Good Advice, Kid.

9-Year-Old Wisdom

My son is always thinking about making money…perhaps the entrepreneurial apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, or more likely, he wants to be able to buy video games. His latest idea is to set up a table on a busy street and sell advice for $10. For my recent birthday, he was kind enough to give me the following marketing tips as a free gift:

  1. Don’t just say on your ad—you gotta tell them something else.
  2. Don’t advertise on youtube. People skip the ads in between the videos.
  3. Do advertise on “the sports.” People usually watch those live so they don’t miss the scoring, so they’ll watch your ad too.
  4. Tell them it’s a work-from-home situation. People love that right now.

Not bad! He’s clearly been listening to me talk about marketing and running a business, and is paying attention to the advertising around him. Here’s how I would rewrite those:

  1. Tell people what you do and who you do it for so that it’s clear what you’re offering. Prospects should be able to say “Hey, I feel that/am that/need that!” or “No, that’s not for me.”
  2. Don’t waste money and time advertising to the wrong audience.
  3. Do spend your time talking to “your people” in the places they already are. Network at industry-specific events, attend industry-specific conferences, and advertise in the publications and on the sites that your customers and clients already read.
  4. When appropriate, bring a little bit of yourself to the conversation. You never know what you might have in common with the person on the other end, and it’s generally more enjoyable to work with someone who is authentic and personable.

I can’t wait to hear what his next set of life tips will be. To pay the generosity forward, I’m once again making a donation to Alice’s Kids. They’re a wonderful organization that works with teachers, social workers, police staff and other carers to give small gifts to children who need specific help—like paying for a yearbook, or soccer cleats, or a prom dress, or a field trip ticket. Want to join me? Send me an email with the best (or worst!) advice you ever got from a kid, and I’ll add in $5 on your behalf.

Happy New Year! I hope 2023 brings you good health and good fortune, and all of the wisdom and confidence of a 9-year-old boy who learns stuff on YouTube.