Many people still doubt that Twitter has value or that it will ever make money. A year ago the same people cried about Facebook growing but not being profitable. Btw, Google hasn’t been profitable from the start as well. Adwords and Adsense were introduced years after the search engine started. Now Google is the most powerful corporation on the Web, Facebook just turned profitable earlier than expected despite the recession and Twitter just has been valued at 1 billion dollars.
Some pundits even argue that Twitter should be valued at $2.7 billion or even 5 – 10 billion dollars. Your site is NOT worth one billion or more. Why I’m telling you this? Of course it doesn’t happen that often so it’s no wonder but there is another reason why your site is not worth a million at least: You focus on profits. That sounds like an oxymoron but it isn’t.
Google, Facebook and Twitter did not focus on profits but they succeeded.
Focusing on profits first, especially on the Web, lowers the value of your site for users. “Focus on value first and reap the profits later” is the functioning business model nowadays.
Google offered the best search engine, Facebook a place to meet friends you couldn’t meet in real life or you didn’t have before and Twitter, well Twitter has several uses that make sense. For us it’s mainly about disseminating information quickly and widely.
Now most of us won’t get venture capital, only a few lucky ones will. So you could argue that it does not make sense to replicate the business model of Google, Facebook or Twitter. It does though. Everybody can do it, even without venture capital. Offer something of value for free first to get enough people to know you and then start selling.
- You can do it with a blog.
- You can do it giving away free ebooks or webinars.
- You can do it offering software, Firefox add ons, WordPress plugins or iPhone apps.
When your community reaches critical mass you’ll be able to make money. I am not talking about the Freemium model here. It’s fine as well but the Twitter model is “get the clients first and think afterwards what you can sell them”.
So make sure your site is worth 1k, 10k, 100k or 1 million dollars, pounds or euros before trying to sell something of questionable value to an audience that does not yet exist.