Well, if the Vatican can come up with Ten Commandments for driving. (For those who missed it, Rome spoke a couple of weeks ago. My personal favorite: Thou Shalt Not Kill. That's probably because, as a product marketer, I'm all in favor of repurposing existing content wherever possible. Thou Shalt Not Kill is time-honored, proven messaging, that's for sure.)
In any case, here are my Ten Commandments for Freelance Marketing:
I. Thou shall treat the customer's strategy, product,
positioning, market, story, reputation, and budget as
if thou worked for the company full time and/or as if
any of the above are thine own.
II. Thou shall not lie to the customer about their
strategy, product, positioning, market,
story, reputation, and budget. (Thou shall try to be
gentle with strong, contradictory opinions; unless,
of course, gentle does not work with thy customer.
Then thou can be more forceful and, perhaps, even
raise up thy voice and asketh, "Are thou out of thy
III. Thou shall not lie to the outside world on behalf of thy
customer, neither shall thou badmouth the customer,
except privately to thy closest friends and family
(even when thy customer seems to deserve it).
IV. Thou shall strenuously advise thy customer not to do
something thou think is stupid.
V. If the customer decides to do it anyway, thou shall tell
them thou can't be involved, or shut thy mouth and
doeth the work.
VI. If it fails, thou shall not say 'I told you so.'
VII. If it succeeds, thou shall admit that thou didn't think it
would. (But thou shall abstain from flogging thyself in
front of the customer. No needeth reminding the
person paying the bills that thou can be as wrong and
stupid as the next marketing consultant.)
VIII. Thou shall try thy damnedest to deliver what thou
promised, when thou promised it, and for how much
thou promised it for. If thou find thyself going off
track on any of these dimensions, thou shall tell the
customer as soon as possible.
IX. Thou shall not help thyself to customer tschotkes
unless they invite thou to.
X. It goeth without sayething that thou shall avoid
getting thyself involved in any internal political
struggles. This can getteth thou killed.
There is, of course, nothing holy about these particular Ten Commandments. No stone tablets. No Moses. No going to hell. They just happen to be mine, and there may well be some sins of omission here. Doest thou have any more to addeth?