the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Healthy Arrogance, Day 2 — Hire Me As a Speaker at Conferences

Are you a company looking to market to bloggers? A corporation excited about the potential of “social media?” A blogger wanting to increase his readership?

One of the best ways to educate yourself is to attend a web or blogging conference. Unfortunately, most attendees leave disappointed in the seminars. Six hundred dollars for THAT?!

Why are these conference such letdowns?

It is the speakers.

Most web conferences are led my marketers and and PR pundits. Have you ever actually read their blogs or Twitter messages? They are all about marketing, PR, and how to use Twitter. What can they teach you about engaging an audience? Absolutely NOTHING!

Hi, I’m Neil Kramer. I’m a writer. Ever since the time of Plato and Aristotle, it has been the writers and artists that have influenced the world. They know how to make a reader laugh and cry, sometimes with the same sentence. Why listen to someone who talks about market share when you can be learning from the person who shops in the market?

For the past three years, whenever companies think about bloggers, it has been all about the mommybloggers. Forget the mommybloggers. They have reached their saturation point. Another mommyblogger network? Yawn. It is time for a fresh face. Why not make your company or blog stand out in the crowd — and go for the SENSITIVE MALE — one who understands men AND WOMEN, parents and NON-PARENTS, married and NOT MARRIED?! My demographics include men, women, black, white, Latinos, Asians, gay and straight – and my mother. If I had my druthers, I could have 1000 people wheeling a new Bugaboo stroller or the new Diet Coke by tomorrow.

Besides, I KNOW more mommybloggers than the typical mommyblogger.

But I don’t want to be a salesperson or promoter on my blog. I enjoy being a writer. Selling stuff is not a challenge to me. In fact, it is so easy to me — it is almost boring. Writing is hard. Marketers want you to think that their job is hard. Ha! That’s why they always use such complicated words, like “branding.” I will explain branding to you within the first ten seconds of my session. I know your business depends on interaction with customers and clients. That’s why I want to teach YOU how to do it EFFECTIVELY, the “Neilochka” way.

“Where have you been all this time?” you might ask me. “I have never heard of you.” Well, that’s because I’ve been busy blogging, not promoting myself. I haven’t been wasting my time networking with other “influencers” who only know how to influence other “influencers.” I have been “in the field,” like a journalist at wartime. I know what it is like to blog on a personal level with others, the minor hurts, the major victories, the loneliness, the comraderie, the sexiness, and the anger. Ask around. My session on Male-Female Blog Friendships would be THE break-out hit at the BlogHer conference, if not for the discriminatory policy pooh-poohing male speakers at the conference.

What you will learn from me:

1) How to write engaging content.

Is your corporate blog as dull as a meal at the Olive Garden? That’s probably because your PR firm is developing the content while sipping lattes in the conference room. You need someone with actual EXPERIENCE in LIFE — someone who can chat about something other than the latest Firefox browser. I don’t need to come up with “tips” on “engaging readers.” My background as a reader of MAD magazine, the second-place winner of the Queens County spelling bee, and my four year sentence as an English major in college has prepared me for a life of writing words and coming up with literary puns stolen from the classics. I am also a film school graduate, completely adept at film, video and audio production, except for that one time I forgot to put the film in the camera. I am like a one man f**king multimedia company!

2) Community building.

There are NO other bloggers more knowledgeable about community building than I am. How many bloggers do you know who has actually had online sex with one of their readers? I bring that intimate experience with me when I work with my clients. Have you seen The Great Interview Experiment? The Annual Christmahanukwanzaakah Holiday concert (the third one this December!)? No sponsors. No badges. Just me caring about other people, with the hope of one day seeing one naked. Most people know SHIT compared to me in online community building.

3) Social Media.

Social Media is all the rage nowadays, but most marketers and PR gurus think that putting hashtags and live-tweeting from conferences is of interest to anyone other than themselves. The truth is that most social media mavens have NO INTEREST in interacting with the general public. They use social media completely to promote themselves. Are these the types of individuals or companies you want advising you on reaching the Joe and Jane Public? That’s like asking John McCain to name his favorite rap group. I am very active in the social media communty. I spend more time on Twitter and Facebook than I do watching porno movies on RedTube. That’s a lot. On Twitter and Facebook, I have gotten into arguments over politics. I’ve flirted. I’ve made lame jokes. I’ve discussed the worst rock song of the 1980’s. I am a social media DIVA! A Zen Master! One who actually uses social media for something SOCIAL!

Neil Kramer. writer. Multimedia Expert. Blogger. Community Builder. Social Media Maven. Dancer. Designer of “The Talking Penis” brand of outerwear.

I am now available for conferences, corporate meetings, and one-on-one sessions with prominent CEOs. Email me for fees. (I’m not cheap, but I am oh-so-worth-it).


  1. Astrogirl

    Neil –

    Are you considering potential partnerships in this drive to market yourself as The Next Big Thing? If so, let me know. I’d be happy to talk to you about copyediting services for any articles, print media, or presentations you’re planning.

    ‘Cause hon – “In fact, it is so easy to be รขโ‚ฌโ€ it is almost boring”? Oh, we SO need to talk.

  2. always home and uncool

    I told my mom that reading MAD Magazine would make me a valuable member of society some day. Can I be your opening act?

  3. V-Grrrl

    Will you please be the lead speaker at DrunkHer 2009? Please! I’ll show you my content if you show me yours.


    P.S. If I steal parts of this post for my new Web site, it’s only because I love and admire you, Neil. It’s not about branding V-Grrrl, no, not at ALL.

  4. Jurgologie

    Neil, I never thought I would say this, but I find this deeply offensive.

    Meals at the Olive Garden are anything but boring. BOTTOMLESS BREADSTICKS, YO. Pure magnificence.

  5. Jenny,

    Neil Kramer: The loneliness, the sexiness, and the anger.

    I’d attend.

  6. Danny

    I know you’re sorta kidding, but I really do think you should be hired by corporations for those skills you describe. They’d definitely get their money’s worth (and whatever fee you’re thinking about–double it).

    Happy Anniversary to you and Sophia, whatever form your relationship takes.

  7. Neil

    Jurgologie — Those breadsticks? Carb Central.

  8. TMC

    Well, well… look what an award nomination and a new pair of comfy shoes does for a man. Good for you, Mr. K. You give ’em what for!

    And while I think that you wrote this tongue in cheek, I hope that when the handfulls of encouraging comments roll in, you’ll think that you could do it for real if you wanted to. I’d come to your session; I’d like to see how in the world you think you understand me.

    Chin up, Mr. K. Look ’em in the eyes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. headbang8

    Oh, Neil. So far, my comments on your blog have concerned things at which I am not an expert. Love. Philosophy. Moral backbone. That sort of thing.

    In so doing, I have been incredibly successful at making your life richer, providing you with insight, and solving your problems. Have I not?

    Let me take it up a notch. Here’s some professional advice, since I’m one of those marketing shills you so disdain.

    You know what? I wouldn’t hire you for conference on blogging,or even twittering, much less writing!

    Does a flea make a good entomologist? Does your doctor say, “Well, Neil, you must know more about cancer than me, since you’re the one with the malignancy and I’m not”? Hell no! Do you get elected vice president because you have absolutely no experience whatsoever in affairs of state? Hell yeah! There’s a reason why college literature professors are critics, and not writers.

    I can give you great advice in matters of love, philosophy and moral backbone because I never touch the stuff. You can tell, can’t you?

    If you want to become an expert on blogging, stop blogging and start meta-blogging. You, as a lone blogger, tell me nothing. If you can talk about a whole bunch of bloggers, then I need you.

    Now, the Great Interview Experiment…THAT’s a meal ticket. What have you learned from doing it? What have you learned about people’s need to talk about themselves? What does it tell you about the nature of memes? Have these interviews changed lives? You have a wealth of material, Neil. MediaBistro has a non-fiction book-proposal course happening soon. Write yourself a pitch, get published and THEN the likes of me will fly you to Peoria, put you up in the Marriott, and get you to address the Midwestern Marketer’s Symposium for ten thou or so.

    That’s ten grand minus my cut. Natch.

    Sorry, must dash. I gotta go ask a cow how to make ice cream. They call that a focus group.

  10. Neil

    Danny — I’m not kidding. And not just about myself. Most of those blogging pundits are like creative writing teachers at a university who have never written a two page story. They should be talking about business stuff. You and I have more experience knowing what type of posts work or don’t work — and how to attract or repel readers.

  11. Black Hockey Jesus

    Dear Neil,

    Any tips on how I can get my name out there?

  12. Neil

    BHJ — No one wants anyone with “Vagina” in their title. Penis is OK, though.

  13. John

    Now THAT was worth $600. But I left my checkbook in the car. ; )

  14. Twenty Four At Heart

    So you think you understand women?

  15. vodkamom

    okay, goddammit come on over to kindergarten. Room 120, PFE elementary school. If you wear something crazy and pick your nose while you talk they’ll be captivated.

  16. followthatdog

    I wouldn’t brag too much about the online sex. We all read how well that went.

  17. Amy @ Milk Breath & Margaritas

    Hi! Boring mommyblogger here laughing out loud at this post. This was a riot!

  18. Neil

    Follow That Dog — I haven’t told part two of that story yet.

  19. Dagny

    John McCain has a favorite rap group?

  20. Mattie

    I’m going to try to say this as nicely as I can without going for the jugular …

    You DO NOT get women. If you did (I’m sorry, I really am), you would NOT be in NY and Sophia would NOT be in CA.

    The rest of your talent/knowledge … yeah, you’ve got it down pat.

    Women? Not so much.

    (I’ve been reading you for almost 3 years. So this was NOT an off-the-cuff remark. Still think you’re one of the greats though.)

  21. Lis Garrett

    And this post is exactly the reason why you should win Best Blog of All Time. In the week I’ve been reading your blog, it’s gone straight to the top on my Google Reader. Fantastic!

    Geez, I think I might be developing my first bloggy crush. (shh . . . don’t tell my husband!)

  22. Marketer's Lab

    […Someone has seen through our sad charade and has exposed the massive conspiracy that is marketing…]

  23. Baroness von Bloggenschtern

    I am absolutely certain you are so worth whatever fee you charge.

    Should I ever need to find a speaker, it’s you all the way, baby.

  24. teahouseblossom

    I didn’t realize you were an almost-champion speller! I’m very impressed.

  25. Brenda - SeriouslyMama

    Although you may not want yet another comment from yet another mommyblogger, I am going to say that I would have totally hired you in my past PR life. I think you would have rocked the house at a PPFA event. However I feel compelled to say that not all mommybloggers are just “mommybloggers.” Some of us have mad skills outside of gushing about our kids. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Neil

    Mattie — About Knowing Women:

    Brenda — About Mommybloggers:

    Part of promoting myself is showing how I differ from the countless others who want the same thing as me, in this example — being a personal blogger who gets paid to speak at conferences about blogging — the same way that Obama and McCain are trying to show that each is different than the other.

    Mattie — I do get women. Maybe I used a bit of hyperbole, but I think I could make a very good argument that my separation from Sophia is BECAUSE I finally learned all about a woman — her needs and wants — and how that was tangled up, and contrasted, with my own needs. But you were very brave to be honest with me, and I really like that. You are my blog crush for that!

    Brenda — Normally, I don’t like to use negative tactics to promote myself. But let’s face it — there are many mommybloggers who present themselves as a bloc as powerful as the Teamsters. The best way for me to distinguish myself is to show how I am different. I can offer something unique and different to those looking to establish connections online.

  27. pam

    Neil, in all seriousness, I think you would make an awesome speaker. And I think the reasons you gave are EXACTLY why you’d make an awesome speaker. Really.

  28. Brenda - SeriouslyMama

    I completely understand where you are coming from and like I said, I would have hired someone like you in a minute when my life revolved around something more the the Backyardigans and play dates. But that’s where I am in my life which in turn becomes my blog fodder. Like someone said yesterday. Marketing yourself is difficult and you are doing it with confidence. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Neil

    Brenda — Now I feel guilty that I sounded too gruff. Sorry.

  30. Brenda - SeriouslyMama

    No need to apologize!

  31. Heather, Queen of Shake Shake

    I think I’m going to boycott BlogHer until they have you as a speaker. If only you were in Nashville this weekend…

  32. Neil

    Heather — I think it would be better for BlogHer to just disallow male membership or to refuse men to have Blogher ads on their sites. That would at least be consistent.

  33. here today, gone tomorrow

    Mmmmmmmmmmmm….Neil being arrogant. Me likey!

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