I recently inspired my niece (sorry it’s in Danish) to jump head first into a 4 month volunteer gig in Vietnam – that she didn’t land until 2 weeks after she got to Vietnam! She just went to Vietnam, hoping for the best, and succeeded.
Now, I didn’t know I was an inspiration until she wrote an article about it but as you can imagine it made me extremely happy to know I had benefited positively to her life.
Internet Marketing crash course
I’ve recently gotten deep into Internet Marketing and I’ve always been into travelling. In Internet Marketing they tell you a lot about the importance of being an attractive character and targeting the right audience.
If you have an attractive character, you can sell anything. Take Oprah Winfrey, it doesn’t matter what she promotes – she could be promoting a website selling fucking mouse traps and the sales would go through the roof. It’s called the Oprah effect and small businesses could literally go bankrupt because of this extreme overflow of orders they would receive that they couldn’t handle. Being an attractive character is all about building trust.
At the same time, you need to target your audience (unless you’re Oprah). If you preach adventure travel to families with small children, $30000 business classes to plumbers or Justin Bieber tickets to 70+ year olds you’re not very likely to succeed. On the other hand, if you preach internet marketing to established entrepreneurs who already have a product and are looking to expand…. Well your chances of success increase manifold.
The story of my niece
“To my niece, I’m an attractive character. She trusts my choices and she trusts my advice. At the same time, she was the perfect target audience for what I’m preaching”.
I started this post by saying I was an inspiration to my niece. My niece was already planning to go. She had saved up a bit of money, she had ticked off time in her calendar and she had the will to go. Only, she thought it would be much harder, that she would need a lot more money and generally thought everything was a lot scarier than it really was.
I told her all the good things of travelling solo, how everyone helps you and how being vulnerable and in need of help opens your eyes to the complete and utter joy of being in a shitty situation and coming out on top. How grateful you feel when a complete stranger goes out of his way to help you for completely selfless reasons (part of why I like hitchhiking but that’s another story).
She wanted to save up for over half a year but I told her she didn’t need to do that. Just a few months to have 1500$ in your bank account, just in case, and off you go.
She wanted to have the volunteer organization set-up beforehand but I told her all the big organizations are often scams and charge you to volunteer! Ridiculous amounts of money – like $3000 for 3 weeks – AND you work for free. Just go to Vietnam and find something while you’re there – it’s a lot easier when you are “on location”. Worst-case you can work as an English teacher and you’ll do good by teaching English and pay the bills while you look around for real volunteer work.
After two weeks in Vietnam, she found it. She got to live with a host-family that paid everything for her for 4 months. She didn’t pay anything to volunteer, other than her time and her skills, of course. That’s how volunteering should be. She was fully submerged in the Vietnamese life. A once-in-life-time experience. Had she gone with 20 other white teenagers to a YMCA workcamp at $1000/week… well… it wouldn’t be the same, would it?
How my niece and internet marketing fits together
As I listen to the webinars and online classes of internet marketing and they’re telling me these things I’m thinking about how this applies to real life and how absolutely true it is.
To my niece, I’m an attractive character. She trusts my choices and she trusts my advice. At the same time, she was the perfect target audience for what I’m preaching.
I’m preaching “Just do it – quit your job – travel – live your life – what are you waiting for”. What I’m preaching, is what she wants to hear and she wants to hear it from someone who’s been through it all and someone who used to be in her shoes and understands her. About to travel solo for the first time, nervous and insecure.
As a result, I became an inspiration to her. That simple.
My realization from this
I’ve preached left and right to anyone who cared to listen (or just didn’t have a way to escape) about how they should just give it all up and go travel. See the world. I preach how it’s possible even on a low-budget as that’s what most people say are holding them back. But I mean, if you’re not even interested in leaving – you’re happy – what do you care if it’s possible. You don’t want it. I’ve completely missed my target audience. I can talk all day about it and it would never have an impact, at least not positive. As in real life, so it is in internet marketing.
Why am I writing this down? Because even though this stuff is quite simple, really, it’s still important and by writing it down it will help me remember better and if someone out there, known or unknown, finds this interesting and reaches out I will have expanded on my network and maybe it will lead me to further interesting realizations.