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Self-Branding Suicide

The ironic thing about social media is that it is a reflection of who’s driving it. It is a reflection of its users both individually and as a whole. Individually, it is a reflection of what we want our business to accomplish for us and for those we seek to do business with. Currently, I’m not sure there is a better example of the “garbage in garbage out” principle being more accurately displayed than when a new online entrepreneur begins building their network and establishing their personal brand using social media with little or no planning.

The purpose of your social media efforts has to be more than sending random “buy my widget” or “make money by signing up now” messages set on auto-repeat every 15 seconds. That’s akin to social media telemarketing. It’s offensive to the very people who you need to trust you, causing you to quickly lose credibility and thus the ability to positively impact people along with it.

After all, we’re all on the same path working to reach relatively the same destination. We all want to be successful and fulfilled as we each define it. It is far easier to do it together by building a functional network of mutually supportive people than by committing what I call “self-branding suicide”.

Know this, that large numbers in a network mean absolutely nothing if you can’t do anything with them. They are good only for eye-candy and ego stroking. If you cannot effectively communicate and leverage your network at any given time toward a mutually beneficial action then you have no real usable network at all. You have useless numbers. If you spam them and you lose no-one then you have the first sign that NO ONE IS LISTENING! I have found however that these symptoms reveal a deeper issue found at the core of the business foundation, and even more specifically, the online entrepreneur themselves that must be rectified.

Diagnosing The Dysfunctional Home Business Cycle

But why do people, especially new MLM, Internet and affiliate marketers in the first year, do this? Primarily because they’re taught to. After feeling that they have bought into a lie, that the pursuit of a career had paid them in wasted years and less time with the people they love, they vow like an abused spouse, never to let that happen again. With this as a main motivator, they jump into their online venture with a mindset of “this is about me getting what I want now – it’s my turn!”.

Unfortunately, there are those that have sales copy written specifically to prey upon and attract those who are feeling exactly that (which ironically are most potential entrepreneurs) instead of offering something of more substance. This new entrepreneur seeking training is then coached to build a business foundation that utilizes that same selfish ideology as the motivational gas in their online business engine which in turn attracts others the same way. This type of training is prevalent unfortunately. They say this is the coveted “duplication principle” however WHAT you’re duplicating is far more important that the act itself. This cycle seems to be prevalent with any new entrepreneur who seeks training, whether it be a new Internet or affiliate marketer seeking training, an MLM or other business opportunity newbie.

Only You Can Identify & Alter The Cycle

There are plenty of mistreated children who grow up to unknowingly train their own children to mistreat the following generation. My point is this; there is a stark difference between healthy duplication and a dysfunctional spiral which, at the end of the journey, makes one feel that they were taken advantage of, despondent and stupid for ever hoping for something more fulfilling in their life. Many of those involved in MLM’s and business opportunities are caught in this same cycle but it doesn’t have to be this way. The immediate results for business opportunities that aim for this large demographic is that it attracts large numbers because the marketing is geared to identify with their emotional desire to stand up and take their life back, but unfortunately, it helps them neither heal nor become successful.

Your self-branding should ideally be an accurate reflection of who you are and what you want your business to accomplish BOTH for you and for those you seek to do business with. So often many do not take off the rose colored glasses to accurately estimate “what’s in it for them?” apart from giving them the same Kool-aid that they themselves are gulping down. The great thing about many business opportunities is that you have almost total control to brand yourself and create your own strategy for delivering value. Unfortunately if you are standing behind a company that simply does not deliver anything other than the “expectation to make money” it is almost impossible to break out of the cycle and represent the product or service.

I see this all the time with affiliate marketers who lose large chunks of their emailing opt-in lists because they over promoted a product, training or service that had a high-payout for them but did not deliver on their promises. They allowed the organization they promoted to use them along with their email list of potential customers and left them by the side of the road when they were done. This is where the affiliate would say that it is merely a numbers game of getting more potential customers, or the MLM opportunity that preaches that its all about getting more recruits, sponsoring more people, when actually it’s not. It’s not about numbers but about delivering something of value that improves the lives of those you share it with. I’m talking about choosing a deliverable that bolsters your credibility and doesn’t threaten it.

So What’s The Antidote?

So how do we go about correcting our unhealthy business owner perspectives? It’s actually simple if you’re ready to take the leap of letting go of a few deeply held false ideologies. Are you ready? Ok, here it is….your primary goal should not be first and foremost about making money. You gasp, I know but read on and I’ll explain. The key is finding something other than money that you can become passionate about. This is because the desire for money alone will NOT make your life to magically feel more successful and fulfilled. I’m not kidding – it’s true! The next two paragraphs will convince you.

If you’re like most online home business owners I’ve coached, you began your entrepreneurial journey when you decided to stop trading hours for dollars but (because you didn’t know any better) immediately ignored what would truly fulfill you and instead convinced yourself that it was money that was the missing piece all along. No my friend, there is something larger missing and it involves what I call emotional currency.

You need to realize that the most fulfilling currency in your business life is one where you are deeply, emotionally satisfied that your entrepreneurial efforts make a difference. From my experience I will tell you that if you commit to passionately pursue that, the by-product will result in reaping more financial reward than you ever expected. You need to identify with what you really want to achieve with your business efforts. It starts by asking yourself:

  • Other than money, what do I want my business efforts to accomplish that would fulfill me?
  • What type of reputation do I want to work toward earning in the online community that would deeply satisfy me?
  • Expand on the previous question: If successful, what will that reputation look like?
  • How should I approach my marketing and branding efforts in light of the answers to the previous 3 questions?

Now work backwards; reconstruct your business foundation to reflect those answers. THAT in-turn will produce a fire-in-the-belly that you cannot extinguish. It results in a business foundation that is tied so closely into who you are that you don’t need a pep talk to get excited about it. The end result is that it begins to provide emotional paychecks which fulfill you before and after the money pours in.

Translating That Into A Successful Marketing Strategy

There are myriads of people who give up following their financial dreams because they feel emotionally bankrupt. Realize that they are all incredibly hungry to deposit this currency into their emotional bank account. When you stop and think about it, it is a pretty simple undertaking to stand out from the crowd because people are very hungry for unique, credible and trustworthy resources. Practically 95% of online business marketers form their sales discussion from the same faulty perspective. You’ll see headlines such as “secrets from the guru who made 5-figures in first month, make money online using this double matrix” or “use this software to trick Google to making you big money” and so on.

If your business involves marketing a product with competition then you want the 95% to continue to do what they are doing. Write your ads, sales copy and articles from the perspective of your new healthy foundation and you will immediately stand out. Identify with those you want to attract to your product or service.

If you’re goal is to attract others to your business opportunity, training or service, know that the 95% with an unhealthy foundation know that they are missing something. They are not your competition;, they are your prospects. If you create a healthy foundation and portray a healthier, more functional and fulfilling alternative that involves emotional currency, you are immediately more appealing. There are also so many people publicly branding themselves dysfunctionally that it’s an instant delineator, setting you apart from the spamming masses.

If you commit to establishing your unique healthy foundation which seeks primary compensation from emotional paychecks you will not only be more satisfied, but you will also be fishing with different bait than most others. People will come to work with you because they believed you were personally offering something different before you even presented your business opportunity.