There comes a time in man’s life when he has to realize his limitations, no matter how unsettling it is. For me, that time came when I submitted my book, Everyone’s Advice Is Wrong . . . Including Mine, for publication to some of the top dogs in the publishing business. Surely, someone with a unique message and academic pedigree could get a publishing deal. After all, lousy books are printed every day.
I figured that I had a 50 percent chance of success but this was not the case. Alas, everything is not black and gray.
“Nobody knows who you are,” they all said. “You don’t have a blog or twitter account,” they emphasized. They were right about that. Reluctantly, I swallowed my pride and began my online marketing campaign.
“Like my page on Facebook! Or I’m defriending you!” was the best strategy I came up with. Dozens of defriends later, that was a bust.
“But I retweeted you @KingJames, why don’t you retweet that I’m writing a book #comeonman #goblue #maybeiexceededthecharactercount,” I tweeted.
Maybe Tumblr is the way to go. No, that’s too old, how about Instagram. “Add more filters, then people will follow you,” my cousin advised. Why do I need filters for a picture of the ocean?!
Instagram also a flop.
Simultaneously, I started this blog and besides hitting refresh a dozen times a day, my views have gone up…a lot. For that I am thankful and relieved.
However, even with all the social media coverage, I knew the real way to get the word out was to pound the pavement and do so anonymously.
And that’s exactly what I did.
As a starving artist trying to make it…Scratch that. As an overeducated scholar trying not to default on my loan obligations, I could not wait for my book to get published, go viral, and keep the creditors off of my back.
I was way behind schedule in completing the book and the bill collectors were growing uneasy. Returning to the office to make ends meet while finishing my writing would have been hypocrisy at its best. How could I promote a lifestyle free of the cubicle while simultaneously staying dependent on it for nourishment?
And that’s when I came up with the granddaddy of them all, a marketing plan that will go down in history as one of the funniest, most inspiring, informative, and somewhat dangerous things I have ever conjured up.
Target demographic: recent college grads who hate their jobs.
Best way to get the word out: speaking to them in person.
The forum: the taxicab and yours truly the taxicab driver.
Here is a basic transcript of a taxi ride:
Passenger: I would like to go to Mint Club in Old Town Scottsdale.
Me: Not a problem.
Turns meter on.
Me: So what do you do?
Passenger: Oh I work at [insert cubicle farm]. I hate it. That’s why I’m going to get wasted tonight.
Me: I hear you. I was a lawyer and couldn’t deal with the daily grind. I’d much rather drive a cab!
Passenger: Wait what?! You’re a lawyer? My friend got a DUI…Wait why are you driving a taxi?
Me: Actually I wrote a comedic self-help book for young disillusioned educated adults who hate the cubicle but don’t know a way out. My publisher said I didn’t have enough likes on Facebook so I came up with this marketing campaign.
Passenger: That’s f@!&ing awesome. I’ll buy a book for sure!
Me: Here’s my card with the website. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and whatever Google+ is. And on the back is my number if you need a ride. I work Wednesday through Saturday 4PM to 4AM.
That’ll be $8.50.
Credit card machine processing.
Care to leave a tip?
And that’s just the start of the promo and my life as Alexander Bachuwa JD/MBA/Cabbie began.