The Unsubscribe Punch

You work hard (and smart). You build great things, interact with people but something obviously just isn’t working out. Nobody reads your tweets. Nobody Likes you on Facebook. Nobody comments on your blog.

You’re passionate about your ideas but now you’re alone in the silence, hurt by the apparent rejection and failure of it all. C-suite’s gut about social media was right, wasn’t it!

Then that Unsubscribe comes along – that’s the punch in the gut. Who cares about Twitter unfollows or what happens on Facebook. But that Unsubscribe  – that’s the slice.

This is all going to happen to you online – as well as off. It’s part of life in today’s world.

Yesterday, I wrote something straight out of my heart – an appeal to respect for nurses in general, and Healthcare communicators in particular. I got great reaction. …Except: one Unsubscribe from the Newsletter showcasing the post.

I get Unsubscribes as a matter of course in this business – happens, and it’s cool. Clearly it would be psycho to go off.

But that one – that one from a Healthcare communicator hit me right in the gut. The frustration of driving away the very person who I was appealing to do something with her skills.

Here’s what’s important though:  my feelings aren’t reality – and that’s something you will need to remind yourself: you don’t really know what people think or feel, nor do you fully understand their intentions. Misinterpretation is easy – especially online where information isn’t complete.

For all of our efforts to market our passions, there’s always the chance that the market isn’t there; or you’re in the totally wrong market; or you’re style isn’t matching with the market’s.

But, I guarantee: this problem will drive you nuts – especially if you’re truly passionate. The Unsubscribe isn’t just the literal one – it’s in every interface of your strategy.

This Web stuff isn’t easy as some (i.e. the inexperienced) would have you believe. It’s actually a Healthcare issue in itself: people working in this business will have to learn to cope with the good and the bad: negative comments, blasts, threats, etc. That’s why organizations need to have support systems for their employees.

So my advice is as follows:

  • Be willing to accept that your passion may not be shared by others
  • Your definition of the market, may not be the market
  • Consider that you may have to trade a bit of your passion for the reality of the market – if you want some way of helping who you’re tying to help (your way isn’t the only way, no matter how passionate it is)
  • Know that the essence of passion is love – and love without risk and disappointment and heartbreak isn’t love
  • In the 21st Century, Marketing without love is like a hand without fingers
  • You can always give up on your job – but never give up on your love
  • Don’t confuse your passion with you – that’s when the ego rises and crushes the passion

If that Unsubscribe doesn’t punch you in the gut, you have no guts.

@PhilBaumann –  @HealthIsSocial

Subscribe So You Can Unsubscribe Newsletter


0 Replies to “The Unsubscribe Punch”

    1. Hi Peter

      Thanks. Now that’s a great story – if your mom follows you on Twitter, I hope she never blocks you. 😉



  1. I know the feeling! I’ve had several friends unsubscribe from my blog, but you can’t take it personally. Needs change, and sometimes people are just cleaning house.

    1. Hi Ed.

      These day, most people are cleaning up. Fewer people are using RSS (although I’ve actually gone back to RSS recently – after streamlining, it’s actually very useful).

      Also, “subscribe” means different things compared to five years ago: “Follow and “Fan” are the new subscribes. So I can unsubscribe from email subscriptions, but I still follow the author on Twitter or elsewhere.

      In the end, though, traditional blogging will always be an important part of the Web. In fact, it may be the one art which rescues us from the deluge of superficial subscribing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *