Last weekend I was re-reading through The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk and I realized that most bloggers start off with the wrong intentions.
Most people focus in the beginning on how they can make their first dollar online. Oh, how wrong that is!
This, more often than not, leads to spammy tactics like covering their website with advertisements and using pop-ups to get people to sign-up for their mailing list which in turn scares away potential fans before they even read a single word of their content.
When all you are focusing on is monetization you are failing to take the first essential step towards getting people to trust you enough online to spend money: start a relationship with as many visitors as possible.
Treat Your Website Like A Blind Date
If you were out on a blind date would you immediately ask someone to be your boy/girlfriend? That is essentially what you are doing with pop-up email sign-up forms.
Would you spend half the date talking about all your friends and why your date should actually go out with them? With too many advertisements and external links on your site you are basically showing people the door out.
Expecting to get paid by visitors to your website or blog before you build up a relationship with them is like expecting someone to marry you after a first date.
You need to treat every visitor to your website like a relationship. Treat them well, time after time, and will you start to show them how you are different.
The Currency of Relationships is Thank You’s
For people to care enough about what you write, create, or demonstrate on your blog you are going to need to do something for them that no one else does already.
Are you just going to publish information that people would end up Googling how to do anyway or are you providing them with priceless advice, guidance, and inspiration that they’ve never heard or can’t get anywhere else?
Before most people are going to be willing to fork over their hard earned money for something you create (or recommend as an affiliate), you are going to have to do something that makes them scream, “Thank you!”
Different kinds of people will say thank you in different ways, so it is not something you can easily keep track of persay. To understand the different ways people can thank you, think of someone you have bought something from online and think of how you have thanked them.
- Have you shared their posts on social media multiple times?
- Do you comment on every one of their posts?
- Have you sent them a personal email thanking them for something they published?
- Did you feature them in a something you published on your website or blog?
- Have you told a ton of your friends about their blog?
- Did you buy multiple copies of their book?
- Have you dropped three or four figures just to be trained or coached by them?
See the progression there?
People first thank you with their words and actions. Only after that will they thank you with their wallets.
Thank You’s Generate More Leads, Sales Typically Don’t
When you do something that leads people to thank you, chances are they will reach out to their circle of friends and share whatever it is you are doing.
This grows your audience, creates a thriving group of buyers, and leads to more sales.
When someone buys something from you, they don’t usually tell anyone. Sometimes they will, but they might not want to admit it until AFTER they get results and by that time they may forget to do so.
Once you are consistantly getting paid in thank you’s, your audience will start to grow without you having to focus on it everyday.
10 Simple Ways to Get People to Thank You
1. Create epic shit
2. Feature their story on your blog
3. Respond to all of their comments
4. Respond to their emails
5. Thank them for their social media shares
6. Walk them step-by-step through something complicated
7. Create a list of insanely useful resources
8. Give them a special bonus for signing up for updates
9. Go above and beyond their expectations
10. Give away for free what most people charge for
I’d love to hear two things from you in the comments of this post:
First, how do you give thanks to people and blogs you admire online?
(Personally, I like to give special attention to people in blog posts that feature them in a positive light.)
Second, what is your favorite way that someone else has thanked you online?
(The best way I’ve been thanked online for a purchase was when Chris Guillebeau sent me a hand-written, snail mail thank you card for registering to attend the World Domination Summit.)
Looking forward to hearing your comments!