Do you remember that children’s story about the tortoise and the hare?
The very fast hare was laughing at the idea of racing against the tortoise because he was soooooo slow. So the hare races ahead and realizes how amazing he is and how far ahead he is… so he decides to lay down and take a nap knowing full well he doesn’t have to work hard to win against the tortoise.
Meanwhile the tortoise is plodding along one slow step at a time, not worrying about that hare and all of his bragging. He just puts one foot in front of the other and ultimately wins by staying focused and doing the work.
Well, the same thing happens in how we choose to build our businesses — especially with attracting an audience and selling.
The “Good Old Days”
Let’s turn back the clock for a moment to the late 1990s and early 2000s when online marketing was a brand-new land of untapped opportunity. This was when I was just getting started in my marketing career as a new college grad so I remember it well because it shaped me as a professional.
Back in the days when AOL was cool, FrontPage was a cutting-edge website tool, everyone used dial-up and smartphones weren’t yet invented, how we interacted with the internet was TOTALLY different.
I remember how intoxicating those early days were. It was a modern day gold rush and EVERYONE wanted to be a part of the excitement.
In those days, you could make a lot of money if you were even slightly technical with an exciting idea because everything was fresh and new. The market was wide open — and people weren’t jaded yet.
Marketing and sales looked VERY different:
A banner ad cost less than a penny to get clicks to a website.
No one cared about privacy policies or truth in advertising because online marketing was moving so quickly it was hard for the general public (and lawmakers) to keep up.
The word ‘spam’ was something you could eat (not email).
It was simple to buy or rent an email list cheaply to get in front of hundreds of thousands of people with any offer for very little money.
Looking for Shortcuts
Around this time, Seth Godin released one of my all-time favorite marketing books “Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers”.
This was an eye-opener for the marketing world. Over the next few years entrepreneurs and corporations had to make a choice:
Path #1: The tortoise/slower way that’s about building trust and value.
Path #2: The hare/faster way which results in ultimately exploiting our audience and derailing the business
Unfortunately many, many people out there are all about selling us Path #2. The shiny object. The quick fix. The must-have fancy system. The magic wand. Call it what you will, path #2 sounds quick, easy and like the fastest path to cash.
Path #2 draws in people who are all about exploiting the system. Their motto is to make a lot of money very fast, then move on.
You’ll see them pop up with different programs, offers and even businesses. This happened with my ex-coach who is very exploitative and has changed her business name at least four times since beginning her business.
That was done because:
So they dump it and move on.
The goal of path #2 is to create a big splash, get as much money as possible and move on.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Path #1, is totally different. It’s the tortoise approach.
This requires building a foundation of trust. It means keeping your eye on the long-term and not exploiting your audience by selling everything under the sun for a quick sale.
Well-known companies today made very deliberate choices to take the slower, steadier trust building path.
For example, think about Zappos.
I’ve purchased so many things from Zappos over the years because I trust them. I know if I don’t like what I buy, I can send it back no questions and no hassles. I know if I have an issue with my order, I can call them and they’ll stick with me to take care of it.
I pay a lot more for things on Zappos than I do anywhere else online because I trust them.
From the Zappos About Us page, here’s what they say about their company and it goes to the heart of their mission:
“At Zappos.com, our purpose is simple: to live and deliver WOW.
Twenty years ago, we began as a small online retailer that only sold shoes. Today, we still sell shoes — as well as clothing, handbags, accessories, and more. That “more” is providing the very best customer service, customer experience, and company culture. We aim to inspire the world by showing it's possible to simultaneously deliver happiness to customers, employees, vendors, shareholders, and the community in a long-term, sustainable way.
We hope that in the future people won't even realize we started selling shoes online. Instead, they'll know Zappos as a service company that just happens to sell ________.”
This is an amazing manifesto for their company and every interaction I’ve had with them they’ve lived up to it.
I’m sure you have a favorite place too, and if you take apart WHY you love them, it’s likely built — at least in part — on trust.
Just like the tortoise, slow and steady is how you make it to the finish line with your integrity intact.
Create Profit Without Worry – one system at a time. I’ll show you how to attract a steady flow of buyers without all the hustle with this free download → 5 Steps To Profit Without Worry.
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Create Profit Without Worry – one system at a time with this free download → 5 Steps To Profit Without Worry.
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