It amazes me how many business owners and entrepreneurs write off the power of the Internet, the value people in Social Networks can bring to a business, it’s astounding! Too many spend far to much time complicating something that is as simple as the telephone. The GURUS & EXPERTS would have you believe it’s hard and complicated, you better spend thousands to figure it out. I’m not suggesting you should get help, or even pay for that help, but do some diligence before hiring the snake oil salesperson.
Yes there are parts of the Internet that require and investment, you will invest time, you will invest money, but you should invest first in the plan. More importantly, you should have a clear understanding of why. I don’t teach people how to do this badly named thing called Social Media, how to setup an account and so on. I show you why you should pay attention to these networks, why you should investigate the game changer, the Internet. Why is everything. If you knew what I know, if you could see what I see, you would be concerned. Why, because everything you think you know about business and how it’s being done won’t work in the next 5 – 10 years.
Too many spend ten minutes using Twitter or Facebook, then cry foul that it doesn’t work, you / they…are the tire kickers, they don’t respect the digital shift. They don’t know why they are kicking the tires, they got told or sold a bill of goods, or worse yet thought they could figure it out on their own.
Business owners / Entrepreneurs that take their business seriously don’t use Hotmail, Yahoo mail, Google’s Gmail, they are where the hackers and spammers live. Many businesses reject email from these carriers because of attempts of fraud! You are asking for trouble if those are your primary email carriers, especially if you take orders on your site and allow those email addresses. I can speak intelligently on this topic, I get attacks or attempted fraud orders everyday from these email domains.
Many merely poke a stick at the Internet thinking it’s easy and it will make them rich over nite, you’re wrong! It takes time, it takes a plan, it takes a well thoughtout marketing strategy, and then near flawless execution. Anything less means you are probably a tire kicker. Check your pulse, and be even more concerned about who you take your advice from, your business deserves it.
There is a reason why the upper percentile is considered rich or even lucky, they for the most part, respect themselves and their business. Of course I’m talking about legal, legit….not crooked business dealings, businesses with integrity, businesses that understand you the customer is everything. It’s not all one sided, it’s a two-way street, the business owner also counts on you having integrity, and is honest with them.
Unless you are willing to invest properly in using the Internet / Social Networks, don’t waste your time, more importantly, don’t waste the time of those who work hard to teach you, who try to guide you, those who respect their business. Don’t be that person, don’t be a tire kicker in everything you say & do. Don’t waste people’s time, including your own.
The Future Of Business has changed, it’s always in a state of FLUX, are you investing or tire kicking?
This past week I went to a number of networking events with great anticipation, I just knew I was going to meet someone who was going to grab my attention. The reality is, someone did grab my attention, in fact, many people grabbed my attention, for the wrong reason’s. I must state up front, I do not do things right all the time, in fact, I do more wrong than I do right, at least that’s what my wife tells me : )
Have you ever gone to a trade show and chatted with business owners with a booth? Have you attended networking events where you meet someone for the first time and they start to pitch you immediatly. You feel almost violated, they hand you their card, and there it is, staring you right in the face, the one thing that makes that little voice in your head start crying. It’s at that time I start to question business owners strategy of free.
There are many services you can use that are free on the Internet, some are valuable, and some are not, that’s the way of the world. As I told a writer at one of my workshops, they were concerned that anyone could write and become famous. That was bothersome for that person, I showed her how she could write a book, publish it and sell it on Amazon for virtually no cost. At that point she started to scream. I also shared with her, crap doesn’t sell, so who cares if a million people get published this week, if it’s good writing it will sell, if it isn’t…guess what, it won’t.
Let’s get to my point, your strategy of free needs to be well thought out, why? Perception is everything. For example, using free email services like GMail, Yahoo, MSN and so on, are great for learning how to master email, great for learning to see a bigger picture in yur technology strategy, they are not good for PR.
I went to one networking event recently and there were some 40 people in attendence, I got 22 business cards, half of them were using free email services, worse yet, they were using there ISPs domain name. If you are in business, invest in your own domain name, ensure that your email address on your card is using it. There are many businesses that block GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo and the like because of fraudulent uses. Having these email addresses on your business card tells me you aren’t serious about being in business, right or wrong, that’s the perception most will have with you and your business. If you are using @shaw.ca or @telus.net, you might as well be using a Hotmail account or any of the other free services in my humble opinion.
Using free services may not always the best decision for your business, especially free email services. Let me re-phrase that, publishing these free email services on your business card may not be the best decision for your business. Also, putting an email address of email@example.com is another item you may want to re-think. The info email address is a haven for SPAMMERS, they love that email address.
I know I may sound critical and coming off hard on this strategy of using free email services, but using these services is one thing, publishing them as your primary email service for your business is not good for your businesses image.
I am not suggesting these companies that provide these free services are bad or good, they help many people who may not be in a position to have their own domain name. I do recommend using these services, primarily for private usage, not as a public tool to reach me.
So I beg of you, think long and hard on the strategy of using free services, and how you will use them. The strategy of free should not be taken lightly. Email is only one of the many free services you can use, I’ll touch on more in future blog posts. Good luck, and feel free to contact me for further insight on the Open & Free Business Model.