I wrote a piece recently about why I refuse to depend on Google for my internet business, and in that post, I said there’s a big difference between the traffic you get and the actual business you’re building. In other words, your traffic should be able to wax and wane a bit, and your business should not be fundamentally affected. I wanted to go into that just a little bit further, because so many of us are tied into and quite literally addicted to Google traffic.
Are You Sitting on a Time Bomb?
I argue that one of the most valuable things you can do to build your business is to start a business blog. And every blog needs traffic, correct? So how can traffic be such a bad thing? Well, I’m not saying traffic is a bad thing, but anything can cause damage if it’s misunderstood and/or abused.
If your new traffic disappeared tomorrow, where would your business stand? Would your business be over? If so, you’re sitting on a time bomb!
The fact is that without traffic, you’ll never be able to build a business, but traffic is not the problem. Too many of us think because we’re getting a lot of traffic and comments that our business is doing well. These are good things, but again I ask the all-important question: What would happen if all your new visitors went away tomorrow? What are you left with?
Your answer ought to be: I’m left with a very effective blog and a powerful, targeted list of customers that I can cultivate and grow for years to come!
A Lesson From the Real Estate Business
If you follow this blog at all, you know that I have experience in the real estate business. While real estate professionals are just now coming into the internet space in force, and are just now learning how to use internet marketing competently (and I applaud them for it!), they have LONG been masters of what it takes to work a client list, and I think all us internet marketers can learn a bit from them!
Let me tell you something that might surprise you: some of the top real estate professionals in my network…I’m talking about Realtors who sell several hundred homes a year…guess how many people are in their database. Thousands? Tens of thousands? The fact is that many of them have a database of only a few hundred. That’s right. Hundred.
And these are pros that have not always been online, pulling in new leads from the internet. Internet leads to these professionals are gravy. Icing on the cake. How the HECK can you sell 500 houses a year, when your customer base consists of only a few hundred people?
The fact is that each of those people, knows other people. And if you have only a few hundred people who are truly advocates of your business, they will tell their friends, won’t they? So these savvy salespeople spend their time talking to their advocates. And those advocates send them referral business. Just one person can often refer several transactions per year!
If you have 300 people who truly believe in you and think you are the best at what you do, do you see how massively powerful that is? Can’t you see how 300 people is all it takes to make you very, very wealthy? If each of those 300 people refer you just 2 people each year on average, you will sell 600 houses, right? The average Realtor, who doesn’t understand this, sells 8 per year. This is how powerful a client list can be.
So if 300 is all you need, why is it so important to pull in a constant stream of new traffic every single day? It ought to be gravy, not the lifeblood of your business!
The Real Reason Your Blog is a Huge Asset
So many of us think that a blog is such a great asset to your business because it’s such a great way to pull in traffic and sales into your business. No doubt this is true!
But the REAL value of your blog is as a conversational tool with the base of followers you already have. When operated competently, your blog will no doubt continue to bring in new traffic to you for years to come. Congratulations for using such an awesome promotional and business-building tool!
But don’t neglect the REAL value…what you already have right in front of you…your existing customer list. Your list is your business, and your traffic is simply one of many ways to build your list.
If I have to choose between building traffic and interacting with my existing readers, which do you think I choose? Which one do you choose?