Internet Marketing With Integrity
“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
~William Shakespeare, Hamlet
Have you discovered your lifeâ€™s purpose or are you just trying to make a living? A big issue Iâ€™ve seen in many businesses has been the desire to make a lot of money â€“ and nothing else matters. People give up their families for money. They give up their children for money. They give up their health for money. They give up their integrity for money. In a race for the almighty dollar they lose everything thatâ€™s valuable in their life.
If youâ€™re true to yourself first, then you can be true to others. What is your passion and purpose? What is really important to you? If you get honest with yourself, you wonâ€™t answer that question as money. Money is simply a tool. It wonâ€™t make you happy or fulfilled in your life. It isnâ€™t the answer youâ€™re looking for. Money just enables you to accomplish more and be more comfortable in life.
Spend a few moments and ask yourself this question.
What is it you really want in life?
Your first instinct may be to say you want a mansion, fancy cars, or security. But is that answer really being true to yourself? That is the answer society has given you. That is the answer advertising has promoted to you. That is the answer Hollywood has told you. But is that your real answer from your heart?
How much would you sell your children for? How much would you sell your spouse for? You may have said $20, but thatâ€™s not your real answer!
You may not have the relationship you wish you had with them today, but you can create it. You can make it more valuable than it is right now. How much would you sell your health for? If you had the choice of being a millionaire and never having to work again, would you take it if it meant you also would have a body filled with pain and spend the rest of your life in a hospital? Is money worth that much to you? I doubt it.
Let me ask you a few more questions.
How much is your integrity worth to you?
At what point would you be willing to sell out your friends, your employers, or your customers? At what point is it worth lying to make sale? When is it OK to stretch the truth or tell a â€œlittle white lieâ€ to get more customers? How much of your integrity is for sale â€“ and just how cheap do you come?
People sell everything weâ€™ve discussed above for money every day. They sell their wives and children. They donâ€™t do it in one transaction, but they do it every day when they choose to ignore their family to spend more time at work. They sell their health. They work multiple jobs or severe overtime without giving their minds or bodies a day to relax. Eventually they pay for the stress in their bodies through sickness and disease.
They sell their integrity to make the deal. Car dealers may tell you â€œThis is the absolute lowest price, and Iâ€™m losing money on the deal.â€ Then you find out someone else paid less than you. Another word for that is LYING. There is even a recent book that recommends making up stories about your business to sell more, whether the stories are true or not.
In fact, whenever you use the word, â€œmarketing,â€ many people immediately think of lying and dishonesty. We as a society now expect marketers and sales people to lie to us. That is how common it has become. It is much more rare when you find a business which doesnâ€™t exaggerate the truth.
What Is Integrity
What does the word integrity mean to you? If you asked 10 different people, youâ€™d likely end up with 10 different answers. If you asked the CEOâ€™s of major companies who have been exposed in high profile scandals, they probably would have spoken of their great company integrity. In todayâ€™s corporate environment, integrity is simply an advertising buzzword that gives way to accounting tricks, useless mission statements, and false advertising.
Websterâ€™s Dictionary gives three definitions for the word integrity:
1. Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.
2. The state of being unimpaired; soundness.
3. The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.
It is a steadfast adherence to a â€œstrictâ€ moral and ethical code. Most people in business no longer live by a strict moral and ethical code. In ethics classes today, you will be taught ethics are subjective. Theyâ€™re not strict ethics.
Theyâ€™re based on your own opinion of whatâ€™s right or wrong â€“ and many peopleâ€™s opinions have been warped by what theyâ€™ve seen done by others. Company CEOs who are led away in handcuffs for bilking the public out of billions quite likely see their actions as ethical by todayâ€™s definitions of the word.
The definition of integrity says this strict moral and ethical code is adhered to steadfastly. This means your moral and ethical code doesnâ€™t change based on what goes on around you. Integrity definitely doesnâ€™t include â€œsituational ethics.â€ It is based on being steadfast in all situations. Whether you steal $10 or ten million, youâ€™re still a thief. Whether you steal from little old ladies or oversized wealthy corporations, you still donâ€™t have integrity.
Notice the other two definitions of integrity most people donâ€™t discuss or even realize. Integrity includes both soundness and completeness. It is the state of being true to yourself. Youâ€™re not divided in your mind or your heart. Youâ€™re not doing something just to make money if it doesnâ€™t agree with your life purpose.
The completeness also signifies youâ€™re balanced in your life. If you have a billion dollars, but are out-of-shape, lonely, and miserable, you are not complete. Youâ€™ve traded the â€œcompletenessâ€ of your life for something worth so much less.
Integrity and Internet Marketing
You may be asking by now what integrity has to do with Internet marketing? It has everything to do with it. Society and business has become a world of lies and â€œspinningâ€ the truth. It is time for business people who are honest to speak out in the world. If you truly run your business with Integrity, you’ll eventually stick out like a sore thumb. You might not make the most money immediately, but you will make money.
The reason so many companies turn to lies is because the short term profits from lying can be better. Hyped ads, exaggerations, fake stories, and lack of customer service can all earn money fast. If your goal is simply to make as much money as you can as quickly as possible without thinking about anyone except yourself, then scamming people works.
Scam artists make money. That shouldnâ€™t be denied. If youâ€™re willing to say or do anything for profit, youâ€™ll make a profit. Write hype filled ads. Ignore refund requests. Make â€œeasyâ€ money at the expense of your customers. Youâ€™ll pay a high fee in your personal life and your long-term future (and possibly risk prison). Youâ€™ve sold your integrity for profit.
If your goal is to earn long-term profits and be fulfilled in life, there is no match for integrity. The hype filled ad copy may produce more immediate sales, but customers gained through truthful advertising will stay with you long-term. What good does a sales letter that earns $4 per visitor do if the customers all hate your guts later? Wouldnâ€™t you be better off with the ad earning $3 per visitor where the customers keep coming back for more?
Letâ€™s say you own an email list. Another business person offers you $500 per customer to promote their $1,000 product to your list. You KNOW at least 50 of your customers will buy. This will equal $25,000 this week to your business. Letâ€™s add to this information that you also know the product isnâ€™t very good.
Youâ€™ve seen $20 books that are worth more. Will you take advantage of the trust you have with your customers for the quick buck? People do it every day. People with integrity wonâ€™t do it. Integrity means your long-term relationship with a customer is worth more than this immediate profit.
The above is an excerpt from “Internet Integrity: The Truth About How ANY Business Can Increase Profits Online” By Terry Dean available at your local bookstore or through Amazon.com. Click here to pick it up at Amazon…Related Entries:
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