2016 will be the year of an even larger rising tide, and I believe it’s going to take our industry to some powerful new heights. It is my genuine opinion that if you don’t get in now, you’ll be the one regretting it in ten years.
Before you get too excited, though, you must first understand that you cannot see domain names as a flashing jackpot siren on a slot machine in some Vegas casino. There aren’t any showgirls throwing hundred dollar bills into the air, no clowns riding around on unicycles blowing confetti into the sky, and surely no best friends circling you while clapping and blowing on New Years Eve horns. It’s not your birthday, it’s not a lottery ticket, nor is it some magical saviour from afar. Domain names are a commodity, and you must see them as your next most important financial manoeuvre. But that’s only the beginning…
Think about it like this: if investing is like a battle field, and you wish to be victorious, you must become a better warrior, right? You have to sharpen your weapons between battles, right? You must gain allies along the way, right?
These are my three most important steps to becoming a better domain investing warrior, and obtaining a victory in 2016.
Your results may vary.
Obtain Knowledge (Wisdom)
If you are not spending a majority of your time learning, and becoming a smarter investor, you are going to fail.
It’s not easy, in fact, Omar and Will (OmarAndWill.com) wrote a great post that speaks the truth about domaining. In my opinion (which i’m sure is a shared one), the domain industry is one of the hardest on the planet to succeed in, but it is not impossible if you fill that mind of yours with as much knowledge as you can.
You should be studying everything from the Chinese market all the way to learning the psychology behind branding, marketing and human perception. You should be reading positive, inspiring books like “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace D. Wattles, and, at least, a few of the top ten “how to sell” books of all time. Open the pages of “The Art of War”. Learn how to speak Mandarin. All of it. Don’t stop either. And most importantly, read every post you see about domain names. Study every sale that happens. Don’t know where to start? Here is a list of feeds you should be following.
Study, study, study. There is no success without a brain full of relevant information.
Diversify, Diversify, Diversify. (Weapons)
Want to last? Diversify.
Want to make more money? Diversify.
Want to limit your risks? Diversify.
What’s the most repetitive word in this post? Diversify.
If you don’t have “something for everyone” in your portfolio, you are limiting your returns. Albeit, it’s not an easy undertaking and can take a lot of time and money to do. But if you are going to call yourself a domain investor, you need to learn how to diversify properly.
To give you an idea of what I do, here is a rough, off-the-cuff breakdown of my portfolio:
One word .com’s (Automating.com)
Two word .com’s (FederalAid.com)
Three word .com’s (HearMeRoar.com)
Exact match nGTLD’s (Travel.Agency)
Brandable .com’s (Evepoint.com)
GEO .com’s (Pompeii.com)
Virtual Reality .com’s and nGTLD’s (VRVG.com // VR.Network)
Short 4 Letter .com’s (MLVM.com)
Startup .io’s (Professor.io)
One word .net’s (Donut.net)
5L Chinese .com’s (TWNRR.com)
CCC Chinese .xyz (1C7.xyz)
Numeric Chinese .xyz (8888.xyz)
One Word .co (Guerilla.co)
One Word Non-Profit .org’s (Candlelight.org)
I could keep going, but it’s starting to feel like a show and tell instead… so I’ll stop. The point is, you should have something for at least 80%+ of your potential customers. If someone asks me for something, and I don’t have it, I make sure to go out and find a few domain names in that vertical. That way, in the future, I don’t miss that opportunity again.
Another very important reason to diversify is limiting your risk. The more spread out and liquid your portfolio, the less risk you take. If my only investments are Two Word .whatever’s and .whatever is no longer in next year, I’m SOL!
At the end of the day I want to make sure I’m financially safe by wisely spreading out my money, and secondly I want to be prepared for any spikes in value across the board. That way, if one vertical takes off, I have assets in the space that I can liquidate for a profit.
Growing Your Social Network (Allies)
In 2016, relationships are “forged” and “managed” via social media. These connections are, of course, later solidified at the occasional, in-person meet and greets. But this is how you begin to build allies, and that is why it’s so important you utilize social media to grow your network.
When building allies it is really important to keep some things in mind. Your relationships in this industry will make or break you. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when looking to expand your social network of domaining allies.
DON’T: 140 Character Sales Pitches.
Consistently selling something using your status update is a major no-no for me. A few here, and a few there, no problem. But when I open my twitter feed, and see 3,289,622 tweets about your domain names that are for sale. I am more than likely going to block you. So will a lot of other people; rendering your feed null and void.
People don’t care if you are a salesperson; they only care if you are human. Change it up. If we are going to connect, I want to read more than just a sales pitch about your product. I want to read your posts, understand your direction, and get to know your brand. Quit selling all the time, and start being a person. Write some stuff, offer your advice, hang around, chit-chat, get to know your peers. If all you have to say is “PREMIUM DOMAINS ERMARGERRRRD!” then we can’t be allies. Sorry, bro.
DON’T: Instant Message pitch.
If I accepted your friend request 10 seconds ago, and I get a notification, and it’s a sales pitch, you’re a goner. And a lot of other people will agree. Use the messaging system carefully, and sparingly. And never, ever, use it ONLY to initiate an unsolicited sales pitch.
When you message someone, it should be to start a genuine conversation. Perhaps share your thoughts about something, interact, ask some surface level questions, keep it light. That’s how you make friends, and building the right relationships is one of the keys to success. No one does it without meeting a few key people along the way. And you don’t get those people in your life by being the annoying sales guy. Just be one of the guys. Kick back, bro.
DO: Join Key Communities
There should always be that one ally you have in every niche. This is not an easy undertaking, but if you do it right, you can get linked up with the person to know in every vertical.
For instance, if your thing is science related domain names, then you should be furthering your network within the science community on the web. But.. instead of blowing up all of their inboxes trying to sell them PigeonShit.Science, just start getting to know them. If you care, they will too. Join the community, get involved however you can, and make friends with them. If they like you, they’ll check out your profile info to get to know more about you; that is the place they can discover that you sell domain names. On their doing, so when they are ready to buy a domain name, they’ll think of you – you know, because you were so fun to chat with, and never tried to sell them anything. Get involved, bro.
DO: Try and Reply to People
Making time for social media ain’t easy! Especially when you are already too busy to eat! But try and respond to people when you have a moment, even if it takes you a few days to do so. People appreciate the response. They like interacting just as much as you do. Just don’t take this one too far or the only thing you’ll be doing is sending responses! Keep it balanced, bro.
DON’T: Tag, You’re It.
Don’t tag everyone with your updates, unless it is something that you know they will appreciate it. And how can you know things like that? By becoming their friend, reading their posts, getting to know them through their social media channels. People appreciate personalized tags, what they don’t want is to be tagged in all your domain at auction updates. Be mindful, bro.
If you get involved in all the major communities, you will have open access to a lot of influential people, and those are the people that you will eventually become your allies. Stop being the sales guy, and start being THE guy.
- If you do not properly seek wisdom, you will fail.
- If you do not properly diversify, you will fail.
- If you do not properly forge alliances, you will fail.