Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be successful in internet marketing? Have you ever felt that if you could just get that one big lead from your marketing and if they bought from you that it would change your life and your business forever?
No more struggling…
No more waking up in the middle of the night worrying about the rent or mortgage payment…
No more fights with your spouse over money or the business…
Back in 1995 I was blessed with one of the best jobs a young man could have. I learned what it would one day be like to own my own business. Isn’t it funny how our lives are always preparing us for the next thing?
I was with the New England Life and Investment Company. In those days, people traditionally marketed through expensive TV, radio, newspaper and other print media.
Or you would be leads from a lead service that collected names and phone numbers. You had no way of knowing if the leads were qualified or not so one expect to spend a lot of time on the phone playing the numbers game and burning through “no’s” hoping to get one yes.
But, that’s not how the New England did it. I was hired to meet and sell investment portfolios to people with net assets of $20 million dollars or more. These weren’t people interested in $100,000 life insurance policy or a $50 a month deduction from their checking account to invest in a mutual fund.
I learned quickly that I had to identify my prospects through strong relationships and networking, by knowing how my products helped my audience and being able to communicate it in such a way that my prospect felt excited and inspired to buy from me.
That requires great marketing and salesmanship. I had a mentor at the New England who was the BEST teach me how to do it. I became so good so quickly that I made almost $100,000 in my first year. That was almost unheard of in 1995.
What I learned looking back on those experiences and all of the experiences owning six different businesses (all offline businesses that were marketed online) taught me over time how to see, understand and become successful.
I run into business owners every week who tell me that they know their traditional marketing isn’t working, they know they have to get online, but they don’t understand the internet.
The goal of this article is not to give you a list of “how to” items. For most of you those are meaningless without understanding the three basic principles of online marketing that I’m about to share with you.
So let’s get started…
#1 – Know What Business You’re “Really” In
If I were to ask you right now… What business are you really in? How would you answer it?
The first thing that might go through your mind is:
- Panic… what do I say?
- Really? He’s asking that question?
- Oh, that’s easy… I do…
I can really appreciate that some panic because they are really not sure and they are being honest with themselves.
I wish I had a dollar for every business owner that was dismissive of this question, and that is for one reason or another what’s happening with the last two responses.
But you really ought to consider the validity and power of that one question that seems so simple on the surface.
Here is why…
When you can really understand the answer to the question “what business am I “really” in?” you will become a powerful and inspiring person to be around!
People will get your business, understand your business and be more moved to think about you because you spoke to their business and needs; not yours!
They will be much more inclined to buy from you because they feel you understand them.
Let me give you a few examples.
Business 1 – Warehouse Academy
Warehouse academy trains moving companies on how to be safer, more efficient and more profitable as a result.
We came up with: I’m in the business of transforming moving companies by helping them become safer, more efficient, customer friendly, and profitable.
Business 2 – Merle Fisher
Merle is a graphic designer who creates high end logos. He could simply show his work and compete on looks and price without really understanding what makes him different from his competitors. But that’s not the direction he has taken.
We came up: I’m in the business of radically changing the way companies view themselves through the identity that I create with them.
Business 3 – Crossroads Freedom Center
Crossroads Freedom Center is a recovery ministry for addicts whose lives have been severely affected by addiction.
We came up: We are in the ministry of working with people who have little hope and introduce them to hope.
Defining what business you’re really in is not a simple task and sometimes it takes a lot of listening for the passion and then defining influence that a company wants to have. When you understand all the problems you specifically solve and can find the commonalities in them you can create an understanding of what business you’re really in.
Words are carefully crafted and chosen because this foundation will serve you in every single thing you do moving forward.
We can identify the problems that Crossroad’s solves when we start asking why people feel they have no hope? Why do they want hope? Who is feeling this way? How do we help them?
From there the messaging opportunities are powerful.
Every presentation, fundraising opportunity, volunteer need, etc… is built around bringing hope to those who want to recover from something but don’t know how to find the hope to do it.
This is the beginning of really learning your business, it’s not the destination so don’t think when this is done the work is completed. It’s not.
Here are a few other resources to read that will help you with this idea of learning what business you’re “really” in:
After you have tightly defined what you business you’re “really” in then you can understand the problems you solve and who you solve them for.
Once you know these foundational principles you are ready to connect, resonate with and engage with your prospects online in the following two ways in order to be successful in internet marketing. But, I caution you, if you skip this step you will not be ready for your audience.
#2 – Pay for Access to Your Audience
If you don’t have time or you don’t want to invest the time in building relationships and an online community you can pay cash for access.
Those methods might include:
- Google Adwords
- Facebook advertisements
- Banner ads on influential websites
- Paid links on websites
- Paying for search engine optimization and social media services
- Public relations campaigns that give you access to large audiences
Paying for access to an established audience can help you meet a lot of new prospects quickly. But, it can be expensive and you will likely not gain a lot of new prospects who come back over and over again which makes knowing your business all the more important so that your first impression is extremely sound and inspires the new audience you’re attracting.
#3 – Earn Access to Your Audience
What do I mean by “Earning Access”?
In a recent article I wrote on SEMRush.com, I shared that if you want to attract Google you could build an online community.
You earn access to a targeted audience of prospects and buyers when you know what business you’re really in and you choose to use your blog and social media in a strong, interesting and compelling way.
This is an important distinction from paying for an audience… you don’t necessarily have to create ongoing content in that model.
What does it look like to earn an audience?
It starts with writing over the top helpful content that makes a difference for someone or a business, or solves a real problem in their own language and in a persuasive way that they understand.
That takes some time to develop and energy to initiate and follow-up on.
But you can’t leave it there, you haven’t earned it yet.
You have to engage with influencers who have access to your audience but serve them in a different way. In the offline world we call this good networking.
We want introductions, but we have to be willing to first provide value to an influencer in exchange for that introduction.
That means you have to read their content (blogs and social media), engage with their content meaningfully and share it.
It means including them in your articles when it’s appropriate via links to their articles inside your blogs.
It means taking the time to get to know them personally. Send and email or perhaps find out if they would be open to talking on the phone?
You just have to get to know and benefit them before you should ask or expect them to do anything to help you. Remember, they have people coming at them all of the time asking for something. Instead of asking, consider giving.
Let me share some people that I’ve been extremely blessed to get to know, share and network with who serve the same audience I do but in a different way and who absolutely get it!
Earn your audience and you’ll never have to look back! I guarantee it!!!!!
There you have it, the three ways to be successful in internet marketing:
- Know the foundation of your business
- Pay for access to your audience
- Earn your audience
If you keep it in perspective the reality is that the “how to’s” will make more sense and be more helpful to you, and you’ll see much better results in your marketing.
The real truth is that you’re always paying for your marketing. You just have to decide if you want to pay cash for performance that results in more immediate results or cash for time which is slower but more deliberate; or how about both at one time for a one-two punch?
If you’re not sure how to understand what business you’re really in, my Foundations of Internet Marketing will help you solve this problem. It’s critical as I said to get this right before you even think about accessing an audience. If they don’t get you then all the money driving traffic to your website won’t make you money.
To take advantage of my free 60 minute consultation and learn how you can build a lasting foundation for your marketing click here or on the image below.
Latest posts by Don Purdum (see all)
- Closing Sales: How to Use Video to Close the Deal - May 26, 2016
- Build a Website: Find Its Purpose and Get Results - May 25, 2016
- Hire a Web Designer: How to Find the Perfect Match - May 24, 2016