I know, I know, 'tis the time of year to see post after post and email after email about your goals for 2010. They make you feel a little bad because they infer that you didn't reach your goals for 2009.
But in reality, I bet you met some, if not most of your goals, didn't you? And just think how far you've come! Seriously, look back to where you were a year ago and take note of all that you've learned since then.
It's true, we sometimes get that deer-in-the-headlight look when we've got too much information coming at us, but it's also true that we've taken some action. Did you notice when you took the action path you came up against walls - some short and fairly easy to scale, and others that required a friend with a ladder to get over?
Pat yourself on the back and know that 2010 can be even better! I know that as your business continues to grow, you will continue to learn and grow.
What one thing do you really, really, really want to learn to do in Online Marketing in 2010? This can be a small thing, something that has been bugging you, or a big concept. Let me hear it now!
P.S. May your walls all be short ones in 2010.
"Never part with your dreams. When they're gone, you might still exist, but you cease to live." - unknown
Many online marketers fail because they do not know what their business is. Those who write ebooks and short reports believe they are in the ebook information business, while software creators or marketers both think their business is software. Neither one is even close.
When people trying to run a business do not have a clear idea of what that business actually is they will be unable to produce business plans, write compelling sales copy or build a loyal following. In short, they will not have a business at all.
Regardless of what your product is, your only business is MARKETING. It doesn't matter if your business is online or in a retail store in a mall. Your business is MARKETING. Successful marketers develop a marketing mindset. No one was born with it. They learned how to think like a marketer and to make decisions marketers need to make.
Your first step in this process is to develop a marketer's mindset, rather than an ebook seller's mindset, for example. If you've been selling products on eBay or on your own website, you've probably been consumed by finding interested niches, driving traffic, testing ads for conversion rates and building a list. As necessary as those tasks are, they are the product of a seller's mindset and, while you might make some sales with that mindset, your business will not soar to new heights.
In order to develop a powerful marketing mindset, you have to learn to focus on the one question that will govern every step you take online. All of your business decisions have to be looked at though this question: "How will this action provide true benefits and create loyalty among my customers?" If you cannot provide an answer to that question, you might want to rethink your plan of action.
For all the planning, designing, researching and testing that goes into a successful marketing campaign, the customer is actually in charge of your business. All your success depends on a sale of your products or services and that is 100% dependent on your customer and THEIR needs.
When you develop a successful marketer's mindset, you will understand the motivations that make your customers buy from you. You have to find out what they need and what they want before you start offering products to them. If you are a member of several forums, read the questions that are asked in any category and focus on providing solutions to them. That's a ready-made, customer-driven market for your specific answers provided as a short report, longer ebook or services.
In the past, marketing was all about selling products to a constantly changing market made up of anonymous customers who made a purchase and disappeared. Giant sales based on holidays or current events were designed to bring that anonymous customer back to the store or service to make another purchase. The customers were still anonymous.
Today's marketplace, the worldwide Internet, has demanded a shift from anonymous marketing to building personal, nurturing relationships with customers and that demands exceptional, over-the-top customer service, to start with. Your customers need to develop a personal, trusting relationship with you or they won't even open your emails and, eventually, will just unsubscribe. Click...Gone!
What used to be an Internet of quickly-built, simple web pages promoting products to an anonymous audience no longer exists. The new marketing principles are based on a social Web, with people interacting directly with each other and mega businesses. Open communication and honest answers have become the driving force behind any online relationship.
Those relationships are dynamic, vital and dependent on the customer's behavior, attitudes and interests. Now, a single customer in a very small town, way out in the country someplace, can reach out and grab the attention of a mega company on the other side of the globe and have an effect on their customer service or the products they provide.
Now that's worth thinking about!
There's no doubt in my mind that Internet marketing has a pretty steep learning curve. While it may be true that some new marketers hit it big quickly with some good timing, offline experience, luck, great contacts, and being correctly positioned, the majority of new marketers find success at a much slower pace.
What makes the pace even slower is getting stuck. It's like getting your car stuck in the mud - you spin your wheels, waste gas, waste time, throw mud all over... and don't go anywhere. You're tired and frazzled and you've got nothing to show for it.
When I get stuck with my Internet marketing, I try to stop banging my head against the wall and come up with something that will be a positive action such as:
- Google the problem.
- Go to the Warrior Forum and look it up with the search function.
- Look in Yahoo Answers.
- Email my techie friend, my marketer friend, or my WordPress friend (which is one reason I love networking with other marketers.)
- Post my problem on a forum.
- Look for YouTube videos that might explain how to do it.
- Submit a help ticket.
As you may have discovered, there is an art to writing blog posts for the viewers who read your blog. Before you write each blog post, you first must decide what outcome or what result, you are looking to achieve.
- Do you want people to buy a product you're promoting?
- Do you want to get comments and feedback?
- Are you looking for Diggs and Stumbles and Tweets?
- Maybe you're trying to build up your image as the expert in your field?
- Are they beginners, intermediates, or fellow experts?
- Which group buys the most from you?
- Which group tends to comment the most?
Once you know the who you are writing for, you have to find your own voice. Instead of thinking about every single person who will read your blog post, try putting a picture of one person in your mind. That's right, you're going to write as if you are writing to one person. He/she can be fictitious, another marketer you are friends with, or one of your customers who you've had some past conversations with. Just make sure it is someone friendly.
As you think about this friendly person, write your post in a friendly manner and don't forget to put your personality in it. Travis Sago, of Bum Marketing fame, fills his emails to overflowing with his personality, and his subscribers love him for it. He comes across as real, honest, trustworthy, and funny. But make sure you don't try to be Travis or someone else; you have to be yourself or it won't ring true.
Think about some of the posts you've read at other marketers' sites and what you've liked about them. The best ones are usually when the marketer puts some personal info in them. Don't make it long, boring or too personal, just some little ditty that happened to you lately or maybe some-thing that pokes fun at you. People like to know who they're dealing with - it brings trust into the equation, and that can convert very well indeed. And not only that, it's more fun for you.
So to repeat: Decide what results you want before you write. Know your audience. Write to one friendly and interested face. Add your personality and include glimpses of your life.
If you can do all of this then you've got the makings for some awesome blog posts!
(No affiliate links were included in this post)
Positive thinking is a very powerful thing. We are not talking about the power of attraction, but the power within you to accept change in its various forms. If you’re a current or future business owner, you must realize the success of your company depends on being able to think positively and embrace and learn from the changes that happen.
Free Your Mind – What Does That Mean Exactly?
When you started your business, there were probably acceptable practices and standards for success. It could be anything from increasing interaction with customers to using a time-tested method for getting the sale.
That is a good place to start. Other entrepreneurs have a lot of helpful advice to contribute to new business owners. Add to that an attitude of choice. Some businesses die from lack of creativity and willingness to change when necessary.
It is true that what goes down will eventually come back up, but can your business wait that long? Living in unpredictable economic times is a call to action on your part.
Open your mind to the possibilities that can keep your business successful and not add you to the heap of the dead and dying.
Get Back to Basics
Maybe it’s time to start over. Go back to your original business plan and marketing strategies. You may have decided on one course of action to get the business started. Now could be the perfect time to niche into a more defined product.
Here are the advantages:
• More targeted marketing strategies
• Higher sales
Previously, you were looking to reach a more diverse group of customers. For every 200, you may have made a sale to at least half of them. With a niche market, you have 200 customers that you know are interested in your type of product and your sales may increase to 150. Is that worth it? Yes!
Your business plan also includes how you will package your product. For those marketing information, this is a great time in business. Article marketing is a mainstay but why limit yourself? Now, you can market your product through video, audio (podcast, CDs) or a combination of both. Expand your product line to include these media outlets and increase your customer base in the process.
They say that success is its own reward, but that’s only true if you are willing to pursue it. When you allow yourself to dream big, the sky is the limit. Sure, sales may be slow when you first implement the new strategies or you’ll have to overcome a learning curve to get started.
Think of the alternative: You won’t grow without the attitude and vision to see beyond where you are now.
In her down-to-earth, sincere and often humorous style, Rosalind Gardner guides you through the entire process of building an affiliate marketing business on the 'Net.
Frequently revised and updated to reflect industry changes, the Super Affiliate Handbook now consists of 235 pages and 235 screenshots that will show you step-by-step how to become a Super Affiliate. , you'll learn how to pick the best programs, negotiate a commission raise and save time, money and effort on everything from affiliate software to web hosting.
To learn exactly how she does it, Click Here.