Everyone with an entrepreneurial spark is out to claim their piece of Internet glory, yet only a small number will have 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 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 a chance.
Before starting any new venture, detach yourself from your 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 view concepts and ideas, and it’s within this spatial awareness all 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 tp 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 in this world full by quick fix pop culture and black-hat morals, genuine quality has become something of a rarity, but what’s rare is also valuable. Stay true to your purpose and don’t be guiled by the hollow promises and hype, eventually you will prosper a real following, and though your success may not be be instantaneous, it will be well earned and rewarded.
Building Your Castle
This is often the most trying time for any venture, so brace yourself, but also take heart in the knowledge that joyous times lay ahead if your castle reaches it’s full splendour.
In the game of the Internet, you should first build your castle. By castle, I am referring to your primary domain. This will be your online identity, your band, and will be your basis for all future future endeavours to come, even if some should fail.
But, like simple economics, make sure don’t spread yourself thin with too many towns and villages early on in the piece. 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.
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 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. Some good places are Meetup, Facebook, and Github.
Lines of Communication
The technological era has blessed us with a million ways to express our thoughts and stay in touch, yet our communication skills atrophy with each passing generation. 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.
Communication on the Internet cannot be defined in the classical sense. The stakes are high, and every word you write is a communication with potentially millions upon millions of people, so best not to say anything you’ll regret later!
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 (Wordpress/Tumblr) to host your primary content (unless you host them on your own domain), but by all means use them to aggregate excerpts from your blog feed.
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. Tools you should be using are: Buffer to automate your content syndication, and Gardn to ensure your content is shared far and wide via your social networks.
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.
Spend some time creating regular content and reputable backlinks, and be sure to optimise your site for page speed and cross platform devices. Forget about the crappy minisites and backlink spam - shortcuts will get you killed.
Educate yourself about static websites if appropriate (Middleman, Jekyll), responsive design (Bootstrap, Zerb Foundation), and use pretty URLs wherever possible.
Your best source of traffic is going to be organic search traffic, so pool your resources and focus on the search engines. If you have the budget for it, then by all means advertise the best of your content and products.
PPC advertising is expensive, and can be hit and miss depending on your product and presentation. The best success I have had is with more expensive items due to the increased the conversion ratio.
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
The victor has certain obligations in the eyes of the many, and the way victory is handled says a lot for the character of a individual or business. Be not overwhelmed by the bright lights and fat stacks, and try to refrain from gloating and arrogant expression. The greatest reward is to succeed and grow rich while having a great time and conducting yourself with integrity.
As your business grows, so must you. Be consistent with your training, meditation and relaxation, and keep developing your mind and body so that your endeavours may evolve alongside your vision of abundant success and creativity.