I wonder if you, like me, have started out in the world of internet marketing thinking that you will be able to build your business by spending little or no money.
In fact, I wonder seriously if you have even slightly managed to avoid all of the messages that proclaim you can create a fortune with just free tool (oh, and buy my report to tell you which ones! 🙂 ).
If you have, then I can only congratulate you, because I believe that you are likely to be in a far stronger position as you progress than all your free-technique seeking competitors.
It All Starts With a Search Engine.
We fall, like lambs going to the slaughter, into the abbatoir of SEO riches reports. “It’s simple,” they say, “just follow these 34 guaranteed steps and you will dodge the Google carnival of the animals”.
The promise is there. A first page entry and traffic, fame, fortune and maybe even wealth will all be ours and it’s all free! (You have to read that sentence with a slightly crazed voice – think “Doc” from Back to the Future – “Great Scott, Marty, it’s all free!”)
The only problem is the huge, performing troop of elephants in the room that no-one talks about.
If you truly want to make all this stuff work for free (that is, you don’t pay anyone anything to get it done), then you are trading your time for the money you save. I know, I’ve done this.
It is something I wholeheartedly regret…..there I’ve said it!
If you believe that this method is “free” then you have placed absolutely NO value on your own life – and I’ve come to realize that this is the only thing I’m never going to get back.
How much are you worth?
Let’s do a quick calculation.
Say there are 52 lots of 5 days work in a week…..let’s take off 6 weeks holiday – we are internet marketers living the “lifestyle” after all.
That gives 46 x 5 = 230 days of work a year.
Now let’s chop off some sleeping, eating and fun time, but still leave an 8 hour working day to start with (you didn’t think the 4-hour work week came straight away, did you?)
So now we have 230 x 8 = 1840 hours of work in your first year.
Now let me ask you a personal question…..what do you want to earn? Or, how much do you have to replace from your day job? Many people have a $100K figure in mind when asked this – everyone wants “Six-figures”.
So now a quick division
100,000/1,840 = $54 an hour (ish)
THAT is how much your time is worth! You can adjust the calculation for yourself, but the numbers always come out higher than you might imagine.
Work Out Your “Spent” Time
Now all you have to do is multiply your hours of free SEO work by $54 and you have an idea of how committed you are to this model of making money.
The scary thing after doing all this is that you are completely at the mercy of the Search Engine owners when it comes to turning your efforts into cash……and not only that, but another update could wipe you off the planet….
…and then what have you spent? Well, there’s all that theoretical money but more importantly, you’ve spent a load of your precious days on this planet that you will never get back.
The High Cost of Social Interaction
No, I’m not talking of the time-wasting or some nasty skin condition that you can get from all that “interacting” – this is more serious than that.
Some of you may have jumped ship to the mighty Facebook, looking for traffic in other places. How’s that going?
Have you got such an awesome crowd-pleaser that your page likes have grown without any money spent on FB ads?
If you have spent a load on ads to get your likes, have you seen how Facebook are now altering the way that your fans actually get to see your updates? Now that they have shareholders to please, they have altered updates so they only show to 15% of your fans and you have to pay for the other 85% to get your information.
Check out the details in this comprehensive article and be prepared to splutter! So now, Facebook will now charge you to talk to folks you have already paid them for in the first place (through your ads).
Planning A Real Business
The common factor in all these examples is that you thought you were getting something for nothing, but you were still dealing with other companies that have to make money themselves.
In the case of Goofle (that was a mis-type, but I rather like it!) and Facebook, these companies now have to produce reports every quarter that show ever-increasing profits – or they get their share price slapped on the stock market. In those circumstances, they are pretty much driven to do anything they can – and your “free” services will be bent to their purpose no matter how much you hurt.
None of this makes it any easier to spend money in your earlier days – especially money that you feel you don’t have to spare – but if you are going to survive all of the changes in the marketing industry in the near future, adding paid traffic to your skillset is starting to look like a necessary evil.
You’ll still be able to get your business going for much less than it used to cost for a bricks-and-mortar company, but realizing that you will have to spend money is the first step along the path to freedom from slavery to the mad Gods of free marketing.