Forgetting learning was the one huge mistake I did a few years ago. I was just content with the system that was working for me. I was building a travel agency using Google Adwords, and it worked fine for me. I got new customers, albeit for a price. But through repeat purchases the expenses were coming back.
Next came the meltdown of the financs system 2008. I added money to increase the exposire, but the return was shrinking. This bankrupted me almost, before I just stopped advertisements and worked only with the customers I already had. I improved the service and concentrated on the customers who appreciated my work. Business was growing nicely, and with it profitability. But then in 2012, the crisis of the Euro zone flared up, shrinking the activity of my best customers. Now, I had foreseen this and prepared to add another income stream from publishing. Here I could reach the whole world, depending less on the Euro Zone and its problems.
In Two Years Back to the Newbie-Level
But when I returned in 2011 to build a business using the internet as main communication media, I found that not a single one of my old methods and techniques from the time prior to 2008 was still working. I found myself reduced to the position of a newbie. And worse, it tokk me some time to realize this. There were so many new things:
- Government regulations have changed. Today it is in Germany courts even raise questions about the double-opt-in routine. Some judges classify the first email sent after a user requested to join a mailing list through a web formas SPAM. There have also been big changes around the use of testimonials and endorsements.
- Email deliverability and click-through-rates are dramatically down.
- The way search engines evaluate and rank websites has changed dramatically.
- Social media like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are now hugely important.
- Video is in everybody’s reach and absolutely necessary, if you want to build an audience.
- Publishing ebooks and even printed books is now in reach for everybody.
These are huge changes, and all happened just in a few years. This dynamic is full of opportunities. But if you ignore learning and fall into the trap of doing things the way you always did, this fast flow of change is deadly.
How to Embed Learning into the Daily Work Routine
The only way to survive and thrive is to stay on top of the game and adapt constantly. The question is: how to do this without getting paralyzed and overwhelmed?
Here are some of the answers:
- Stay connected to the top people in each field, listen to their discussions and whatch what they are doing.
- Select people with a strong desire to learn to share your working day.
- Join a mastermind group. Share your observations and brainstorm for solutions.
- Observe your customer’s feedback closely. Do not rely only on words, watch their behavior.
- Automate mechanical tasks and processes to avoid being eaten up by daily chores. This allows you to keep learning.
- Consider outsourcing tasks which can be done better and cheaper by specialists.
- Develop several income streams. This allows you to react flexibly on sudden changes.
- Do not allow stress ruling your work experience.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are many more possible ways to integrate learning into your day. But I think, the key is to create a working environment fostering an open mind, curiosity and happiness.
It is easy for a government to block email or a website. And they know why they require internet and mobile phone providers to integrate the necessary equipment into their networks.
But it is almost impossible to block communication thru Twitter, combined with YouTube and Facebook, as the Iranian government learnt last summer.
Why is this?
- Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are all located in the US, and this is still the one country in the world where the right of free speech is more entrenched than anywhere else in the world.
Mr. Obama is certainly more powerful than Mrs. Merkel of Berlin. But he would not dare to announce, that he wants to punish a British citizen living in Argentina, for a statement he made in a newspaper in Sweden. Merkel thinks she has a right to decide what other people may say about certain topics, not only in her kitchen cabinet, but around the world. (By bad luck she did not get the idea to invite Mr. Williams for a common visit in the German “Bundesarchive” to share a research day. It would have been interesting to know, whether in the archive are feasibility studies and cost-benefit analysis done before the holocaust machine was started. As I know the Nazis, they certainly did such studies in advance)
- Social media, especially Twitter and YouTube are not restricted to one single infrastructure. You can get Twitter messages via SMS, a mobile internet connection, or the fixed internet. If the message is blocked on one channel, you can get it next minute via an alternative channel.
You can use a simple mobile phone to take a picture or video, and you can send it on the spot via your G3 network connection to YouTube or to a photo network. Nobody, really nobody has the power to undo this. If the topic is hot, hundreds of people everywhere will have seen the video, and taken a copy, before anybody can remove it.
- This means: If you live in a country with low regard for free speech, you better make sure that you have a strong social media presence. Otherwise you could wake up one morning just to find out that you get no more traffic on your web server, and that your email goes into the air. If you do not have a friend network or if you cannot reach your friends, you are helpless.
But what can keep you from sending a tweet from your mobile or any internet cafe around the corner?
Yours for life without sleepless nights
Another obvious aspect of this thought is: host your website on a server in a free speech country.
There are two types of traffic:
- Traffic which comes from internet users who find you thru search engines, or by following a link, paid or unpaid, to your site.
- Traffic coming from mailing lists or socal networks, which you can induce by sending an email to your list, or by making a post to facebook, twitter etc.
Know The Difference
I do not have direct influence, when people search for, lets say a flight from Mumbai to Frankfurt. And if they reach me, they are not very likely to trust me with their credit card information, because they do not have a real clue, who I am.
People, whom I reach thru my mailing list, or Facebook and Twitter, had a chance to learn a lot more about me. They have an idea whom I am. This makes it is easier for them to trust me.
And I have the opportunity to tell them about a hot offer, when it is available. And sometimes, I can give an advance notice, before a price is going up. This makes them much more likely to buy. Why? Because my offer is timely, and because they have a chance to know me as a person.
So, there is a sequence from first time visitor to member of a mailing list, and/or to connect via social media. This allows us to develop a relationship and trust..
Frank Kern ist a master teacher in that. Watch his free videos and read his detailed report.