If you have ever watched Dragons’ Den then you’ll know that 90% of the business ideas presented get kicked out within 5 minutes – usually accompanied by looks of stunned amusement from the various Dragons.
What is consistently obvious about that programme is that there’s a big difference between having a great idea and having a great business. Great businesses spring from the mindset and thinking of their owners. You only have to see the Dragons in action to appreciate that.
So today, I thought it would be interesting to share with you some of the different ways thinking about your online business can lead to online success.
1 – It’s Not About You
One of the biggest mistakes most businesses make when they go online is to talk about themselves. You know the kind of thing… “we’ve been established since 1850 with 25 offices servicing the needs of our clients”, etc., etc..
Sadly, nobody cares (except the people that wrote it).
Anybody who has spent any time on the Internet knows that you don’t search the web to be bored to tears. You’re searching because you want helpful, valuable information that you can easily access. You’re not looking to be impressed by claims or by strong-arm sales tactics. You’ll buy when you feel your problem is understood and the solution is clear. Most Internet users are looking for products and services which help them move from ‘pain’ to ‘pleasure’. (Valeting your own car is a pain, somebody else doing it for you is definitely a pleasure!)
So if your website clearly expresses how you can help them move from pain to pleasure then you will be far ahead of 99% of commercial websites.
To do this you have to get inside the head of your customer and really understand what their concerns are. You then need to re-explain those concerns on your website and how you will address them.
The website owner’s mindset is to offer genuine help for free first, invoice second.
2 – Testing
Almost everybody has an inbuilt desire to optimise what they do. For example, I bet you know the fastest route from work to home or what your favourite food is or whether you love football or not. You know these things because throughout your life you have tested the alternatives and you did so because you wanted to find out what worked best for you.
Testing is also a fundamental part of online marketing (and online marketing is fundamental to your website’s success). You won’t know whether one headline works better on your homepage than another until you try them both. You won’t know you can sell more online until you test different prices. You won’t know everyone loves your videos until you record them.
The amazing thing about the Internet is that it offers you the fastest way of working out how to maximise your profits simply by testing different approaches.
There’s an interesting psychological twist that scares most people from doing tests and that is the fear of failure. This fear then gives people the permission not to take action. After all, there’s always a risk that your brilliant idea turns into a disaster when you test it. The question to ask yourself is not “what if I fail?” but “how much richer will I be when I test this and succeed?”
How many ‘would be’ millionaires are there who stopped short of testing their idea because they were too frightened of rejection?
Failure is your friend and, crazy though it sounds, you should look forward to your failures. Why? Because knowing what not to do steers you in the direction of what you must do.
The website owner’s mindset is to love testing new approaches and to see every failure as one step closer to success.
3 – Creativity
You are a creative person. Almost everybody is creative at one level or another. Often, what stops us from recognizing our own creativity is the rubbish we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Answering e-mails, calls to colleagues, internal meetings, routine project management – these are rarely creative pastimes.
Just take a moment and ask yourself what percentage of today has been purely dedicated to creative thought?
You need creative time and you must defend it ruthlessly. Creative time is where you improve your website copy, test a different pricing approach, try a different headline, write a new marketing e-mail and so on.
If testing maps out your route to success then creativity gives you the ideas to test in the first place.
The website owner’s mindset is to create a non-negotiable time for creativity every day.
How you think is critical to your website’s success since it relies on you taking action. The type and quality of action you take is predicated on how you think at the time. This is what makes mindset such an important subject and one which I’m not quite done with so watch out for next week’s blog post.