Nurturing humans; writers become bots; how not to save newspapers: Newsletter 26 June 2024

Newsletter 50. A terrible (or wonderful?) way to grow a business. Europeans reading in English, writerbots, and creepy AI video. Plus, three people to follow, three books to read, and your last chance to be counted as an author.

What do you nurture?

I don’t nurture leads. I help people.

Look, I know there is a whole massive collection of tools dedicated to B2B lead nurturing. First you’re supposed to attract inbound leads with a “lead magnet,” like a free download or a webinar (or maybe even an ad). Then they get a series of Curated Communications at a Carefully Calibrated Cadence (the 5 C’s method?), a cadence that varies based on whether their cookie (the 6th C?) appears on a website visit.

Next, an actual human qualifies them, after which they get ushered into the inner sanctum of sales and evaluated for how big their purse is and how easy it will be to pry it open.

If, after that, there is an actual sales commitment, they get turned over to some other team that attempts to actually deliver value to them. They also get highly personal service . . . if they’ve paid enough. Otherwise, they can just bang on the virtual door of the service department and interact with a chatbot.

Your customers know you are doing this. They know you see them as variously sized bags of money. They resent it, but they’ve given up, because this is how everything they want to buy works. In the unusual situation where they end up interacting with someone at a vendor who cares, that’s just an unusual moment to savor, like a beautiful sunset that is unlikely to be repeated.

Somehow, my own business has succeeded without any lead nurturing at all. Don’t do what I do.

I give away nearly everything. The blog is free. The newsletter is free. The sample proposal is free. The book is as cheap as I can make it, and it sure isn’t making me rich.

I answer all my emails personally. If I can help anyone with an email response, I do.

I do free consultations. They tend to be interesting, because people are interesting.

If I can help somebody and they don’t need anything I charge for, I do, and they go away with nothing but a solution and a warm feeling.

I refer people to hybrid publishers, cover designers, lawyers, agents, illustrators, and copy editors. Freely.

And sometimes, because they like my jokes or my personality or, gosh, I don’t know, my actual expertise, they hire me.

I often forget to follow up on those calls. I’m too busy actually serving clients. And helping people, whether they pay or not. People, not bags of money.

My business could be much bigger. I could be much more efficient. I could be even busier. I could have a staff. I could hire somebody to teach me lead nurturing.

But I like making a living by making friends of everyone.


News for writers and other who think

Europeans outside of the UK are buying more English-language books (gift link). This has been true for business books forever, where, influence starts and ends in English.

Writers are turning themselves into chatbots, for a free (gift link).

Media observer and former journalism professor Jeff Jarvis has take a close look at the legislation now being considered to add public funding to newspapers. He thinks it’s problematic at best.

Enterpreneurs are making movies just from script descriptions. Creepy as hell.

Three people to follow

Adam Davidson, founder of Planet Money, business writer, and author of The Passion Economy.

Phil Fersht, CEO of analyst firm Horses for Sources and IT analytical bomb-thrower.

Ekaterina Walter , bestselling author and deep marketing thinker.

Three books to read

Data Leverage: Unlocking the Surprising Growth Potential of Data Partnerships by James J. Ward and Christian J. Ward (Ward PLLC, 2018). Your company has data. This is the complete guide on how to (safely and ethically) monetize it.

The Referable Speaker: Your Guide to Building a Sustainable Speaking Career-No Fame Required by Michael Port and Andrew Davis (Page Two, 2021). No BS guide to what it takes to get paid to bloviate on stage.

Invisible Marketing: A Hidden Tool for Connecting with Consumers through Licensing by Jeff Lotman he/him (Lioncrest, 2020). How to profitably turn a popular brand into a name that can go on almost anything.

Deadline extended to get in on authoring research

We’ve got 300 authors already telling us what it took for them to succeed. We’d love you to join them (by July 2).

Click here to tell us about your experience in as short anonymous survey.

Everyone who participates gets a free copy of the research report. Learn where you stand and what it takes to succeed.

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