There are a number of reasons why I recently left my spot as contributor to “Lab Manager Magazine” and stopped writing for the other magazines in the industry. One problem I seem to have is that people started to think that I’m a professional writer – that I make a living from writing articles.
The Irony of This
The irony is that industry experts such as myself write articles for the magazines and attend the conferences more for exposure to our business than anything else and we do it for free. If you see a name from one of the software or consulting companies in our industry on an article byline or on a conference agenda, you can be certain they’re not getting paid for that and probably expending their own or their company’s money to do it (and sometimes their company is paying for the privilege of allowing their person to speak in that spot). Of course, even considering that, most of us do try to provide useful information that truly helps people while we’re doing that.
In the last couple of years, I’ve gotten on the radar of most of the conferences and could attend just about any conference for free whether or not I’m invited to speak. Last year, I decided to expend a bit extra of my travel budget for conferences in order to try out some of the events and see how useful they really are. Also, I got the idea that, while I’m attending so many of them, I could share that information with others by writing articles about each event. Part of my reasoning was that, with the economy so bad, fewer people could attend and might want to read about the events in order to decide whether to attend for a following year and also that the magazines would probably be glad to get articles on these events without expending extra money to a writer. I was wrong (and how often do you see a consultant admit that! 😉 ). There were no interested magazines. In some cases, these types of articles weren’t a good fit for the magazine, in other cases, the magazines just didn’t have an interest.
So, I ended up posting my material to TheIntegratedLab.com and to this blog. Once again, this is why people like me are turning more to blogs and other places we can post what we want to when we want to.
As I become less likely to attend conferences, it seems that yet more conferences are discovering my blog and inviting me to attend their conferences. Part of their reasoning is that I’ll learn something at their conferences. With the problems we face where conferences rotate between the same speakers and topics, that’s increasingly unlikely. The other part of their reasoning is that they’d like me to come network with their attendees to share my expertise. However, I can do that almost for free in my own blog (I say “almost” because everything you do takes time away from other things you could be doing and “time is money” as we all recognize). Thus, the logic that I should spend more my own travel budget on this isn’t a motivational factor for me.
So, the reason I’m sharing any of the information that I share is that I’m trying to promote my business but am willing to share the information I have with you, the reader. I hope some of you reading this will give me a call to become a customer. But even though most of the readers won’t ever become customers, I’m still happy to share what information I gather at the conferences because it’s not costing me much to do it. Hopefully, that will inspire some of you to share information with each other, as well. Hey, if I can’t get you as a customer, I’m glad to think I could inspire you. I prefer that you become my customer, but I’ll take what I can get and knowing I’ve inspired someone is still a good feeling.