title:A Little Fish Story author:Susan Carroll source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/online_business/article_3967.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:16 category:online_business article:

Once upon a time there was a little fish named Minnow who lived in a very large sea called Internet.
Minnow had a pretty good life swimming around but he had to always be on the lookout for those who wanted to have him for their dinner. He didn’t think being eaten at his early age was a great idea.
Also, sometimes Minnow got hungry and because he hadn’t explored the entire Internet he didn’t always know where to find food.
Then 1 day, Minnow saw a large school of fish who looked very much like him. At first Minnow was hesitant about approaching them because some of them were pretty big. But he got up his courage and decided to investigate.
Much to Minnow’s surprise, these fish welcomed him and offered to let him join their school. They offered to show him where food was found since the larger fish had explored the entire Internet and knew where it was. They also said that he would be safer since they took turns watching for those who would eat them.
Minnow immediately joined the school and started feeling more relaxed. He had others to watch over him and provide food until he was larger and better able to take care of himself.
Minnow had discovered and used the 1 thing all small fish in the Internet need to survive. He used leverage.
Leverage is not just a term used in the financial world. It’s also a term used in the world of Internet marketing and it means:
Use the efforts of others to grow your business.
When you first start out you are much like Minnow – you and your business are very small and your site is just 1 in the millions of sites on the internet.
To survive and grow you must learn to use the power of leveraging. You must use ways to get others help you promote your business.
Here are 3 of the most popular forms of leveraging:
1. Viral Marketing – offering gifts that can be shared with others and promotes your business
2. Joint Ventures – a partnership that benefits of all partners
3. Affiliate Programs – paying commissions so others will promote and sell
In our story, Minnow was very small and didn’t have the resources to offer anything in return for what he gained. But your small business isn’t like Minnow because you do have things to offer.
There are gifts that can be branded – free or at minimal cost – and you can use them to do viral marketing.
There are free joint ventures possibilities like the “12 Days of Christmas” and “Everyone Will Win” (available until April, 2006) where you can increase the size of your mailing list by giving a free gift – a gift you may have even branded.
You may even have a product or a resale product and the resources to set up an affiliate program.
Minnow was fortunate because he was able to use the power of leveraging without offering anything in return. However, in the real world you must offer something because nothing is really free.
In the real world, leveraging means making tradeoffs. You offer a gift, you offer to promote something, you offer part of your profits, etc. You do this to increase your visibility and make your business known to more than just the handful of people you can reach on your own.
The internet is very large and small minnows can get lost unless they leverage their assets. Learn to survive and grow. Use the power of leveraging and let others help you grow your business.
To Your Success,
Susan Carroll
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