Skip to content

We are getting scammed. Do I have that right? – CorrTek Marketing Mixer #63

Logo for the Marketing Mixer newsletter. Gold bars in a waveform pattern above the name of the newsletter.

In this week’s Marketing Mixer newsletter:

  • Giving away content to tech giants favors the platform, not you.
  • More spam video coming to your least favorite social media site.
  • Making better connections by asking, “Do I have that right?” | Get better.

In contrast to a previous article I shared about the great online game, there is a different perspective that I have been contemplating lately.

Inspiration for this post from from here: The passion economy is a trap

In The Great Online Game, we are all accumulating points in an informal game spread across the entire internet. A reply on a video, comments with a retweet, or a newsletter hot take might open a door for you in the real world. I have experienced this first hand. I worked diligently on LinkedIn for years developing my personal brand as the “tech guy” with the target audience the C-Suite and leadership at my (at the time) employer. Then, when searching for a new job, my experience as a long time podcast host and YouTube creator ended up being the differentiator the company was looking for in their candidate list.

But, there is a sinister side of the gig and passion platforms. The platforms are created to exploit the creatives endlessly sharing their passion.

Passion platforms encourage everyone to create new content and publish, with promises that with enough content and enough hard work you can quit your job and make a living from your art. This could be anything!

But there are several problems with this thought. First, you need to create content that gets enough views for you to even be worthy of payment and that is even if the platform has an revenue sharing arrangement. For YouTube you must meet an incredibly high bar to start collecting the pennies they are willing to share. But, in the meantime, YouTube will run ads on your content and keep all of the money. Once you are worthy of a revenue split, YouTube will keep the vast majority of the money and charge you platform fees.

On other platforms, like Instagram, they keep all the money from your work. If you develop a large enough following, you may be able to monetize their attention by negotiating your own brand deals with a marketer such as myself, but Instagram will continue to run ads and monetize your content without ever once giving you a single dime.

Why do I bring this up in a marketing newsletter? The passion economy is built on top of businesses looking to de-legitimize marketing. Canva isn’t for making personal social media posts look good, it is to fire designers and leave copywriters to do their own visual support. Grammarly isn’t to help your emails read better, it is to remove PR and Editors from the publishing process. Fiverr is even more insidious, which can replace your entire marketing department for a fraction of the cost and leverage highly skilled marketers against each other, driving our value down.

More than ever, management does not see the persistent value of true marketing professionals. Marketing is a cost center and everyone in the organization is tasked with reducing costs. Now there are dozens of platforms that are created with the sole intention of eliminating marketing cost and undercutting what we are worth.

I know I haven’t been full of sunshine lately, especially about the marketing industry. But we deserve better. We deserve to be paid for our work, regardless if it is for the organization or a platform for our passion. Keep creating, but don’t give it away. Before you publish, consider what you have to gain versus what the platform gains. Do your own calculations.

Read more: Why is tech illustration stuck on repeat? Ask the overworked, underpaid illustrators.

Twitter interlude

Hot links

lol, wut? Like, for real this is a thing and built on Teams? Couple thoughts on this. One, I’m looking forward to video chat request spam on LinkedIn and it being the final straw to finally leave it. Two, SEJ is an absolute terrible website. Don’t get me wrong, it looks nice and the content is good. But the pop-ups, newsletter requests, and scrolling notifications are out of control.


Companies pay you for the value you provide and the work you do, not how much your housing or commute costs. If you are worth $100k in Seattle, you are worth the same in Bozeman.

Do I have that right? | Leadership – Coaching – Life

We all know that words matter. Whether that’s in person, in a video chat, or in a text, the words we choose matter. But sometimes what we mean and what is heard are two different things. As a leader it is our job to make sure we are absorbing and sharing information so that everyone is on the same page.

This is why I love to use “What I’m hearing is…” and restate the topic. Then ask, “Do I have that right?”

Check out my recent coaching video about this topic or read the full transcript below.


This transcript was made with auto-generated speech-to-text AI with reviewed by a human transcriptionist for clarity and general grammar improvements. Some errors may still exist.

We all know that words matter. Whether that’s in person in a video chat in a text, whatever it is, we know that words matter. And for me in marketing, I think about that a lot and how I’m communicating with customers. But something that we forget about is how we communicate with each other, in particular with a team, or with a if you’re in a leadership role, that people who work for you and how your words are perceived, and how they are interpreted. And that goes both ways when someone’s giving you information, how you perceive and interpret and infer what it is that they’re trying to tell you.

That can be dangerous, right? We find ourselves in a situation where we hear or read what someone is saying, and immediately get angry, or upset, or frustrated, or confused. Because at the time, we’re trying to infer what the other person is trying to say, what is it that they are actually saying versus the words that I heard or saw them say. That gets us into a trap, because then we’re trying to interpret what another person is saying, but in filling in the gaps, with words that they didn’t say.

And now there’s absolutely a space, especially as someone who does a lot of copywriting that we try to pass along information in words that we didn’t say, as well as the words that we did say. When it comes to being a leader that really matters. And I’ve run into some scenarios recently, where I’ve had that type of interaction, where I was working with someone who’s a client, they were telling me something on how they wanted to run their business and the the marketing that they wanted to do to their customers. And what I kept hearing was something different than what he was actually saying, because I was filling in the gaps in my mind of the information that was missing from what he was saying. And that’s a tendency that we all have, we all look at information in data the same way, which is if it’s left unsaid, then that means that it’s up to the other person, they fill it in with their own imagination. If they’re missing information, they’re going to fill in the information themselves.

What I’ve been using a lot recently is one of my absolute favorite ways to handle these types of discussions and actually use it all the time. Even if I think I’m 100% on the same page with the person. As I say, “I think what I’m hearing is”, and then restate back to them, in my own words, what it is, I think that they’re saying, and then finish it off with, “Do I have that right?” I think what I’m hearing is, you would like me to do X, Y and Z, am I hearing that right?

You would be really, really surprised at how frequently when you do that the other person, especially if you’re not on the same page, hears that and says, “No, I’m sorry, you have that wrong, this is what I mean.” And that’s on you, you’re just interpreting it wrong, because you are filtering what they were saying through your own biases. Or they realize that they presented the information wrong, “Sorry, listen, I led you down the wrong path. Allow me to restate that.”

This is really, really powerful as a leader and also talking to someone who is your leader, someone who’s your manager, because if they’re passing information to you, and you feel that you feel that immediate anger or frustration, I can’t believe they just said that, or they went a route that I told them not to do, or that they’re making a decision that I know that is bad. If you restate that to them, “Hey, I think I heard this, do I have that right?” You’d be surprised at how frequently it was misinterpreted, or was misrepresented. And when you do that, you have an opportunity to communicate on an entirely new level. And build that trust way, way stronger. Bringing it up, instead of letting it slide, letting it fester, letting yourself get all worked up about it. Because you find yourself in that scenario a lot, right? And then later only to find out that actually meant something else. And then you spent all that time being upset and angry or frustrated or sad about what it is that you heard. It is way better to get it out there in the very beginning to say, “Wait, timeout. I think what I heard was this, do I have that right?”

And that saying is so, so powerful, because it doesn’t just work when you’re receiving information. If you’re a leader, you can also make sure that you pass the information correctly to your team. You can ask them, “Okay, hey, I would like you to repeat back to me what I said in your own words how you interpreted what I was talking about.” Now it gets a little tricky, because you definitely don’t want to come off as being condescending. So you have to figure out a different way to be able to phrase that. But you will ask them, can you rephrase that to me on how you heard that? What do you think I mean by that? If you were to go do this, how would you proceed based on the information that I gave you? And if they repeat back to you something that was not what you were intending, you know you need to pause, restate what you’re doing and make sure it’s you’re both on the same page.

And it’s so so critical that the communication goes both ways, and that we are both on the same page. And we both understand things the same way, then we can get real good work done. So that’s one of my favorite absolute favorite phrases to use did I hear this, right. restate it. How does that sound to you? Do I have that right? Ask that question and see what the response is to that.

This is, by the way, this is my second favorite thing to do as a leader to make sure that we’re on the same page. The first one is scaling. Now, that’s a totally different topic to talk about a different time. I encourage you to look that one up before we get to that video. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic and using that phrase. So to hear that right. What I heard was, like, did I have that right? I don’t hear you reuse that phrase on me on what you heard from this video. And I’d love to see those in the comments below wherever you’re watching this. That’s what I got this time. Bye pals.

Skip to content