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Critique Vs. Criticism And Other Musings

Critique Vs. Criticism And Other Musings

We’re Tired!

We recorded this on Sunday after a few weeks of super intensive work, and man, we’re bushed. So this is a shorter episode than usual, just the right length for you to get on the treadmill for a good workout.

Why We So Desperately Need A Nap

First of all, since we recorded this on Sunday, we were eager to rest up for the season finale of Game of Thrones.

But mostly we’re exhausted because we’re starting not one… not two… but THREE new business ventures.

They are all product-based – namely, we’re building three products (in this case software).

One is the new Triberr – and thanks to the feedback of some superfans, we’ve got plenty of plans to include the features YOU asked for.

One is still a super secret so we can’t quite talk about it yet.

And one is designed specifically to make the lives of our SuperFreds easier.

It’s Still Sort Of A Secret But…

You may know that we produce four podcasts each week. Two are based on blogs we’ve written and two are full length episodes with rather extensive show notes like this one.

Then we promote that stuff, which includes creating graphics, ads and scheduling.

Oh and we also do client work!

Which leads to the point…

People constantly ask us, “How the heck do you DO all that?”

And the answer isn’t that we have figured out cloning (though I wouldn’t mind one…)

The answer isn’t that we have superpowers (though I might like to move at the speed of light…)

The answer is: efficiency.

And the way we gain efficiency is through a handful of home grown tools that we’ve developed for ourselves to help us manage our workflows and processes.

And Now We Want To Share That With You

We’re in the process of combining all our best tools into one super tool for content creators to help them manage their own content, whether that’s a blog, podcast or social shares.

That’s about all I can tell you right now but we’ll share more as we get closer to unveiling it. In the meantime, let us know if there are any special challenges YOU face when creating, managing or sharing content – whether for yourself or for clients – and we’ll see what we can do about making that easier for you.

This Whole Process Is Not Fast Or Simple

We’ve talked plenty of times about how you can’t create a product of real value in two or twenty four or even a hundred hours.

Last week we talked with Cynthia Sanchez about her product – Web Images Made Easy – and how it took her and her partner a year to produce it.

Granted, what we’re doing is different in the sense that we’re not creating an ecourse or video series – we’re actually forming an entirely new business – but there is a lot that goes into it, either way.

We’ve definitely lost a lot of sleep as we plan and ponder and decide and figure out. So the fact that people STILL cough up $49 or $197 or ANY dollars to watch whatever webinar or read whatever ebook promises to show you how to create a product fast and sell it for a ton of money – well, that just drives me nuts.

They’re Only Seeing Dollar Signs

People who sell you the quick fix are just trying to figure out how to put dollars in their pockets.

But let’s face it – we ALL think about dollars. We all want to make money. Nobody is doing this to be altruistic. Everyone has to run a business and make enough money to live.

But if you really want to generate revenue then it’s about the value you can provide to your customer. That’s what will keep them coming back for the long term.

Calling Tammie Rampley!

Ralph needs to talk to you. Email him. Apparently, saying it out loud on the show was the only way he’d remember to say that. So much for GTD, huh? I call shenanigans.

Moving on…

We Got A “Bad” Review Of Our Podcast

Ok, not exactly “bad”. It was a 3-star review (out of 5) but still, ouch.

The problem is that the complaint went something like this: Too much chatter, just get to the point and tell me what I came to hear.

For us, the chatter is kind of the point. That, and the marketing stuff. But it all goes together. If we cut that part out we’d lose ourselves in the process.

The other problem is that “the chatter” is one of the things that people most often tell us they enjoy. So… we’ll keep the chatter.

We’re open to critique but ultimately we decide that this guy probably shouldn’t be listening to our show.

You Can Please Some Of The People…

Friend of the show Alisa Meredith was recently on Wade Harman’s podcast (an upcoming guest on ours, stay tuned!) and she shared the podcast online. And while plenty of people liked the show, one guy decided that he didn’t get the information he wanted out of the show. And he was very loud and very public about that.

Alisa and Wade did the smart thing – they explained that they provided exactly the information they set out to provide and then they ignored his continued, and loud, protestations.

If I had to guess, I’d say this guy is not a good fit as their audience. So it just goes to show that you really can’t be everything to everyone at all times.

Please Your Audience. Nobody Else Matters.

We talk a lot about storytelling. You have to tell your story in a way that’s meaningful to you and your audience but you also have to accept that not everyone is your audience

Your content has to resonate with people you want to convert, whether you want them to buy from you or read or listen to you or sign up for your email list. The others? They simply don’t matter.

An Example Of A Useful Critique

A few weeks ago we learned that we could save a bunch on podcast hosting by reducing our audio file size. And the way to do that is to reduce the quality of the output.

So we reduced the quality, listened back on our laptop and decided we couldn’t tell the difference between the high quality (big file) and lower quality (small file).


We saved $40 a month on hosting and that’s a big deal.


Sheng Slogar, official Web.Search.Social Watchdog, sent me a message that went something like this: Dude, WTF audio quality?

Turns out he was listening on headphones, where the sound was more obvious, and it sounded pretty crummy.

And I said, DRAT!

So I upped the quality a notch but not quite to the best quality.

Then Sheng messaged me and said something like… Dude, WTF audio quality STILL?

And I said, CRUMBUN!

And ratcheted the quality back up to 100%.

Then Sheng messaged me said something like, Dude, YES!

So that’s a critique we took to heart because it mattered to the quality of our show.

The challenge is understanding the difference.

You need to differentiate between a legitimate critique and an unproductive criticism made by someone who just doesn’t like you (or feels like being a troll – of which there are an endless supply!)

Remember You Can Still Get A Discount On Téa Silvestre’s Storytelling Soiree

It will be held August 8-9 in Portland Oregon and you can get all the details by visiting the Story Bistro website. If you sign up by July 1 you get a 25% discount on the ticket price by entering the code RIVERAPAL25.

Vote Tramplee Designs!

And don’t forget to vote for Tammie Rampley of Tramplee Designs to win a commercial in the Super Bowl! No need to register or enter any info, just click the button. You can do it once every 24 hours.

We’re doing it every day so if you can do it once, great! If you can do it a couple times, even better!

Your Marketing Action Item

Actually we copped out today since we really need a nap.

So how about you take one too?

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Join the discussion 16 Comments

  • In my estimation, the “gentleman” who thinks there’s too much “chatter” on your show is most likely not a podcaster, public speaker, instructor, salesman, D.J., or anything that requires knowledge of human nature and/or human interaction. He’s missing the [relationship building] boat. He sounds like someone who’d be much happier and better served by reading articles, not by listening to podcasts. If he wants to get right to the topic, search engines are his friend.

    To me, a business/marketing podcast without some degree of banter, trivia, teasing, references to the real world (wine/food/lack of sleep/sex/Uncle Hector/bag of dicks), is just not entertaining. To grab me by the collar and rope me in, I prefer a mix of business and fun. Otherwise, I would start snoring two minutes into a podcast and probably never return again.

    • LOL!! Melanie, just one of the many reasons I love you. I don’t know anyone else who can use wine, sex and “bag of dicks” in the same sentence so awesomely. Come to think of it, Uncle Hector hasn’t made an appearance in a while. We’ll have to check on him!

      • Yeah, give us the scoop on Uncle Hector! We haven’t had an update in ages.

        Feel free to discuss wine, sex, and dickheads anytime you like. I’m listening! 😉

  • Is it possible to create a “$197 product in 48 hours”? Sure. A piece of crap no one will buy. Therein, lies the trickery in that type of claim. Heck, I can create a 10-page e-book in the next four hours and slap any price tag I want on it, right? BUT is there any guarantee I’ll be able to sell it?! Nope.

    I get pretty hot under the collar when I see these kinds of promises being made to unsuspecting souls. They’re led to believe there’s little to no work involved in creating a viable digital product. And I don’t even care if the training is free. It’s a huge disservice to set people on a path to failure and disappointment.

    The marketing research, planning, organization, and development of a product requires mountains of work.

    • I would love to know, practically speaking, if people really make money off these types of products. It’s hard enough to sell something when you KNOW it’s awesome let alone when you’re “some guy who is putting together a product in two hours.” I guess if you crank out enough of these you don’t really have to make a lot of money, just enough here and there. NOT MY UP OF TEA!

      • Really good point! I guess if someone is interested in earning a scant bit of pocket change now and then, a product created in two days will do the trick. However, that product still has to be marketed to an audience in order to earn anything at all. So if you’re going to put time, effort, and energy into marketing/promoting your thing …

        Figure out first IF there’s a real need/want/desire for your product and set yourself up for a much better chance for success. Because I think people who just throw something together in a hurry probably get more requests for refunds than anything else. Just my two cents worth.

        • The sad thing is I bet most people don’t ask for a refund. First of all, these prices are typically low enough that I bet people don’t bother. Secondly, we all know how easy it is to “buy” the thing but not as easy to “do”. If I had a dollar for every ebook or course or webinar or something I bought and then left on my desktop to wither away…

          I think part of what these people count on is using a lot of psychology, getting you all amped up to do something, giving you THE PRODUCT and counting on you going away and not doing anything. Or chalking up your lack of success to your own horrible failure.

  • For chuff’s sake! The review is of no consequence. Don’t ever go changing! This is by far my fave podcast. It speaks to me and I feel like you are old friends now. Everyone does dull ‘get right to the point’ podcasts, you entertain me, educate me and give me food for thought. The ‘gentleman’ can find plenty that is right up his street, but you are both right up mine. PLEEEESE never change!!!!!

  • By the way, I have written the content haters affirmation on a post it and stuck it on the wall. I needed that! Perhaps Ralph could do a book of similar affirmations for content producers? I can show him how to make one in 30 secs, sell it for $7 and make BILLIONS!!!

  • I think I might know the person who went after your quality. He sounds like a great guy!!