The idea of building a business around another business like Squidoo, Zazzle, Hubpages, Facebook or any other – you name it – sparkle usually big debates.
On one side there are the supporters who argue that it is much convenient, you have all the technical settings in place, there are better means to promote your work, no hassle with a lot of tech stuff…
On the other side, there are the deniers who claim that building something in someone else’s yard will cost you in time.
And they both are right.
Putting all the eggs in one basket and relying on my company's convenience to build a revenue would be at least reckless. At the same time, struggling to build a business on your own would be costly in terms of time and money.
So, why not take the pros from both parts?
Most of the time a middle way would work better.
I have been more than 2 years now on ArtClip. I started this business – a corporate video production company in Toronto – and I may say that things are going slowly, much too slowly. Spreading my efforts in several directions (I have another wedding-related business I’m working on) isn’t the best way to obtain the maximum of results.
The outcome is that I’m making money from all the streams I’m working on, but not too much.
Thinking about my work I concluded that I made a mistake.
I treated ArtClipo as a hobby. Being freelance videographer, I have a lot of lenses along with my camera which I did just by the pleasure of filming video, taking photo and thinking to do keyword research to promote my website.
On the other side, I have some video-photo equipment which are making money. Finally, I started to treat them as a hobby too.
I never thought I can use these lenses as a start in building a video production business around.
Another mistake I made was that I spread my online efforts in different directions instead of unifying them in one big online business.
But the truth is that I trusted ArtClip from the beginning as a possible place to make real money. And I proud what I'm douing.
I saw a lot of WSOs (special offers on Warrior Forum) promoting fast ways of making a big number of photo lenses and I felt disappointed.
I don’t believe in taking a business model and applying it as a recipe for success like I don’t believe in offers that promise riches overnight.
A business must be a personal statement. It must be engaging and have a purpose.
Otherwise, it cannot last.
You can make money applying one recipe here, another there but you cannot build a lasting business that way.
Now ArtClip is taking a stand for a high-quality corporate video production. On the contrary, they want sales, but at the same time it should be a quality product for sure!
Let's Talk About Squidoo
Squidoo - is another story and another business, not related to video production at all, but they are selling lances. And I used to take part with this company.
As expected, a big debate was issued on the Squidoo forum on this subject.
At one point, Seth Godin – the famous and brilliant marketer who is one of the Squidoo’s owners – stated his position sustaining that a sales lens is perfect as long as it tells a story.
People like stories. Telling a story is the easiest way to get people’s attention and, if the story is interesting enough, to keep their attention for longer and even to make them become your customers.
This is the new way marketing is embarking on today.
It is not enough to point people to an affiliate link. It is not enough to give people information (as useful as it might be…).
The difference between a struggling desperate seller and a successful rich marketer is the ability to create and tell an interesting story.
What most people don’t understand is that a story is not only a sequence of actions with an intrigue.
A story is about creating an atmosphere in your place -whatever your place might be: a store, a webpage, a blog-, by arranging the products you offer for sale/the information you give to your visitors in a certain, different way or just telling people something about your or other people’s experience with the product/services you want to sell.
If you sell clothes – one way is to put link after link with different products (you inform your visitors – no doubt on that!) and another way is to present sets of products matching together ‘telling stories’ about how, when and where these clothes could be worn.
If you sell food processors – one way is to enumerate the best-rated models on the market and link to them and another way is to explain how someone takes a good decision when purchasing a food processor and give some examples your visitors can relate to.
Thinking about your potential customer – the real person who arrives on your webpage– and about her expectations makes the big difference between desperately struggling inside a fierce competition to sell something and making people interested and willing to listen to you.
Squidoo offers you the window where you can go and exhibit your offerings. It offers this window to many other people like you. And Squidoo wants its windows to look interesting for all other people passing by. It’s its legitimate right to select what is been presented under its name.
In exchange, Squidoo gives you the chance to stay free of charge in front of these people passing by. You have nothing to pay for. You just have to make this place interesting for other people to stop and visit.
It is finally a win-win deal. Everybody has the chance to make good money leveraging the contribution of others.
Squidoo being demanding with the quality of its lenses will profit all the masters writing on Squidoo.
This gives me trust.
I am waiting to see what will finally happen. I want to believe their initiative will lead to the expected results.
Next Tuesday, the 19th of March, will be a conference held by Seth and Squidoo's top managers. I’m eager to see what will be discussed there and what is their position versus all the changes Squidoo is going through.