You're asking the wrong question...

25 replies
Let me share something with you that I've been thinking a lot about lately and see all the time.

When most people first get on the internet and realize that it's possible to make money from home in their underwear, they start asking the WRONG question...

How can I make money??

I did the same thing for a long time. I just wanted to make money from home, I didn't necessarily want to build a business that helped people. It's sad looking back, but it's true.

Instead of trying to figure out how to make money, we need to be asking this question instead...

How can I help the people in my market?

The only way anyone is ever going to buy something from you (or through you for affiliates) is if you provide something of value that helps them out. And if you just trick them into thinking you are the first time, then they likely won't be a repeat customer.

I think the word 'value' is thrown around a lot, but not very many marketers truly understand it. You always hear, "If you want to sell at a higher price point, create more value!" But what does that mean?!

Some think it means LOTS, like LOTS of pages, or LOTS of minutes of video. And while that may help increase perceived value, to me it's just a burden and a waste of time.

We all have goals in life, even if we don't voice them, write them down, or even consciously are aware of them. And when we learn something or hear someone say something that helps us get closer to one of our goals, THAT is value.

So instead of trying to figure out the magic bullet by asking "How can I make money and reach my income goal?" over and over again, we need to start focusing on the real thing that makes business run, "How can I help the people in my market reach their goals"

Now I'm no guru and I haven't completely figured it out yet, but it's becoming more and more apparent how to really run my online business.

Anyone else like me and had problems getting to this point?
#question #wrong
  • Profile picture of the author ABreese
    Yes. It's really a matter of being a river or a reservoir. It's not about us truly. If you focus on helping others reach their goals, it ultimately finds its way back to you. As Zig Ziglar says "Keep your thinking right and your business will be right."
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  • Profile picture of the author Dev Maritz
    Hi there Tyson,

    Exellent way of putting it.

    I was just like that and that is obviously why so many people fail because they do not have the patience to build a business. Most of us learned probably the hard way by realizing that. Once you stop thinking about making money, and start thinking about how to help others- it changes instantly for you!

    The whole mindset is different and you learn to have the patience TO make that long-term investment.

    Dev
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  • Profile picture of the author yommys01
    You are totally right and if I am allowed to add to it I would say many people make the mistake of believing it is possible not to learn how it works before making money.

    I failed ( when first starting ) and many fail because they forget the fact that you have to read the manuals of an electronics in order to know how to use it well. Many come on the internet thinking it is one place they can make money without learning.
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  • Profile picture of the author VilPietersen@
    Ye, I can relate to this, in fact, I remember thinking; "surely if I just place a load of affiliate links out there, someone will buy something"

    It's that old analogy, throw enough sh*t at a wall, some of it's bound to stick. Wrong!

    I've found that the best way is by providing value, I'll go back to Zig Ziglar and say "help enough people get what they want, and you can have EVERYTHING you want"!

    Nice post Tyson

    Like it!
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    Big in the game!
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Gosse
    The people who are chasing dollars are looking for a quick fix to their immediate cash flow problem. They usually spend through a few hundred more on their credit cards, refund it all and then make a post about quitting internet marketing all within a short time span.

    Those of us long term biz people focus on creating value. helping people and publishing good content. That's what really works.

    Also the focus on money is a fools errand. Instead focus on what you want to do with that money. The assets you will buy and how you will make it grow. Then you will see the money as a vehicle for change not a result.

    GREAT post!
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  • Profile picture of the author jennypitts
    Tyson, I think every IMer had their dark initial moments. We all had the crazy thoughts of making money online without worrying about providing anything of value to others, because sadly (well not for many it is not) we only cared about our needs. Sure, we need the money and that is the main reason we ventured online. BUT, I always say that those of us that SAW the light, understood that we must look at IM on a totally different context in order to be successful. We have to consider where there are loopholes, how we can help someone in order to be trusted, appreciated and of course become a good business person. If we learn to look at this as a business, as a serious entity, soon enough we will be making good money, have the respect of colleagues and be admired by those who are just beginning.

    I think the reason MANY people fail is because they do not open up to seeing things from a different perspective. They are stuck on making money, doing so in record time and they end up frustrated!!!

    It never gets old to me, but we have to be constantly reminding newbies that the world was not built in a day, neither were the multi-billion dollar companies, if that is what they are hoping for with IM, then they can simply quit now. It takes time and a lot of hard work, as well as patience in order to be successful in IM.
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  • Profile picture of the author MJ Sterling
    Bang on Tyson.

    Just like any other business, success comes from providing value and the shocking thing is that many people who try to make money online forget or choose to ignore one of the fundamental rules of building a strong, long term business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andie
    Tyson,
    Thanks for taking the time to make this post. It was timely for me ..as well as many others I am sure.
    One of those moments we have to dig in and get more determined to succeed on whatever road we've chosen.

    Andie
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    • Profile picture of the author Tyson Faulkner
      Originally Posted by Dev Maritz View Post

      I was just like that and that is obviously why so many people fail because they do not have the patience to build a business.
      Originally Posted by jennypitts View Post

      we have to be constantly reminding newbies that the world was not built in a day, neither were the multi-billion dollar companies, if that is what they are hoping for with IM, then they can simply quit now. It takes time and a lot of hard work, as well as patience in order to be successful in IM.
      Originally Posted by MJ Sterling View Post

      Just like any other business, success comes from providing value and the shocking thing is that many people who try to make money online forget or choose to ignore one of the fundamental rules of building a strong, long term business.
      I think this is key...we are constantly bombarded with "Make $10,000 THIS month," "Earn Millions And Retire At 23" etc, that many new marketers come online thinking that if they just follow the 4 steps they will instantly never have money problems again.

      But it's not about getting rich quick or making lots of money this month, the wealth is in building a real business that provides true value to your customers, and growing it progressively. Some go up faster than others, but even the slow ones are successful if the owner is diligent.
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  • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
    Good reminders Tyson. Something we all need to hear on a regular basis...
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  • Profile picture of the author G minor
    Great post Tyson unfortunately when starting out I think we all make that mistake.
    The truly sad part is there are a lot of seasoned marketers out there that know
    this and ultimately count on it by targeting the newbie. All in the hopes of making
    a quick buck by reinforceing that belief and marketing in such a way that leads the
    newbie to believe there is a short cut.

    This usually knocks that person out of the box before they even understand what
    it truly takes to be successfull in IM.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Good post, Tyson. When I first started I did something unusual - I let customers pay me what they thought my products were worth after they received the product. Naturally some people were cheap, one person completely ripped me off, a few overpaid, but most people were fair in my estimation. I'm not necessarily recommending anyone do that, but it did teach me a lot about value and perceived value.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tyson Faulkner
      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      When I first started I did something unusual - I let customers pay me what they thought my products were worth after they received the product. Naturally some people were cheap, one person completely ripped me off, a few overpaid, but most people were fair in my estimation. I'm not necessarily recommending anyone do that, but it did teach me a lot about value and perceived value.
      That's a cool way to do things Dennis, it would be interesting to see how that panned out. Were you selling information products?
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      • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
        Originally Posted by Tyson Faulkner View Post

        That's a cool way to do things Dennis, it would be interesting to see how that panned out. Were you selling information products?
        I was selling a custom graphics service. I really had no idea how to price my work, so I let people determine the price after they received their graphics. The overwhelming majority of people were fair, I thought. I don't know if that model would work today. There were far fewer people online back then and in my opinion, there was more innocence.
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        • Profile picture of the author Tyson Faulkner
          Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

          I was selling a custom graphics service. I really had no idea how to price my work, so I let people determine the price after they received their graphics. The overwhelming majority of people were fair, I thought. I don't know if that model would work today. There were far fewer people online back then and in my opinion, there was more innocence.
          Wow that seems risky! Though I do think the majority of people on the net are the honest type, or at least want to be perceived that way

          The scam artists and the crazies are just much louder and the ones you hear about all the time, so you never hear about the other folks. I think this would be a fun experiment with an info product.

          And honestly Paul, I hate to admit it, but it took me a lot longer than it should have to realize what value actually is. I think so many talk about "perceived value" of certain mediums that the real value part of the product gets lost in the mix. At least for me.
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Tyson,
            And honestly Paul, I hate to admit it, but it took me a lot longer than it should have to realize what value actually is. I think so many talk about "perceived value" of certain mediums that the real value part of the product gets lost in the mix. At least for me.
            Part of the problem is that they're different discussions. "Perceived value" measured as features = Thud factor.

            You're talking about delivered value, in the sense of ultimate benefits, which is harder for most people to focus on than "thud."


            Paul
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          • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
            Originally Posted by Tyson Faulkner View Post

            Wow that seems risky! Though I do think the majority of people on the net are the honest type, or at least want to be perceived that way
            Well, if the first couple of people would have stiffed me I probably wouldn't have carried the experiment any farther. Making graphics was a hobby at the time, so I reasoned if I got paid anything it would be a bonus. The first guy paid me $75 for a background image that took me 15 minutes to make. It was an easy decision to continue with the experiment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    when we learn something or hear someone say something that helps us get closer to one of our goals, THAT is value.
    Best comment of the week.


    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
    Originally Posted by Tyson Faulkner View Post

    How can I help the people in my market?
    The other question is "Who is my market?" or "Who is my customer?"

    In most cases for me, my customer is the company or broker I have an affiliate relationship with (Amazon, eBay, Google Adsense). I help them by bringing them consumers who're ready to buy products. If I do this well, I get paid. If I thought that the consumers were my market, I would be wrong.

    Now, if I was selling antique replica fly rods myself rather than having a seller on eBay do it, those consumers would be my market.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tyson Faulkner
      Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

      The other question is "Who is my market?" or "Who is my customer?"

      In most cases for me, my customer is the company or broker I have an affiliate relationship with (Amazon, eBay, Google Adsense). I help them by bringing them consumers who're ready to buy products. If I do this well, I get paid. If I thought that the consumers were my market, I would be wrong.

      Now, if I was selling antique replica fly rods myself rather than having a seller on eBay do it, those consumers would be my market.
      This doesn't make sense to me. Your market is the product seller? If you focus so much on them where does the money come from?

      The people who are giving money for products are your market, not the companies who sell products. The companies are there to produce products that will help the market they are after. If you're an affiliate you're just a medium they are using to sell more of their products to their market.
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Tyson,
        This doesn't make sense to me. Your market is the product seller? If you focus so much on them where does the money come from?
        He's right. The way to serve that customer (the affiliate merchant) is to send them traffic that's pre-qualified and looking to buy the product. If he does that well, he can negotiate better deals from the merchant, who's the one paying him.

        In this case there's overlap, which makes it less obvious than it might be, but it's an important distinction to keep in mind.


        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author Tyson Faulkner
          I guess I never thought about it that way before. So if you're an affiliate you can see the merchant as your target market...

          But still, to get the kind of traffic that converts into sales you have to know their target market (customers) in order to cater to them and send them to the merchants site. You'd need to know what type of ads get them to click, where they hang out so you can advertise to them, what words get them to take action, etc.

          I mean, if you're trying to sell golf shoes as an affiliate (terrible example I know), then you need to know who buys golf shoes (your target market) before you'll ever make any money doing it, not what the company who sells them is like.

          Maybe I'm just looking at this at too linear of a level.
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Consider: If you're selling golf shoes as a merchant, you're locked into that market. If you're promoting affiliate offers, you can move to any other merchant.

            That skill is what you're trading to the seller.

            It gets clearer if you think of the affiliate as a matchmaker. They might orchestrate the romance, but they're not part of the relationship.


            Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Aira Bongco
    This is so true. What people do not realize is that the more people they help in their market, the more money they will get. And this is just not mere 'accidental' sales. These will be people that will return over and over again because you have provided them a good product.
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    • Profile picture of the author nzsandy
      Thank you for that insight. I am new to this forum, but been on the internet for a while, looking for the illusive dream.
      Guess what - its not there. Once I realised that people need to come before money things started falling into place. I get so much more value from this forum than from the $$$ that I have spent on crappy courses.
      You guys are all great.
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