Anyone who has built a successful business or organization will likely agree on two things:
The first thing you need in order to be successful is attention.
The other thing you need is trust, but trust can’t exist without attention.
Every customer base, fan base, email list, and social media following begins with attention. Figure out how to capture the attention of a group of people, and marketing becomes a breeze (if you can convert that attention into trust).
So step one is to focus your time and energy on gaining people’s attention in a trustworthy manner.
The problem is, attention is probably the most scarce resource on Earth today. So how do you get it without using hype and gimmicks that ruin trust?
Attention is never free, no matter how it may seem. You always sacrifice one of two things in order to gain attention:
Time or money.
There is absolutely no way around it.
So step two is to figure out which one of those two (or which blend of the two) is best for you.
Want to build a restaurant on one of the busiest streets in town so people naturally come to your business with very little promotion? That’s going to cost you money.
Want to build an online business with little to no start-up costs? That’s going to cost you time.
It’s a law of nature. Every action has a reaction and you can’t have a reaction without an action.
Want to know how to build an email list fast? The easiest way is to pay for it. Go to Facebook or Google AdWords and you’ll start seeing results instantly. The more money you spend, the faster it will grow.
The flip side to that is, the same principles apply to time.
If you want to grow an email list in a short amount of time without spending money, you’re going to have to devote hours on end to building that list. It will not happen any faster without spending more time or money.
You might hear a lot of “gurus” say that there are hacks and hidden ways that you can grow your email list or your business as a whole in no time flat with little to no money. But common sense and natural law will tell you that’s not possible.
Don’t worry, I buy into the same stuff, but I always end with the same conclusion: shortcuts and freebies do not exist.
So next time you hear someone pitching that to you, do yourself a favor and don’t buy into that crap. It always takes hard work, lots of money, or a happy medium somewhere in-between. Take your pick.