It’ll suck you in before you know what’s happening. And once it does, there’s no turning back.
I’m talking about the Black Hole of Internet Marketing.
It all starts out innocently enough. You hear from a colleague or friend about the amazing success they’ve had with AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Or maybe you read an interesting article about blogging or SEO.
So you start poking around for more information and find gurus on the subject that seem to offer good information and insights. You download an eBook, whitepaper or free report. Then download 2 or 5 or 20 more.
Next, you listen in on some teleseminars, get yourself on a few email lists, and maybe even purchase a product from the guru that promises going to skyrocket your sales through the roof.
But wait! Look over there. What’s that shiny object? Ohh, autoresponders. And what about video marketing? Wow, did you know about that secret for climbing up the search rankings?
When times are tough, the tough get – marketing online?
This trap is especially well baited during tough economic times when sales and leads are sliding and entrepreneurs are looking for anyway they can to reverse the trend. The allure of fast, free, and easy is a powerful magnet that has drawn millions into marketing online.
And rightfully so. When used smartly, a lot of this stuff really works. And works well.
My warning is not against online marketing in and of itself. It’s against you – the entrepreneur – getting sucked into it so deeply that you start ignoring the heart and soul of your business.
You’re a plumber, coach, speaker, accountant, attorney, florist, etc. first and foremost – NOT an internet marketer.
As someone who is an internet marketer, I can tell you that it is MORE than a full time job to keep track of all the ways to possibly market your business, drive traffic to your website, social network and more online. Even those of us who do it for a living only really truly master a couple of online marketing strategies – at the most.
The trap is set when you get so caught up in the excitement, the technology, and the promise of fast, easy sales online that you let other, more critical aspects of your business slide.
Improving your product/service or developing new ones.
Spending face-to-face time with prospects and customers.
Continually reading and educating yourself so you become even more valuable to customers and more of an expert in your chosen field.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t actively be involved marketing your business – whether it’s online or off. Just the opposite, I think most entrepreneurs don’t take enough responsibility for their own marketing efforts. No one knows you’re business better than you and you should absolutely take full control of marketing your business.
Just don’t get caught up chasing the latest and greatest free (there’s no such thing as free), easy (that’s a relative term) and fast (not if you do things right and want to build for long term success) online marketing tactics.
How to avoid the trap
My advice? Pick ONE.
Pick one online marketing strategy that makes sense for your business. I find the best way to start is to think about what’s worked the best for you offline and find out how to do it online.
For example, say you’ve had great success networking. Then absolutely start exploring social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Chances are, you’ll get the hang of things pretty quickly and start learning how to use it effectively for your business.
And as far as all the other shiny objects out there on the Internet? By all means, get a basic understanding of what’s available out there so you can make intelligent decisions about which ones make sense for your business. I’ve started compiling a list of online marketing resources to help entrepreneurs do just that.
But once you’ve chosen one to focus on, bring experts in to help you with the others. Let them worry about all the latest and greatest strategies, techniques, etc. It’s their job to keep up on these things – not yours.
And, if you bring in the right expert and work with them to market your business online, it will cost you much less in the long run than trying to do it all yourself and getting sucked into the ever expanding Black Hole of online marketing.
Trust me, I know.
Now that you’ve been duly warned, I, uh, ohh, shiny . . .
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