A huge difference between free and one penny

A huge difference between free and one pennyWouldn’t you agree that, when it comes to conducting business online, there is a huge difference between free and one penny?

When you were a kid (if you’re over the age of 25), did your mom ever tell you to, “Go look it up in the encyclopedia/dictionary/at the library?” Doesn’t that sound almost silly with today’s technologies? Now, with a simple search from any web-connected device, everyone can find out anything almost instantly. Gone are the days of arguing over who won the best film Oscar in 1976 (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest), or on what day Milwaukee Brewer Robin Yount got his 3000th hit (September 9, 1992).

Oh, and by the way, you don’t need a $400 encyclopedia set either. It costs you literally nothing. Everybody now expects all information to be free. So how does this apply to social media in building your business?

1) – the value of direct and personalized data is worth more than it ever has been before. With the sheer amount of information available, how can anyone know what’s accurate, or, more importantly, if it even pertains to him or her at all? There have always been people who are ill-informed,  naysayers, and trolls, but now they have a megaphone as big as everyone else’s. If you write a well-crafted 5 star review of a book you love and post it online, your 5 stars will count just as much as a 1 star review from a detractor who is just trying to be a jerk. Extrapolated over the entire Internet, this same concept can apply to the validity of economic statistics, foreign-policy facts (or “true facts” if you’re in Congress), and health advice.

2) – how can you be the person or company that will be trusted over others? You give away A LOT of stuff for free.  Once you can show your target market that you’re a person on whom they can rely for pertinent and quality information, you will be in a category all your own, and leave your competitors behind. You know that often mentioned statistic about people fearing public speaking more than fearing their own death? Why do you think that is? Do you think it might just be because they’re fearful of feeling stupid? Since so, so much is now available for free, when an individual parts with any money at all – more than anything else – he or she just doesn’t want to regret it later. Quality buying decisions now come as the result of someone being educated, and if you can educate your prospects better than anyone else, you win.

3) – as a result, when a prospect becomes a customer for you, whether he or she is spending a penny or a lot more, that customer is paying for your good or service because he or she trusts you. You’ve helped him or her find value in what it is you’ve offered, and he or she wants to pay you a reward.

What questions do you have on how to separate yourself from the competition?

Spencer X Smith

Spencer helps you save time through teaching digital marketing and social media strategies in plain English, after proving they actually work for himself first. He also is an instructor at the University of Wisconsin and a columnist for InBusiness.

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