt funny or not. So, it was all good.

After a year or so, a new publisher bought the magazine and I worked out a compensation deal for the column. It was all, um, good-er. And then I thought, as Webster is my dictionary, I'll never write for free again!

Now, I can't tell you what to do, grasshopper (though that is kinda the point here at WNTD), but making absolute statements is not such a good idea. Like when it comes to writing for free. Sometimes, I'll write something for free. Because sometimes, I just want to lend a helping (writing) hand to a friend or colleague. But other times, I'll consider WIIFM.

I didn't know there was an actual acronym for "What's in it for me?" but you learn something every day. I learned that tidbit when I read Jane Friedman's spot-on post, "The Most Important Marketing Acronym: WIIFM." She makes a few excellent points on marketing. And you might want to read the comments, too. You'll find some excellent points among her readers' views.

I know what you're thinking, grasshopper. WIIFM has kind of a harsh ring to it. So maybe a new acronym, more polite-sounding, is needed (with the same sentiment). How about "PAPTDAFFYASMYCRTF."

Hmmm. My next What Not To Do will be on Southerners and why we shouldn't put them in charge of writing acronyms.

*Pleased As Punch To Do A Favor For You And Someday Maybe You Can Return The Favor