There seems to be an ever-increasing feeling of entitlement these days. I see it while people are driving; at the grocery store, on the train, even walking down the street. Unfortunately, the place I see it most is online.
I am thrilled to promote businesses. That’s a large part of what The Local Tourist does; we make people aware of businesses they should know about. It’s certainly not everything we do, but if we think you’re awesome we’ll share it. For free, because that’s an editorial decision made by me and everyone on my team.
That being said, TLT is a business and our audience has value. I’ve worked hard to create a place that is trusted, that fosters loyalty and raving fans. I believe they trust us precisely because our content is editorial and if we’ve got a financial relationship or any sort of remuneration we tell you.
Lately I’ve been receiving more and more overreaching requests for access to my audience without any sort of compensation. My answer is always (although not quite so forthright):
- No, you cannot tweet attendees to my event beforehand to drum up business. *I* don’t even do that, unless it’s someone I know personally.
- No, you cannot have the email addresses of people who’ve been invited and who attend. Never. Never. Never.
- Yes, this is how I make my living, how I pay my team, and that webhost doesn’t pay for itself. Running a site like this takes oh, so much time, so yes, there’s a charge to have your logo on TLT, there’s a charge for me to send an email to our list, and there’s a charge to run a contest, if for no other reason than doing those means I’m providing marketing for you at the cost of my own tasks.
Of course, that’s not always the case. There are some businesses and people that do get things at no charge. They do because we have a relationship, we provide value to each other in other ways, what they’re offering is so spectacular that I want our audience to have it, and a myriad of other reasons.
My point, after this long-winded diatribe? Don’t be entitled, don’t ask for things you would never give, and be respectful. And yes, assign value where value is due.