Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dearest Designers (grab a coffee, I need ten minutes)

I would like to speak on behalf of myself, a sworn freebie hunter and thank you leaver.

(I actually leave feedback more than just a cursory thanks - as I think it is more market worthy)

Thank you for taking a moment to hear me talk about the new trend of making freebie hunters tweet (or let's call it what it is - spam) our friends to come and visit your site and get the same freebie. No tweet or facebook account - no freebie.

****if you have no idea what I am talking about please see the post below*****

Firstly, may I just say that not all of us are just lazy freeloaders who can't be bothered to say thank you. Isn't it irony that due to spammers NOT from us, we have to spend time logging in and out of your site due to your spam settings? Then, to actually use the hosting service you use, we are forced to be constantly clearing cookies for 4shared – which guess what, logs you out of everything all over again - I think there has to be a better way.

Mediafire.  Ha! Just kidding.  *(um actually no I'm not. Mediafire is the best, it's free. Can you please just stop using 4shared. Please?  I will beg. It adds HOURS that we could be spending actually using your marvellous products.)  Just think about it. Ok?

Personally speaking, if a designer makes efforts to communicate with the readers (not just the occasional post and then lots of ads) I will go out of my way to leave a thank you.
I understand that nowdays being a designer requires a marketing team and that for some designers that means they are wearing many hats, so sometimes I am not even sure who I am thanking, or whether they actually read the comments. 

Better yet, is when the actual designer comes into the comments and engages conversation - so make sure you have a box we can tick to be alerted to any replies - we visit a lot of blogs.

I would leave a comment especially if I feel the designer is new, starting a new product line and is uncertain, or if no one ever comments, then I like to sprinkle some love around.
I have seen many designers complain and yet not many feel inclined to change their behaviour as much as their readers are expected to. There are better vehicles for encouraging interaction and response from your readers than enforcing worthless repetitive spam about the same freebie. Let us think for a moment, if a popular designer instigated this new policy.
I would recieve literally hundreds of the same tweet. I tell you now, I would be remembering your brand for all the wrong reasons. I would also resent my feed being swamped with essentially advertisements using my friends to sell me when they didn't even buy anything.
What I want to know is, is the tick box provided by blogger (which requires no login) not enough thanks? No malice here, its an honest question as I don’t know if this is the case. I LOVE when designers have the feature enabled.

You do know that you can make those check boxes that can appear at the end of each post contain whatever questions/content you wish? 

You could auto populate the checkboxes to say

( ) Thanks! I appreciate this
( ) Whoo hoo! More of this please!
( ) Thanks for the freebie, but it’s not my cup of tea.

This perhaps will increase the tick value because you will not only get thanks, but you will also get 1. customer interaction 2. trending statistics 3. an idea of what is popular with your readers.

Just an idea. (You can use those for free, and you don't need to tweet ;)

I think with a little thought, you creative, amazing designers can utilise the check box to do more than just say " thanks or I dont like this."Think outside the box.

You could even have

( ) I’ve been loving this week’s theme ( ) I would totally buy this kit!
( ) Please make more of this style of freebie

Think engage not enrage!

I wish I could take this to a bigger forum, as I am starting to see a lot of tweet for freebies and nope, I get none of them. It actually drives me away. Ditto passwords.
Pirates don't mind using passwords. We do.  You know, we buy your kits.
Pirates don't.  They don't read your blog. They don't read your warnings.
All most of these new hurdles just annoy one person - your actual customers.

I am going to post a tweet to get more people to see this letter. I encourage discussion.

Summing up, making you do something for a gift - It just seems like a non–gift.
Do you want a thank you or do you want advertising? Because you are asking for one and then enforcing the latter if you choose to make the facebook post or tweet a condition to download your "gift".

" I made this present for you, but before you get it, can you tell everyone how great it is (? unopened and unviewed) and how great I am ….. NO? Well, forget the present. No deal."

This is how it is? Is it not?

How many blogger/designers enable anon postings, which do take 5 seconds?
How many bloggers provide a chatbox at the side – and inform freebie finders
that they can leave a quick comment there ——>>>>>>
(You must do both, as chatboxes have a reputation for being full of old redundant content and we dont know if the designer reads it.)

Just one more thing (it blew out to seven - sorry!).

It is YOUR time and YOUR blog so you can do whatever you wish.
But I won't buy you nor will I download the freebie.  Some mums don't even bloody know what a tweet is?  Facebook?  You really think everyone has one?

Just as your obvious readers, it seems fair that we can shed light on what we actually feel when told we are ungrateful, lazy and rude in a matter of implied meaning. I also see blogs with 66 thank you posts, what are they doing that gets that result? Usually, it is something unique or to be really blunt, something worth paying for. That makes people go “wow! I just totally got this gorgeous thing that I will use (thats key) and that is so generous of the designer.
I simply MUST thank them cos I want more of this and also I want them to know just how happy they made me today. Result = 30 thank yous.

Just look at the last Goodie Train.
Submissions that were of better quality do get the comments.
It may be not nice, but lets really get the truth out on the table.
All freebies are not created equal. Freebies are not just done for the kindness factor - it is a marketing strategy, so we can play with your designs and also sample the quality.
So there is always that benefit of potential sales - am I right?
I know they take time to make, money to host and we bloody should be thankful.
But could you possibly try to make it easier to do so before you actually try and make it harder?

I will never tweet for a freebie on principle - and I am not alone.
People may say I understand why, but give them a choice - and will they still choose it?

The culture of thanking for freebies is not universal. But this is not the way to start a culture that is respectful, considerate and gracious.  That is what our digi culture is, and why it is such an amazing community. This just feels weird. Admit it!

Freebies are a part of the hobby - how did you get started? We all played with freebies once.

We all can be a sucker for a very good freebie. That's so unique. Let's protect it.
If I tweet about you - it's cos I want to. In the future, will people think that of my tweets?

Some designers give too much away, and it devalues their brand.
Maybe give less but make it higher quality. You will get those thank yous.
I see it on blogs most of the time a great freebie is offered.
I can provide examples in private, as designing is also a personal taste.
I do not claim to be an excellent judge of designing skill. I just hunt freebies and I buy kits
from those good freebies and designers.

Mind you some awesome designers are too scungy, and it also ruins their image.
We all know who they are. But it does take tweaking and communication.

You have every right to tell us if you feel let down, in fact I think its better to paint the whole story though – from both sides. Ask your readers why and then make it easier - not harder.

1 comment:

Amanda @ Amanda & Millie Designs said...

Thank you so much for this post. I had been thinking of adding Tweet for a Freebie to the newest freebie I was offering until I read this post. It made me stop, think and actually consider the implications of using that app. I really hadn't given it much thought apart from it was 'interaction' but it's not is it? It is jumping through hoops. It is spam and it is stopping a lot of people from accessing freebies.
I'm not going to add it now. I'm just going to offer the download and hope that people like it enough to want to download it.
There is one really good thing that has come out of this though - I found your blog and another source of free resources.
Thank you so much for reminding me and hopefully others why share.