The problem with trying to make a living online is that it can become all about making money rather than genuinely changing lives. After all, we all have bills to pay and there is a pressure to make money!
So how can we change lives without losing our integrity through the imperative to make money?
If we’re selling training that we want other folks to consume, it needs to fit in with our persona, our character and our life. This is being authentic and genuine to who we are. We don’t need to pretend to be someone else because who we are will resonate with other like-minded people and we can be consistent with who we are i.e. our business needs to be an extension of ourselves.
So we need to know who we are…
If you believe in a God, then you may believe that he/she has a plan for you and your God will direct your path so you may feel you can submit your purpose to him/her.
I’m not a religious person but I do believe that destiny and intuition can direct our path. Being true to our ‘gut-feeling’ and what we feel deep down inside is what is truly important (- you could say that God put those feelings within us.) For example, deep down inside I believe that I was meant to be an artist and writer.
In this I am similar to my grandfather who was in banking but his hobbies always reflected the fact that deep down inside he was an artist – painting, photography, calligraphy were what he truly enjoyed. The sad thing was that the imperative to make money meant that half his life was wasted in banking because he had bills to pay.
I find myself drawn to internet marketing because it is a visual medium that involves, writing, graphics, video, audio and making digital products. It is important to me that these are presented and packaged well and so I love creating graphics and visually appealing work.
So our business needs to be a reflection of who we are and it may be that our failure to date reflects the fact that we have not yet found our unique purpose and who we are meant to be.
So what if you don’t know who you are and what your purpose is? How do you uncover this?
There is a generic purpose – a call on your life that we all share.
We are all given an ability (or at least an ability to get the ability) that we need to fulfil our purpose. This may mean that we need to get some additional training in order to fulfil our purpose. For some of us we have the ability to do something great but we haven’t yet been trained so it is just ‘babbling rather than talking’ at this stage.
We each have a gift – in my case English was always very easy for me at school. English Language and English Literature were always a breeze to me and, when I chose to exercise my creativity at school, I excelled.
I subsequently buried my creativity because of the need to conform to the banking system that did not encourage or reward creativity because it only wanted you to conform to a rigorous set of rules and regulations. 9 hours of reading per week was necessary just to remain up-to-date with all the rules and regulations!
This is what running our own business is about – the freedom to exercise our creativity and give expression to our gift and your purpose – who we were really meant to be.
This is why employing someone else to create our brand does not really work in my opinion – it does not truly reflect who we are.
This is why creating a website for someone else is so difficult – it is probably a million miles away from what the values of the business really is and the message they wish to give to their customers. So at best, their website is a compromise and does not truly reflect their core business. This means that a veil of obfuscation remains firmly in place as they withhold that information from their customers.
This means that you are not truly helping your customers with your gift or your purpose.
We all have the ability to create some generic information or training that can help our customers or prospective customers.
We probably have an obligation to help them because this is our purpose and your gift – the reason that we are doing what we are doing. We have the ability to offer something valuable to everyone who visits our site. That is quite a thought.
Some people will not take advantage of your gift or the opportunity you are giving them to learn something new – that’s OK but it doesn’t remove the obligation that we have to share our gifts.
The work we do is to change other peoples lives. We have a responsibility to share our good works and this is directly tied to the money we earn. As we help others we will be rewarded and blessed and the degree to which we can do this will determine how we are rewarded.
This means that if we write an article on our website but no one reads it then we are not really sharing our gift. So we also have an obligation to share this with as many people as possible i.e. to get traffic to that article. If we do that part i.e. generate eyeballs to our content (in other words, the marketing of our content) and share our gifts and content then by the law of averages we will be rewarded for doing so.
This is where software can help to semi-automate the process of sharing your content.
Here’s a simple business model for success:
- Write a daily blog post on your website – it could just be a tip. In one year you will have 250 blog posts working Monday through Friday.
- In addition write an article that you put on someone else’s site – it can be on the same topic – and link it back to your website.
- Do a daily video about your blog post – this can be on your phone, or a Google Hangout or a screen-share presentation – then refer back to your website. (You could also strip the audio of that video and share it as a podcast.)
- Send a daily email to your list – send them to your article or post. (Give some free training away on a squeeze page to get their contact details.)
This simple method will get you traffic and visitors to enable you to share your gifts and content – what you have that is unique to share with other people. You can then start to answer their questions and help to change their lives with the thing that you have inside yourself that you can share – your knowledge, skill, experiences or whatever it is that you can teach others to improve their lives.
How do you work out what to talk about?
Simply open up some free mind-mapping software like Freemind or Xmind, come up with 10 main topics in your niche and then 10 sub-topics under each main topic and start creating your content. This exercise should take no longer than 30 minutes and if you really know your stuff, probably a lot quicker. You will then have 100 related topics to create your content around.
So how do you make any money?
Well you might survey your readers and your list to find out what else they need help with – a handful of people will respond and tell you. You then create the training that people can buy from you. A new little plugin called Stakk can help you to do that by enabling you to put a popup survey onto your web page or you can simply link to a survey created on Google Docs – it’s free to use. You can even offer an incentive for readers to share their needs with you.
What if someone can’t afford your training?
Could they offer you a service or something in exchange for your gift? Ultimately it is all about sharing your knowledge and gifts and then charging for more detailed trainings, consultations and coaching sessions. These can all be supported by the information that you have created from your normal daily routine.
This is essentially what the info marketing model is all about. The simple process above has built into it
- a traffic source,
- a product source (by combining content together) and
- the potential to make money, as well as
- genuinely changing lives with your internet business.