Although I have always been interested in the Internet since its inception, it wasn’t until about six years ago that I started heavily studying it and trying to make a living by marketing online. What a wild ride that has been! I think one specific story will give you an example to understand where I’ve been.
Several years ago I was marketing an online business that seemed to be fairly legitimate. I won’t give the name here because it has since been completely dissolved. Although search engine optimization (SEO) is something that people hear now on a regular basis, at the time it was an intriguing novelty. A company called me up and said that they would guarantee me first page listings for several search terms for only $3200 through SEO.
If I would’ve taken that $3200 and thrown it in the trash, at least I would’ve known where it went!
But I knew that the Internet was the future and although it really upset me, it did not deter me. In fact the more I learned about the Internet, the more I became infatuated with it. I bought almost everything I could find and spent my life (and my life savings) on learning what this all meant. There was something so intriguing and interesting about this new medium. I had been involved in digital printing and was a pioneer in the industry since 1992, but was too involved in that at the time to take advantage of the new things on the Internet happening in the late 90s. I wasn’t a pioneer this time.
But this was something different. All the traditional mediums of newspaper, television, radio, billboards, posters, bus wraps, banners, postcards, etc. were means of advertising that were “in your face”. Every one of them tried to jolt you out of your trance to get you to buy their product or see their show. I know, because I printed thousands of them for hundreds of customers.
The Internet is a place for people to go to find things you sell to solve their problem. And, as I soon found out, it had the ability to track just about every single aspect of an online consumers experience. It could track where they came from, what webpage they were on before they visited this one, which search engine they used, what search terms they used, and even the resolution of their monitor (if you wanted to know that).
This ability to track consumer behavior was absolutely fascinating to me because you could find out in an instant what was going on: if a certain search word work better than another; if one color work better than another; if one video worked better than another; if one banner ad pulled in more customers; if one browser worked better than another, etc.
No other medium had this power!
All of them had some “human” way to track what was going on, mostly just by measuring the number of sales created. Television and Radio had its Nielsen ratings and newspapers promised to broadcast your ad to everyone in the Valley if you will just put it in there long enough to get the results you’re looking for. But the Internet had instant feedback like nothing else and accuracy that defied the best traditional prognosticators of marketing available.
Anyway, to make a long story short, I decided that if I was going to spend all this money on all kinds of programs, coaching, seminars, webinars, telephone calls, books, CDs, DVDs, and the like related to this industry, then why not do it the right way, in an organized fashion from experts in the field who could be verified as legitimate in their knowledge? Why not do it in such a way that would make sense? Why not follow a specific and organized plan that could bring about the results I was looking for?
I decided to go get a Masters Degree in Internet marketing and I achieved my goal as of October 1, 2010. Even though it was an extremely difficult 13 month program that required between 20 and 35 hours per week (rarely seeing my family and never having a free Saturday!), it was worth it. I also am proud to announce that I won “Best In Class” from a vote of my peers and the professors. I didn’t even know that was an option until 3 weeks before we graduated!
So what does all this mean to you? It means that you can know that I’m not a fly by night organization or company. You can know that I put forth the time and effort to become an expert in the field. You can know that I’m here for the long haul and want to make things right to produce the results you’re looking for.
What I didn’t really know, was that I was jumping into an industry that is becoming laden with shysters and profiteers alike. I have been talking to a woman who owned a hairdressing salon about doing some marketing with her. She wanted me to come back in a month when he thought she would have some more money. Two weeks later an individual came along promising her all kinds of results if she would just pay $100 per month. Apparently he was quite persuasive because after he got his $10 haircut, she paid him $100 and was looking for some results.
He never called back. She paid him $90 for the privilege of cutting his hair!
I wish this was a singular story but apparently it is happening over and over again. There is great mystery surrounding the Internet and people are being taken advantage of because they don’t really have time to understand all of the details and ins and outs of such a complicated medium. To say that the Internet has changed over the last 10 years would be the understatement of the decade. To try to keep up with that change is about as difficult as building any business could be.
My goal is to do everything I can to get your business found online. Most people know that the yellow pages don’t work anymore (except for just a few industries). Most people have seen diminished results from traditional advertising mediums and they know they need to market online, but they just don’t know where to start or know what to do. They get phone calls every single day from Internet marketing call centers all over the country promising them great results for only a few hundred dollars per month, but the results never seemed to materialize.
I’m here to change that, but I need you to know that there are some ground rules that we have to follow. Here are just a few of them:
- Marketing on the Internet is a “learn as you go” program. We need to find what works best for you. No two businesses or markets react the same way online.
- While every business needs a website (contrary to what some people will tell you) a website is never enough. Without marketing that website, your results will be nowhere near your desired goals.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Never buy a packaged program that “works for everyone.” They never last.
- The advertising battleground has now been reduced to the size of your monitor for the attention of customers and prospects.
- The competition is going to get worse and worse down the road. Be prepared to keep up with those changes.
- There are more and more laws relating to the Internet that are being written on a daily basis. It is important to keep up to date with what is considered legal online.
- Blackhat techniques (methods that are unethical) are never a viable option for your marketing efforts. They will always produce a negative result over time.
- Your website needs to be a living and breathing thing that requires daily (or at a minimum weekly) attention. Long gone are the days when you could hang out a “shingle” called a website and leave it there for people to find you. They will not.
- We have only seen the teeniest, tiniest tip of the iceberg regarding this industry! I’m here to tell you that you have no idea how much the Internet will affect your business in the coming decade! If you are aware of its potential, invest in its future and keep up with the changes, you will reap rich rewards.
- If you are not online now, that teeny little iceberg will sink your business unless you make drastic changes.
- Internet marketing is more than just a SEO or PPC! It’s far bigger than most people realize and encompasses things such as: video marketing, article marketing, PPC, RSS, game based marketing, branding, social media (Facebook, twitter, etc.), banner advertising, e-mail marketing, mobile marketing, etc.
If you’re ready to get more customers for your business through all the methods under the umbrella of “Internet Marketing” please call me at 775-722-4949 or e-mail me at KellySmithMarketing@Gmail.com. I promise you that I will do my best to help you reach your marketing goals. And you will get a weekly report showing exactly what is happening with your website.
Call me today and you can get a free video analysis of your site to show how well its doing and some things to change to make it rank better. Call me at 775-722-4949 but you must hurry because I can’t do everyone. There is a limit on this offer and first come, first served.