Just Stop. OK?

Ian Lurie

Everyone does lists of things you should do. In my continuing quest to turn all sanity on its head, here’s a random list of things that should be stopped:

  1. Stop using automated Twitter follow tools. They don’t make you an internet marketing genius.
  2. Dump the auto-blog content generator. You sound like a moron.
  3. Stop telling the whole world about your latest trick for building links. Because it just pisses me off.
  4. Oh, god, don’t send any more unsolicited e-mails. If I have to even tell you this, you should be forced to watch back to back Three’s Company episodes for the next 4 months.
  5. Stop using Michael Jackson hashtags in a desperate, Twitter-driven cry for attention. You’re just embarrassing yourself.
  6. Get rid of that link-swapping directory software you set up in 2002. Google found it. It’s making your brand look like a heap of bat dung.
  7. Stop taking pride in your lack of tech literacy. You know who you are, Mr./Ms. CEO – making your secretary print your e-mail out is not going to help your career.
  8. Leave your $13, 250,000-person e-mail list behind. You’re creating more spam complaints than a Monty Python sketch.
  9. Please. PLEASE stop sending me invites for every Facebook game, event, contest, find-my-relatives tool or other sick cyberstalking device disguised as a ‘fun distraction’. I hate them all.
  10. Don’t use any more grainy, low-quality product photos on your site. That’s not an artistic statement – it’s a tragedy.
  11. Stop comparing internet marketing to video games. That is soooo annoying.
  12. Let go of the idea that good marketing will make up for a lousy product.
  13. End your lowly plagiarizing. It is not OK. It never has been. It never will be. Do it, and I will smite thee.
  14. Don’t tell me I should give you my expertise for free. I’m ornery, and won’t do it.
  15. Stop talking on your cell phone in the airport restroom. It’s gross. And next time you do it I’m going to snap a photo and put it on this blog.
  16. Stop treating your customers like they’re stupid. They’re distracted, stressed, and may not know your product inside and out like you do. But they’re not dumb.
  17. Stop taking yourself and your brand so damned seriously. You’d be amazed what a little humor and humility will do for your public image.
  18. Give up on click arbitrage. You’re not Jeremy Schoemaker – you’re going to end up $5000 in the hole.
  19. Stop generalizing. If you tell me one more time that the key to SEO is great content that attracts links, I’m going to charge the stage. You know who you are. 🙂
  20. STOP telling me that everything’s been hunky-dory in your business while the economy spiraled into the runway at 800 miles per hour. You’re soooo lying.
  21. Stop pretending internet marketing is easy. It’s not, and a 5-day course or a DVD or even a Dummies Book will get you started, but not make you an expert.

Pant pant pant. OK, I’m done.

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  1. Bravo!
    * Re: Michael Jackson hashtags – Ian correctly includes this form of bait and switch, which is despicable in a marketing context just as it is in any retail transaction.
    * Stop pretending internet marketing is easy. It’s not – I wish companies would stop thinking you can hire a freshly minted college student to emulate their agency’s output.

  2. Uh-oh, I think I’ve done #9. Mea culpa. Actually, I hate those games and quizzes, too, but people keep sending them to me, and then, when I get sucked into doing one, it asks me to send it to 24 other people, so I do, and then…well, OK, sorry, I repent. (sheepishly)
    I don’t think I’ve done any of the other stuff. I’m just a lowly copywriter. You have to be at least a Director of Marketing to do, say, #17. Or #16, for that matter.

  3. @diane It’s hard to resist, I know. Just don’t be offended if I ignore all the invites 🙂
    I’ve committed 16 and 17 many, many times…

  4. Can I add to the list:
    Stop adding “tw” in front of every word when referring to twitter, i.e. Tweeple. Just because you saw it on twitter does not mean you can’t refer to it by its proper noun.

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