When I speak to aspiring entrepreneurs the conversation doesn’t take long to get into the subject of money. This is fine of course, what’s the purpose for starting a business if you’re not trying to make money, correct?
However, I think some people overlook something more important than money. And that’s a simple principle. What’s that principle? You have to give in order to receive.
The less you give, the less you receive. If you don’t give at all, you won’t receive very much at all.
You have to earn whatever you get in this life. If you go through life expecting something for nothing then you’re in for a very frustrating life. You’re giving up your power in hopes that things will work themselves out – and they seldom do. Anyway, back to business…
Consider for a moment if someone told you that on occasion you should GIVE away your service (or product) away for FREE. Some people shrink away from that idea. Just the thought of giving away something and not charging a single penny for it is almost an insult. But should it be?
Money comes from other people. And people that don’t trust you (or your company), won’t buy from you. People that are confused about what you do, won’t buy from you. People that feel as though they will be swindled or taken advantage of you, won’t buy from you. So what’s the big issue here?
The big issue here is TRUST.
People that trust you and/or your business are more likely to buy from you. You want more money? Then you must garner more trust. How do you get more people to trust you? You have to deliver an above average customer experience. And every so often, this means giving your service or product away for free.
Why would you do this? Because you want to build SOCIAL PROOF. People already trust other people they know, isn't that true? People enthusiastic to share their experience about you, with others, is what we want. When we're satisfied, don’t we share that enthusiasm with others?
When you eat at an excellent restaurant, don’t you tell other people? When you see a great movie, don’t you tell other people? When you have a good experience, don’t you share it?
Entrepreneurs want to make money, but they skip a few key steps. And one BIG key step that’s usually skipped is the building of trust.
So they key here is to give. But you can’t just give ANYTHING. You have to give the correct thing. The thing that will allow you to EARN the trust of your potential customers or clients. The bigger and more known you are, the easier this is. But when you’re just starting, you have to MAKE this happen. You have to consistently build trust and garner social proof.
We can talk a lot about branding yourself correctly, having the right price points, how to create stronger marketing and advertising campaigns. We can also discuss correct presentation, thinking outside of the box, how to rise up in the search engines, and how to make better use of social media.
And while all those things are important and necessary, if no one trusts that you can deliver on your promise, then what good are those other things? Let me repeat, people that don’t trust you or your company won’t buy; and a confused customer won’t buy.
We give in order to serve our market (potential customers and/or clients). And while we’re doing this, we gain the TRUST of our market and accumulate social proof.
Yes, there’s more to this formula but this understanding is essential for anyone thinking about starting a business – or someone who has just got their feet wet.
If you can master this skill, because it is a skill – it’s something that can be learned, then you position yourself to receive more money. Money should not be the ONLY focus of your business. In fact, money is the effect of specific causes; it's the result of certain actions. And earning trust is one of the most important of those actions.
For those of you coming out this Saturday, see you then! For everyone else, see you next post...