Note: “Easy” and “Simple” are different things. My story is, IMHO, one of the great American success stories. I was stuck in a job that I didn’t like and I needed to find a way out. The internet seemed to be a vehicle that made some sense and I could market online in my “spare” time (I did have to give up golf for a while). But how? That was the question. Well, I began with the end in mind and decided to apply a simple philosophy to create a powerful culture: I set out to create a free, no-strings-attached, fitness and nutrition resource that would further the goal of reversing the obesity trend. I didn’t set out to make money and I’ve never required anyone to buy anything to get my help. I set out to create something of value to people. Since January of 2009, without any paid advertising, this blog has received 2,115,944 hits. Something here resonates with people and they find value in it.
I believe in something more simple than even my starting point for the blog. I believe that people are compensated in direct correlation to the value they bring to any given marketplace. That’s why I didn’t set out to make money. People don’t care about that. Instead I set out to create art and just trusted that my philosophy would work. Along the way we would make lifelong friends and my wife Monica (it’s her birthday) and I would make over 1 million dollars with Team Beachbody in just 5 years, becoming just the 13th business to do so.
So, marketing online truly is simple, but it isn’t easy. This morning I read an incredible blog post by author Seth Godin and I wanted to republish it here. If you want to be successful in this realm, I highly suggest that you subscribe to Seth’s blog and adopt his simple and effective philosophy.
- The first step is to stop Googling things like, “how to make money online.” Not because you shouldn’t want to make money online, but because the stuff you’re going to find by doing that is going to help you lose money online. Sort of liking asking a casino owner how to make money in Vegas…
- Don’t pay anyone for simple and proven instructions on how to achieve this goal. In particular, don’t pay anyone to teach you how to write or sell manuals or ebooks about how to make money online.
- Get rich slow.
- Focus on the scarce resource online: attention. If you try to invent a way to take cheap attention and turn it into cash, you will fail. The attention you want isn’t cheap, it’s difficult to get via SEO and it rarely scales. Instead, figure out how to earn expensive attention.
- In addition to attention, focus on trust. Trust is even more scarce than attention.
- Don’t worry so much about the ‘online’ part. Instead, figure out how to create value. The online part will take care of itself.
- Don’t quit your day job. Start evenings and weekends and figure it out with small failures.
- Build a public reputation. A good one, and be sure that you deserve it, and that it will hold up to scrutiny.
- Obsessively specialize. No niche is too small if it’s yours.
- Connect the disconnected.
- Build an online legacy that increases in value daily.
- Make money offline. If you can figure out how to create value face to face, it’s a lot easier to figure out how to do the same digitally. The web isn’t magic, it’s merely efficient.
- Become the best in the world at something that people value. Easier said than done, worth more than you might think.
- Hang out with people who aren’t looking for shortcuts. Learn from them.
- Fail. Fail often and fail cheaply. This is the very best gift the web has given to people who want to bootstrap their way into a new business.
- Make money in the small and then relentlessly scale.
- Don’t chase yesterday’s online fad.
- Think big, act with intention and don’t get bogged down in personalities. If it’s not on your agenda, why are you wasting time on it?
- Learn. Ceaselessly. Learn to code, to write persuasively, to understand new technologies, to bring out the best in your team, to find underused resources and to spot patterns.
- This is not a zero sum game. The more you add to your community, the bigger your piece gets.