Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Nov 10, 2008
Since I got onto Twitter, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a few of the top internet marketers in the world, and I think that’s a good thing. I’ve learned a few things from some of them, and I hope that some of those lessons I’ve learned will work very well later on.
but know some things…
One will find that even a guru doesn’t always have all the answers. I got lucky one day to have a conversation with one of the gurus, whose name I’m not going to mention here. It started on Twitter, then moved to email.
I began by saying that there’s a lot of information out on the internet and a lot of programs that talk about this and that as it relates to internet marketing, but that I had yet to find one that could answer specific questions of mine. He asked me what I meant, so I laid out a few things.
At one point he said he’d have to see the types of things I was doing overall, which was never done as far as I know, but I don’t have a problem with that because people get busy. However, that wasn’t really what I was looking for, and I told him so. I then said that there was one big question that no one has ever answered, and he asked what that was. I told him this; the big question was what’s the very first thing is that someone should do to build a list.
For instance, everyone says to build a website or a blog, put something on there for people to subscribe to you, and you’re good to go. Well, no you’re not; if you build it, they WON’T necessarily come. If you don’t have a big name already, it’s now time to drive traffic to your site.
When you start, you don’t have an email list. You don’t already have a reputation, so people don’t know if they can trust you to buy from you. You can go visit blogs and get traffic that way, but of course that takes time. You can write on forums and maybe some of those people will follow you, but that takes time. Not that taking time is such a bad thing, but when you read all this stuff or listen to audio or watch the videos, almost all of them seem to promise more immediacy than that.
I specifically wrote this:
“So, my point is that there’s probably a lot of good advice, but it doesn’t start low enough for beginners. It’s easy to say ‘build a list’; it’s much harder for someone to give point by point, realistic advice on how to do it. “Build it and it will come” doesn’t equate well in the marketplace, even if you can get to number one on Google for your specific search terms. In the words of Ramon from Happy Feet, I’ve done everything ‘penguinely possible’ (if you know the movie, this line makes sense) to generate online sales, as far as I know, and haven’t broken even. It’s a good thing I’m a pretty good consultant in my field otherwise.”
His response: “I’ll have to think about it.
That’s not a condemnation, by the way, just a reality. Even some of the gurus don’t remember how they started. Or maybe they do; maybe they were in on that early wave of spammers, who weren’t know as spammers at the time because that’s just how everyone else sold their products. I remember in the early 2000’s reading about buying mailing lists, which was a much bigger business than it is today, and I wouldn’t doubt that many folks bought these lists and just started pounding the emails without any remorse whatsoever.
That doesn’t work for me, and I doubt it works for most of you who read this blog. Even today, we get pounded by a ton of emails, sometimes from folks we don’t know, but it’s changed because, what one discovers, is that if you signed up for that free report and gave your email address, it’s given to everyone in that person’s realm sometimes, and you’re an open book. It’s one reason I created a second email address, so that all those things I sign up for go there, unless I know who I’m dealing with. That’s a good tip to use, by the way, because it helps you to segregate what’s what.
The overall point is that sometimes you just have to take your shot at doing what you think may be the right way to go, and not expect someone to be able to tell you point by point how to get there. The best information may not work for everyone, but that doesn’t invalidate what you do learn.
Starting is half the battle, learning is half the fun. And the traffic and sales,… well, hopefully that’ll come with whatever passion you’re able to show in your website or blog. We earn what the market will bear; we just have to be willing to take some chances and try a few things, as long as we don’t hurt our comfort zone.