Marketing advice can be good, especially when you’re trying to get your business off the ground. It can give you an extra edge against those ‘commoners’ who don’t really know what they’re doing, but do it anyway (as most of us do, and this is perfectly OK).
But marketing is not the ‘be-all and end-all’. It is advice others offer to give; advice they have found practical, or makes things easier, or what they think will work (or for whatever innumerable reasons the knowledge has been given). Ultimately, hold on to your own sense of self. Never betray that—and if you must, let someone else do it for you, partially saving your psyche through not being responsible or claiming such things yourself (fame is infamous for its misrepresentation. When people believe you are something you’re not, it causes all kinds of personal issues which can be quite difficult to work through1. As much as you may be a tool for others to make money, or misrepresentation is a tool used by you to manipulate others, it is best to avoid. Ultimately, the truth is discovered anyway).
There is an art to this and no ‘right’ way for it to be done. However, I cannot believe that the governments, or rather, individuals creating propaganda arms do not feel party responsible or guilty for that which they create. Unless, of course, they know it well and believe it to be a lesser or necessary evil. Again, I have never lived in the shoes of our rulers; and thus, can no longer judge what I thought was so simple. Living at the base of a mountain, I cannot presume to know what the world looks like from it’s peak.
Anyway, the point of this is the way many people approach marketing as though there is only one way for it to be done. I am sick of professionals who stroll around toting the same thing(s) as everyone else, as though it will somehow make them more ‘respectable’ or intelligent. Their way, indeed the common way (so often repeated through bloggers and online people who make a successful living by their home-run careers), is successful, yes. But it is not the only way, and indeed, the way by which these methods exist in the first place is by others following their heart, or instincts, or simply a sense of something interesting and wanting to try something new.
When it comes to art, and marketing, and web design—and indeed, nearly all things in life—knowledge is not absolute. There is nearly always room for more, and the reason I write this article is that I—being almost the amplification of an extroverted feeler (Fe, Jungian / Myers-Briggs Typology)—went down that path, of loosing the self in sight of a self-image projected outwards, from the perceptions of others rather than my own.
What I am is not easy to read. Being part sub-conscious, I am unknowable. The entirety of my being remains a mystery, is constantly re-wiring, re-educating, changing, re-assessing judgements, values, morals, beliefs, and indeed, the very knowledge I hold. Being an extroverted feeler even I will not know myself—though I have come close, it is a constant struggle of diving in close, only to be born away again from the currents of life inseminating from my core (or rather, the more interesting things existing in the world around me).
Now, I do not want this article to sound like one bitter from having jumped from one extreme and into the next. This is partly the case, I will admit, but only because I suppose I was a good student, and once believed all I was told (or ‘taught’). Part of the educational system is designed to make one conforming, and dis-connect students from their own hearts, minds, or ‘souls’. And now, seeing this, I want to fight against it, which I why I have assumed what might be taken as an extreme stance.
I want to emphasise that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of doing things—only that which works and that which doesn’t, that which fits into your moral value system and those which don’t, the ones which preserve your identity and psychological health, allowing you (and, indeed, humanity) to grow and continue to learn as a human being, and pass on this genuine self to others in the eternal search or experience that is life, and those which make compromises. You see, there are innumerable factors which consist of any decision, factors unique to each human life and experience, and thus I would be remiss to dictate that my way of being is the only way.
However, I write this to let others know, particularly without their own, inner sight to cling to themselves, that there are other ways, and that the current preposed by the majority is not the only way, either. I want to be a force for hope for other people like me; learn to listen to yourself again, follow your heart, and your instincts, and do what you deem best. Do it for fun, for experimentation, for learning—for imperfection’s sake! For whatever reason, do it because you want and have chosen too, not because it is the right and only way.
Based on your own unique skills and talents, you, for whatever reason, hold as much value as anyone else. Perhaps in different areas, but what if you were to use your own unique skills or point of view to market to others like yourself?
Below, I compare my own video-end slides as examples:
So, to conclude, the advice marketers give is good. But take everything with a grain of salt, use your own judgement, and, ultimately, do what you feel is right 🙂
1Fame: the Psychology of Stardom, by Andrew Evans and Dr. Glenn D. Wilson.