Keywords…and Caring.

I have made yet another grand discovery in my pursuit of passive income. My journey is weird in that every time I make a mistake building my business, along comes an SPI podcast to help me see the light. Something’s telling me that I should probably listen to more podcasts before I proceed. It certainly couldn’t hurt.

What’s probably obvious to most of you didn’t exactly click with me until I listened to Smart Passive Income Podcast #66 where Pat Flynn interviews Spencer Hawsof NichePursuits.com. Spencer and Pat discuss the importance of keyword research. As you may or may not know by now, I’m a leaper. I often throw caution to the wind and jump right into something before I research it and while taking action has it’s own merits, it has costs me dearly with my first few website projects. As I discussed in a previous post, I didn’t exactly understand the importance of SEO and particularly keyword research. I chose popular subjects that I knew and was passionate about, but I didn’t take into account my ability to rank for those outrageously competitive keywords. Now I understand that being able to rank for a keyword is essential to being found organically on the web unless, of course, you have either a million friends or a few very influential ones. I don’t have either, which is kind of how I got here.

I worked in sales not too long ago and frankly I hated it because I was bad at it. It was a three year self fulfilling prophecy. I was basically in a situation where I would have to build my business by way of cold calling potential clients. What I discovered is that the market that I was selling in was divided into two groups: those that needed what I had to offer and had to be educated and those that needed what I had to offer and already had it. In order for me to convince anyone to do business with me, I had to establish both trust and likeability. Pounding the pavement trying desperately to convince clients that they needed my product took a toll on my confidence. After quite a few no show appointments and broken promises to do business, I began to resent my potential clients. After all, I had done everything I could to equip myself with the tools to reach these clients. I listened to sales tapes and read books on how to sell and how to relate to people, I attended sales seminars and I even talked to successful salespersons who, like me, struggled when they first started. I got great advice and I was inspired to overcome my inability to close business, but for whatever reason, I just couldn’t make a connection. I began to analyze why I couldn’t reach most of the people that I gave good sound information and advice to. I concluded that I couldn’t sell because I didn’t care and my potential clients could tell that I didn’t. They could see right through me.

So, I’m listening to a podcast when I have this epiphany. I can “sell” online, thus eliminating the need to establish trust in me and likeability of me. I can lead with good, helpful information and provide value on a website and NEVER have to deal with debilitating rejection. After all, not many people write you to tell you that they don’t want something you’re offering. This is going to be the perfect solution for my “people” problem. I’ll just put up a lemonade stand. Enter bad keywords. Keywords are so important to driving traffic to your website that you can actually have a great idea, not properly implement it and your amazing site will sit there and never find it’s audience. Sure, eventually someone could stumble on your content and share it, but what if they don’t or worse, what if it isn’t as good as you think it is? That can be a sobering revelation and I’m not certain, but it probably causes some of us to quit. BUT YOU CAN’T QUIT. You have to find your way through your bad writing and poor sentence structure and bad keywords and stupid domain name choices and every other mistake you make because at the end of all of your lessons is a better you.

So, I’ve burned a few bucks taking another one of my leaps and that’s okay. I realize that I will probably never rank for my chosen keywords but I can attempt to rank for other words that are less competitive with a little research and creative writing. All is not lost. I just need to stop leaping and start my next project with taking a nice long look. The greater lesson is this. No matter what I choose to do, whether online or face to face, I should be passionate about it and project that passion into my presentation. The fact is, people don’t care about what you’re selling. People care that you care.