For reasons completely unbeknownst to me, last night while I was catching up on Mad Men, I had this inspiration — so I’m putting this out there (I haven’t yet decided if I’m stupid for doing this).

Prior to running conferences, I ran marketing for a startup (Ping Identity). Ping was very successful while I was there (and is, in fact, still very very successful; disclosure: I still own shares), and I’d like to think I had something to do with that. But that “something” wasn’t because I was inherently good at marketing (the process of marketing). It’s because I had really really good teachers.

My teachers included Chris Locke and Doc Searls (co-authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto), Steve Larsen (who’s done more internet marketing for more big name tech companies than you’ll ever remember), and industry veterans who ran marketing for Rational Software, RSA Security, and Macromedia — not to mention all of the people in my network that I learned from along the way.

I learned a lot from those teachers. And I like passing it on. So that’s what I’m gonna do.

Here’s the special offer: Somewhere out there is a startup that’s landed their seed round, or is on the verge of Series A, or a product launch, or something. They’ve done the market testing, built the product, done some fundraising, landed some customers — the early stuff. What they haven’t done is bring consistency and organization to their marketing. They need a messaging platform. They need to understand how that messaging platform translates into campaigns, leads, qualified leads, sales process, and predictable revenue funnels.

That’s not a small thing. It’s actually a really daunting thing. Especially if you’re one of the founders or early employees and you’re suddenly facing a board that’s wondering how you’re gonna pull this one off.

So, the offer is this: Become a Silver Sponsor for Defrag and you’ll get me for free.

Here’s what I mean: Sign up as a silver sponsor for Defrag, and between now and November 17th – we’ll work together on your messaging platform, on marketing campaigns/plans for 2011, and on how to translate all of that into repeatable, consistent revenue. Together we’ll build your messaging, do the copywriting (and I ain’t talking patents), figure out the campaigns (goals, spend, metrics), work the creative, and lay out the plan that gets you to point X on a budget of Y. Basically, you spend 10k to be at Defrag, and I’ll throw in 10k worth of marketing consulting (and we’ll use Defrag as a platform).

Am I gonna do this for more than one startup? Hell no. I don’t have the time or energy.

Do I think this can jumpstart the marketing for your company? Absolutely.

And here’s the ultimate kicker: If you’re not happy with the results of my (free) consulting services, I’ll give you the same level of sponsorship at Defrag 2011 FOR FREE.

Let’s recap:

1. Become a Silver sponsor at Defrag.

2. Get Eric’s marketing services for free from now until Defrag.

3. Jumpstart your startup marketing.

4. If you’re not happy with the result of the plans we put together, get the same level of sponsorship for Defrag 2011 for free.

At which point, you’re wondering: Why is he doing this? He must just suck at marketing. Go ahead – ask around. Call the CEO of Ping Identity (andre) and ask him (ok, he’s gonna kill me for that one).

The reason I’m doing this is simple: I got this weird inspiration to do so last night, and if I’ve learned one thing in my 38 years on this planet it’s this — I don’t fight moments of weird inspiration.

So – who wants it? Ping me enorlin AT

(man, it’ll be a real blow to the ego if no one takes this…) 😉

Update: Mike Maney (@thespin_md on twitter) has offered up some of his personal PR wizardry as part of the deal.

Update 2: Ben Kepes (@benkepes) is throwing his hat in the ring as well – offering up “word smithery” as need be. That means that you sponsor Defrag and get the combined marketing/PR/copywriting services of THREE seasoned startups dudes. There’s only one question left: do you have the guts? 😉

Update 3: And Krish Subramanian is on board as well. That means you now get me (messaging platforms/campaign planning), Mike Maney (PR), Ben Kepes (copywriting) and Krish Subramanian (User Experience) all in with the silver sponsorship. And don’t forget – if it doesn’t work, I give you another Silver in 2011 for free. #totalsteal