The business lessons you can learn from pretentious dickheads

I had a whole blog post planned about a duck today, but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

Because my friend Jo sent me a much more instructive – and funny – story about a pretentious dickhead. 

Cat in a beret and striped jumper

Make sure your marketing copy isn’t the writing equivalent of a terrible first date. Need help? Grab a copy of my book here.

So let’s get into that this morning.

(Jo and Todd write a “cool and funny stuff on social media” roundup every Friday, which I recommend for a bit of Friday lolz and distractions. You can sign up here, just scroll down to the bottom – pssst, put a link at the top guys!)

Right, back to the pretentious dickhead.

A blogger happened to be in a coffee shop to witness a disastrous first date… and live-Tweeted the whole thing. Turns out, the guy was a self-absorbed writer – the pretentious dickhead – and the girl was regretting this couple of hours of her life she’d never get back.

Reminded me of a dreadful blind date I once went on with a guy whose dating profile said he was six foot (he was a couple of inches taller than me, and I’m a bit of a midget) – not a great start. But then he proceeded to tell me all about this hot chick he’d been on a date with the previous week, before launching into how marvellous he was.

When I went to the loo, I took my jacket and bag and actually attempted to climb out the window. Sadly, the window was too high and too small. I managed to sneak past him unseen though, when he was so absorbed in his phone he didn’t look up.

Anyway – back to the matter in hand.

I’ll give you a link to the series of tweets in moment, but before I do I want you to consider this: it’s an instructive tale, a parable, if you like, of how not to market yourself.

Quick rundown: he couldn’t stop talking about himself. The girl was politely asking him questions about himself, and he never once asked her about herself. Plus, he was that peculiarly odious specimen of humanity who has not only done everything you’ve ever done – but he and his mate did it better and he’s now an expert on it.

Those people have faces like frying-pan magnets, I’ve found.

Anyway, go take a look at the article, it’s amusing. I hope the girl managed to avoid him forever after.

Then, go and look at your website, your landing pages, your marketing materials. Take off your rose-tinted, confirmation-biased glasses, and really look at it.

Are you being the business equivalent of a terrible first date? Honestly? Honestly? There’s no shame in it if you are; most businesses do this.

The only shame comes from not fixing it once you’ve seen it.

Don’t be a pretentious dickhead. I’m sure you’re not; I’d like to think I only attract cool dudes into my world.

If you’re even a little worried you might in fact have wandered into pretentious dickhead territory, I’ve got great news! I can help!

All you have to do is grab yourself a copy of my little book, Business For Superheroes, read it, digest it, then take action.




Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

PS True story: I used to be a pretentious dickhead. I did. My website was full of “I can do this, and I can do that, and blah blah blah blah SNORE”. I think it’s a phase we all have to go through to find our true authentic – nope, sorry, I can’t finish that sentence without spraying tea all over my Mac! There’s a great example of pretentious dickishness there.

Ahem. I do think we all have to go through a phase of getting our marketing wrong before we start to get it right though. Which is cool.

It’s why I wrote Business For Superheroes, so I could share my journey from pants business to increasingly awesome business. And I wrote it just for you.

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