What Would You Do With This?

I get sent a lot of e-mails from people asking me for help.

It may be that they want to form a JV (joint venture), submit a guest post, have me review a new book or program, or even mentor them (I’ve had two of the latter this week alone).

Or, it may be they want free advice or support.

Some I respond to, many I don’t. Like the guy this week who asked me to send him some links to Internet articles on confidence – “Sure, let me Google that for you!”

The ones I don’t respond to usually have a certain set of commonalities.

Almost always they start with “Hi’ or ‘Hey there’ indicating that the person who wants my help hasn’t even bothered to find my name which is plastered all over my website.

Then they usually tell me they are a big fan of my work and my efforts to help others in some way, shape or form without being specific.

Specificity Is the Enemy Of Spam

Quite often they won’t say at A Daring Adventure or Coach the Life Coach, but will have the full url such as www.adaringadventure.com.

Do you know why that is?

As a rule it’s one of the biggest telltale signs that somebody is copy and pasting or automating the same e-mail to dozens, maybe hundreds of other people.

In other words, they are building their hopes of business success on spamming scores of people and hoping some people will respond.

It may not be as spammy as some of the e-mails trying to sell you solutions to erectile dysfunction, find you loans, or offer you the latest herbal tonic that will remove all your belly fat, cure your cancer and have you bouncing around like a teenager on acid, but spam it is.

I’ve had 3 e-mails this week at A Daring Adventure from people wanting to know what my guest post guidelines are.

Not an unreasonable request you may think.

Except for the fact that anybody who has done their research and read my FAQ’s will know what they are. There’s an entire page dedicated to them on my site.

Do Your Research

If you cannot be bothered to research my site, what makes you think I’ll be confident you can supply a guest post that will meet both mine and my readers needs?

Or what makes you think I will help you any more than any of the other dozens of requests I get every week – many of which assure me it will only take a minute of my time?

Getting people to help you requires building relationships over time and it may even involve helping the other person first.

You do need to form a support base that you can occasionally, either individually, or collectively call upon – but you don’t do that by spamming people.

We all get more e-mails than we can deal with and are looking to delete the extraneous ones with extreme prejudice.

So when you are approaching people, make it personal.

Know their name, know their audience when that is applicable and look to offer a win/win situation. Or better still to begin with, just a win for them.

This rare Friday post was inspired by an e-mail I got today from somebody I have never even heard of let alone know.

The top line was the subject line – I have removed the person’s name to save her any embarrassment.

I have captured the e-mail and published it below and I’m keen to know how you would have reacted to it?

I’m guessing you know how I did.



  1. Well I think I would just smile and at move on dependant on my work levels. I like to help people but like you if someone can’t be bothered to even find out my name then it’s not personal to me so….., it doesn’t resonate , I move on.

    • Tim Brownson

      I LOVE to help people and I hope all coaches get into coaching for that reason Kate, but I prefer to help those people who at least make some attempt to help themselves. And like you say, finding my name would have at least added some element of personalization to it.

      On top of all I said in the post, if I had signed up I’d then have got an e-mail every time they published to their channel as I have YouTube alerts turned on because I only follow channels that interest me.

  2. Hi Tim,

    Good lead capturing idea…wish I thought of it first for my biz. Would you mind if I used it …my copy of course just the idea. Have to talk sometime again. I just retired aND working on my coaching biz…different niche though…Like sharing ideas. If interested hit me back.
    Take care

  3. I once received several emails from someone who did address me by my name. Except they addressed me by my last name (“Hi Herzog”). Not sure why they thought that was the way to address me…

  4. Dawn-Rene Martin

    They would have to give me a whole lot more detail and a website to view to check them out. It is just too random and vague. I cannot imagine what hitting subscribe would do though. I mean, is it possible for there to cause some virus or open door to hackers? I don’t know!

    • Tim Brownson

      No it wasn’t a virus or malware, it would have taken me through to their YouTube channel and then I could have hit subscribe.

      They are just looking to boost their numbers quickly to gain more credibility and thus more chance of being found on YouTube. It was just spam marketing.

  5. I wasn’t feeling my age until I tried to read the email you’d pasted, Tim. Also, god this sounds like I’m whining, but having to hop over to your site to read your mail out is less engaging for me. OK, it’s more about me having 50 flipping tabs open on my mobile & I understand why you’re sending people there, but I was more likely to read your mail when it was all there in my inbox. OK, I see this for what it is: I’m cranky cos I’m tired. Night! Ps I wouldn’t have bothered replying (unless I was cranky and in need of sleep that is 😉

  6. I’m also struck that there is not one mention of how doing so might benefit YOU. And yes, sometimes we do things that truly only benefit others. But this would not be one of those times.