I am trying to be a full-time writer.
Turns out, that job pays like crap.
So I’ve accepted a few consulting assignments in 2013 to pay my credit card bills. When I do work, I consult with HR technology vendors on their marketing strategies.
What does that mean? Well, it means a whole bunch of boring shit. Marketing strategies. Social media. Ridiculous content. Email campaigns. White papers. Webinars. Blog posts. Speaking engagements.
But these days, it means that I am turning down a lot of work because some vendors have no love for their clients.
No love for your clients? Dismissive and misogynistic language towards HR ladies? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
The HR tech community is on a loop, and I keep hearing the same old nonsense from many vendors.
- We don’t sell to HR.
- We are a data company, not a human resources company.
- We aren’t interested in administration and compliance.
- We want to facilitate a human resources revolution.
- HR ladies don’t get our products.
I keep telling potential clients: if you don’t absolutely love your customer, and you talk about the function of human resources as if you’re working through issues with your mom, you don’t deserve to close a deal. And I certainly won’t help you reach the buyer through a marketing plan built on condescension and disdain.
Maybe it’s because I am older, but when asked to pick a side between menopausal HR women and HR technology vendors enamored by the size of their own dicks, imma pick the ladies.
Hoes before bros … especially my hoes in HR … which is why my consulting business sucks.
At least I am principled.
Lots of people have glommed on to the word “tool.” They use it to describe “douchey” guys.
(Look out, men. The late 80s have given way to the early 90s!)
So what makes someone a tool?
- Do you refer to yourself in the third person?
- Do you answer a question with a sarcastic question?
- Do you quote thought leaders with the hope that people will think you’re a thought leader?
- Have you ever had more than a five minute conversation about your new TV?
- Do you post selfies but make fun of other people who post selfies?
- Do you use a sports metaphor to describe everything you do?
- Is your jewelry collection larger than a ring and a watch?
- Do you use more than one bottle of hair product?
- Do you wear Uggs outside the house?
- Do you want to teach me something?
- Do you buy your own hype?
(Now that I am reading my own list, I realize that I might be a fucking tool.)
I don’t know the parameters of healthy masculinity, and cultural differences mean that a really great guy in Barcelona or London or Melbourne might be a fucking tool in America.
(Like those guys who were singing rugby songs at my favorite bar in New York. Fuckers. Nobody wants to hear your weird, lame chants.)
I hope some of you find a good male role model before it’s too late.
It’s almost 2014 and people are still asking me if they should start a blog.
The answer is no.
If you want to blog, find a successful site that has traffic. Find the editor. Ask her if you can contribute a post. Write something. See if it’s any good. Get feedback. If it turns out well and you enjoyed the process, do it again. If you work in human resources or you are a vendor, reach out to the editors of FistfulofTalent.com, Performanceicreate.com or TLNT.com for guidance. If you work in a different field, consider yourself lucky.
Will blogging help me sell stuff? Yes, but not directly. My friend Josh Bersin owned a company that he sold to Deloitte. He isn’t writing much original content for Deloitte, though. He uses his stature to blog for free on Forbes and LinkedIn while his own company’s website is littered with boring stuff. (Sorry to use you as an example, Josh.) Blogging is not a direct path to sales, but the great lie in life is that there is one direct path to sales.
Will blogging help me find a job? Probably not. Your article will come up when a recruiter conducts a potentially illegal Google search to understand your internet presence; however, unless the blog post is stellar and has a ton of comments, it might make you look like you have nothing better to do than blog.
Will writing a blog teach me something? Yeah, it will probably teach you that the internet can be an empty place that doesn’t offer much validation. It’s nice to see your name on a website, but nothing saps the fun out of the internet faster than trolls and perverts. It’s very common for anonymous readers to share misinformed opinions and say cruel things, and if your writing isn’t concise, people you know and love may misread what you’ve written and become offended. It’s not worth the hassle.
Why do you still blog, Laurie? Nobody asks me that question, but I will give you my answer: I am a character caught up in a hackneyed Scooby-Doo! Mystery Adventure. I will stop writing when I unmask the monster.
So if you want to write, you should be a writer. But you should be a smart businessperson, too. Do your research. Find eyeballs. Tap into an existing audience. Think about an integrated digital marketing plan.
And good luck finding your voice!
I thought the James Franco version was funny … but it’s actually genius when played side-by-side with the original video.