Everyone with an entrepreneurial spark is out to claim their piece of Internet glory, yet with all the competition only a small number will achieve any real measure of success.
Take, for example, the warlord. When a warlord conquers a country, he does so not only with an army, but with his supreme force of will. It’s a warlord’s indomitable courage and brutality on the battlefield that define him, and afford him the right to lead.
In this brave new world of Internet marketing there’s great potential for anonymity and underhanded cloak and dagger tactics, but it’s the outspoken Internet warrior who stands out from the crowd with passion and conviction who stands the best chance of victory.
Before starting any new venture, it’s important to detach yourself from your passionate quest and prepare your mind for what’s to come. The state of mind achieved through proper meditation gives one a spatial frame of reference with which to visualise concepts and ideas, and it’s within this spatial awareness that lateral thought becomes possible. Only through focused meditation can you realise the calmness and clarity of mind necessary to view your venture with critical and honest objectivity.
Always attempt to break the constructs that bind your mind. In programming we have loops and scopes which serve to control and restrict the flow of data, and the mind works in much the same way. However, unlike programming, it’s exponentialy more difficult to understand the implications of our own patterning from behind the smokescreen, and far more difficult still to affect the kind of change necessary to shift the paradigm of consciousness with which we view reality.
Beware also of blind entrepreneurial passion, for although it will be the driving force of your success, if unchecked it has the potential to drive you from the path of reason and into the abyss quicker than you can say “But I thought…”. Be sure to ask youself to the hard questions, and if you can’t be 100% honest, then find someone who will be:
- Have I researched the market properly?
- Do I have the manpower and resources?
- Is my project worthy of financial investment?
- Am I ready to spend the next few years doing this?
- Have I spoken to the right people?
Don’t ponder too long though, for a good project never really takes it’s shape until long after release. After all, what fun would it be if you didn’t feel like you were building the wings of the aircraft in mid-flight?
Bear in mind that genuine quality has become something of a rarity in this world of black-hat morals and quick fix pop culture, and what’s rare is also valuable. Stay true to your inner purpose, don’t be guiled by the hollow promises and ephemeral hype. Your success may not be be instantaneous, but it will be well earned and well rewarded when you have a true following that shares your passion for creation.
Building Your Castle
In the game of the Internet, you should first build your castle. By castle, I am referring to your primary domain or company site. This will be your online identity, your band, and will be your basis for all future endeavours to come, even if some should fail.
Be sure that you don’t over extend yourself by building too many towns and villages early on before consolidating your power. Concentrate your resources and majestifying your castle, and eventually people will gather from far and wide to witness the spectacle. When your economy begins to flourish you will be able to direct the flow of trade as you like, and expansion will happen naturally.
By the same token, do not confine yourself within your castle and become lost in the act of building. Many an entrepreneur has lost themselves in the process of building, which if left unchecked can easily become a never ending descent into madness. Work on your MVP, and always know when you’re done.
This building phase is often the most trying time for any venture, so brace yourself, but also take heart in the knowledge that joyous times lay ahead when your castle reaches it’s full splendour.
Rallying the Troops
In order to realise your vision, you will need to rally elite troops to your side - unless of course you intend to be a one man army ie. a solopreneur and in other words a total masochist.
The Internet is a hive of people, and everyone is looking for something, so learn about the tools at your disposal and use them to connect with the right people. Check your local area for meetups, pitches and conferences. Remember also that no amount of well written emails can substitute being a pro-active member of a community. Talk about your ideas with as many people as possible, raise the necessary funding, and pretty soon your passion and conviction will attract the army you need.
A warlord rallies his troops with fear and promise of spoils untold, but as entrepreneurs we offer each other friendship and success.
Lines of Communication
The technological era has blessed us with a million ways to express our thoughts and stay in touch, yet our skills of communication seem to wither with each passing year. Be not though one of the many; communication and collaboration are the keys to your success in the Internet age, so be sure to master them well.
The most valuable form of communication on the Internet is for the purpose of collaboration. If you do business or provide a service on the Internet, then you will most likely be working with some kind of data store, codebase or website. If you’re not aware of projects like Github or BitBucket, then do yourself a favour and check them out. These services are the result of years of empirical experience by technologists with the same issues and requirements, and allow you to manage versioned code repositories, track issues, host documentation, delegate, and collaborate with other individuals around the globe.
Going to War
On the Internet success is measured in terms of conversions, revenue and real estate. Total annihilation of the competition is just a bonus.
Developing a sound marketing strategy and sticking to is key, as well as knowing how to use the Internet as a weapon.
Without going into extreme detail, here are some factors to consider when planning and implementing your strategy.
Google’s algorithm changes have made it easier than ever to rank for genuine quality original content, so get writing! Write natural content covering all aspects of your market and profession. Careful not to repost or duplicate your content on other sites. Guest post if you have to, but remember, your content is always more valuable on YOUR domain.
Because of this, it follows that you should store your blog of your own domain. Try to stay clear of cloud blogging platforms and keep your primary content on your own domain, but by all means use the tendrils of the internet to aggregate excerpts and links back to your content.
Social media mastery is vital to your online success. Learn to balance the right amount of interaction and automation to ensure rapid growth.
Using and understanding the right tools for the job will save you precious time. Rather than post to each social network individually, use a tool like Buffer to automate your content syndication.
Things are changing fast in the SEO world, so it’s a good idea to stay informed about the latest SEO trends without getting caught up in the hype. Don’t be tempted into purchasing cheap backlinks or PBN posts unless you know what you are doing - these kind of shortcuts will get you killed.
Use pretty URLs where possible, and be sure to optimise your site for page speed and use responsive design so it performs well across all devices. Also be sure to educate yourself about structured data, such as Schema.org and Facebook metadata, and implement it as soon as you can.
Once you have the structure in place you can concentrate on creating quality content and gaining reputable backlinks.
If you have good content then your best source of traffic is always going to be organic search traffic, so pool your resources and focus on the search engines, but this can take time. If you have the budget for it, then paid advertising can be a great way to give your business a boost - but it can also be a money trap.
PPC advertising is expensive, but it can pay off, especially with more expensive items as they will improve your ROI providing you can maintain a decent conversion ratio. Businesses report varying success with different platforms, but the most widely used are Google AdWords and Facebook. Facebook does have some good customisation options that allow you to focus on your specific target demographic.
You might also consider paid directories. DMOZ is free but hard to get in, and Best of the Web and Yahoo are well known paid directories. Directories will give you credibility, but bear in mind they aren’t cheap, and many consider them to be redundant.
Preparing for Victory
To the victor go the spoils, but the victor also has certain obligations, both to himself and to those who have shared in his dream along the many. The way success is handled says a lot about the character of an individual or a company as a whole.
As your company grows, so must you. Be consistent with your training, meditation and relaxation, and continue developing your mind and body so that your company may evolve alongside your vision of abundant success and creativity.