The domain industry is virtually unknown by the majority of people out there.
I had some drinks with my friends the other day and they started asking questions on what it was I’m spending a lot of my spare time on nowadays. I started to explain about buying and selling domain names, and was surprised to find out that not one of them knew what they were (these are not stupid people by the way)
I had to explain that the name they type into the browser is the sites domain name. They wondered what sort of money these “names” went for and were dumbfounded when I told them some of the figures. Even after a 10 minute explanation they still couldn’t see it.
And I think this is what we’re up against! People just don’t see the value of the commodities we hold and it’s up to all of us to educate them.
My words did actually get through to one of them, as a few days later I got a call from one of their wives trying to pick my brains on the domain industry as she’s looking to get involved.
But it’s not just the man in the street who has little knowledge of domain names, as recently I’ve been making cold calls to companies trying to sell names directly related to their business, and 80% of the time the senior people haven’t got a clue what a domain name is or why they should possess a generic domain.
Quite a few of them nearly choked on their Bagels when I mentioned the prices I was looking for and there was no way I was going to talk them round in the small space of time I had.
So the point I’m gradually working towards is that we all need to help educate the end user, as it’s very unlikely they will visit the forums or spend time reading domainers blog posts.
Some in our industry are doing their bit and more, a couple of names that come to mind are BuyDomains, Rick Schwartz, Owen Frager and Rick Latona. But we can’t just rely on these few to get the word out and educate end users on the advantage and potential a great domain offers their business. Action has to start with each of us.
As if we stay in our current mode of inactivity, just waiting for that million dollar offer to drop in our mailbox we are doing both ourselves and this industry a great disservice and are helping to destroy or hold back prosperity for everyone with an interest in this space.
I think a major problem we face is overcoming the fear of approaching the end user and blowing our chance of an astronomical sale. As a lot of the advice coming from the top domainers is to never approach a potential end user as it places you in a weaker bargaining position. This might be a strategy the few top domainers can afford to follow, but this is not one a whole industry can adopt. It’s absolute madness for small portfolio holders to do business like this as one size here certainly doesn’t fit all.
So stop holding out for the crazy offers. Set a realistic price in your mind and go out and try to achieve it – participate in forums related to your niche, call up companies in the industry, marketing firms, contact your local chamber of commerce, speak to local businesses, look at whose paying for adword space on Google. There are many ways to market your domains, you just have to start.
Good luck. I’d be interested to hear your views on the domain industry and what you feel we need to do to help gain positive exposure.