If you run a small business, or a ministry, and want to beef up your web presence, don’t bother. Don’t have a website yet? Good! Have you setup a Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus account yet? No? great!

What about RSS, email subscriptions and newsletters, an awesome mobile design, an iPhone app for your business, commerce, or a killer content management system? Oh, haven’t gotten around to all that? Or, haven’t perfected it yet? Good! Don’t bother.

Your website is going to suck. Your Facebook fan page will have nothing but self-endorsements, on Twitter you’ll be constantly begging for people to buy your stuff. Before you get pulled into doing this the wrong way, just stop before you get started. Or if you’ve started, quit now before you get too far in.

What you’re about to unleash, or already unleashing, on the internet is junk. You’re about to make the internet a worse place for having set your virtual footprint on it. Your great idea for marketing your product or service online is horrible. Just stop. Don’t bother. Quit while you can.

Unless.

Unless you’re actually going to do it right.

Most business owners approach the internet with the wrong mindset. They ask, what’s in it for me? What can I get out of it? If you’ve created a Twitter account and left it untouched for six months, or have a Facebook fan page that has nothing but countless self recommendations, then you’re only adding to the garbage and noise on the internet.

Now, there is a time and place for all of the technologies mentioned above, although I’m not sure about Google Plus yet. If you start out on the right foot your website, social networks, email lists, and much more, can change the lives of your customers for the better.

But almost everyone gets it wrong. From the mom and pop shops all the way up to large corporations. Websites are created and social media accounts are setup, all with the intent of adding spam to the world.

The conversation goes something like this. “Let’s get going on this Twitter service, and tell everyone about our amazing products and services, all the time. Surely the world is just waiting to beat a path to our door and buy our stuff.”

The problem is no one cares about your stuff. We don’t care what you’re selling, what services you’re offering. For all we know you’re one more person trying to rip us off and steal our hard earned cash. In this world it’s hard enough to keep hold of our precious money.

If you really want to make a difference in this world, if you want your web presence to add a level of impact and change to the world, then you need to do one thing. You need to earn my trust. You need to spend the time showing that you care about me, that you have something that can make my life better.