I read Internet marketing and Internet business material continually, and one of the most frequent phrases I see can be summed up as: “Provide value to your prospective customers.”
What does this mean?
The first thing it means is that marketing today on the Web is not the same as advertisements on television or in newspapers and magazines where it is hoped that prospective customers will see the ad and go buy the product or service.
Today people have access to so much information and so many different products that they don’t feel the need to buy the new brand of cereal, for example, that was just advertised on a television show. These would-be customers can take the time to let their fingers walk across the keyboard and see what other new breakfast foods are now on the market.
The first tenet of Internet marketing is that you have to be in this for the long haul – you have to be willing to slowly build up relationships with prospective customers so that they learn to know, like and trust you.
And this first tenet leads to the second tent: give value to your prospective customers. This means that you share your knowledge with these people for free, enabling you to demonstrate that you have worthwhile information to share.
Now, of course, you don’t give all your information away for free. Yet, in your freebie for your email opt-in box and your blog posts and your articles you do share content that does have value for your target markets.
If you’re on Twitter, do you react differently to a new follower who immediately sends you a link to buy his/her product or one who sends you a link to his/her blog? While the product for sale may be worthwhile, how will you know until you know more about this person?
Reading his/her blog posts if written on a topic of interest to you should provide a good indication whether you can expect the product being sold to be of value to you.
For now, review your Twitter bio hot link and tweets as well as the information you share on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites to see if you are sharing value with your followers, friends, fans, connections. You never know, all of these people might be prospective customers.
About the Author: Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is an Internet business consultant whose power marketing website is http://www.MillerMosaicLLC.com If you liked this article, you’ll love her free report on “Power Marketing’s Top 3 Internet Marketing Tips” – download the report now from http://www.TeachMeInternetBusiness.com