Monday, May 21, 2007

The Online Trap

"You can't teach people to be lazy - either they have it, or they don't." - Dagwood Bumstead, from comic strip Blondie
I came to the French countryside thinking I knew an important “secret of success” to Internet marketing. My PowerPoint was ready and I was confident in my approach. My presentation went well and the audience seemed to understand my premises and conclusion. (I'll discuss my presentation and this "secret" later in the week.)

The trip was a great success although not because of anything I said or did... it was a triumph because of what I took away from the journey. I truly learned more from the other speakers and attendees than anything I could have communicated or taught them. I took away a more important "secret".

In fact, I'll never forget learning one absolute that I actually taught myself... and that is...

The biggest obstacle that will stand in the path of an Internet marketer is...


Thats' right... the key to reaching your goals is avoiding laziness AND apathy and focusing on pushing yourself, continuing your education and never giving up.

That sounds basic, eh?

But it's not. It can be too complex for those who enter the web-marketing field expecting greatness to come by just doing the least possible. Admit it, everything I write on the CVoD blog sounds easy and simple, right? But it’s not.

I recently read that 90% of Internet marketers drop out of the industry within 6 months. How can that be?

Internet marketing in my opinion is based on simple logic, simple business procedures, with a concentration on direct response marketing. Yet, I see thousands do it wrong everyday.

And when I finally stood back and asked myself why... in the midst of the French countryside... after drinking too much red wine... and talking too much web marketing... the Epiphany came... most marketers are lazy.

It is those marketers that push themselves to learn more and test more that are leading our industry and pushing their conversion levels to new highs.

There it is in a nutshell.

Let’s be honest here… I've been guilty of being lazy myself, I think we all have at one time or another.

How many times have we completed projects on our check list... only to look back at it 4 months later to say, "…ugh, how did that get published!"

It's easy to do, you're busy... you rush to completion... and a piece of tripe get published. The result?

Neither names nor sales occur, or if they do the page is terribly under
performing. You then put your head back down and go back to your check list.

Ugh… so wrong.

Are you doing your job? Technically yes... but you're not being a *marketer. A marketer must not cling to the checklist... a marketer must be more.

(*I am using the term "marketer" and not "web marketer" as I think this applies to all marketing, not just via the Internet)

A marketer must get it done... then review it... AND always look to make it better... in other words, test, test, and test.

Launching a page does not mean you are done. It's step one of hundreds.

Again, Internet marketing may seem simple to some in theory... but the practice is hard work. It's having pride in your pages... and working into the night until they are perfect. Then testing until improvement.

The lazy marketer doesn't test. The lazy marketer brings in the cheapest and easiest names. The lazy marketer works 9 to 5. The lazy marketer lets technology dictate their strategy.

As in life, apathy kills on the web. It's the one thing that I can't tolerate. Online, I've done every job from a practical standpoint. So I understand being overwhelmed and rushing. I understand how we can forget the basic principles as we rush at 100 miles per hour to market our products via the web. But I also understand opportunity costs... and how we lose money everyday we don't launch a campaign on time.

It's not a cliché when I say, "time is of the essence" AND "time is money".

If you believe that it is acceptable to say, "... lets just launch it tomorrow" then you are in the wrong business. Get out of marketing.

I’m not saying you need to work 80 hours a week. But I do think you need to work until the job gets done. I don’t care how long that takes.

I have always told people, “…contact me anytime - we’re always open!”

It's said tongue in cheek but it’s true. The Internet does not close… therefore I don’t either. I will work all day, and then check-in at night and on weekends. If needed that means being online late into the evening. In fact, I do my best SEO after my son goes to bed every night. It’s just a routine part of my day.

That being said...

My advice is to learn as much as you can from the successful marketers you have access to. Never stop learning. Never stop reviewing yourself and your business.

For your day-to-day operations... every now and then take a step back... make sure you are not making the mistake of rushing and cutting corners. Don't fall into the online trap of laziness. You can stop that.

You can stop that today… and instead apply the basics that you know.

And if you want to be... you can still be a marketer.


PS - I've been in web marketing for some 9 years... and after a week of listening to some of the marketing Masters... I am once again a marketer.