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Don't Play Follow The Leader

The Internet marketing machine is like a large information freight train running out of control, 99 miles an hour down a dead end street. There is so much information and misinformation it's getting harder and harder to tell the difference. To make things even more difficult to understand, what works and what doesn't work today is changing all the time.

The root of the problem is the marketing strategy that worked well six months ago, may or may not work today. If an approach works for you it may not necessarily work for me.

The newest cutting-edge marketing information is almost always stale by the time it's published. In addition there is a time lag between when a new marketing approach is conceived and when it goes mainstream.

Don't Do Exactly What Everyone Else Is Doing.

If you do what everyone else does, you will get what everyone else gets. One reason Internet businesses fail is because there is nothing new or interesting in their approach. In most markets there are more people selling than people who are buying.

The Gold Rush Mentality

In the California Gold Rush of the 1850's many businesses earned more money than the miners, by selling gold pans, transportation and supplies to them. Many prospectors wasted their life savings on scams and non-existent gold claims. I see the same things happening on-line today. THE FIRST few people to stake a claim to a new market are the ones making most of the money.

Adapt A Franchise Mentality

Have you ever wondered why a higher percentage of franchise owners are successful? Here are three of the main reasons.
  1. The franchise owner is 100% committed. The costs are so high, that commitment to success is absolute. Treat your sixty-dollar business like a sixty thousand dollar business and you will be more likely to become profitable!

  2. Treat your business like it is a business! Not like a hobby! A franchise is researched carefully; detailed plans are required; nothing is left to chance.

  3. The franchise owner expects to success to take time. Many Internet Marketers expect success almost overnight.

The Saturated Market

Often people tell me they want to fashion their business after my business. I try to discourage them because there is less and less money to be made in an over-saturated market. In fact, selling marketing tools and information products to beginning marketers is perhaps the most over- saturated market on the Internet.

I advise people to learn what everyone else is doing - then do something different!

Push vs. Attraction Mentality

Most self-proclaimed "Internet Marketing Gurus" still recommend a website design that works very much like an infomercial on TV. Television infomercials work because the broadcast medium can accurately saturate the airwaves with enough hype so that eventually the sales message gets through. The constant media bombardment wears many down and some buy just to satisfy their curiosity. The small businessperson can't afford to compete due to the cost of television media time.

On-line marketers are not able to broadcast their sales message to anyone who happens to leave the TV on. We reach our customers by attracting them to our websites, usually for unique information or with the offer of a solution to an existing problem.

The Prevailing Marketing Formula

1) Write a ton of sales copy, fill it full of action verbs and lists of selling points, often called benefits.

2) Offer a high "NORMAL" sales price. Then offer a limited time discount and a money back guarantee.

3) Pepper the "long copy" with a liberal application of testimonials.

4) Offer several "Free Bonuses" near the end of the sales copy and tell people that the bonuses are available NOW and may not be available later. They must buy today - right now!

There is nothing really wrong with this marketing formula, it still works, especially for information products and novelty items that sell for under $50 on-line.

Even The Leaders Are Playing Follow The Leader

The problem is EVERYONE including the leaders is doing the exact same things. It seems like hardly anyone is thinking for himself or herself.

Most Internet marketers start by choosing a product to sell, and then research & develop a market afterwards. Let's turn that tactic around. Start with a subject that you already have a special interest and expertise in.

Find A Market That Is Easy To Reach

1) Start by defining your market, choose one that is NOT saturated.

2) Develop a marketing strategy to reach this market.

3) Identify or develop a product specifically for this target market.

Push vs. Pull

Traditional marketing is a PUSH medium. The Internet is a PULL medium. We are accustomed to PUSH marketing through the conventional media channels. We are used to having the broadcast media surround us. It runs on and on, with or without anyone paying any attention. You can't buy "eyeballs" on-line nearly as easy as through the conventional media broadcast medium.

The Principal Of Attraction

You ATTRACT visitors and sales online through the principal of ATTRACTION. In other words you attract visitors to what they are already looking for, a solution for an existing desire. Using this principal of attraction you don't find people they find you. People will find you in many ways. The ticket is to understand the nature of their unfulfilled desire, in order to fill it.

Using the principal of attraction you can use free or low cost marketing techniques. You can take advantage of free promotional techniques like keyword placement and optimization in the major search engines. You can buy highly targeted keywords, banners, or classified ezine ads targeted to your unique market.

Don't Follow "The Three Foot Rule"

Rather than marketing to anyone who gets close enough to talk to you, you can place your information and sales letters where customers are already looking for the solution to their need. This method is much cheaper but requires more advance planning and testing to succeed.

OK Here Is The Rule

I learned the following rule from Corey Rudl in his Internet Marketing Course. It's taken some time to really sink in, even though it's a very direct and simple rule.
"FIND A MARKET that is easy to reach and then find a need in that market that you can fill. This is the easiest way to success and almost EVERYONE OVERLOOKS IT".

This week's article by VR Robert Smith
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