About Twitter, Clients, and Everything

Ian Lurie

Someone correctly pointed out to me today that my Twitter posts might seem a bit, uh, grumpy at times.
And some of those posts might seem directed at clients.
I want to point out, super-clearly: I am a selfish SOB. I only work with clients I truly can support and that I enjoy helping. So it is very, very rare that I have anything other than within-the-family-because-I-like-you disagreements with clients.
When I’m whining on Twitter, you can safely assume it has nothing to do with the folks I work with.
I do often tell clients “That’s a really bad idea.” So don’t get me wrong – I’m a curmudgeon with them, too. But only because I care.

Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/ianlurie.

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  1. I love that someone else has a similar viewpoint as myself. Seriously, I didn’t go into business for myself to work with the same jerks that I worked with for all those years in the corporate world. Hooray for client selection – it’s a practice more freelancers should partake in.

  2. @Jen I used to take on every client possible. Problem is, first impressions are almost always right. If we’re not going to get along, we’re just not, and the client’s better off with another consultant…

  3. Oy! If these folks want to hear real whining, they should be the fly on the wall in the in-house creative department of a humongous Fortune 500 company. Trust me; I know. There’s no stupidity like corporate stupidity. (Didn’t Ethel Merman sing that?)

  4. Hehe. twitter truly reflects your mood. Maybe you should put a #rant or #grumpy so that we can see what all gems come from your mind when in that mood 😀

  5. I hear ya, Ian. Wondering, though, how you reconcile grumpiness with the general maxim that with social media you should always “play nice.” I love snarkiness–it’s one of my favorite things about Twitter, and why I follow some people. Do you think, though, that snarkiness could ever backfire, especially as you’re building a business? Not criticizing–just asking, because I don’t know the answer.

  6. @Art I am about as imperfect a person as you’ll find, and most of my imperfection goes directly to snarkiness, I’m afraid. So I don’t have a good answer. I just find that the more concerned I am about what might be a bad decision by a client or some such, the more testy I get.

  7. One of the best things about working for yourself is that you don’t have to get told by a boss who cannot stand his clients that you have to deal with them instead, but at what point are you cutting your nose off to spite your face?
    Picking and choosing is all very good, but will there come a point when there simply is no one left to choose? :p

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