Category Archives: Making Money

The Biggest Internet Marketing Problem

After you have established your most essential channels of communication in Internet Marketing, whether it’s email marketing, Twitter, Facebook (groups and business pages or just your personal profile), YouTube video channel, pay-per-click ads with opt-in newsletters and all the other unforeseen ways of providing “content” to your audience of followers, friends, fans or subscribers, what do you say?

Imagine that the Internet is a really big nightclub and everybody who is in your audience is sitting there with their drinks in hand and the spotlight comes on to the mike on stage and you walk up and…WHAT DO YOU SAY?

This is probably the most crucial question you can ask yourself (probably before you even get started), but most people who want a Twitter account or want to drive their customers to the website or just make more sales using the Internet are more concerned with how they look than what they will say.

This is exactly the problem faced by 24-hour news channels when they got started. They had the capacity to provide wall-to-wall news, but what to fill it with? This dilemma was detailed in a very insightful book by Fark.com’s Drew Curtis called It’s Not News It’s Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap as News. Now that we have these ways of delivering content, WHAT DO WE SAY? Of course, when big news breaks (like on September 11, 2001), it’s easy to just show the same traumatizing clips of death and destruction over and over, but what about when there is no news? What do you say then?

If you’re going to build it, they will come…but they won’t stay if they aren’t entertained or informed. Keeping those eyes on your content is going to be tough if there isn’t enough of it. I find it to be very challenging and I consider myself an expert.

Now sometimes this means that you must resort to repeating the content of others. It’s not ideal, but it works. This is why news aggregators are so popular (such as Fark.com, Huffington Post and others). They may or may not have original content, but the ones that have something going for it besides aggregation alone tend to do much better than without. But a word of warning: You will turn a lot of people off if you are repeating innuendo, scandal or otherwise junk news. While this is a strategy that some use frequently, it’s only going to cater to the lowest common denominator and will just dilute the value of what you have to offer (unless what you have to offer is purely fluff and gossip).

I myself use RSS feeds as a way of providing some content on my Facebook and Twitter accounts (but not for my blog). I make it super-easy by using Google Reader and clicking the Share button which puts that article in queue for my RSS feeds which is automatically picked up by my Facebook and Twitter via ping.fm. I think that for my blog that I would only write an article around content from somewhere else rather than just forwarding it (also called “retweeting” on Twitter and “sharing” elsewhere).

The answer to “What Do You Say?” is really the difference between make or break. Hopefully by providing insightful content such as this article, I will develop a reputation for providing something useful.

I really want to provide value to my customers and if my customers aren’t ready for it, then I will ask them to find someone else to work with.

Here’s a case in point: Recently I had a customer who told me that the free template I found them didn’t look first class and so they didn’t want to use it. This was a deal-breaker for them and so I told them that they needed to focus less on that and more on their content such as their awesome video of their product (that I made from their less-than-ideal footage). I had smartly and prominently featured this video in their awesome template that they didn’t like. They didn’t listen to me and so I recommended they find someone else to figure out their “first class website” issues. I took that template to my next customer who loved it so much that they are recommending me and my services on their next newsletter that’s going out to thousands of their clients. So guess which customer is the successful one? The successful one is the one who has the newsletter and is focused primarily on what to say rather than primarily on how they look while the one focused on how they don’t look first class is still in a business incubator after four years.

So when you start putting together a social media strategy or an Internet Marketing campaign, it’s great to focus on what it will look like and that it’s working properly, but THEN WHAT? What will you be saying? How often? Will you author it yourself? Will you aggregate? Will you go for weeks without saying nothing? What is your plan?

Having a vehicle for your message without knowing what the message will be and how often it will be sent is like having a shiny new car with no gas.

They Promise Six Figures But Won’t Ask One Question

Every time I get wind of someone promising hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to anyone who buys their training package, watches they videos or pays for coaching, I get really skeptical.

The reason why is because for every training package, set of videos or one-on-one coaching I always notice that they never ask the MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION.

These purveyors of wealth who peddle what sounds too good to be true are big on content. I saw one package that was several hours of DVDs and nice spiral-bound notebooks and audio CDs and it was a BIG package…but it didn’t ask the MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION.

I recently received an invitation by someone (who I won’t name because I respect him a lot) who was forwarding me an invitation by someone else to sign on to their new training package and I still didn’t see the MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION.

What is the MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION? I’ll tell you:

“HOW MANY OF THESE THINGS HAVE YOU SOLD?”

I tell all my clients that it is possible, if they are serious about not using social media merely for PR purposes or just to be hip or because they think it’s the smart thing to do, that they can multiply how much they are currently selling their products by using the Internet.

They can sell 10x, 100x or even 1,000x what they are currently selling. That’s amazing! But if they have sold NOTHING so far, then 1,000 times zero is still zero.

Really. Let’s be serious. If you haven’t sold a single widget, then why would you think the Internet can do it for you?

Am I saying that it’s just not possible to make a lot of money on the Internet by selling something that has never been sold in person? No. I’m not saying that. For example, there are lots of training packages and DVD video courses that haven’t been sold except over the Internet to unsuspecting people who want so badly to quit their day jobs and make hundreds of thousands of dollars and sit on the beach with their iPads all day drinking cervezas. Yes, it’s possible if your targets are suckers who want to get out of the Rat Race.

But if you are serious about making six figures, you need to think like an investor. If an investor came to you and asked to see your books to determine the condition of your business and saw that you have no business plan, you had no sales and you have no assets or cash reserves, then they would not invest in you because you have nothing. Well, if you buy one of these training courses, video packages or hire a coach, you still have no business plan, sales, assets or reserves.

Now I’m not one to go rain on everyone’s parade about possibility and making money because I LOVE entrepreneurs and I am one of them. I had better believe in them if I am one of them!

But because I love entrepreneurs, I think it’s important to remind people that they can’t even begin to have hope of leaving their day job if they haven’t gone out and sold their own product or service that they hope to bring to the Internet to multiply their sales by ten, a hundred or a thousand times.

Go out and sell your widgets and LEARN from the process. Why did they buy? Why didn’t they buy? What value did they perceive? Was the product or service credible? Were you credible? What can you learn from selling face-to-face before you multiply the power of your offer?

I will be helping you to identify how to apply what you learn to how you sell online.

Stay tuned!