When I first started online, the only thing on my mind was to make money and to make it fast. Internet marketing seemed to me the way to go because the barriers to entry were so low; pretty much anyone could setup an online business. So I put up a number of websites just for the sole purpose of making money and I made absolutely zilch on them. I was left scratching my head and wondering why the other internet marketers made it look so easy and why couldn’t I make any money?
I was so preoccupied with money that I thought that it was the only motivation that I needed, but I realised that making money isn’t the main driving motivation and that I needed a deeper set of motivations that would drive me. I felt very disheartened that none of my websites were making any money despite all the hard work that went into creating them. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t patient enough, but I wanted money now and wanted it fast. I quickly realized that my way of thinking about making money was the wrong mindset and made me vulnerable to every opportunity that promised a fast buck.
I took a step back and decided to study more on the subject of marketing and copywriting. I went back to basics to understand the concept of money and what it was. I reasoned that if I wanted to make money that I should have an understanding of what money is and what does it mean to me and other people. I discovered that money is a crystallized form of value. So with this concept in mind I revisited my websites and found that I wasn’t adding any real value to people and all I was doing was trying to sell. People hate to be sold to; I was literally shoving the products down their throats. Not exactly subtle I know, but I was following what the majority of internet marketers were saying.
I started researching more into this concept of what value means and this elicited a deeper question of what real value could I add that will help people. I found that just setting up websites and focusing on making money wasn’t an authentic approach for me for two reasons:
I was driven only by money and this wasn’t an authentic driver for me
I wasn’t adding any value to people’s lives
People can sniff out whether you’re being authentic or not. Being authentic requires some form of transparency, and the websites that I was setting up didn’t have any transparency or reflected my authenticity.
I knew I had to change my mindset from a money making opportunity seeker to an entrepreneur’s mindset. This shift in mindset was to focus on value and not on money; money will become the by-product of the value I contributed. This shift in mindset removed a lot of the desperation in my approach and stopped me chasing the money and instead focus on providing real value.
The deeper question of value ignited a period of self introspection and I started looking at my background and interests to understand what real value I could add to people. I knew that not only will it fulfill my clients needs but also my own needs. Value was then split into two areas:
The value that you can give to clients
The value you can give to yourself.
The value that I give must come from an authentic place within me and must leverage my greatest strengths as well as resonate with me as a person. Only then can I become truly transparent and add real value to people.
By adding value and becoming transparent encourages trust to be created between you and your clients. This trust leads to a relationship and that is one of the keys of being successful on the internet and in life in general. I realized that I was dealing with real people behind their computers and no form of technical solution would aid in forming this bond with people.
By being transparent and adding value you naturally create a bond with people, because people don’t want a faceless website, they want to know who you are and what you stand for. This approach follows natural human behavior, if you think about how friendships are formed then they contain 4 factors:
The above factors are the important ingredients to forming a long term relationship with your clients. Trust is an absolute must in your relationship, without it you can’t do anything, because people don’t do business with people they don’t trust period.
I decided that the most value that I could give to people and myself was by writing, writing fulfils two needs:
Writing gives me value because it is an outlet for my creativity in an authentic manner that resonates with who I am
Writing provides a valuable service to people who are looking for valuable content on their websites
Instead of focusing on making money, focus on the greatest value that you can give yourself and to other people. People are always looking for value and by providing value to yourself; you are providing value to other people in an authentic and transparent way. By using this approach you only attract customers that resonate with who you are and are in alignment with your personality. Not everyone will resonate with who you are and that’s ok because you only want people who you can form relationships with. Like-minded people who will appreciate who you are and what value you can offer.
Without adding value to yourself, it is pretty hard to maintain any sustained effort. You need to be deeply motivated to keep going through emotional ups and downs. To enjoy long term success requires long term commitment and long term commitment can only be achieved through being highly motivated. It’s much easier to be motivated by doing something that resonates with you, because as well as being internally rewarded by what you are doing; you will also be externally rewarded by other people in the form of monetary rewards.
You will have a sense of internal achievement because you are also helping yourself to grow as well as helping other people at the same time.
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