The Best Advice I Received Summed Up in Two Words

I’m a member of a number of different groups on Facebook. Some of them are related to my professional work as a freelance writer, some of them relate to my career as a blogger, and some are simply connected to more personal areas of interest. Like Star Wars. Something that I’ve learned very quickly is that invaluable lessons can be gleaned from the most unexpected of places.

You might be struck by an epiphany in the middle of watching a romantic comedy or while out playing a game of basketball at the local community center. In this particular case, perhaps some of the best business advice that I have ever received in my life came from a Facebook group populated by over 1,000 so-called “dad bloggers.”

The vast majority of these guys have day jobs of some sort or another. Some are stay-at-home dads. Very few actually earn their primary income from their “dad” blogs and that’s okay. I enjoy the company and we discuss all sorts of issues as they relate to modern parenting and the evolving role (and perception) of dads in modern society.

So, what does this have to do with making money online or Internet marketing or influencer marketing or social media marketing or any of these sorts of things? It comes to a very simple but poignant piece of advice.

Just ask.

That’s it. Two simple words. In the context of our dad bloggers Facebook group, it’s almost become something of an inside joke, manifesting itself as the hashtag #justask to summarize what might otherwise take a little more to explain.

But those two words can easily apply to just about anything you might be thinking about doing personally or professionally. When you ask someone, the worst thing that can happen is they can say no. Or they might ignore you.

Absolutely, you have to go in with some semblance of being reasonable and you should have some consideration for what’s in it for them. John has talked about this before, how some readers have emailed him asking him to set up their site, create the sales funnel, start generating some commissions, and send the money all back to them. That’s unreasonable. What’s in it for John? Why would he do this for free?

You still have to work for your own success, but you also shouldn’t be afraid to make a bold “ask” if you think there is legitimate value for both parties involved. Do you think you’re too small of a fish to pitch a bigger company like Nike or Canon to sponsor some content on your blog? Think again. Just ask. You never know what might become of that relationship.

Did a brand approach you, expressing interest in you working for them on some collaboration, but they make no mention of any monetary compensation whatsoever? Guess what? You can’t pay for your rent and your utility bills in “exposure,” so just ask to get paid. Set out a reasonable rate and see what they say. The worst thing that can happen is they can say no… and you’d be in no worse of a position.

Are you genuinely interested in a new SEO or social media tool and you want to take it out for a beta test before it officially launches on the market? Just ask for early access, saying that you’ll share your early impressions with your audience. You might even be able to sneak in a good affiliate link or two to further bolster your efforts.

Just ask. Don’t be afraid of rejection. You will get turned down, to be sure, but every time that they come back with a yes, you’ve effectively moved yourself an extra step forward that you would have otherwise missed.

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