Free Fluff

“It’s a quick video about why you don’t need any special “skills” or “experience” to launch a full-time lifestyle business as an influencer…”

This influencer is peddling courses on how to make and sell courses – and telling people they don’t need any special knowledge to do that. What if you want to make a course about x but you don’t know any more than the next person? Who wants to be taught by someone who isn’t the best of the best at what they do? What if, like most people, you are not the best at anything, and really not qualified to instruct anyone on anything? What if you’re just out to make a quick buck off people, and you make shit courses?

Some of these internet influencer courses seem dangerous. You could pay a lot and really get not much back. I worry that most of these courses could have been written up into a great book, landed a publisher and been assigned an editor, gained reviews and so on. I worry that the ones that couldn’t get published like this are mostly the ones that are shite. I suppose it’s like indie publishing, self-publishing – there are some crappy books, and there are some good books. But with a Kindle title you might waste a few quid and then leave a review so others don’t do the same. With something like a freelancing one I’d like to do, you pay A LOT of money. I mean, like £800. And what if it’s rubbish? There’s a money-back guarantee, but what if it doesn’t work but you don’t find out till it’s too late? Or they quibble, or disappear? I just think there’s a lot of potential for bullshit like the above – bad advice from people who are well-meaning – and some who maybe aren’t. And there’s nowhere for honest reviews – their sites and social media are carefully curated shop windows, which is fair enough, but nowhere gives the downsides, the ‘didn’t work for me’ stories. Even the best books have some poor reviews, a balanced view.

Maybe this is me being too old to grasp the new paradigm…but there was an article about one influencer kid who is basically running a Ponzi type scheme, and it’s fucking with trading, which is real and serious money… People lose money, so they have to recruit new losers, and so on.

Anyway, I’ve unsubscribed from this particular brand of fluff. I still rate some influencers and online course creators really very highly – Renae Christine’s Cupcake Trainings, for example, which is ‘awesomesauce’ (free book image from Renae!). The quality of the free stuff tells me the paid-for would be awesome, totally worth it, but it’s just too expensive for me. Same for the freelancing course. One Of Many, which I also love, is more sensibly priced.

It’s fair play to those who are succeeding with this new way of connecting with people. But I’m going to steer clear of any more of the ‘free webinar with everything you need to know – then the hard sell at the end!’ type stuff. Some of it is bad, bad, bad. I’m quite susceptible to the marketing as well, and just ain’t got the dollar! Also…I just still really like books…and independent reviews…

I’m looking at ways to grow my writing and jewellery businesses, and turn it all into one lifestyle brand umbrella where I get to share everything I love about the surfer girl lifestyle and writing life with people, so I am interested in things like handmade business advice etc. I think there’s some great stuff out there, but I’m also pretty sceptical.

What rules?

“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don’t apply to you.” (Terry Pratchett, Equal Rights)

If, that is, if you’re that good at whatever you’re trying to do, they want you regardless. (At least that’s how I’m interpreting it.)

And let’s hope so, because I am going to apply for a research fellowship. I have is a complex and interesting idea for a project, but will they think so? My application won’t follow a lot of the rules, because it’s quite a short-dated opportunity, but I might as well give it a go, right?

Every time I talk myself out of it with sensible advice, something like this pops up and whispers to me, “You want to write this, so why not just do it?”

Gewn ni weld.

Slow progress

Ah, the dreaded ‘under construction’. After a diabolical ISP trashed all my sites, I am slowly rebuilding… Lots more to do here, but more to see on my personal site at www.surfergrl.co.uk. Slow progress is better than none, and a bit-by-bit approach will get me there eventually!