I woke up this morning from a dream about unlocking a dial-type lock.
The combination was 8-5-7.
I’m not sure of the significance of the dream, or the numbers.
But for some reason, it inspired today's Podcast.
If after hearing the podcast, you think you understand the meaning, let me know. Your comments are always welcome.
We live in a world that is full of variety.
People of different interests are all around.
Companies and businesses are attempting to satisfy them all.
But we should know no one company, business, or person can do that.
In 1998, even Microsoft was legally forced to break up its company into (2) smaller businesses. One just for the Windows operating system, and the other for all its other software products. It was argued that Microsoft had made it difficult for users to install competing software and simultaneously made it difficult to uninstall its browser, Internet Explorer. In doing so it was stifling the competition. It was called a Monopoly.
To win the game Monopoly, you attempt to own everything. You have to bankrupt every other player. If you can end up owning all the properties, you win.
In online marketing, many people believe that the more customers you have, the better off you are.
And technically that is correct. The more CUSTOMERS, that is the more paid customers, that you have, the more revenue you receive.
But most entrepreneurs don't think downstream. They believe that if you attract more and more people, they will become more and more customers.
This, I know for sure, one thing does not mean another.
Attracting a lot of people never means more customers, if you compare the cost to acquire the prospects.
Plain and simple…
More prospects do not equal more customers. Specifically paid customers. And that is what most entrepreneurs think about - their end game.
Make more money.
But if you think downstream...
about what it is you need to survive as a business, then you can begin building your company from the beginning in such a way that sales are a by-product.
You no longer have to work hard to generate sales. Sales are a natural by-product of your way of doing business.
But most entrepreneurs, especially new marketers are inexperienced in making money online and mostly think of it in terms of brick-and-mortar businesses, where increases in foot traffic usually mean increased revenue.
I don’t know about you – but sometimes we [including me too] easily get passionate about something and want it to succeed so badly that we choose not to focus on the business aspects of what must happen to achieve our goal.
And that is because most new online marketers, do not think of it as a business.
And I’m not sure what they do think it is.
I do remember what I thought when I started going down that rabbit hole.
Honestly - I thought whatever the gurus told me. I was told sales were easy. This was also around the time when “Push-Button” sales were a popular term. It brought in a LOT of naive people [me included]. Draining them [us] of our money, and running us around in circles, trying to make online marketing make sense.
Gurus taught only enough information to make themselves look smart, but not enough to produce revenue-generating results. It also gave them plenty of opportunities to sell more programs, more courses, and more masterminds.
Back when I started, the idea of being in business, REAL business, never was even brought up.
This is why I ALWAYS mention that this IS a REAL Business.
And it must be operated as a REAL Business.
This will scare some people who still want marketing online to be “EASY” and “SIMPLE”.
So I’m sorry!
But it is better to know that marketing online is hard, though doable, and to opt out if hard work is not in their vocabulary.
I have always heard, that if there are no sales, your business is just a hobby.
But the truth is that sales do not just happen in a vacuum.
Am I right or not?
Every business must do the HARD work before there can be sales.
Sales come later!
Let's go for a walk-about.
If you were to go to a flea market with a product and you lay it on a table in front of hundreds of people flowing by your booth, how many do you believe will purchase?
Can you even know?
It's more of a wait-and-see problem.
This is why most flea market businesses do not have just one product, now do they?
They usually have several products to attract different people out of the flow of those streaming by their table.
Most people will say it is JUST a numbers game.
Their odds of making a sale increase with each additional product they place on the table.
This is because people are attracted to things they have an interest in. Given enough options, people will eventually buy.
But you should be asking...
Why are they there at the flea market?
Are they just walking through to get some exercise?
Do they have a problem they are trying to solve?
Do they have a need?
As a business owner, you need to understand the needs of your audience. You must understand this before you begin, hoping to make sales.
Most people have an idea, they create a product, and then they just wait for sales.
Instead, an entrepreneur must look for a need and find a solution for that problem, then take that to market.
But of course…
Not everyone in the flea market will have the need you are providing a solution for.
So you move your table closer to where people with that need normally go.
Gardening materials usually are not sold next to clothing, now are they?
In a grocery store, items are usually located next to other similar items, that go well with the other products, in the hope that if you like this, you may like that too. This is a way of increasing the stores' revenue.
But back to being an online entrepreneur.
What is the secret to making a lot of sales?
Is there a secret?
You would think so, wouldn't you?
But since the dawn of time, people have been trading, bartering, or selling things to other human beings.
Back in the past.
Like way, way back. Go back as far as you dare.
Most people did not gather together as we do in our overcrowded world.
There were no Walmart stores.
No Amazon store online to purchase items from your couch.
No, if you needed something, you either made it or you had to go somewhere far away to purchase it. Maybe on a horse, or on foot.
On the other side of the coin, in the beginning, there were no stores. Some people with skills were asked to make things needed by people who lived close by.
Soon some blacksmiths did a variety of manual work to help farmers maintain their horses, with shoes, and wheels for carriages, carts, and maybe even an old-fashioned paddy wagon.
Slowly, stores opened up with supplies of staples, like flour and salt. Just the things that their CUSTOMERS needed.
The point is that they [the store owners] UNDERSTOOD the needs of their community. They could not afford to stock items no one wanted.
Sure they did not send out surveys to find out what the needs were, because times were simpler then. Everyone had the same NEEDS for the necessities of life.
At the saloon, there may have been just one kind of whiskey, and one type of beer. That was it. Nothing fancy. Just the basics.
People then worked hard to provide for their families, but they had very little needs. They raised animals for milk and eggs and meat.
But what they could not supply they purchased.
The World is different.
Our world is different.
We all think our WANTS are NEEDS.
Everything is within reach. There is a store at every corner and online everything is available at a price.
So how do YOU survive in this environment?
How do you consistently make sales?
What differentiates you from other online businesses?
Why would anyone purchase from you?
All good questions!
It is good to have questions.
It means your thinking.
Thinking before doing saves money and time.
So while I have you thinking…
I’m going to end this week's podcast.
I’ll be back again next week, to pick up right where you left off.
In the meantime, if you think hard enough, and you have thought about why would ANYONE want to purchase from you instead of the hundreds of other people, businesses, and websites online, then chime in.
If I get it soon enough, I’ll include your thoughts in next week's podcast.
And that would be nice.
Until then, my friends.
James "Still Thinking" Brown
P.S. - In the event, you DO find that once an episode has been produced and posted, that YOU really would like more information, just let me know. Use the Podcast Questions link, click on the link here. Or you can just leave a voice message here.