The Difference Between a BetterNetworker Newbie and Smart Beginner

Read More: Mindset

Truth Moment - Are You a Newbie or Smart Beginner?

The first thing I thought when I heard the phrase, "Attraction Marketing" was that it had something to do with The Secret, and some new age method of abundance that I’d have to read about in some Jack Canfield Chicken Soup for the Internet Marketer’s Soul book.

I was what they called a "Newbie." I had no experience making money online and no internet marketing experience whatsoever.

Isn't this is where most of us start...

And don't we start with an urge like gravity to flex our entrepreneurial spirit so we can live a better life and provide more opportunities for our children... No better place to go than submerge ourself into the booming internet economy.

Sound familiar? If you’re with me, keep reading, an important point is to be made here. I’ll be blunt and direct, if you mess up here, you will fail before you even begin.

Doesn’t it seem there are a million and one tips and other pieces of advice on how to do this internet attraction marketing thing?

Everywhere I turn, I hear talk about blogs and websites, capture pages, building your list, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

It can be hard for someone to locate an ideal starting point when beginning from scratch.

Every successful person has had to start from scratch. Every successful business person has had to start the long journey at the foot of their mountain of dreams. 

So I hear the word "newbie" tossed around quite a bit. That’s what we call these people. 

It refers to someone who is absolutely new, and doesn't know much about anything with regard to marketing their brand, their company or their products on the internet. 

But more and more, I'm noticing a subtle yet profound difference between what would normally be called a "Newbie" and what I'd like to now call "Smart Beginner."

I'd like to distinguish the difference between the two. My goal is for you to understand the difference between a "Newbie" and a "Smart Beginner."

I want to empower you to differentiate yourself, avoid being a Newbie in favor of a Smart Beginner

The Most Significant Difference Between a Smart Beginner and a Newbie

First and foremost, Smart Beginners focus on what value they're willing to give. Value in this context means the promise you can make to yourself with regard to the promise you can make to the people that comprise your target market, and others that are inspired to join your “conversation.” 

After that, immediately set up the basic components of a marketing funnel.

This comes BEFORE you start asking yourself or saying aloud:

  • How do I make an additional 500-1000 per month?
  • How do I make 10K per month?
  • How do I sell 5 ebooks per week?
  • How do I get 10-15 new reps in my business per month?
  • How do I find a system that does these things for me?

It’s that mindset that keeps you focused on the wrong things.
 Don’t be mistaken, these are great goals and aspirations, but without emotional attachment in so much that it consumes what should be a very natural process of giving value for value’s sake. 

The only thing that ends up happening when you ask those kinds of questions, and make that your main focus, is you become a consumer – because there will always be the “next best thing” you have to have because you’ve been conned into thinking it does the work for you or will make things easier.

That is so Newbie-like.

I see this all the time, people purchase so many resources when all they need to do is use what’s within Renegade Professional for $49 per month, and some of the fees associated with the tools that go with setting up the initial components (like web hosting, domain purchase, contact management system).

Other Specific Differences Between a Newbie and Smart Beginner

  • A smart beginner puts emphasis on training and learning how to market. This means that they put 80% of their emphasis on training and learning to market themselves, and the remaining 20% on the implementation of their marketing training.
  • A newbie doesn't make this differential. In fact, they may not even be considering marketing training. They think about making sales, affiliate commissions and the easiest and most effective short term way to pitch their deal.
  • A smart beginner is committed long term, and anticipates that it will in all likelihood require a full year of consistent intense part-time effort to realize steady and effortless success. The smart beginner has a plan and is committed to working that plan.
  • A smart beginner is immediately concerned with providing value to the communities which they are seeking to belong. They observe and study, and hone a message to deliver that is in alignment with the message their target audience wants and needs to hear. To do this, they have to understand themselves. As well as understand their place along their own developmental continuum.
  • A newbie doesn't consider these things. A newbie hasn't spent anytime considering their target audience and prefers the "scattershot" approach. A newbie says, "Development continuum?" and scratches their head.
  • A smart beginner can quickly flip what they've learned to begin benefiting their target audience. This is one of the first ways to offer value. Learn, apply and teach. It’s a simple smart beginner formula. Rather than trying to reach the masses, they initiate one on one connection and seek contacts before customers.
  • A newbie isn't necessarily learning. They’re busy using whatever instantly gratifies a quick buck. A newbie stays a newbie because they don’t look at their business as a long term, self sustaining venture. A newbie is just trying to make money.

So ask yourself...Which are you? "Newbie" or a "Smart Beginner?"

Leaving No Renegade Professional Behind

================ Please Vote and Comment ==================

Eric Walker is a Renegade Professional Super Guide, Trainer and Paid Coach.

He's also social media marketing enthusiasts, and understands the interconnectedness between social media marketing and social media networking. For more information, Eric recommends Social Media Science.

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About the Author: Eric Walker

Member Since: 05/06/2008

I'm a Distributor For:: SendOutCards

Other Company: Eric Walker Marketing LLC

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highly instructive post of a beginner!

Hi Eric

Thank you to let me realize that I am a smart beginner! ;-)
In fact, as a beginner, I described me as a dummies, and this is part of mhy domain name. 1 month ago, I was a scientist, without any knowledge in internetn marketing, and as a dummies (a smart beginner in that case), I looked the enormous amount of ressources on the net, made some strategic selection and leran a lot. Now, I want to share, to help other smart beginners to find their way in that field
Your post is inspiring, and a thinking creator if I could say.
But what is strange is that with all the freely available information on the net, all the ressources, there would still have some people trying to succeed by being a newbie! Probably because I have a completly mindset, I really here to share first, to learn, to find way to give value, that I do not realize that many are not like that!
Even if I know I take the good long term actions, I take the good strategy for success, I was really happy to read your post. I was just on the way to look quickly for ressources this morning, but your post did attracked me a lot and I red it completely.

thank you for sharing

lelia Raynal

lelia raynal — Tue, 09/15/2009 - 9:59am

Newbie vs. Smart Beginner

This is a wonderful post. It really puts the correct priorities into place. I appreciate that. Learning and focus, great.

Lorralyn Tate

Loralyn Tate — Wed, 09/16/2009 - 8:41am

Thank You

Hi Eric
Thank you for your definition on Newbie and Smart Beginner. I take the second one. Smart Beginner.

Thank you for your clarification and what it means to be a Smart Beginner. Your article actually clarifed a couple of points that I have been pondering on. ie that it can take up to a year of steady consistency and seeing your success improving as the time goes along.

I have actually had to stop and look what I have achieved in the last 5 months since I made the smart decesion to learn from Rengade Professional. I thought I wasn't successful until I started to see the results were there and its only time before they materilize.

Thank you for sharing and inspiring me.

Rosemary Leach — Fri, 09/18/2009 - 10:41pm

Attitude is Everything.

Great post--and totally empowering for a beginning entrepreneur to view him/herself as a smart beginner making smaart decisions to grow and expand and give value-- and not a Newbie grasping for the quick buck.
Your explanation paves the way to greater understanding.

Claire Covington — Fri, 09/25/2009 - 10:47am

Smart Beginners - Measure Success Diferently

'Development continuum' is a very valuable concept, and one that smart beginners understand.

Nearly everyone wants to make a sale and earn a dollar, and nearly everyone gets frustrated with the slow early pace of success.

However, as you pointed out, the Smart Beginner is using a different yardstick than the Newbie. The Smart Beginner is aware of his own development continuum and derives confidence from the progress. Learning skills and delivering value are better measurements of progress, and early success, than sales and revenue.

Long lasting success, and revenue, comes only to the persistent Smart Beginner. I can't believe how long it took me to learn that!

You've captured the challenge for many, many people - some of whom will have an 'aha' moment, I'm sure - well done.

Michael Wilson — Fri, 09/25/2009 - 11:37am

I want to help others avoid being a Newbie


I love the way you spelled this out. A smart beginner definitely comes equipped with, or soon discovers, the knowledge needed to figure out how to eventually earn a long-term place in the marketing world.

A Newbie enters online marketing with a completely different attitude; and I never even thought of it before.

Understanding the difference in mindset can help us direct our newest marketers down the right path. And, as always, helping others is time well spent.

Becky Joubert — Fri, 09/25/2009 - 1:14pm

Eric, Eric, That’s really

Eric, Eric, That’s really right on. A smart beginner can see the journey of learning, growing, giving to be just as valuable as their anticipated success.

A smart beginner can apply all those lessons to any endeavor and expect to be successful. Where as a newbie on the fast track may rise quickly and fall harder with no expectations of longevity.

Donnalynn Polito — Fri, 09/25/2009 - 3:48pm

Focus -Commitment -Giving in turn.

"Smart Beginners focus on what value they're willing to give"

You're absolutely right, Eric. The smart beginner starts at the same place everyone else does. It is possible to become noticed when there is consistent focus in the learning process and apply the lessons. A smart beginner quickly becomes a leader when they in learn offer to teach others what they are learning--extending value to their teams.

Pat Campbell — Thu, 10/01/2009 - 10:55am

Hope is Generated

When I read the characteristics given of the Smart Beginner, hope is generated. There is a grounding that allows the new participant of any project, organization, sales marketing team to take a deep breath, and set a path.

Your distinction of the Smart Beginner charts a course with the four action steps taken. Conversly, behaviours listed to avoid are valuable also.

When I sometimes get discouraged with the challenges that face my marketing efforts, I come back to these kind of truths to refocus. I determine to stay with it to the end goal. All the while doing my best to give however I can.

Thanks Eric, for being a Smart Beginner, you have moved along the learning curve well, sharing from your experience.

Pat Campbell — Thu, 10/01/2009 - 11:01am

Newbie vs Smart Beginner

Great post Eric, you are right that many newbie are focused on the quick affiliate commission without focusing on providing value. Many might jump into the next best thing they hear about without taking the time to master the previous skill they were learning.

The Smart Beginner will learn how to provide value while also learning one or two marketing strategies rather than scattering their efforts trying to learn all the different ways of marketing. In this way they can avoid being overwhelmed as well.

Daniel Mililli — Thu, 10/01/2009 - 1:08pm


Hi Eric,
Great post! An important distinction between someone who will succeed and someone who won't, is the ability to stick with a program. Just invest 6- 10 months to really learn and you will move forward. It doesn't even matter which program it is (although I have to agree that Renegade Professional is an excellent program) - just focus and stick with it. So many people jump from one program to the next because they want the quick win. That's not how things work, in internet marketing or anything else.

Cindy Schulson — Thu, 10/01/2009 - 1:30pm

Making the Choice

I've heard it said so many times that the difference between the people who succeed and the people who do not is, the people who succeed do what the people who do not succeed, are unable or unwilling to do. I choose to be a smart beginner and do whatever it takes to succeed. Sticking with the Renegade is not only a smart decision, it's the only one I need. It can be so with you.

Jumping from one thing to another will only do one thing for you. It will confuse you, promise.

Thank you Eric. Great article!!


Michelle Moseley — Thu, 10/01/2009 - 1:38pm

Long Term Success

Hi Eric
You have just confirmed what I have found that it is a case of building a longterm platform for future success. I know myself it has been a long road two steps forward one step back and wrong turns.The goal is to stay focused. That is what you have to advise people who want to stay in this industry Stay on Target , learn and ask questions

Wendy Heyworth — Thu, 10/01/2009 - 1:41pm

A Learning Process

Most people want too much from too little effort. You must learn to walk before you can learn to run; most "mewbies" want to start out running without learning to walk. We all need to come back and read this article on a regular basis to remind us of the basics.

Dr. David Enders — Thu, 10/01/2009 - 4:47pm

He smacks his head loudly!

Hi Eric,
I wish you had written this when I first started out! This is so right on target.

When you start out, you really need to step back and think about what you want to achieve in your business endeavors. Do you want to make a quick buck and keep on having to make a quick buck because nothing you do lasts? Or do you want to develop a precisely and strategically structured business that will be an asset that keeps paying you and your family into the future?
And going through this thought process will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. Getting that road map or plan together will help you avoid all the rabbit holes that the internet marketers out there entice you with. And this will help you from avoiding overwhelmed.
Thanks for your words of wisdom.
Cheers! Calvin

Calvin Mah — Thu, 10/01/2009 - 6:22pm


This is a very excellent article, with great insight, great value and you give so much information. This is an article that a Leader would write. Great job. To your success!


Therese Catanzano — Fri, 10/02/2009 - 12:01am

Every Networker Needs to be a "Smart Beginner"

Hi Eric,

Great article and excellent advice! Mindset is the key.

We have been given the responsibility to help new people be “smart beginners” - to help them get off on the right track.

Too many times, newbies do not get the internet marketing training they need and spend months buying the latest “get rich” systems. Then they find themselves no better off than when they started.

I have to admit that I have, at times, reverted back to the “newbie” status. Unfortunately, I should have known better. Buying the latest “quick buck” system has always been a waste of time and money for me.

Eric, your article is great advice for all of us.

Scott Hubbard

Scott Hubbard — Fri, 10/02/2009 - 9:52am

I was a Smart Beginner

Smart beginners quickly move out of the beginning category and into the intermediate and advanced categories. Newbies will never get away from beginning because they never master a skill - they are always looking for the magic bullet and always beginning something new. One needs to take the time and effort to completely master something then move on. In my personal experience nothing is ever mastered until it can be taught to someone else. The thought process in teaching is completely different than the thought process of doing. It takes a teaching process to completely cement a new idea into your brain. During the process of teaching a skill is when the skill is truly mastered by the teacher.

Dotty Scott — Fri, 10/02/2009 - 9:26pm


Most people who get into their first home business do so with out the mindset of providing value before promoting their business or product.
Your comparison of Newbies and Smart Beginners will help many.

Rallie Rallis — Sat, 10/03/2009 - 10:27am

"Newbie" or "Smart Beginner"


"Newbie" or "Smart Beginner"

What a wonderful way to illustrate this...

You have uncovered the roadblock, that so many are still scratching their heads about...

"The Mindset!"

Thanks For Sharing,
Donna Wells

Donna Wells — Sun, 10/04/2009 - 12:51pm

Great Article - I'm Sending It To My List!

Hi Eric,

As I read this article I was reminded of almost 2 years ago when I read for the first time Ann Sieg's The Renegade Network Marketer. This post is that good, Eric. I think it's the prelim of a fabulous ebook :)

The way your words here immediately rings true for me (as the not too long ago newbie) is so powerful that I'm sending my list here.

It took me too long to learn what you're saying and I don't want any of my readers to miss it.

I'm a smart beginner now but it took a long time to stop chasing so many "ways to make money online." I finally just settled down with Renegade Pro. Wow - what a nice change. Not to focus desperately on how to make money online but here, the focus is always on how to "create value online." (AND offline, e.g. the coaching program)

As you and I have talked about so often, focusing on creating value online (and offline) is sooo rewarding. It's purpose-driven, not money-driven. It's fulfilling, not desperate. It's attractive, not pushy. It's focusing on a genuine desire to help people.

The end result and ongoing surprise for me has been cashflow :)

Stay with it everyone - don't ever stop learning inside Renegade Pro. It will keep you focused and purpose-driven. It is the most fulfilling way to NOT focus on $$ money and the fastest way to make it! $ $ :)

Terri Stallcop — Sun, 10/04/2009 - 4:06pm

Just get started

Great post. When newbies come into this business they are over whelmed and don't even know where to start. There are so many things that they need to work on they end up quitting before they dive in and focus. Great definition of what a smart beginner and newbie is.

Angela Brooks

angbrook (not verified) — Mon, 10/05/2009 - 10:23am

Newbie versus Smart Beginner

Eric, What a great post. It all boils down to the long term versus the short term mentality. The short termers basically have an internet "job" that's here today but could be gone tomorrow because they haven't learned the marketing skills that keep a business going for the long haul.

The smart beginners aren't beginners very long because they do whatever it takes to learn the marketing skills necessary to succeed. Like several people have said, mindset is the key. Thanks for saying it so well.

Beth Heilman — Sun, 10/25/2009 - 6:27pm


Thanks Eric
for smart writing and thinking **

Nancy Sigurdsdotter — Tue, 12/15/2009 - 6:01am

Responding to an Email I Received Not Long Ago, It Read:

Hi Eric,
I realized that I am actually a newbie! Oh, man, this is no good. I was distracted by a lot of great marketing products or courses out there. In the end, I was a bit lost and achieve nothing great. I think I need to shift my mindset from "Newbie" to "Smart Beginner". That's where the entrepreneur spirit lies. So, I had committed to myself to focus on courses in Renegade Professional. I am wasting my time if I didn't do that. I was told to focus on the 90 Day Action plan. Do you agree?

This person is referring to the 90 day action guide that Renegade Professional recommends people new to internet attraction marketing follow.

I think it's vitally important to understand marketing. Here is what Perry Marshall says:

I've defined marketing as 'helping people who need each other find each other' and that is best accomplished by clearly and effectively communicating who you are, which of course requires that you know who you are in the first place.

If you know that, and communicate it effectively, you attract not just the right customers, but the right employees, vendors, partners and investors. The consistency and believability of your message is contagious.

Renegade Professional can certainly help you with this; help you get set up to do this. There are other great courses out there too. But it all starts with that mindset that you are helping each other who need each other find each other. It's a bit of a tongue twisting mind bender, but at the heart of "smart beginner-ness".

Go for it!

Eric Walker — Wed, 12/16/2009 - 1:59pm

"People...People who need people"


Though I am by no means a 'newbie', in life or communicating with others, I do find myself new to the whole online and network marketing world...

I appreciate this series of posts, this conversation.

And yes, I completely agree that the focus should simply be on helping others find answers to their challenges...

Although the statement, "you are helping each other who need each other find each other" is so true, I can't help but think of Barbra Streisand ;-)

People, people who need people...Sorry dude, it just cracked me up!

Your 'just getting going online' and knows his place fiend,

Mitchell Dillman

Mitchell Dillman — Wed, 12/16/2009 - 3:30pm

Newbie vs. Samrt Beginner

Hi Eric. Great article. Thank you so much for sharing this information with us. I did consider myself a newbie but now have more insight and knowledge and am taking the path of a smart beginner. I do learn as much as I can and organize what I learn so that I will not be floundering. Organization and studying are just as key as perseverance and poistive thinking. Well done.

Jason Jahr — Wed, 12/16/2009 - 7:00pm

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