You don’t need more traffic. You need the right traffic. Or stop thinking “traffic” and get back to “people”…
A reader (thanks Jeanne Hartman) reminded me of a principle I haven’t mentioned in awhile:
“You don’t need more traffic to your website. You just need the right traffic.”
In fact… maybe we can stop thinking in terms of “traffic” and instead think in terms of PEOPLE… the right people who would love what you offer.
Some marketing experts are always trying to get you loads of “traffic”. By their language you can tell their values. Without consciously recognizing it, they are seeing people as a means to an end — their own profit and prestige. And by learning from them, you unwittingly absorb their self-absorbed values.
You don’t need more traffic; none of us really do.
What do we need?
To connect genuinely with the few people that our business can best serve, the people who would most resonate and be grateful for our offerings.
To have fulfilling relationships of reciprocity that allow everyone involved to thrive.
There’s a famous article by Kevin Kelly which says something similar, more eloquently, and with numbers: 1,000 True Fans.
Here’s a quote from the article:
“It has never been easier to gather 1,000 true fans around a creator, and never easier to keep them near… Instead of trying to reach the narrow and unlikely peaks of platinum bestseller hits, blockbusters, and celebrity status, you can aim for direct connection with a thousand true fans. On your way, no matter how many fans you actually succeed in gaining, you’ll be surrounded not by faddish infatuation, but by genuine and true appreciation. It’s a much saner destiny to hope for. And you are much more likely to actually arrive there.”
In summary, you don’t need 1 million website visitors, or 100,000 Facebook Fans. Your business can’t even serve 10,000 people right now.
What you actually want are the right 10 to 100 people to know about your service, the ones who most need and want it, those you’d be most delighted to work with, and the relative right few who would rave about your business to their networks.
Practice speaking directly “to them” in your marketing, and they will find their way to you.
We can either:
1. Try to be popular, and learn persuasion and marketing skills that feel inauthentic to us…
2. We can daily focus on our deep values, aim to embody our highest selves, and care more for our true fans, than other businesses are willing to care.
In real world practice, it’s a constant dance between the two extremes. But I am here to encourage you toward being authentically your best self.
When you slip into trying to be popular, pause, and observe that within yourself. And then, return to your higher truth and your true fans, who are always there to receive you.
Call out the behaviors in your industry (without demonizing specific individuals) that is tempting you toward inauthenticity and dragging down the values of your industry. Call out those situations and behaviors so that people can wake up.
Truly dive into your most useful passions, always getting more excellent at it.
Truly care for the relative few that your business can best serve: your true fans.
Do these things, and over time, your business will flourish. This “formula” is timeless, proven again and again. Trust in the process.