Last time in “The Macro View” we dealt with the big picture, what the INTERNET could do for you. This week we are going to look at what YOU can do on the ... You may remember that you were left
Last time in “The Macro View” we dealt with the big picture, what the INTERNET could do for you. This week we are going to look at what YOU can do on the Internet. You may remember that you were left with these instructions:
Here's what you need to do to get started
1) Learn as much as you possibly can. But don't let this slow down your involvement
2) Create or find a product or service that you can promote wholeheartedly.
3) Jump in. Get yourself a solid Internet presence.
4) Get busy! Market that product.
Sounds rather simple doesn't it. In fact it requires a lot of effort, but the steps are simple enough and the rewards are certainly worth it.
Let's look at these four points in detail.
1) LEARN AS MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN
"The great breakthrough in your life comes when you realize that you can learn anything you need to learn to accomplish any goal that you set for yourself. This means there are no limits on what you can be, have, or do." --Brian Tracy
We can never know too much about marketing on the Web. If you get to the point where you think you've learned it all, just wait a couple of days and the rules of the Web will have changed sufficiently that you will need to relearn what you thought you already knew.
The basics can be learned by doing a lot of surfing and employing the search engines. Do a search using the words Internet Basics, marketing, Web knowledge, etc. An even better approach is to search specifically for the area of your interest.
The public school systems offer great night school programs that will teach you not only the basics but more advanced subjects on marketing, web design, advertising, html, scripts, forms, graphics, and much, much more. These courses are often priced quite reasonably and in some cases will even give you credits toward further education.
You can also get a good education in what's 'working on the Web' right now by subscribing to some of the thousands and thousands of ezines that are out there. Many of these electronic newsletters (like this one) offer tons of valuable information for FREE. You are also likely to see advertisements for the latest and greatest innovations in marketing. That's okay too. You want to stay abreast of what's happening.
I must have subscribed to 50 or more ezines. While I certainly can't read them all I like to scan through them regularly to see what's new and to pick up on some marketing advice.
Find a mentor or buddy who won't mind helping you out in your efforts. These days many of the domain providers or their representatives offer ongoing assistance to their customers. This is just good marketing sense. Chat rooms and newsgroups are also a great way to tap into other people's knowledge. Joining an affiliate program can also give you the unexpected benefit of great marketing advice that can be universally applied.
There are certain subjects that you may have to reach into your pocketbook to acquire specific knowledge on. I offer two suggestions regarding this: 1) be careful, there are a lot of sharks out there, and 2) don't be afraid to spend a little money to save you a lot of time in learning.
This may seem slightly contradictory but what it really means is; if you need to know something and you've found a reputable source with whom you are comfortable then it does make sense to spend a couple of dollars.
“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”-- Jim Rohn
2) CREATE OR FIND A PRODUCT OR SERVICE THAT YOU CAN PROMOTE WHOLEHEARTEDLY
“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”-- Franklin D. Roosevelt
It's a very good idea to have a keen interest in what ever it is that you are selling. It's really not advisable to jump into some affiliate program simply because of the promise of riches. All of the great marketers enjoyed what they were doing long before they achieved noteworthy success.
The best product or service to offer is one of your own creation or at least one that you personally had a hand in developing. If you are not able to do this then take the program that you are with and make it personal to you. Try to be unique. Find a niche area that most people are not already covering.
“There is one thing stronger than all the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.” --Victor Hugo
3) JUMP IN. GET YOURSELF A SOLID INTERNET PRESENCE
"You'll seldom experience regret for anything that you've done. It is what you haven't done that will torment you. The message, therefore, is clear. Do it! Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of your life and savor it. Value your present moments. Using them up in any self- defeating ways means you've lost them forever." -- Wayne Dyer
A solid Internet presence does not include one of those free pages with address’s that read something like this www.imtoocheaptogetmyown/members/freepages/myname.htm. Now I may be exaggerating slightly but not much. My very first webpage address was 48 characters long. Yes, the page was FREE, but the results reflected that too (one $5.00 sale). They’re okay for personal pages and fooling around, but not if you want to be taken seriously. You really must acquire your own domain. No ifs, ands or buts about it!
Once you have; decided on a product or service, reserved the site name, and made your best deal on domain space, you’re ready to start marketing. The next order of business is to start the design of the site. Should you do it yourself or hire a professional? This is a tough question to answer. Some people have a natural artistic inclination, some don't. Some budgets don't allow for anything but doing it yourself. In that case the decision is simple.
I am a big believer in having the best possible first impression. You might consider hiring a professional to do the default page and create a template for further pages that you will make on your own. That being said, there is also a huge feeling of satisfaction in doing the job yourself from scratch.
My personal experience included learning how and doing it all myself in the beginning when I could afford the time, and later hiring a professional (who did a fabulous job), after my time became better spent focusing on the marketing.
Another absolute necessity for the serious web marketer is to publish an opt-in newsletter or ezine. This is how you stay in touch with your prospects and of course remind them to come back to your site. It could be something as elementary as alerting people to changes on your site or simple price updates. Or you could produce a full blown Electronic magaZINE. Again, you should be subscribing to other ezines for ideas and information.
Sidenote: Always seek out and obtain an authors permission before using all or part of their work. Plagiarism does not pay!
A lot of EZINES offer the reader information of great value for FREE. This accomplishes two things.
1) It establishes you as an expert, or at least a source of expert information.
2) It encourages the subscriber to keep reading your ezine regularly. Of course when they read the information they can't help but see the ads for your products or services.
Many successful ezine publishers will accept paid for ads from related non competing businesses. This can add a very nice profit center to your online business. A popular variation of this is to swap ezine ads with your competition. This will increase your exposure to other readers who may not have found your site otherwise.
"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." Walt Disney
4) GET BUSY! MARKET THAT PRODUCT.
"The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary." --Thomas A. Edison
The number one priority above all else is to get traffic. You can have the prettiest site, the best ezine, the most education, and the most fantastic product on the Internet, but it will gain you nothing if people don't get exposed to it. ‘Build it and they will come’ might work in the movies, but on the Internet you need TRAFFIC!
There are many more aspects to managing a successful Internet presence and we will discuss them in future issues. These are the basics, the starting point, the Micro View.
You probably have figured out by now that I am a big believer in motivational quotes. I‘d like to leave you with my all time favorite.....
“DESTINY is... not a matter of chance, it is a matter of CHOICE; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing ...to be ACHIEVED” William Jennings Bryan