Whine and Please Marketing

All this month I've been sharing from my article, "12 Deadly Communication Sins of Advertising" and today's installment is about whining.  As mom would say... Have Some Whine with That Cheese. Be careful to look over your marketing message for anything that might seem unprofessional for your industry before it is sent out. Have you ever looked at some of those infomercials and cable TV commercials? Some of them make my daughter cringe. You may be a small business with a small budget, but you don't want to give the impression that you are a cheesy, cheap company. Aside from the issues I mentioned in previous posts like poor spelling or feigning ignorance, one of the ways small business owners can be cheesy in their marketing is to advertise that they are just starting out and still learning their craft.  Everyone's got to start somewhere, but it's never an effective strategy to admit you are green.  As I said in my previous post, nobody wants to pay an amateur.  They want a professional.  Most skills do require ongoing education.  However, if you are still learning or honing your craft, it's probably best not to charge for your services until you have reached mastery. I've seen many an email ad go out over a Yahoo group that announced a new web design business where the new owner of the website asked her customers to understand that she was still trying to figure out how to create a shopping cart on her site.  Hmm...  Not sure someone would want to part with their hard earned cash to pay someone to create their website if they really don't know how to do that. Now if you are a photographer or a pencil artist and you are having trouble with your site, it doesn't tarnish your professional reputation to admit that in your monthly ad post because it's not in your area of expertise.  On the other hand, I've seen marketing ads that claim to be able to take your website from rags to riches in a month advertise a Lay Away Sale so they could raise $300 to get their dd's Christmas presents out of hock at JC Penny.  In fact, she was selling an eBook with a title that said something like, "How to make $500 in a two weeks." That brings me to another somewhat cheesy tactic: to whine.  While it is possible, especially in these difficult financial times, to have a true financial need, it is quite another thing altogether to whine at people and expect them to purchase substandard products just to help you out.  And if you think this hasn't been done, you are mistaken.  I've seen it many times, usually on Yahoo groups for work at home moms. Mary posts often that she is not making any money with her craft business.  She posts how it is difficult for her to get good quality materials and how she has had several complaints about the paint rubbing off the wood.  She also admits that she has had a problem keeping up with the orders and has had to delay delivery to customers by about three weeks.  Then, one day, Mary posts that they are going to turn her electric off unless she raises $200 by Thursday and can folks see their way clear to order her crafts and wait three weeks for delivery so that she can afford to buy more supplies. Not only have I seen this done, but I've seen the posts put through complaining that nobody is taking advantage of her offer. Especially in these hard times, there is no shame in admitting to your customers that you have a financial need, but do understand that you'll need to offer quality products at a reasonable price.  Oh, and please don't whine at those who choose not to take advantage of your offer.  They have issues of their own. What say you?  I'd love your thoughts.  Any experience with whine and please marketing? x *SUBSCRIBE HERE*: for More Communication Fun, FREE Gifts and Exclusive Offers! x


  • jojosblog

    Exactly, Cindy. You don’t have to market your own business to be a “victim” of a marketing faux pas. I’ve had someone message me on Facebook asking me to donate to their cause. When I sent a reply that I would pray for the cause, they sent a whiny post back saying they need MONEY! Didn’t they ever hear the expression, don’t bite the hand that feeds you…r cause? lol

  • Cindy Holman

    Great article! Not much experience with marketing myself – as a private music teacher I never have to do that online – I’m a referral based business – but I do know what you mean – I have read the ‘whiny’ statements and actually did have a friend who couldn’t figure out her shopping cart for her website – pretty funny :)

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