The internet has made it very easy to start an online business. There used to be a major challenge for someone to setup a shop and start selling widgets, but now with a few clicks of the mouse you can have a website that accepts credit cards or paypal in a day. If you want to build an app? Hire a coder. Need something designed? Crowdsource it on 99Designs. Different countries? No problem talk on Skype. No clue where to start? Read blogs, forums or eBooks. The internet provides tremendous resources and the ability to quickly scale without a ton of cash.
If you build it, they’re not going to come.
Your fancy designed website, logo and fine cut business cards aren’t going to convince your prospect to convert into a paying customer. They might help, but they’re not going to automatically buy. Just because you think something is awesome, doesn’t mean everyone else does. In the past (I’ve done this many times), I would start a blog or website around my needs. Well, I like this and I think this is awesome so I know that other people will too. WRONG.
If you haven’t read the 6 Harsh Truths Post from Cracked do that now and then come back here.
*Your shit stinks. *
Writing, design, functionality, ideas… they all stink. As soon as you realize this and remove yourself from the equation and start thinking about your customers needs rather than your own, that’s when you start to make decisions that lead to success.
You see, it’s not difficult to start a business. It’s actually very easy to do. You can signup on Shopify today and have an e-commerce website ready to go in a few hours. I built The Cartel on the Ning Platform and it gives us the same social networking experience that you would have found on the early versions of Myspace. It’s easy to do all of these things.
What’s hard is getting people to care and buy.
There are so many different types of distractions out there. Every second advertisers and digital marketers are looking to convert you into a loyal paying customer. From the advertisements you see on your Facebook page, billboards, product placements in shows… every second they’re looking to convert you. Nothing is sacred anymore.
So when you interrupt someone’s life with your advertisement, how are you going to get them to care? What can you do that will change the prospects mind from not knowing what you do or offer, to being compelled to open their wallets and purchase value from you.
It’s marketing and it is the most important part of business today. You can have a brilliant product with better design and flawless experience, but if you don’t have an audience, you won’t make any sales. Business is about transactions. If you’re not making them, then you don’t have a business.
These are a few things that you need to ask yourself before you start your company.
- What value am I creating?
- Why are people going to care about this business?
- Why am I different than the competition?
- How can I build a relationship with my customers?
Example #1 – The Cartel
**What value am I creating? **
A network of qualified entrepreneurs with a similar mindset who are interested in sharing strategy, insight and conversation related to internet business and lifestyle design.
**Why are people going to care? **
For entrepreneurs, business is a part of their lifeblood. You wake up in the morning thinking about it and go to sleep (usually late) because you’re hustling for more. A network of people with similar mindsets can be very powerful.
**Why am I different than the competition? **
There are a lot of networking groups out there. You can join paid forums, spammy linkedin groups or other networks. There is no anonymity, we’re building personal relationships that help business owners / builders push their agenda forward.
**How can I build a relationship with my customers? **
I don’t consider members to be customers, but relationships are build through my own transparency and activity in the forum. I am also working on a consulting deal with one member and bringing on our first mastermind class.
It’s about the marketing, not the product. The first thing you need to be worrying about for your business is how am I going to get customers? How are you going to scale? What channels are you going to use for marketing? How am I going to create an offer so compelling that people say, STFU AND TAKE MY MONEY!?!?!?!
That’s what’s important.
Example #2 Adsense Flippers
Adsense Flippers are two dudes who escaped 9-5 and now live in the Phillipines building businesses 24/7. They run a very successful podcast and have thousands of blog followers and email subscribers. They provide a ton of value for people interested in building niche sites. This is a high level branding / content marketing strategy, which appears to be paying off big for the guys.
When you listen to their podcast and receive this insight, you’re like wow these dudes really know the shit that they’re talking about. Through their own content they’re creating credibility and winning over the customer. When you receive something of high value for free, you’re inclined to give something back.
Through this amazing content they give value, create credibility and more than anything give you a reason to buy one of their sites. This ladies and gentlemen is one example of excellent marketing and how you can get people to care. If they were just another business selling websites, I would have no idea who they are because there are tons of places online to buy sites. But because they’ve done a lot of high level marketing, created awesome content and sold their story…. I care and I’m writing about them right now.
Personally… I think that content marketing is the number one way to get people to care about your brand. But it has to be epic. There is too much crap out there, we’re all ADHD and crappy marketing will get you ignored.
- The first class of The Cartel is forming and I’m excited to start working with someone to launch their copywriting business. Awesome!
- You need to watch this video series on the different phases of marketing with Dane Maxwell in The Foundation.
- I consider myself to be a minor league marketer still, but I’m working on enhancing my ability everyday!
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