so this morning I’m telling my wife about a project I’m working on with a business partner (marketing consulting around a very specific (and highly lucrative) part of sales/marketing funnels) …
… and her first reaction is:
you need a website.
you need a picture of yourself in a suit.
you need to use your PhD all over the place.
you need testimonials.
you need case-studies.
you need white-papers.
(her list goes on for quite a while, but you get the idea…)
My initial gut-reaction was:
er, no, we’ll just phone up some potential clients….
but then quickly realized, Fiona – being a dark-tunnel-non-explorer – absolutely NEEDS to have this kind of ‘stuff’ in place.
But not only her, but also ANY potential client who is hardwired like Fiona.
They would need all of that to convince themselves that it is safe to do business with me.
Which of course gives me 2 options, which are both related to the final point of a webinar I watched yesterday:
the speaker concluded with the remark:
“if you’re into coaching or consulting, you MUST NOT have any ‘baggage’ – reputation is everything“
And I believe this is worth using as a guideline in all your business activities, not just if you’re into coaching or consulting!
You see, if you’re into ‘Internet Marketing’ …
… go in too deep, make a name for yourself in the IM niche (I’m talking in the ‘classic IM’ sense: hype, exaggeration, ‘crushing it’, big launches…), …
… and you’re basically closing all kinds of doors should you ever decide to move into the real world.
(the same applies to any other niche you ‘enter’ with the intent of ‘exploiting it’ rather than providing massive value…)
The Internet doesn’t forget easily (and with the new rules about hiding the privacy of your websites, it’s only going to get
worse more transparent)
Nor do the prospects who are Googling you.
Which brings us back to the 2 options … and how we can use them to ‘influence’ our reputation:
I can either do everything I can to please the “I need to have all these paraphernalia in order to decide if I can/want to do business with you“-brigade
(as in: put all that stuff on a website….)
(so they will like what they see and hopefully do business with me)
… I can actively repel them by NOT putting all that stuff on a website.
You see, really ‘reputation’ is how your market perceives you.
But, as you can see from the examples above, it goes way beyond ‘being an upstanding citizen’ and all that jazz …
… instead, you can almost ‘engineer’ reputation to attract your ideal clients, and reject the wrong ones.
(All with the intention of providing more value to your ideal clients of course;-)
Oh, btw, there’s no ‘right or wrong’ … you can choose to ‘please’ your prospects in oder to get their business, …
… or you can choose to repel them …
it’s a personal preference!
well, to some degree:
don’t be tempted to say ‘my personal preference is to make tons of money, so I’ll bend over backwards to please my client’ (the customer is king after all, right?) …
… because the moment you do that, you – unwittingly – erode the VALUE you can bring to the market-place!
(you’ll never be able to deliver the value in the form your prospects expect, you’ll always be ‘stuck’ in the way you were born – and that’s a good thing! As long as you respect it, and work with it, not against it)
Big picture I’d say it’s like this:
the higher value your clients, (where you do truly transformational work), the more you should actively ‘repel’ those who wouldn’t get the highest value out of interacting with you (simply because their way of doing things, their expecations are not 90%-100% aligned with you being authentically YOU)
as you move towards the ‘mass-market’, your focus can probably start shifting more towards ‘pleasing’ your customers more … simply because they’re buying less of YOU, but more of what you provide (the product or service)
PS: if you’re interested in a ‘quick-start guide’ to getting started online in an authentic way, a resource you may enjoy Dean Holland’s Quickstart Challenge 3.0 – I checked out the previous edition (it’s a live program, so I can’t review the new version just yet), and it is based on very sound principles, I agree 100% with.
Let me put it this way:
if I did teach “Internet Marketing for absolute newbies” (in the sense: you don’t have anything to show for your efforts yet), this is the course I’d be teaching.
Because it starts with the simplest possible (aka: no/low overwhelm) model, and is at the same time built on the principle of you simply being authentically YOU.
Meaning: if you don’t have a track-record, you don’t have testimonials, you don’t have social proof, giant customer lists, a PhD in rocket-science and so on … well, you actually use that to your advantage!No “fake it until you make it” nonsense … and as a result, you won’t be building up any baggage you’ll regret somewhere down the line.Double thumbs up!