In the second part of Seth Godin’s course about freelancing he’s asking a couple more questions that need to be answered. Before I do that, let me explain that Seth’s course on Udemy.com is not as pedestrian as the title. There is absolutely nothing I can think of that is pedestrian about Seth.
The word freelancer isn’t quite what you might think….but for the sake of letting readers know, that is the title of this course.
The second set of questions begin this way:
What do people buy when they buy something from me [sic]?
In many ways people buy information from me. Since I’ve been around the music scene for thirty plus years this historical evolution of what I’ve been involved with provides me a very unique perspective in how people fit into the business of music.
Basically, however, what people buy from me becomes a diluted variation on a theme everyone wants but doesn’t have the time or the know how to accomplish themselves. To be fair, very few people can do marketing and PR for themselves.
Eventually what happens is clients convince me they really don’t want to be as good as the words they tell me that prove they are uniquely outstanding in their field. They want boiled down words on paper that must sound very much like the last guy and the next guy in line. It is this part of the process that is horribly misunderstood, overrated, and bears no fruit for anyone.
There’s a myth that to do what I do is like tapping into a magical database of names of mystics who will add a stamp of approval for whatever music or product the client is promoting. That’s what people think they are buying. The truth of the matter is that database changes, evolves, revolves, as people leave or come onto this field of making approvals, stamping a card, and holler, “Next!” And the field itself, expands and narrows much like the Universe.
What am I [sic] doing that is difficult?
The most difficult thing I do is concede in the process of diluting boiled down words that appease the client. Appeasing the client — shielding him or her from their true ultimate goal — is very difficult for me, when what they really want is something they haven’t prepared for. It is beyond frustrating to back away from what could be a great strategy to settling for chopped liver, making sure another square peg is whittled down until it fits into a round hole. This of course, makes the work totally unrecognizable because it blends in with all the rest, leaving a living breathing piece of art stomped into the cultural landscape with every other piece of crap that got an identical stamp of approval.
What Seth means to ask is what am I doing that is so difficult it makes a difference?
That is what I am here to try and figure out once and for all.