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  • Diana Schneidman

How NOT to survey your list

The latest fad in internet marketing is to survey our list via SurveyMonkey or a similar free service to determine how our people would like us to help them.

These surveys generally include a list of topics and ask us to select our favorites to give their creators direction in serving our needs.

Many of these surveys are so scattered in their ideas that they lead me to a single thought. Before I can answer your questions, I need the answer to one of my own: Which of these topics, if any, do you know anything useful about that I don’t already know?

Here’s a representative question from a survey I received a few days ago:

Of the following 6 topics, please choose the top THREE that are of the most interest to you:

  • Investing my money, planning for retirement, protecting my wealth

  • Personal growth (building confidence, overcoming challenges, problem solving, goal setting, mindset)

  • Leadership, communication skills, team building

  • Family, personal relationships, parenting

  • Health and wellness, fitness, diet

  • Time management, personal productivity, learning acceleration, study skills

Let’s get lazy.

Rather than looking in her heart (and researching the marketplace) to get in touch with how she can serve her people, she wants us to decide her business via the ballot box.

Do you get the feeling she knows nothing about anything?

I want someone who helps me “protect my wealth” to be a registered financial professional.

I expect someone teaching “diet” to be a medical professional or at least have some qualifications and experience with non-mainstream nutrition.

And I expect someone mucking around in my family relationships to know what they are doing, Good intentions are not enough!

I suspect her financial advice would consist of staying a chapter ahead of her audience in Suze O’s books.

Dieting? Well, essentially it’s about consuming fewer calories, right? No big deal here unless she has something substantive to bring to the conversation.

And family relationships? Is she saying she wants to fool around as an internet-based marriage counselor or child psychologist?

As a reflex, I immediately unsubscribed from her list.

Now I’m sorry I did that because I’d love to see what she decides. Or perhaps, what her readers decide for her?

Originally posted 11-26-10

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