The Unwritten "Law of You"

The Internet is a lawless frontier. Like the days of the Wild, Wild West, it is slow to establish any kind of order. There are now more webpages in the world than human beings. This uncontrolled binary overpopulation can leave newcomer Netrepreneurs dazed and confused as they attempt to tackle the fundamental question: "how can I even begin to compete in this new world forum?."

They KNOW they must or be left in the RealWorld dust. They simply have to follow the world where the world is starting to shop - the Internet. Especially the business-to- business sector, where current global online sales of $60,000,000.00 are expected to topple the 450 Billion mark in 3 years. But take heart, consumers will quickly follow as the first truly computer literate generation heads out the college doors to begin the shop-from-the-comfort-of-your-home trend, and, hopefully teach mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, and definitely their children that the Net is a relatively safe and obviously convenient place to purchase the goods and services we all require.

With that said, common sense dictates that the same set of business laws apply to CyberBusiness as do Mainstreet U.S.A. Although theoretically true, the Net can feel like an awesome, featureless, faceless landscape whose foundation is but countless trillions of zero's and one's. A lonely place, with an overabundance of mediocrity. And sadly to say, a disproportionate share over it's RealWorld business brethren of sham, scam and flim-flam artists.

Lo and behold, there is an Unwritten Law that when applied to common sense marketing and basic webdesign applications can make you shine like a beacon in this formidable universe. It is the "Law of You". As master of your corner of Cyberspace, you have the power to separate your website (your business) from the rest of the madding crowd. How? The answer is as simple as it is "big". Let me explain.

I have done enough surfing in my researching efforts for my business to learn that there are 3 kinds of websites. Those that don't say much of anything. Those that speak at you. Those that speak "to" you.

The latter group is few and far between in this ocean of bytes but they reach out and touch you like an old friend recounting childhood stories. They speak your language from the get-go, like a familiar song. You get a distinct sense of the website author/owner and with that comes an almost instant feeling of security and trust. An ongoing national insurance companies jingle, which we all can sing by rote - "Like a Good Neighbor..." comes to mind. Why is it that certain business websites can create this "these-are-good-guys" feeling? Simple. They project the personality of the business owner, or, YOU.

I typically wonder who is behind a certain website that piques my interest. Did the owner care about how he presented this to me? Does he/she seem like a caring person, someone I would really like to do business with? What is his/her personality like? Sometimes I go to the extreme and guess if its' creator is a man or woman, younger or older, and would this person be the kind of person I could be friends with?

We have the business affiliations in The Hallway mainly because this "good-guys" feeling happened to us. Be it in an email letter, business presentation or company website, we chose our partners based on the personalities they "originally" portrayed to us. Of course, other critical factors entered into our decisions, however, if we didn't get the "warm and fuzzies" along with the feeling that these companies offered great products/valuable services and, had all their business ducks in a row, well we simply would not be featuring them here. We chose partners that reflected our core business beliefs and basic personal philosophies.

This "sense of personality" is key if your intention is to not only sell on the Internet, but keep selling. It is the Unwritten Law of You. As there are no hard and fast rules for this Law because businesses/websites vary greatly, the overall objective is to put as much of "you" in your online presentations as you can. Make people feel they are dealing with you face-to-face and not a million miles away in the dark of CyberSpace. Project the same friendliness you would afford them if they were standing right there at your counter or having coffee in your office. Speak to them in your website as you would on the street. Don't just display your product pics and descrips and hope they buy. Converse with them, project that warmth, make them feel like you're that "Good Neighbor". And "you will be there" come thick or thin because they are your customer. Be a person instead of a website. Sell yourself, not just your products.

Follow the good advice you get here in The Hallway (come back often because we're always adding more) and elsewhere and apply my Unwritten Law and you will see results that will surely knock your cybersocks off!

Written by Rick Beneteau.
(c)1998 NetProfit 2020 Inc., Marietta, GA