I’ve just had a frantic week here in the office, trying to get the daily tasks done and squeezing in a few new website marketing client visits. It was these client visits that has prompted me to write this post.
I’ve been aware of a growing trend from small business owners to completely distrust anything and anyone to do with the internet. Some of my visits were received with a guarded welcome and I was aware of the puzzled and judging looks (that is becoming so common) of the client who was trying to work out whether what I was saying is true or not.
Of course it takes a while to get to know someone and anyone who has known me a while, will know that I only bother talking about what’s true and worthwhile about the web. I think what has shocked me so much is how much people mistrust the internet and anyone who has anything to do with it.
The truth, the valuable and the worthwhile on the internet
To be honest, I don’t really blame them. There is a lot of bullshit out there. Even I have been misled, oversold and taken in by programs, ebooks and people who prance around in their posh home offices professing to be the king or queen of this or that on the web. It’s easy to be taken in, taken over by what others say you ‘must have’ or you’ll be left out in the cold.
Perhaps it’s because of this that I’ve sought the truth, the valuable and the worthy in the world wide web. I too am sick of listening to (again) how much money someone has made by using some secret or magical formula that, for you too, will work wonders.
What’s the way forward?
Here’s the thing though ….. if we disbelieve everything and distrust everyone on the internet, then there’s no way forward. We remain stagnant, stuck fast in our own fears and judgement of others. We can’t move forward. It’s like standing at the front doors of a major supermarket and not venturing inside because we’re afraid that we might fall for a 2-for-1 special deal.
If we allow fear to control our every decision to make progress, then progress is impossible. We stay where we are and all we can do is watch as others who are more daring, to pass us by on the road to success.
Yes, the internet is full of sharks, charletons and bullshit merchants. Yet there is a small and amazing (and growing) group of people and businesses that are doing wonderful things on the internet. Doing things with integrity, honesty and most importantly, without the hype.
This is my definition of what markers do when creating hype:
What’s true and what’s not?
I guess that I’ve worked online and in the computer industry for so long now that I can see clearly what’s true and what’s not. I tend to trust my gut instinct about this most often and it’s never let me down.
If something seems to good to be true, it probably is. If someone says this is a last opportunity to get something, they’re usually lying. If you feel something is just not right, then there’s probably a very good reason.
BUT, and I stress this. That’s not a reason to suspect everyone and everything. “Trust but with verification” has been a motto that has steered me very well over the years.
The bottom line is that the internet is an amazing place of opportunity for small business. It does level the playing field for small business to compete with the big corporations. There are truly beneficial people, products and services out there to help you.
What’s a good way to spot them? They’re usually the quiet ones, busily getting on with supporting their customers and creating value for money. Good people doing good work.
What do you think?