In my previous article I shared what I believe to be one of the most fundamental lessons you can learn about business and making money.
The underlying premise is that if you want to get into business / make money you have to recognize that:
It’s not about you.
You cannot think in terms of yourself — your own wants, needs or desires. The market doesn’t care about all that. Driven by maximizing self-interest, the market only cares about the transaction — that is, an exchange of value where both parties to the transaction win.
Therefore the only way to be financially successful is to add value and positively impact others. As the economic theory goes:
All else constant, the greater your impact on the world, the greater your net worth should be as a reflection of the value you’ve created.
In other words if you want to make millions, impact millions.
“But how or where do I even start?”
That’s what I hope to attempt to address in this article.
Of course I don’t have all the answers myself. Like many people I am still figuring stuff out.
All I can do is share with you a valuable piece of advice which I received early on. I hope I can at least stimulate your thinking and perhaps plant a seed that you can water, nurture and grow in your own unique way.
Here it is:
Give it away for free…
Okay I know what you’re thinking.
“What? Is that it? What is this some kind of gimmicky nonsense?”
“We are talking about how I can make money and you’re telling me to give it away for free?!”
“That’s like the opposite of making money.”
Hear me out though.
This certainly isn’t an original idea and has been expressed more eloquently than me before in various different ways in various different places.
Let me start with Brian Clark from Copyblogger, who refers to this as the Golden Rule of Online Marketing.
Give something valuable away for free in order to sell something related.
Gary Vaynerchuk wrote a whole book on the subject which I would highly recommend as a good starting point for those interested in online digital marketing. Scratch that, his book doesn’t just apply to online digital / social marketing (as it seems to on the surface). It’s core concepts apply to marketing in general. Period.
The book is called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook and the core theme is the same as Brian Clark’s Golden Rule of Online Marketing. You have to Give, Give, Give, and then Ask. Before you ask for the sale, you must provide value upfront in order to first build trust and a relationship. That’s the only way to succeed in business today.
The power of free — preselling the sale
You might still be wondering, “but why free? Why must I give it away for free? I’m not running a charity here.”
As benevolent as it sounds this is business and it’s not about giving away 100% with no strings attached like you might to a charitable cause. You need to eat.
Preselling the sale. Priming for the close. Jabbing for the right hook. Whatever you want to call it, it’s all the same. You’re paying something up front in the hope for something more in the future. It’s like a small down-payment for a bigger future payout.
The idea is by consistently giving away content of value you will engage your audience who will begin to trust you and view you as a trusted advisor / friend. This keeps you “top of mind” and high on the customer’s attention scale. So the next time you do make an offer (or “throw a right hook” as Gary puts it) your chances of making the sale are that much higher.
Think about it. Who would you rather buy something from? A total stranger whom you just met cold, or your favorite hairdresser or tailor who has built a relationship with you over time and whom you have now grown to trust?
It’s a no-brainer.
Trust and relationship blows away the competition.
And the way to start building trust and relationship is simply by giving it away for free.
I hope this article encourages you to shift your way of thinking from self-centric to value-centric.
How are you going to start adding value to your customer/audience? What kind of stuff can you start giving away for free?
I would love to hear your take on this.