The Simple Truth: Here’s Why You Should Always Say It
Let’s face it, you’re in this business to make money. And when that doesn’t happen you start to panic. And when you start to panic, you eventually reach the point where you’ll do just about anything to make a sale. You’ll lie, cheat, steal and sell your mother if you have to. But here’s why you should always say the simple truth.
Your readers: You can fool some of your readers all of the time, and you can fool all of your readers some of the time. But you’ll never be able to fool all of your readers all of the time. And your readers all belong to Facebook!
That might be a bit of an exaggeration. They might not ALL have a Facebook account. Some of them are on Twitter, some are on LinkedIn, some are chatting on forums, and some even have their own blogs. The point is, there are no secrets on the Internet. Everybody shares everything these days and nothing spreads faster than a good old fashioned piece of down-and-dirty gossip. Tell a lie and someone is going to call you out for it and it will echo across Cyberspace.
Let’s say your reader, Mrs. Smith, emails you to ask if your XYZ dog shampoo is safe to use on her cats. Even though you know it’s not, you need the sale, so you email her back and tell her yes, it’s perfectly safe. What harm is there in that, right? It’s not like she can come knocking on your door.
What are you going to do when Mrs. Smith’s 789 Facebook Friends, who all frequently visit your blog, start crying all over Facebook, to all of their other friends, because all of Mrs. Smith’s cats are now bald? You told a lie so you could make one measly sale, and in the process you alienated 789 of your most loyal blog readers, plus all of their friends. There goes your entire business, down the drain.
Other bloggers: That same lie can also effect other bloggers who are selling that same or similar products. Their readers may all end up with bald cats, too, because they heard on Facebook that the product was safe but didn’t hear the alarming results. And when those other bloggers start hearing all of that angry feedback you can bet they’re going to track down the source.
Now you also have a few dozen bloggers leaving angry comments on your blog and trash talking you all over the Internet. Only these people know how to make themselves heard. They’ll talk about you on Facebook and ask their millions of Followers to please hit the Share button. They’ll blog about you, they’ll write articles. You destroyed their business with your lie and they’re not going to stop until they’ve destroyed you.
The search engines: With all of this angry din echoing around the Web the search engines are bound to hear at least a rumble or two. And don’t think they’re going to ignore the situation. If Google gets enough complaints about your site they can literally erase your blog. Not only will they de-index you, they have the power to make you completely disappear. And all for one measly bottle of dog shampoo.
This example might sound a little extreme but I’m using it to make a point. Remember back to when you were a kid and your mother told you you should always tell the simple truth, no matter how hard it was to admit, because it would be even harder to try to remember and cover up your lies.
Well, it’s even harder now. Everyone has access to some type of device that will allow them to instantly communicate with everyone all over the world. We are each only 4 people away from knowing everyone on the planet. With one click of a button your reputation can be destroyed.
It’s unrealistic to think that everyone who visits your blog will like you or always agree with you, so there’s already the possibility that someone out there is talking about you somewhere on the Internet. But that’s just human nature and as long as you run a reputable business you’ll be fine.
Don’t fan the flames, though. Don’t hand them something to talk about. Know matter how frustrated you might be. Even in this huge Internet marketplace, if you’re always known for telling the simple truth, people will find your blog. And they’ll have good things to say about it when they do.
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