You Inc. Commandment #6: Thou Shalt Give Value First

There’s an old saying that it is always better to give than to receive.  Nothing could be more true when it comes to marketing yourself online. In a “me first” world, the Go-Givers stand out.

What is a Go-Giver?

According to Marshall Goldsmith:

[A go-giver adds] value to others in a way that helps them significantly while at the same time increasing their own sense of joy which improves their bottom line, both in their business and their personal life. 

(If you haven’t read The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann, this is a must-read!)

So what does any of this have to do with building You, Inc?

As you’ll recall from previous You, Inc. commandments, people buy from people whom they know, like and trust.  One way that you can build trust and rapport with your potential clients/customers is to provide them something of value, for free.

Unfortunately, many network marketers mistakenly believe that their business opportunity is that “something of value.”

When I say “something of value,” I mean that it’s something that regardless of whether or not your potential client/customer ever interacts with you again, they would say to themselves:

 “Wow, that was some really helpful information.  I’m really glad I read/watched that.”

In other words, you have touched that person’s life or business in a positive way regardless of whether or not you hear from them in the future?

There are two kinds of “value” that you can offer to your prospective client/customer.  The first is valuable content in the form of articles, videos, podcasts, white papers, etc. that you put on your blog or website.

The second is a valuable free gift in exchange for your prospective client/customer’s contact information.  As you’ll recall from Commandment #4, the place in your marketing funnel to introduce your “free offer” is on your opt-in form through Aweber.

By providing something of value, you are giving your potential customer/client a reason to part with their private email address (and possibly phone number or other personal information).  You must structure the text of your valuable free gift in a way that it is compelling.

You want to give them an irresistible offer.  Put yourself in your visitor’s shoes.  Would YOU part with your email address for your offer (as it is worded on your Opt-In form?)  If not, then head back to the drawing board until the answer to that question is a resounding “YES!”

One thing that you must keep in mind is this:

“Value in the Eye of the Beholder”

Here’s what I mean…

A $20 bill does not have the same perceived “value” to a millionaire as it does to an individual who has been out of work for a year and struggling to feed his family.

So, it is essential that you consider the needs of your target market when crafting your valuable content and your free offer.  Think about the problems that they are having and the solutions that you can provide.

Only after you have provided your potential client/customer with value, should you ask for something in return (i.e, ask them to buy something from you).  Another thing to keep in mind is that in the midst of providing tons of value, don’t forget to “ask for the sale.”

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs are so focused on the “giving value” part of building You, Inc. that they completely forget that they need to be making money (or worse, they are afraid to ask for the sale.) Don’t fall into this trap!

After providing your potential client/customer with value, oftentimes they cannot wait to show their appreciation by purchasing something from you.  So, give them an opportunity to express that appreciation!

There is so much more that I could write about on this topic of giving value, but many of you are devouring each of these You, Inc. commandments so quickly, that I’m going to sign off on this one for now…

Not to worry, though, because in my yet-to-be released course, The Beginner’s Guide to Building You, Inc., I will address this topic more in depth and worksheets will be provided to allow you to map out your proposed “free offer” and valuable content to ensure that it is congruent with your target market and that it will seamlessly fit into your marketing funnel.

Stay tuned for Commandment #7:  Thou Shalt Not SPAM

Like this article?  Share your comments below! If you think someone can benefit from this information, please share it!

To the Top!

PS.  Top Secret News!  I’m in the process of creating hands down, the most comprehensive course on discovering, building and monitizing your brand  that this industry has ever seen!  It’s called “The Beginner’s Guide to Building You, Inc.”

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15 Responses to “You Inc. Commandment #6: Thou Shalt Give Value First”

  1. Robin Says:

    Great insights here Natasha I most definitely like the part about Value in the eye of the beholder and the 20 dollar bill example. Great stuff!
    Robin recently posted..How To Use A Network Marketing Blog To Market Your Home Business

  2. Natasha Nassar Says:

    Thanks Robin! Glad that example resonated with you. This is one of the biggest mistakes that I’ve seen people making when coming up with their “valuable” content. They think it’s one size fits all, when it isn’t!

    Appreciate you stopping by, it’s great **seeing** you here! : )
    Natasha Nassar recently posted..The 10 Commandments of Building You, Inc.

  3. Angela Says:

    Love this post Natasha! I am just re-reading the Go Giver. That book has so much insight and I get more and more good info as I read it. Thanks for sharing this, I think everyone should understand this concept.
    Angela recently posted..Growing Your Business through Relationship Marketing

  4. alicia@yboggle Says:

    Natasha, you are right, it is everything about value. I started having better results when I spent time giving value first, even though the prospect kept asking about how much the investment was. I enjoyed your post, thanks.

  5. marquita herald Says:

    Great article Natasha. I actually attended a webinar this morning hosted by a leader in the blogging world and he made a similar point about bloggers putting tons of effort into the front end of their online business, only to stall when it comes to monetizing their sites.
    marquita herald recently posted..How to Use Mistakes to Help You Succeed

  6. Edwin Arenas - Multinivel en Internet Says:

    Hi Natasha,

    Thanks for the article.

    That balace between giving value and actually marketing is not easy to achieve. I personally struggle with it.

    Recently I’ve been trying to apply something that I had read some time ago but had not pay much attention to it: You should be making marketing in all your content.

    Like saying at the end of a well thought video, “Hey remember that if you want to know more of this, i highly recomend this or that”
    Edwin Arenas – Multinivel en Internet recently posted..52 Tareas Para Llevar mi Negocio Multinivel a Internet: #3 Interactuar con mis Fans en Facebook

  7. Natasha Nassar Says:

    Angela,
    It’s an awesome book, isn’t it?!? Make sure to spread the word, this world is in desperate need of more Go-Givers!

    Thanks for stopping by! :)
    Natasha Nassar recently posted..The Cure For Information Overload

  8. Natasha Nassar Says:

    Alicia, Some folks are laser- focused, aren’t they? And for some, they’ll get mad because you didn’t give away the farm. It’s how things work, so we must accept it and move forward.

    Although its hard not to get annoyed a little when people chastise you for selling something after giving away tons of valuable content! ;)
    Natasha Nassar recently posted..How to Build Trust When Marketing Online

  9. Natasha Nassar Says:

    Hi Marquita! Great to **see** you again!

    This is hands down one of the biggest mistakes that bloggers make. I’m sure some of it stems from the fear that people will get mad if you ask for money. As I mentioned to Alicia, sometimes it does happen, but that should never stop you from continuing to ask for the sale! :)
    Natasha Nassar recently posted..How to Build Trust When Marketing Online

  10. Liz K : Success From Home Trainining Says:

    Thanks Natasha for putting out this great post. I absolutely agree with you on providing value. You always get back what you give out. It is the law of return. What you sends in other people’s lives does come back to you. Good valuable content will help monetize you site without having to push so hard for a sale. The more value you provide the more curious they get..
    Liz K : Success From Home Trainining recently posted..Achieve Your Goals By Staying The Course Until Success

  11. crescele Says:

    Hi Natasha, great post! I also believe that to make customers happy you have to give them a valuable transaction. That way they would keep coming back for more which means good business! I myself look for marketers/sellers with positive feedback when purchasing a product or service. Thanks for sharing.
    crescele recently posted..Are You In The Proverbial Dating Rut?

  12. Steve-Personal Success Factors Says:

    I believe it was Chris Brogan who got a lot of push back from his reading and social media community when he actually promoted his first book! I think there’s a good balance between doing everything for free and actually asking for a sale. But it’s helpful to err on the side of free while building our online and offline communities while at the same time educating our customers about our value and expectation that we need to have a sustainable business.
    Steve-Personal Success Factors recently posted..Here are Four Online Business Success Strategies For 2012

  13. Natasha Nassar Says:

    Thanks! Couldn’t agree with you more- in fact, Commandment #9 is “Honor Thy Customer” so I’ll be discussing in depth the importance of keeping your customer’s happy. : )

    You just gave me an idea…. does anyone know how to get a “Review” system on a WordPress Blog? I’d love to have a way for our customers to give their reviews on our products!

  14. Natasha Nassar Says:

    So true Liz! Plus, a lot of time your readers will actually WANT to buy from you as a “Thank You” for all of the good content. I’ve had many folks tell me that and I’ve done the same thing for others!

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts- I appreciate it!

  15. Natasha Nassar Says:

    You’re right, Steve, there can be a “backlash” when you try to promote. The people I’ve learned from have “vaccinated” me from worrying about that for the most part. I mean, some people want everything for free and think your bad for asking for a sale. Yet, those are the same people who spam your inbox pitching their business opportunity.
    I think that If you’re worrying about pleasing those people, it’s a losing battle.

    I’ve typically heard 90/10 value to promo or 80/20 value to promo. Anything around there is good. Certainly anything more than 50% promo (in my opinion) is a little too much “sales” but that’s just my opinion.

    Glad you stopped by to share this perspective.

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