A part of
Increase Your Profits:

Business Writing Made Clear

by Jennifer Hicks, CEO, WordsWork

How to Reach Millions of Future Clients on the 'Net


That's right. Don't do it. Don't even try to do it.

You don't need to reach millions because millions probably don't need what you offer. Instead, you need to reach those few who need it and will buy.

Issue #7

originally posted

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 1998

"What does seem to hold true thus far, though, is that the 'net is a mode of one-on-one communication."

The Internet is a medium of communication. It's different from television. It's different from print. It's still in its infancy and we're all still experimenting with it. What does seem to hold true thus far, though, is that the 'net is a mode of one-on-one communication.

And that's what you need to remember.

This doesn't mean you can't send emails. It does mean you can't send spam--that ugly stuff we all get promising to make us rich. And, it means you should really know something about whom you're mailing to, or at least be a superb writer so it sounds as if you do. As to where to get the addresses for this mail you can send, we'll deal with that next time.

Everyone has a passion. To some, it's keeping up with the latest technology; to others it's fashion wear for pets. Find out what your prospects might be interested in. Those who use the Web will often swarm to email discussion lists or newsgroups that deal with those topics of passion. Subscribe to one. Hang out a few days and listen. Then, answer (and ask) a few questions. Become part of the conversation. Include a signature file with each message you post. (If you're not sure how to do this, check the help option in your mail program.) Your name will become known.

Know Who They Are and Where They Stay

Perhaps you're selling ice-melters. You don't need to spend time advertising and giving away information on lists that are predominated by those who live in the southeast US (usually). You do want to find which groups are in cold areas, which groups deal with manufacturing or sales, etc. Focus on them.

Can't find where they are? Make them come to you.

There’s a great deal of current discussion on the Internet about the concept of community. Some say it’s not something you can create; others disagree. Who’s right doesn’t matter. Most people who use the ‘net do so to find stuff that interests them. That’s what matters.

So, if you have something to sell, figure out how that service or product matters to those you want to sell it to. Put up a Web site that highlights that stuff.

Build It and They Will Come

"Have a site that offers information--not just a scanned brochure."

Have a site that offers information--not just a scanned brochure. The more knowledgeable you appear, the more people who visit -- some of whom will need more knowledge and probably pay you for it.

The internet connects people--from across the hall and across the world. By nature, we are social beings. It matters not that the Internet undergoes amazing technological accomplishments on an almost daily basis.

It does matter that we can find others who share our interests, our concerns, our passions.

For with them, we can build a community.

So build away. Forge a path. Create a virtual community where people will flock to you--like flies to the spider web.

Back to the top / Back to the Sideroad

Want to read more?

Go back to
Issue #6,

ahead to
Issue # 8 - How to find email addresses
(and what to use them for!)

or visit the


Jennifer Hicks is CEO and President of WordsWork, a communications consulting firm that works with clients to provide for their training, writing, editorial, and research and communication strategy needs. Since its start in 1996, the company has experienced tremendous growth and has grown from a one-person show to a staff of more than 25 full- and part-time people. Clients have ranged from start-ups to companies in the Fortune 500. While their trainers, writers, and editors have expertise in a variety of areas including technology, business, education, and medicine, they are renowned specialists in communications for the healthcare industry. For more information, contact info@wordswork.com
Phone: (774) 368-0514
Fax: (508) 374-8389

Text © Jennifer Hicks, 1998. Part of the original Sideroad.
The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at www.sideroad.com.