Wanna "Pick My Brain"? For Free?

Every week I get dozens of emails which follow a format similar to this one:

  • I’ve read your book (or heard you speak at a conference), and loved it
  • I’d love to buy you coffee (or just set up a time to call you, and show what we’re doing) and “pick your brain” on how/what we could improve

Since the times when I worked for food/drink are long gone, my reply normally follows a pattern I borrowed from Jason Falls, and reads something like this:

Thank you for your email.

While my time is extremely limited, it sounds like we could work together on this. My work schedule is tight, but I am open for consulting arrangements (as short as 20 min). Why don’t we get a deliverables need from you, so that I can put together an estimate, and we can schedule a quick (or extended) working session on the subject?

Only one in eight writes back.

So, today I’m changing my reply to add the following sentence to it:

If your budget is tight, and the answer to the question you’re looking to figure out may be of interest to wider audiences (read: other digital marketers, e-tailers, etc), shoot it my way, and I’ll answer it in my blog.

No, don’t get me wrong — I’m not changing things to let folks “pick my brain” for free. I just want to give a chance to the people who really do have an interesting and important affiliate marketing question, and may not have the budget for a 20-minute consultation.

If you’re one of those folks, feel free to email me. I’m careful about personal/sensitive information. So, rest assured, all sensitive details will be removed from the question before I answer it publicly.

3 thoughts on “Wanna "Pick My Brain"? For Free?”

  1. Geno, so it’s not just me who gets all these guys wanting to “pick my brains” for a coffee or pizza. One of my other favourites is “why don’t you pop over for a chat?” which basically means I have spend my whole day going to see them while they sit in their cushy offices 🙂

    I like your response to these people. 99% disappear when money is mentioned for the consultancy, as they want it for free.

    Your blog is ace by the way and I always enjoy reading it.

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