"Try not to become a man of successOh, I like that... even better if you apply it to your Internet business.
but rather try to become a man of value."
- Albert Einstein
Yep... I've successfully been able to "Create Value or Die" on the web. Time and time again. It works. I've made these work too...
"Give them more than they asked for. Give them more than they expected" and
"Don't just build a business, build a community".
These are not silly useless buzz word phrases. They are quotes that set forth my model of Internet marketing that is proven and makes millions. It’s been developed, tested and improved on over the past 7 years. I can apply to any online business successfully.
But what does it really mean?
It means… lots of stuff. It means what it says... that an Internet business must create value for clients.
This can be achieved many different ways. But I propose whatever your business creates that you give a portion of it away free. Don't focus on the short term sale, look to the long term. Use it to build a relationship, a community of people, most importantly use it to build an audience of e-letter subscribers.
And then you’re on the path to have more than a business… you'll have higher sales, higher renewals, you’ll have loyalty, trust, and commitment to your operation.
Sounds great, sounds easy, but it’s not. The key, as in most businesses, is the execution. Calling yourself an "online community" and having one surrounding your business is two different things.
How do you do it?
Let’s start with the aforementioned e-letter. You need a regular correspondence with your targeted audience that will introduce them to your company, your expertise, your mission – your community.
I’m not talking about starting an e-letter so you can run out, buy names and then try to sell them stuff. That is not a community. I propose that you find an audience and give them value. (Right now the largest audience is on Google, so I start there!)
Give them something of value to sign up AND give them a value nugget in every broadcast.
You are a publisher now... and you must give them a reason to read your letter - a reason to look forward to it. Otherwise you're just wasting your time. There is too much competition off and online for their attention.
I don’t care how good a writer you think you are... you CAN'T build a community around just sending sales letters or teasers for your products that are made to look like valuable editorial.
It is not reasonable to expect a reader to look forward to transparent sales essays.
A teaser is just that, a teaser. Sales copy is sales copy. Nothing wrong with it - a time and place exists for it. But don’t say that it’s value nor pawn it off to your readers as value. They can see right through it and although they may click through at a higher rate to your faux editorial teaser they'll certainly wise up soon… and then leave.
Again, we are marketing to the long term here - right?
You need to give away real value. Tips, recommendations, secrets, entertainment, etc. The value can be a good story. It just can't be transparent sales copy. Of course you will link to a promotion after the essay - we're still a business, right?
Just make sure the essay is not the sales promotion. Or you don’t withhold a name until they pay up. Yikes...
Extortion is such a short term idea... and it's not valuable to anyone.
Lastly, ask your writers and editors to write. Tell them to stay above the dirty world of online marketing. They should only write about their expertise, AND hook the reader with good content.
I think the worst thing you can have is a reader saying, "...your e-letter is just a teaser for sales."
What you want to hear is, "...Wow, great article. I think I'll buy his pub to get more access" or better yet "I like you…"
That my friends... is success.
More thoughts about this Thursday…