Why I Unsubscribed from Tai Lopez’s Mailing List (The Conundrum of Content Over-Creation in the Age of the Internet)
I REALLY LIKE TAI LOPEZ, I REALLY DO
And you know what? Unlike many people, I don’t even find his videos, like the “In my garage” video that made him famous (which has been ridiculed to no end by YouTubers like h3h3 Productions) to be all that annoying, but I must say, one thing about him I did find annoying about him recently was the deluge of daily e-mails I began to receive from him upon signing up for his mailing list through his website, TaiLopez.com, which I quickly determined to be nothing but attempts to hard-sell me some services I don’t really need (which is not what I had signed up for). And it’s specifically because I found such e-mails to be so annoying that after only a couple days of them, I just couldn’t take them clogging up my inbox anymore, and, despite my fondness for Tai, I hit the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of one of them.
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Now, don’t get me wrong, as someone who has a degree in Marketing, a long and storied history of shamelessly promoting my own music, YouTube fitness channel, children’s book, and the fact that I earned nearly three quarters of a million dollars through settlements with almost 50 American companies in only 18 months (despite not being an attorney and having no legal background), I fully respect Tai’s efforts to shamelessly promote himself and his brand. That said, I think we, as a people, really need to have a talk about this idea that is being promulgated all over the Internet (which Tai appears to be a subscriber of), which is that for someone to be successful in this day and age, they need to essentially drown their customers in a barrage of tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts, blog posts, and daily e-mail newsletters, regardless of the value (or lack thereof) contained in them, because it simply isn’t true.
WHERE DID THIS STUPID IDEA COME FROM?
Allow me to preface what I’m about to say with the fact that I am barely a Millennial by any stretch of the imagination. I am 34 years old at the time of this writing and am more accurately referred to as a Xennial, because I can still remember a time when there was no Internet and were no smart phones (or even the now-obsolete “flip phones” that were “all the rage”, circa 2003-2005’ish). That said, I can also remember a time when repetition in marketing, whether it was done through radio, television, or print, meant maybe showing an ad to someone a couple times during their favorite T.V. show, printing it in their local newspaper every week for maybe a month or two, or playing it a time or two during a morning radio show. This is in stark contrast to what it apparently means today, which is saturating—no, make that inundating—one’s customers (or, in this case, followers) with so much of what is erroneously called “content” these days (i.e.: tweets every five minutes, Facebook posts every couple hours, a new, 300-500 word blog post every day, etc.) that if it were actually possible to drown people in “content”, some of today’s most prolific “content creators” would have more blood on their hands than Hitler and Stalin combined.
So what’s changed? Where did this stupid idea that we have to inundate people with “content” come from? At what point did marketing cease to be about finding some clever way of convincing someone to buy our products and/or services (think the funniest SuperBowl ad you’ve ever seen) and morph into the blunt club it’s become, which is quite literally (in electronic terms) used to beat people over the head until they either buy what we’re selling just to make us go away or block us, so they never have to hear from us again?
As a marketing professional who was taught the “old school” way of marketing, which involved creating value in the minds of prospective customers, so as to incentivize them to buy from me, as opposed to wearing them down mentally, to the point where they’ll simply say “yes” due to exhaustion, I just can’t get into the idea that more content, as opposed to great content, is the path to profit; I just can’t. And believe me, it’s not for a lack of trying on my part of because I’m some old, stodgy stickler for “the way things used to be”; it’s because it is a fact that getting someone to buy something from us has always been, always is, and always will be dependent upon us creating value, or at least the perception of value, in the minds of our potential customers, and not about creating so much so-called “content” that we literally drown out the competition, while taking our customers along with them.
THE CONUNDRUM OF CONTENT OVER-CREATION
When it comes to social media today, we hear it all the time: More is better. “More tweets! More Facebook posts! More photos uploaded to Instagram with more of the same hashtags that everyone else is using! More, more, more!” But you know what? More isn’t necessarily better and can, in many cases, make things much worse. But you know what is better?
That’s right: Better is better. Seems stupid for me to have to say that, obvious as it is, but someone had to say it, and since no one else seems willing to do so, I guess it had to be me!
Now, what do I mean by better, exactly? I mean content, whether it’s in the form of text, audio, video, or a combination of any of those three things, that actually adds value to the lives of the people we, as marketers and/or entrepreneurs, are trying to reach.
A great example of such better content would be a blog post that teaches someone like me, who is very interested in the Search Engine Optimization of this website, how to get ManifestationMachine.com to rank higher on Google, a video tutorial on how to string up Christmas lights properly that is posted just in time for this year’s holiday season, for people who’ve maybe never hung lights before, or a self-help-styled podcast that teaches people how they can take something they already spend a lot of their time doing and turn it in a passive income stream.
Alternately, what is the opposite of better content? Well, it just so happens to be the garbage that the vast majority of so-called “content creators”, such as Tai Lopez, and another man I like very much, Grant Cardone, put out each and every day, under the guise of their attempt to “add value”, when, in fact, the only “value” they seem to truly care about is the value of the bank account they’re trying to grow, as evidenced by their “contents” complete lack of substance.
FORGET THE BEEF…WHERE’S THE VALUE?
Take, for example, most of Grant Cardone’s books, including his best-selling “Sell or Be Sold”, which, by his own admission, is a “best-seller, not a best-written”, full of so many grammatical errors and typos that it would probably make J.K. Rowling die, just so she could roll in her grave. Books like this, like most the social media posts, videos, and blog posts created by today’s “content creators”, do not exist, nor were they created, to specifically add value to the lives of anyone (a fact which, on its face, I find personally offensive). Instead, they were created seemingly solely for the purpose of, as I put in my recent blog post, entitled “The Greatest Lesson I Ever Learned From Grant Cardone (About Life, Business, and Everything in Between)”, taking up space in the marketplace. Not that I have a problem with taking up space in the marketplace, mind you, because I am a huge proponent of doing so and believe that one must do so if one is truly interested in becoming successful in this day and age, but a book that retails for $17-plus as a hard cover does not need be a worthless packet of fluff that would have made a better blog post than a book to take up space; it could just as well be a legitimate, value-adding vehicle, like my debut children’s book, Breaking Away: Book One of the Rabylon Series, which could easily have been dumbed-down and edited to be half as long as it is, for the sake of me earning a quick buck from it, but was instead crafted to be a real game-changer, in terms of its ability to teach children the success-oriented way of thinking we all need to become financially independent.
Because Cardone’s books are not legitimate, value-adding vehicles and are really nothing more than space-taking cash grabs, intended to make Cardone look like a better and more prolific author than he really is, I must admit, Cardone has lost a lot of my respect over time, and he continues to lose a little more with each and every lackluster book he publishes. Not helping the situation is Tai Lopez, who himself has a book he’s been advertising (along with Cardone, all over this very website) as coming soon from him—a book which, just like most of Cardone’s, will be, I’m quite sure, just another worthless packet of fluff that isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
WE’RE NOT NUMBERS; WE’RE PEOPLE, AND WE DESERVE BETTER
Look, I get it: Guys like Tai Lopez are just trying to earn some money, and I don’t have a problem with that—in fact, I love money just as much, if not more, than he does, albeit for probably very different reasons—but I do have a problem with the way he goes about trying to earn it, especially where I’m concerned, because, look, I need to be blunt about this:
I am not Tai’s or anyone else’s personal ATM or just some Customer # 20,325. I am a human being who works just as hard, if not harder, than everyone else, to earn the money I earn, and for that reason alone, I believe I deserve at least enough respect to warrant a soft sell from people like Tai—the salesman’s equivalent of me being “wined and dined”, “romanced”, or “schmoozed” a little bit before an attempt is made at taking my money from me—as opposed to the hard sell I immediately began receiving in every e-mail, several times a day, from the very moment I made the mistake of sharing my e-mail address with Tai.
After I’d realized my mistake, I took some time to digest what it was exactly about the nature of Tai’s e-mails that had truly offended me and then tried to see things from Tai’s perspective, or that of anyone who is trying to compete in the uber-competitive moment we all find ourselves in today, to see if I could wrap my head around or understand Tai’s apparent belief in the need for Hurricane Harvey’ing us all with his sales techniques, and that’s when it hit me:
MAYBE THIS IS REVERSE F.O.M.O. AT WORK
If you’ve never heard of the acronym F.O.M.O. before, it stands for “fear of missing out”, and it refers to the anxiety that many people these days feel when they don’t check their social media accounts as often as they’d like to—anxiety which is caused by their fear that if they miss out on a particular tweet or a particular Facebook post, for example, that they are somehow going to miss out on something so important that they will experience severe, negative consequences as a result of doing so. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of them missing out on wishing their friend happy birthday on their actual birthday, missing out on a party or a concert that is going on downtown this weekend, or missing out on some new “content” their favorite “content creator” has just uploaded.
From the content over-creator’s (i.e.: Tai’s) perspective , I believe this anxiety manifests itself in the form of such people feeling like they need to tweet every five minutes, post to Facebook every couple hours, upload a new YouTube video every morning, or share a new Instagram or Snapchat “story” every 24 hours due to a massive “fear of missing out” on each and every opportunity to get one more follower, one more “like”, or one more share.
This “fear of missing out” on the part of these compulsive, out-of-control, content over-creators is ultimately rooted, I believe, in an even greater fear: The fear of overall failure. And for that reason, I can’t support this type of behavior (the creation of content based on fear), because one of the major tenets of my teachings here at Manifestation Machine is that we should never, ever, ever make decisions based on fear rather than on faith, lest we will find ourselves constantly running away from what we don’t want, as opposed to towards what we do want, which will, inevitably and in turn, result in us attracting more of what we don’t want (such as less sales opportunities or customers) into our lives.
Simply put, if you’re anything like Tai Lopez or Grant Cardone, and if you feels a chronic urge, compulsion, or need to drown your follows, your fans, your customers, or whatever you’d like to call them, in a sea of worthless social media just for the sake of staying relevant and maybe selling one more 67 Steps program, one more 10X book, or one more subscription ticket to your next seminar, you may want to take a cold, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I doing what I’m doing because I really think it’s going to attract more business to me, or am I doing it because I’m scared of losing, or missing out on, business?”
If you answer is in accordance with the latter part of that question, the next question you should ask yourself is, “Am I sacrificing my legacy by putting out consistently sub-bar ‘content’?”, because, look, legacy is really what this is all about. It’s really what anything and everything we do is all about, whether it’s part and parcel of our personal lives or our day-to-day business. At the end of the day, it’s not about how many followers we have, how many millions of video views we can generate, or how much revenue we can pull in in any given year; it’s about what we’re going to leave behind when we die, who’s going to miss us when we’re gone, and for what reason.
With this in mind, let me ask you this: Do you, my fellow content creator—my fellow blogger, podcast host, YouTuber, or social media influencer—want to be remembered as someone who spent his or her entire life, essentially, sending out meaningless tweets that didn’t really matter to anyone, let alone move the financial barometer for you an inch, or do you want to be remembered as someone who actually made a difference in the lives of your fans, customers, and followers?
I think the answer is simple, therefore…
I CHALLENGE YOU, MY FELLOW CONTENT CREATORS
I challenge you to not just do better or to be better, as people, from here on out, but to create better, as in, better tweets, better Facebook and Instagram posts, better YouTube videos, better blog posts, and better e-mail newsletters, geared not so much toward generating profit, but toward creating as much value as you can, even if you’ve only got 140 characters to do so with. I challenge you to focus less on creating content for its own sake and more on creating happiness for others, in the form of content that actually moves people; that helps people; that makes their lives more enjoyable or easier in some teeny, tiny, little way that maybe even you, from where you’re sitting right now, can’t possibly understand the impact of.
To be clear, I’m not telling you to stop promoting yourself, marketing your products or services, trying to outwork your competition, or telling people about who you are, what you do, or what your brand is all about. What I’m telling you is that when you create your content, your focus should not be on you or what’s in it for you in creating the same, but about your followers, fans, customers, etc. and what’s in it for them, because, look, I may not need everything about sales or marketing (not even close), but I do know this:
When the value of what you’re selling exceeds to the price you’re asking someone to pay for it, people buy it. So next time you flip open your laptop or turn on your smart phone to send out your next tweet or to publish your next post, don’t create content, create value, because if you do, then I can guarantee you that you won’t need to shamelessly promote yourself much longer, because the people you’ll be helping will be more than happy to do it for you.
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here today! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Please leave a comment below and tell us how you feel about this post, or better yet, visit its sister thread in the Manifestation Machine Forum and join the discussion about the topics covered herein. We can’t wait to hear from you, and neither can the millions upon millions of your fellow Mechanics!