As an online business owner, I’ve discovered a great irony: the more I give, the more my business grows. I know it sounds crazy, but I’m totally serious.
If I had to identify the one thing that has helped me build a successful online business, it would hands down be giving. But giving isn’t just some sneaky strategy I deploy in my business. Rather, it’s the way I serve my audience. It’s at the core of my business.
Now before you think that I’ve lost it with all this giving talk, let me explain…
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t charge for your services or products. Instead, I believe that we should run our businesses in a way that is focused on serving our audience well and looking for ways that we can give to them.
But the problem is, when it comes to building an online business, people tend to obsess over the wrong thing. Instead of serving and looking for ways to give, they get caught up in things like slick branding, complicated funnels, and high pressure sales tactics.
Sure, these things might work temporarily, but the reality is, if you want to build a business that will last, you need to focus on serving your people first before you try to sell them anything.
I realize this idea of giving and being a serve-first entrepreneur might seem a little pie in the sky, so what do I actually mean? The short answer is that serving your audience is about giving more value than you take. That is what will help you succeed in business long-term.
Let’s dive deeper into what I mean by giving over taking and how to implement it in your online business.
One way that I am giving more than I take in my business is with my totally FREE training program called BADA$$ Online Marketing University. This is my signature online program to help online entrepreneurs learn to market their business the right way. Click here to enroll.
Giving Helps You Build Strong Relationships
Being a serve-first entrepreneur is about serving everyone around you. And in holistic marketing, it means you’re thinking about your relationships and not just how you can get more money.
Having a serve-first perspective also applies to various relationships you have in your business… first with your customers, then with your suppliers or vendors, and with your team.
You may have heard of the saying, “Nice guys finish last.” That’s not true in business. On the contrary, nice people finish first.
Over time, you always see that it was the people who built strong, solid relationships with their suppliers and customers who actually succeed.
When you’re thinking about relationships with anyone, your question should be: “Have I given more value than I’ve gotten in return?” That should be our goal every single time we do anything.
Give more than you take. Provide more value than you get. We see that rule everywhere. But I don’t think a lot of people are living up to it.
Giving Determines Your True Worth
A book called The Go-Giver by Bob Burg talks about five laws to success. And what I want to share with you is the law of value, which states that your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value.
For example, if the actual value is $10,000 and you sold it for $9,999, then you only gave $1 value. Whereas, if you sold for $1,000, you’ve given $9,000 in value. The more you grow the gap between the value that people get and what you charge, the more value you create.
Serve-first entrepreneurs are focused on creating more value.
Giving In Business Creates Loyalty
According to economic theory, people who are trying to get every last dollar as sellers don’t succeed.
Wait, what? Why is that? They don’t create loyalty.
People can see through sellers who are cut-throat and transactional. Guess what? They don’t wanna do business with people like that.
The concept here is that when you’re thinking about pricing, you’re kinda negotiating between you and the buyer how much of the excess value the customer gets from your product versus what you have to pay to create it.
For example, if you’re selling an online course, the common question people ask over and over again is how much information should they give in their freebies and how much should they hold back.
But if you’re a serve-first entrepreneur, you don’t ask that question.
I’m NOT saying that being a radical giver means giving all your products away for free. No. But if you worry that you have to hold back information so that people will buy… that’s a problem.
Giving Impacts More People
By giving more than we’re taking, we’re serving more people and creating more impact.
Here’s a question that I want you to take a second to answer honestly. All things being equal–the cost, your profits, the amount of work involved–would you rather sell a course and only serve 10 people or sell to 100 people to make that amount of money?
Pause. Think about it.
Now for most people, if they’re brutally honest with themselves, because of what we’ve been taught and what we’ve learned in this industry, the honest response is to sell 10.
It’s less of a headache. There are fewer problems there. There are fewer things that could go wrong. You don’t have to do as much, etc. That’s the default.
But that’s not the serve-first default. The serve-first default is “I’d rather serve 100 people because that means I’ve helped an extra 90 people.”
Giving Helps You Win Long-term
Serving your audience first is how you win long-term in your business.
Continuing with our example of 10 vs 100 people, if you choose to only serve 10, you only have 10 people who might be willing to sign up for a follow-up program with you later. You only have 10 people who’ve experienced what you can offer and who can then go out and talk about it to other people.
On the other hand, if you serve 100 people, guess what? You have way more people who might buy a follow-up offer. But just as importantly, and here’s where the magic is… if you serve them well and treat them right, you’re gonna create a ton of brand evangelists.
They’re gonna go out and tell their family, their friends, and everybody they know about how freaking amazing your program was. Then you’ve got your free marketing. Word of mouth is so powerful.
I don’t have to market my legal products very much because I’ve created these evangelists who are out telling so many other people about it. That’s the magic.
Here’s the bottom line… when you give so much more than you ask in return, when the value that you provide blows people away, when you don’t buy into this “charge more, charge more” drumbeat in the industry but instead charge less to have a bigger impact and thus give more value to everyone in the program… what happens is you create a snowball that rolls down the mountain and turns into an avalanche.
When you adopt this notion of “I’m gonna give more than I take” in everything you do in your marketing, you will succeed. It’s gonna take some time, but when you do that, you’ll create a business that’s self-sustaining and will stand the test of time.
In everything you do from start to finish, when you build your business and think about how much you give and how you deal with your audience, simply ask yourself, “How can I increase the value so that I’m giving more?”
Look, I get it that building an online business is hard work. That’s why you should join my program, BADA$$ Online Marketing University. It’s my FREE signature program that teaches you to build and market your online business. You see first-hand how you can serve your audience, give more than you expect to receive, and eventually, receive more than you can imagine.