19 February 2009

What Is This VALUE Thing We Are Supposed To Be Giving?

No matter where you go today, particularly in the online marketing work..."giving value" is the buzz phrase. Those in the know talk about it..those who don't give it are reprimanded on sites like BN and Twitter. My question to you is..do you really know what "Value" is? How can you tell if you are "giving value"? Is there a particular thing that defines "giving value", or can it only be determined in the negative..Such as, "pitching your opportunity is NOT giving value"?

Having been (hopefully) "giving value" online for a few years now, I have some answers..but would love to hear yours as well. Feel free to post comments at the end of this post.

When you give value to others, you are offering services or information that addresses what THEY are needing, wanting or looking for. Your focus is on your audience, not on yourself. You may be an expert in PPC...but if you start blabbering away about PPC and CTR and conversions to someone who wants to know how to write an ezine article..then you are NOT giving value (to that person at that moment).

In conversation it is easier to figure out how to offer value than it is in writing. Why do I say this? Because when you are speaking with someone you have the opportunity to truly listen to what they are saying and to discern their needs. In fact, you may have heard that the best sales skill in the world is Listening. There is no way you can adequately relate to, nor assist someone unless you take the time to really listen to and HEAR their problems and concerns. (The art of good listening can be an entire book...so maybe I'll write it when I'm done here.)

It is harder to offer value when you are writing in forums, blogs, social media, etc...because you have to assume you are addressing topics that your audience is interested in and wants to learn about. This is where it is important to define your target audience. Before you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, take the time to get a clear picture in your mind of who it is you are speaking to. Write it down. Think in terms of categories and try to separate out a number of smaller niches in your broad categories. For instance:

Women Network Marketers..
single women network marketers with kids
retired women network marketers with large social connection
women who want part time income for fun money
Women who need a substantial income in order to quit their job and be a stay at home mom.

You get the idea...Once you have these niches you can then further develop your mindset by listing the potential needs or problems that this group may have. When you write or post or create a video, keep your target niche and their possible issues in mind the entire time. By doing this you will be more likely to be offering value to them in what you create.

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