First off this blog is free, and I’m not selling it or anything on it (yet). It is Free as in speech. But I do sell free stuff which is not free, as in speech, or beer. But yet the stuff I sell is free. Confused yet? I think you’ll catch my drift quickly.
HTML, PHP, CSS, Linux, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, These are all free tools. This is what I sell. This is how I make money to feed my family.
Let me explain. First HTML, PHP and CSS, for those of you who don’t know HTML, PHP and CSS put together are some of the languages used to build a website. They are open source languages. Which means you can write in those languages without having to pay fees or buy software to do it. Here’s one of the catches: You have to learn how to do it, for example you should know how to store data in memory so as to not cause a memory leak or a load on the server. Do you have the time for this?
So you hire it done.Because you either:
- Don’t have the time to do it yourself
- Don’t have the time or desire to learn to do it yourself
- Don’t think the way a programmer does (s/he can see the Matrix)
- Want to take what you are capable of doing and bring it to the next level
So this is how I get hired to do a website. There are far better folks out there who know the intricacies of php and mysql and storing information. But you hired me because you trust me, you know me, you like what I presented, you like what I’ve done elsewhere, or you simply like my price. You are paying me to write in free well documented languages.
The “Other Stuff”
But what about the rest? What about Social Media, or Search Engine Optimization? Twitter etc.?
The tools are free. You can head over to twitter.com and “Join the Conversation” (already in progress). You can go to facebook, youtube, digg, linkedin etc. All of these Social Networks are free. You can even podcast for free.
Free Free Free. You can do all of this yourself. So why (again) would you hire it done?
Do you have the time? Not just the time to signup and to write about your company or service. But the time to determine a voice, a presence, a message?
Do you have the experience/knowledge it takes to do it right. Each network has a different use, a different clientele. Do you know how to build a network? Do you know how to go viral? Do you know how often you should say anything at all?
Certain companies, Comcast for example, employ people to monitor the social networks. They are managing their brand, their perception. They react and respond. Could you? Do you have the time to learn new technologies, new voices and to respond directly to the people frustrated with your brand/product? Do you have the knowledge to communicate using the appropriate methods/means/voice?
You could, if you had the time, you have what it takes to learn it yourself. But do you have the time? I spend around 20 hours a week learning about social media. Do you have that kind of time?
So this is how I get hired to do website optimization and social media marketing. I have taken the time to learn these things, voice, network building and such. Because I’m passionate about effective online communication.
Talk is cheap.
Effective communication is not.