Nov 182014

just so you know it won’t work.


The other day I followed a link from an author and teacher I trust to the website of a guy who promises to help you get rich by teaching you how to sell stuff, any stuff. The person I trust had said that that method had helped her a lot, otherwise I wouldn’t even have followed the link.

That link led me to a site where the main content was a video. A video that didn’t tell me how long it was, and that I couldn’t download onto my computer. I started watching, sat through about two minutes of “Hi, I’m this great trustworthy guy, and my method is the best ever.” and wanted to kill my computer.

I don’t usually watch videos online. I don’t quite know why but if you embed a video in your blog I will most likely not look at it. Not for more than 30 seconds anyway. Especially when that video is about something I’m supposed to learn.

I’m the one who watches videos on knitting techniques with the sound muted because I can’t be bothered. I also don’t learn well by listening to something, and so most of what you’re telling me will go in one ear and out the other anyways. (By the way I don’t do audio books as well.)

The main reason I don’t watch those videos, though, is that video is so damned slow.

When I’m reading something I can do it at my own pace. And my reading pace is rather fast. If something is repetetive or not interesting for me I can skip a paragraph. In a video I have to sit through all of it. It makes me very restless.

Still with that video I thought the whole thing might be useful for me, so I fetched my knitting, took an hour of my day, and sat all through it. I have to say that somewhere in the middle I cheated, and just listened to the thing while reading something else on the web. You see, there was this guy standing in front of changing scenery, just talking. And talking. And telling his story, and basically just saying, “I have this great marketing strategy, and it made me rich, and it is just so awsome, and it can make you rich as well if you just buy my crouse.”. For 55 minutes.

At the end of the video he told his audience to like him on facebook, and leave a comment. Which of course I didn’t do. I don’t use facebook much. I don’t like that whole facebook culture, so, no.

I did contemplate leaving a comment. Saying, “Hey, if you had made this a text instead of a video I would feel much more positive towards you and your course. Also I found that you haven’t given me much information.” but then I read about a hundred of the “Oh, this video is so great, I have learned so much, can’t wait for the next one.”-comments and decided not to.

I know that I need less repetition than most people to learn something, and it seems that I know more about marketing than I thought I did. (I actually loathe marketing and sales tactics but I’m thinking about self-publishing my novel eventually, and that means I need to learn more about this abhorrent subject, apparently.)

This guy did the whole thing where we had to sit through three of these extremely long videos until we finally got the informationg about his course. You know, the one that will make us all millionaires. I actually sat through all of them, though I have to say I stopped watching the third one halfway through when I still didn’t get any more information, and had turned so cranky that I was snapping at my family all the time. I went and watched “Monsters, Inc.” with my son instead.

Yesterday he opened his class for registration. I was curious to see how much his course would be but in order to get that information I would have had to sit through yet another video. So I have no idea.

The guy has written a book on his whole subject, and I am actually thinking about buying that. The book is about 8 €, a sum that I’m willing to part with. I can read a book much faster than I can watch a video, and when I read something I actually remember it, unlike the things someone is telling me, especially when there is stuff going on in the background. (At one point he was filming in what I suppose was his kitchen, and I kept looking at the kitchen, and the copper pots behind him and all that instead of paying attention to what he was saying.) I know that not everyone works as I do but for me the only way to learn something someone is telling me is to repeat it back to myself instantly. Out loud if possible. Or to make a ton of notes and read those later.

And what kind of time do you think I have? I just wasted almost three hours of my life just watching those damn videos for getting three bits of new information. And I haven’t even started to watch the last one (and I won’t) which is at least forty minutes as well. I bet I could have read the whole damn book in that time.

I know that the nice thing about videos is the visual aspect. Like that guy was standing in front of a whiteboard drawing mind maps and such. Well, let me tell you that is too slow for me as well. So someone stands there with a marker talking, and talking, and talking, and then he draws an oval, and then he writes three letters in there and then I have to pay attention to learn what those three letters stand for. Please, give me the diagram in plain English, and then let me figure it out at my own pace. (I really, hate, hate, and hate power point presentations as well, by the way. I have to sit in a dark room which makes me extremely sleepy, and all I do is read the text on the screen about ten times until there’s new text on the screen. If something is blinking, or if I have to look at pictures of sunsets that have nothing to do with the topic I’m out. And the mere fact that there is something moving on the screen makes me completely unable to listen to what you’re saying. But I know I’m weird, and that modern learning theory says getting information on more channel than one is very good for us. Well, for you. Probably. Not for me.) And don’t get me started about how I hate mind maps. This is not how my mind works. Not at all. (Interestingly my son came home from school the other day saying, “I really hate mind maps.” I have never talked to him about this. Never I swear. Seems to be genetic.)

So. I don’t know how many of us are out there. This whole “selling stuff with videos”-stuff seems to work because otherwise it wouldn’t be everywhere, wouldn’t it? But really, trying to get me enthusiastic by telling me how great all of this is repeatedly won’t work. Trying to get me to like you by smiling at the camera with a twinkle in your eye, standing on The deck of your house wearing a nice “I’m only one of the guys”-t-shirt won’t work, and telling me that no business can get anywhere without your strategy won’t work as well because, you see, I already have a business, and it is working, and I didn’t use any of your advice.

I admit that I’m not a millionaire. But people who become music teachers because they want to be rich are a bit delusional anyway.

So I know I’m not representing the majority here but still: If you want to sell me something? Stop using video all the time. Thanks.


  3 Responses to “Dear people on the internet who try to sell me something through videos,”

  1. A) Ich glaub, das ist die amerikanische Methode des Marketings. Da wird eine Persönlichkeit verkauft: es geht nicht um die tolle Methode des Kerls, sondern um den Kerl selbst, der sich gut präsentieren kann. Ich find sowas grenzwertig bis unseriös – gibt da sicherlich bessere Quellen und Bücher, die man nutzen könnte!
    B) Wenn du deinen Roman veröffentlichen willst, melde ich mich gerne freiwillig als Testleser. Ich kann dir auch hervorragend ungefragte Ratschläge zum heiklen Thema Selfpublishing geben…
    Ach ja: hallo auch! Ich geh jetzt deinen neuen Podcast hören <3 🙂

  2. Hi Susanne,

    mir geht diese Videosache auch tierisch auf den Zeiger.
    Und diese amerikanische Art Ratgeber zu schreiben ebenfalls. Da wird erstmal ewig beschrieben, wie es dem Autor früher ging, als er diese Technik oder Strategie noch nicht kannte, wie er sie dann gefunden hat, wie es sein Leben verbessert hat, wie es das Leben anderer verändert hat und wie es mein Leben so viel besser machen wird. Bla bla bla. Die Technik selbst besteht meist aus wenigen Punkten, die ebenfalls langatmig erklärt und mit unzähligen Beispielen belegt werden.

    Ich habe nichts dagegen, wenn es von einer Information mehrere Darreichungsformen gibt, dann kann sich jeder aussuchen, was zu ihm am besten passt. Wenn es den Kurs als Buch, als Hörbuch und als Video gibt, kann man kaufen, was man will. Und wenn im Buch sowohl Text als auch Listen, Mind Maps oder Karikaturen enthalten sind, ist das prima. Das ist wie ein Buffet, da muss man ja auch nicht alles essen. (Mind Maps benutze ich selber übrigens gern, um meine Gedanken zu ordnen, aber mit denen anderer Leute kann ich gar nichts anfangen.)

    Ich lese ja sehr langsam (dafür sehr gründlich) und überspringe gerade deshalb gern mal einige Absätze, wenn ich merke, dass der Autor sich wiederholt. Was ich einmal gelesen habe, weiß ich teilweise für den Rest meines Lebens. Audio-Sachen höre ich teilweise mit 1,5-facher Geschwindigkeit. Und bei Videos skippe ich minutenweise vor, wenn sie mich zu nerven beginnen. Bei Youtube kann man ja im Fortschrittsbalken diese Vorschaubildchen sehen. Wenn ich z.B. eine Stricktechnik lernen will und die Macher erstmal rumlabern, springe ich so an die Stelle, wo das Strickzeug im Bild auftaucht.

    Liebe Grüße,
    (“Brav und fleißig und sehr freundlich” nehme ich als Kompliment. Ich hoffe Du fühlst Dich nicht gestalkt oder so. Ich kann nicht gut zwischen den Zeilen lesen bzw. hören. Ich lese Dein Blog gern und höre Deinen Podcast gern. Das ist alles.)

  3. Ich glaub, du solltest das Buch auch nicht kaufen. Nach deiner Beschreibung kann ich mir nicht vorstellen, dass du da was Ansprechendes drin findest.

    Pia Pessoa

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