I don’t know when I suddenly became the person people would start asking about how to make money. I’m not John Chow or Shoemoney, or even Lynn Terry. I make money via the web, but I’m not exactly “that guy” about it. But hey, if ABC News wants to ask me about it, I’ll answer. But then, I’ll answer with the way that *I* think about money making via the web.
Want to know what I told them?
If you want to make money via the web, my five tips would be:
- Grow bigger ears (listening) – the best way I’ve found to help people make money via the web is to “listen at the point of need.” The idea is that people are offering up their interests and requests and desires via the social web every day. If you have what they need, there are opportunities to get into the selling cycle on the spot, instead of waiting.
- Be protective of your community – this is how Oprah succeeded. She grew a community around content that was helpful to the people consuming it, and then she attracted sponsors who wanted access to those people. She then stayed fiercely in between the two groups, making sure her community was always protected, and that sponsors had access on her terms only. Own the relationship, own the money.
- Add more value than promotion – selling is often heavy-handed and based on wanting to close. The real winners are relationship-minded people who make not only the first sale, but all the subsequent sales thereafter. By giving your community much more value (more content, more things they can use) than just promoting your stuff, you win longer term sales relationships.
- Promote and recognize others – in selling and marketing, we talk too much about ourselves. People want to be seen and recognized. Use your platform to point out the good stuff that would appeal to the rest of your community. Mention them. Talk about your customers more than you talk about yourselves.
- Be clear on your ask – when you finally have a hard ask, a request for a sale, then be very clear about it. Don’t ever sidle up to the sale. Never let there be a confusion between your goodwill efforts and your direct need for a sale. Never flinch about it, and never make it a mushy mix of community warmth and indirect sales requests. Just like relationships, short and clear is better than long and convoluted.
Oh, and want to watch the video? Here’s my spot on ABC News money matters.
It’s how I’ve done it here, and it’s how I talk about it when I talk to others about making money. Have you done it in similar ways? How has it worked for you?
Photo credit Kevin Dooley