The phones are not ringing. No customers to patronize. Nothing promised for tomorrow that hasn’t already been done. Enter the modern passive-aggressive marketer.
- First things first: file and organize all your email for the last 11 years into nifty folders and subfolders. By the time you’re finished, surely someone will call and give you business.
- Update your billing: when your client gets a fresh bill that will remind them to buy something else.
- Update your new business list. Create a plan to start an email newsletter. Freshen your web site. Update your new business PowerPoint. Commit to yourself that tomorrow, or someday soon, you will pick up the telephone and call someone on the list, even though you’re not really sure you really want to “do coffee” with anyone on the list.
- Update your profile on LinkedIn so you’ll be ready when that business needs to find you.
- Ditto Plaxo, Ryze, MySpace and Facebook.
- Play some solitaire. Read the trade magazines on-line. Check the stock market. Get caught up on your expense reporting.
- Work the social and business networks to find all those you haven’t kept up with for the last 15 years or more and invite them to be your colleague or friend. Surely they will have some business they have just been waiting all this time to give you.
- Organize all of the photos you’ve taken since you bought your first digital camera, tag and upload them to Flickr, PhotoBucket, and Picasa. This is going to work.
- Just a couple of degrees separated, join Classmates, Reunion, Meetup, Friendster. Start commenting on HuffPo, Blogspot, WordPress, Technorati. Digg it. Reddit. Stumble over it. Somebody’s looking for me and when they do, they are going to be so impressed they are going to give me work, but what you really want is work and have little of interest to post – that, and, you’re a naturally lousy blogger.
- Start twittering via your iPhone with automatic posts to your networking and blogging sites with pedantic updates on your success at brushing your teeth, filling the car with gas and your latest thought.
Not all of this is, strictly speaking, passive-agressive, nor pathological (would be if you have hidden your contact information). However, if, during this time of economic crisis, you have practiced three or more of the above behaviors, you probably need to join a chat room and talk about it with others who will be understanding. Or, drop the passive crap.
One of the few guarantees of the new tell-everything-social-network-world is the anonymity that comes from all the noise on the web. Except for your spouse, your dog and, if you’re lucky, a few close friends, nobody cares. Everyone is too busy. There’s no 140 character success big enough nor malady bad enough to break through the narcissism of the social networks for longer than the 15 seconds it takes to go past it.
Sounds pretty negative? A passive-agressive trait. Hmm. Seems I’m infected. What’s the cure, I wonder?
Relevance. That’s it? Yes. And drop the passive crap. Helps to make it interesting or newsworthy so that it is noticed, but being noticed won’t make you relevant. Problem is, relevance today is harder than it used to be. The only remaining vast homogeneous audiences are not likely your target: old people and toddlers. Develop aggressive relevant strategies for one micro group at a time. Then repeat the process a few hundred times. Drop everything that doesn’t work immediately and try again. Repeat the process until the crisis is over.
Now, take the rest of the day off and wait for the phone to ring.