Second Life's virtual economy is thriving and growing. Although entering Second Life as a brand or company is currently very PR friendly, you should think twice before taking a spin in Lindenland.

- Spend time in Second Life first. The concept of Second Life isn't difficult to grasp, but living in it is. People who live and thrive in Second Life are incredibly savvy, especially in a technology sense. Those familiar with marketing to these influential, tech-savvy audiences know that lots of advertising in the real world is already met with cynicism. The same goes for Second Life, but even more so. If you understand how people communicate, how they behave, and the islands or places they frequent, your chances for success will likely improve.

- If your company enters Second Life, you are Wal-Mart. This is not in a good way. All those documentaries and (real) blogs about Wal-Mart killing mom-and-pop stores must be taken into consideration when entering Second Life. Whether the argument is true or not, the good or service you are purveying is likely already provided by a Second Life resident. First-life companies entering Second Life are perceived as a threat. You must find a way to counter that.

- Give back to the community. Determine how your entry will actually benefit the Second Life community. Ask this simple question: "How will the residents of Second Life be better off with my brand or company in their world?" Not everyone will answer the same way, but be sure you have a valid answer -- not just a unique selling proposition. This is a valuable piece of advice to pay attention to in your first life, as well.

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