We Need To Change The Mindset In Traffic Exchanges

I wrote this down on my whiteboard earlier this week because I think this is a topic that doesn’t get talked about enough and really is damaging to this industry. And I tried to type this out, but failed miserably so hey, why not do a video….


What do you think about this topic? Do you think the ‘Small vs. Big’ labels we place on each other is damaging? Is it as simple as replacing the words ‘small and big’ with ‘growing’? Please share your comments below and let’s have a great discussion!

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30 Comments
  1. Yep Jon I agree. I might add that lots of folks say “I just can’t get referrals in TEs”. Lots of folks are growing their team in TEs. For example, Tezak Traffic Power grew by over 2000 members in July. :) Wonder if the word focus might come into play here. :) Focus on what you are promoting.
    Cheers!
    Tony

  2. Hi Jon,
    Two things.
    Firstly of all I can see how some blog posts are much better when delivered via video rather than as a conventional text blog.
    This is a great example of where the power of video blogging really comes through and I think I will be making more use of this myself on my own blog.

    Secondly I agree with what you say for two reasons.
    By calling yourself “little” you are always going to limit yourself and it also allows people to use their situation as an excuse for not realizing their true potential.

    If you own a traffic exchange (or any other program for that matter) then be proud of what you are doing, be vocal and aim to become ever better for you and your members.

    And finally the ‘little v. big’ TE is just the same as the age old ‘us v. them’ mentality which is so destructive.

    Just do what you do, do it well and always strive to do it just a bit better than the competition. That way people can put the focus where it needs to be, on their own business and not on the bigger player across the street.

    Patrick.

  3. How about “New” traffic exchange………(almost ready)

    I actually like this concept, Jon. As you mention, everyone has the capability of growth..even Tim Tech. I don’t think it matters how small or big you are but what matters is how you treat your members. It is my goal to build a community of members who feel like family. I think you, at Tim Tech, have made your members feel valuable…….you can’t put a label on that.

  4. Hey Jon great post.

    This is exactly the same as the mindset that people who are struggling with money have toward people who are wealthy. They grow a hatred towards them and for no real reason.

    Andrew Carnegie said that if you have this dislike towards people that are wealthy then you will never become wealthy because you would not like yourself (not exact words there but something like that).

    But instead us Small Exchanges (joking you see how I threw that in) need to learn from the people that are successful in this industry and continue to grow our exchanges.

    Anyways alot of rambling there but I hope you get what I mean.

  5. Tony – We are just touching the tip of the ice berg here. Yeah we are a decade old industry but still so much to grow…

    Patrick – Bang on man, thanks for that. Always be proud of what you are doing and your business. It’s important to be vocal on why you think your TE is great!

  6. Catherine – thank you very much. It’s very important that we bring this message across because we want people to all be equal in this business. And yup, we’ve got a lot more growing to do lol I like ‘New’ that works as well =)

    Jeff – I was always taught to find out what successful people are doing, and learn from it. You don’t need to follow it, just learn from it. I completely agree with your comments man!

  7. Wow, Jon, this topic is not only a grand slam home run for the newer program and TE owners but the memories come flooding back for Deb and I. Having been a part of the Big Corporate World for many years and remembering a statement my dear departed Grand Mother would always say, “Burgess means you can’t work for someone else all your life” and a statement that a dear departed friend and mentor named Ron Hale would always say, “I would rather be the the Captain of my own little row boat than the first mate on a huge destroyer because I will turn my little row boat into a destroyer”. So in the mid 90′s, having been a so-called big shot director of operations of a division of a large communications company, we found some investors and took the plunge.The very first thing that happened was that the 8 to 5 mentality went out the door. We adopted this phrase: “We are one of the fastest growing telecom companies in America!” We kept saying it until we believed it and it caught on with others as well (Proverbs 6:2). I would highly encourage people to read that verse, adopt it and put it into action. “I may have one of the newest TE’s on the Net, but we are one of the fastest growing TE’s, PERIOD!” You start to believe it, talk it and the rest of us see it and start to believe it and more importantly, we want to be a part of it. Then surround your self with people that think and believe the way you do.
    Great article and video Jon, Deb and I believe this way and others are also catching the vision too. Thanks!

  8. Agreed Jon!

    Never shortcut your own potential. We all started as “small” traffic exchanges. It all begins with 1 member … YOU!

    The most important thing is that you are growing, in terms of members, knowledge, and services you provide.

    Thanks for the great content as always.

    Matthew

  9. Great post Jon :)

    I agree there should be a mindset change. There are a lot of “big” TEs that IMO are not doing enough to grow their TE and keep their members active…resting on their laurels maybe? Dunno but bigger isn’t always better.

    On the other hand there are quite a lot of “growing” TEs that are super-active and the owners are busting their butts to bring in new members every day. These will be the “big” TEs of tomorrow. :)

    Bottom line is it comes down to ownership…whether it’s new or old, the successful owners always know that they can never stop their efforts to grow.

    One more thing I want to point out….I see a lot of TE owners advertising everything else except their OWN TEs in the exchanges. I will never understand that….their number one focus should be advertising the heck out of their own business!

    Great topic today :)

  10. Sam – love it man! Thanks for sharing the story. And I completely agree. Start telling yourself you are a successful growing TE, no one will ever look at you as a small program ever again!

    Matthew – Absolutely. Every traffic exchange out there started with one member first, the owner. It’s up to them to ‘make it happen’.

  11. Jackie – We bump heads a lot but WOW do I ever agree with what you put out there in that comment.

    Unreal, I shake my head every day when I see traffic exchange owners promoting everything under the sun….Except their own T.E….Makes no sense to me at all, but alas…

    I think it comes down to what Sam said above…You have to believe it in yourself and start telling yourself it’s a success and then all you will want to promote and talk about is…Your TE

  12. I see better results from some of the “growing” tes than i do from some of the more established tes. Why, i guess because most of their members are still active, they try harder and put effort into their site to keep it growing, whereas some of the established tes rely on numbers and rankings to bring in new members. What % of the membership numbers that these established tes boast about have actually surfed lately? I surfed back in around 2004 for a little while then quit and came back in 2010. I was still a member in a couple of the sites i surfed in 2004 when i came back. I guess they kept me there to keep the numbers looking good, even though i was no where near active.
    I guess my point is numbers mean nothing. Good owners who put effort in, bring in fresh members and communicate is what matters whether it’s an established site or a growing site.

  13. Guilty, guilty guilty!

    I say it all the the time, “big TE” “small TE”. Just recently I wrote a blog post, titled, My Favorite Traffic Exchanges, that I know Jon read and I did make that statement in my post regarding my traffic exchange not realizing what I was really saying.

    Growing is no doubt the term to use, with any program for that matter. People are more interested in a “growing program” then a “small program”.

  14. Thanks for the vidlog Jon! ^_^

    I suppose in the same manner that we (who have been doing this less than a year) should stop calling ourselves newbies? After all, we are learning much as we go along. :D It is inspiring when those who can be considered PROs in the industry welcome and encourage those who are starting out and “growing” in the business.

    Keep the inspiring messages coming Jon!

    Rain

  15. John – I’ll take dedicated owner over ‘big membership’ any time of the day. Doesn’t matter to me the size of the TE, all depends on ownership!

    Barry – You are doing everything right in my opinion. You have a very positive outlook on this business man. Be the turtle =)

    Rain – Agreed. Thanks very much for your comments!

  16. Great post Jon.

    It goes way beyond “big vs small”…

    You ARE what you THINK you are. That whole visualization/actualization thing.

    And as Mary Kay Ash said: “If you think you can, you’re right. And if you think you can’t…you’re right.”

    I know that can be easier said than done sometimes, but words like “small”, “can’t”, etc., only limit what we can do.

  17. Ellyn – Yup, I love that point! It’s all mental. And when you tell yourself you will, you will. And when you tell yourself you won’t, you won’t. It’s that simple.

  18. Hi Jon

    I like these video blogs, much easier to understand what you’re saying in person than getting the wrong end of the stick by reading something the wrong way.

    As with any form of advertising the success will depend upon the results of those paying for the advertising. If I buy $50 worth of advertising at an exchange and make $100 return then I’m not bothered about the size of the membership.

    Likewise the most active and growing exchange could be where I spend all my time surfing, but if the return on my $50 worth of advertising was zero due to everyone being active I’d spend my money elsewhere.

    You need to treat these businesses like facebook, combine social interaction with targeted advertising and you will soon become the first million dollar traffic exchange.

    Andrew

  19. Hi Jon! Great video and great topic. We are all growing everyday, one way or another. There is always something new to learn, whether it is personally or in business. A person’s mindset is very important indeed.

    “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

  20. Andrew – bang on man. We’re almost there man, we’re shooting for it LOL

    Jolynn – Thanks very much. I agree completely, learn everyday is vital!

  21. I applaud you for yet another great post, Brother Jon. (It’s very summer-like here in Thunder Bay too!) I will say again, you are emerging as a leader in the TE community as you so diligently sow the seeds of higher standards.

    Those self-shaping affirmations do show up in the real world after a while, don’t they? Best wishes as you continue with your excellent work.

  22. Good post Jon

    What is a “small” traffic exchange? When I joined I Love Hits it was ‘small’, I’m member number 626. So when I joined it was a TE destined for future growth.

    I’ve always thought of my TE as a growing traffic exchange. You start with just one member (yourself) and then you work on adding new members and looking after the members you already have. It wasn’t easy getting started, but I’m looking at the longer term view. As long as it keeps growing, I’m happy.

  23. Cristin – Awesome man! Yeah ILH started a 1 member and now is approaching 150,000. But it didn’t happen over night. =) Slow and steady wins the race.

    Dave – Thank you sir. It’s really a simple thought it’s true. And it works!

  24. Wow I didnt realize I was gonna create a huge topic with just a little post on twitter. Glad I inspired you to talk about this a little. Im on cloud nine. Great post Jon

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