FREE LESSON PART THREE ... Now let us look at why people go to strangers for advice. There are lots of reasons, one of them is because the people they know tend to be fickle, they can come across as caring one minute and then selfish the next. IF a wife tells her husband shes is thinking of leaving him and he wants her to stay he is hardly going to look at it from her point of view nor is he going to try to help her to do what she wants when it hurts him. The stranger can instantly look at it from the point of view of the client.
Why do people pay for such advice? Most are wise enough despite their lack of abilities in sorting out their own problems to realise that only a qualified expert is competent enough to help. They have often chatted to people who are not qualified and realised it was a waste of time and they may also regret having shared their inner most thoughts with people they know. People you know can turn on you and let you down, they can get angry or jealous, they can gossip. But your professional expert is not going to be angry, jealous or gossip, they are going to put you first and when they have advised you they move on to their next client.
So a brief outline is here...
To work for us do the job interview and do it well. If you need help with it read this free lesson well as many times as you need to.
If you need more help with it buy the book by Carmel Brulez available through LULU.COM. Go to the blog section regularly keeping up with the comments and blogs we post.
To set up your own business have some sort of base or shop and some sort of advertising whether this is free or paid. The best way is probably to invest in an entry in our directory that shows you are a member of the Association of Agony Aunts.
Incidentally this listing is sometimes bought by people as a birthday present or some sort of gift for someone, especially someone who likes something different but not too expensive. Just a thought.
To work for another website or better still a newspaper or magazine then you need the employers to be able to see how good you are at advising people and to be able to contact you. Posting on our blogs site is totally free of charge and having an entry on the directory so that they can contact you costs very little.
In each of these three you can get a lot of help from the book, it tells you exactly how to understand and read and reply to the letters from clients with many examples. There is no other book like it in the World. Selfgrowth charges £350 per hour for advice on the phone on how to do similar things, you get less help in that hour than from this unique book, which costs you far less, gives you and which is there for you to read and re read.
Remember there are other agony aunt sites out there but most of them just want you to advise the needy for free. They offer no jobs and they offer no payment. Yet many of them charge advertisers to appear on their site.
Some quick and easy tips on how to do this well -
(1) Do not be a friend to the person you are speaking to or writing to . Do not ask them about the weather or how they are in the same way as you would chat to a friend or penfriend. Do not finish the email with silly extras like TAKE CARE OR GOD BLESS.
(2) Do not waste words on frills. If you are working for us we will tell you how many words that client has paid for, it will be 100, 200 or 300. You must spend all of those words wisely, no repeating yourself or rambling.
(3) Be polite! Do not judge them and tell them they made a mistake or they were stupid even if it is clear they did make a mistake or were stupid.
Remember that a person who is paying you wants you to be nice to them otherwise they will complain and ask for their money back
and warn others to stay away. If a person wants someone to tell them how silly they were they can get that from free. Your phone call or email reply must be productive and positive.
(4) Do not talk about yourself or people you know. Clients are not interested in how your past has been or how you had a similar problem once. They are paying you to concentrate on them.
(5) Never indicate that you are unsure of yourself.... HOPE THIS HELPS... is ridiculous when someone is paying ! MAYBE YOU SHOULD is also ridiculous. When people pay for advice they want the best and they want to be certain of it. They need to feel better as soon as they read it and they need to feel that by following it they will be a whole lot better.
(6) Do not ask them questions! Work around the bits they did not tell you. Use common sense where necessary. They are not penfriends who are going to write back and forth, once should be enough. Do not ask them to let you know how they get on! This indicates you are experimenting with them and unsure of yourself and anyway you are too busy to keep in touch. You ought to have moved on to other paying clients and be too busy to remember.
(7) Make sure your spelling and grammar are of good quality, use a spell checker if you need to.
(8) Make sure you read the original letter properly. Take in all of the information and piece together extra pieces of information by reading inbeween the lines. For example, we featured a fake problem on the advice columnist page about a selfish narcisistic mother who used to abuse her daughter and did so for years. It also made it clear that the daughter kept her at arm's length and was qualified in psychology, owning her own therapy business. YET several people advised the daughter to drop her mother totally, missing that she would have done that decades ago if that had been the best thing to do. One told her to put a restraining order on her mother stopping her from phoning and visiting, ignoring that the mother never phoned or visited the daughter.
(9) Concentrate on the question asked and see it from the client's point of view. If a person write to you asking if they should leave their husband because of this and that then do not lecture them about how the church does not approve of it. You are there to serve them not to lecture them or give them opinions on their morals. If you are very religious forget that and keep that to yourself. If you do not approve of affairs do not tell them that, having an affair is their choice and they are entitled to do that. They may well have had people telling them they do not approve already and it is very irritating to be judged, but to pay to be judged would not be acceptable to them. Put yourself in the position of the client with the thoughts and personality of the client before you speak to them or email them back.
There is so much more in our book go to Lulu.com by Carmel Brulez for the whole thing!