02/06/2013 20:04 BST | Updated 30/07/2013 06:12 BST

7 Prejudices Preventing You from Making Money Online

I grew up in the North of England with white middle-class Tory voting parents. I went to private school and was encouraged to do well academically, musically and creatively. Ballet classes on a Saturday morning, piano lessons on a Thursday evenings and elocution lessons to combat what my mother perceived as a growing tendency towards a Mancunian accent. In my parents' world back in the 70s you needed to speak the Queen's proper English to get a decent job.

Well, what a load of rubbish!

I don't blame my parents in the slightest, they taught me all they knew and tried very hard to help me build an independent financial future. But then the bottom fell out of the job market - not once, but twice. The first time in the 90s in the dot com boom and bust, and now in the greatest depression we've known since the 1930s. Queen's English and a formal education didn't help me in the slightest.

What did help me was the ability to adapt to the world around me and learn a new career by swallowing my pride and copying those who had already made it...

The guy who gave me a kick start, John Thornhill - the ex-factory worker and self-made online millionaire several times over; Dan Jacobs - founder of personal branding start-up who left Leeds ex-polytechnic before graduating to be a web pioneer and Christophe Garnier from Spark Labs- who's founded 10+ VC backed digital start-ups (bought out by the likes of Nokia, SAP....) but who graduated from college 4 years after me. Mentors from every walk of life.

7 Prejudices which prevent you making Money Online

  1. There is nothing wrong with making money and wanting to be rich; rich is the best way to experience life and also to help others.  You won't get rich from self-interested spamming and poor quality propositions though. And huge success won't happen overnight however (but you knew that already right?)
  2. There is nothing wrong with tactical and psychological selling. It's not about lying, it's about finding out what the customer really wants and explaining how your product can meet their needs and then pressing the emotional triggers. One won't work without the other. Red text for example, sells better than black; it's passionate and urgent. But it won't work unless you are selling a perceived benefit. That's a fact.
  3. There's plenty of good information out there that's free... but even better resources which are not. If you have enough time and money to be able to wade your way through all the information out there and already have the knowledge to discard those pieces of information which don't serve you, do it! BUT ...if you don't have the time to lose as much as you earn over a period of years, maybe decades, have the common sense to invest in a little professional guidance. Pay for a mentor. You don't expect to become a dentist without learning the trade from someone, so why expect to be an internet marketer without a teacher?
  4. You are no longer a one-trick pony. Those days of being 'an' affiliate marketer (or 'an; anything) are gone - unless you make it big. But if you are an internet marketer, you have - by definition - a lot of peripheral skills which can also be used to make money online. Don't restrict yourself to just one skill because as an internet marketer, you will also be a seller, a web site mentor, a product manager, a copywriter...
  5. There's nothing wrong with copying those more successful than yourself (although the same doesn't go for content; Beware! Google always knows if you've cloned someone's articles...) Forget any notions in your head that using other's experience as a basis for your own proposition is wrong. There's more than enough demand out there to meet the supply, and if you can put new spin on something and tap into a new market (or create more value for an existing one), then you are doing the world a service.
  6. Forget the traditional marketing notions of price product promotion and placement. Those are just ticks in the boxes. To cut through the online noise, you need to understand the emotional drivers behind the purchasing decision. When we are emotionally touched by something we remember it. And what's even more powerful - when we emotionally connect, a relationship is born. Online selling, more than any other needs that relationship. It's the secret behind brand loyalty.
  7. Don't compete, collaborate. The new way to do business is by COLLABORATION not COMPETITION. If you want to get ahead in the internet marketing game, your absolute best bet is to help others as much as you possibly can. Those who look to you for advice and those who taught you what you know. You are both a teacher and a student (weren't you always?).

The internet is the greatest democratic enabler ever. It has empowered those who lack so called formal education, it cares nothing for class and gives voice to those with talent. The internet was and is the greatest opportunity - and therefore risk - we have for making money and for making the world a better place. So discard your prejudices. They don't help the world and they don't help you.