by: Dan Lok
Copyright 2005 Quick Turn Marketing International, Ltd.
To quote Peter Finch from the iconic 1970's film "Network": I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!
There are so many lies, half-truths, and misguided misinformation out there about online marketing that it's driving me crazy!
I just finished reading yet another ebook by yet another "successful" Internet marketing guru. It kills me because the only thing most of these gurus are successful at is selling themselves and their "snake oil" to unsuspecting business people.
They don't know squat about marketing a business on the Internet. But they do know how to push buttons. So these self-proclaimed "experts" LIE to you just to sell you their latest crap… books, tapes, and seminars or whatever it is they think they can get people to buy.
(Hell, I wouldn't be surprised is someone out there isn't selling the "Color by Number Marketing Kit" that comes with its own crayons!)
These gurus make it sound sooooo easy to make money online. They say stuff like, "You don’t need a computer connection" or "You don’t need any experience," or "You don’t need a lot of money."
According to them, you don’t even need a brain! You just need to BUY THEIR PRODUCT and you'll make a gazillion dollars online in 30 days… or less.
If you believe in that crap, you need to have your head examined!
I got news for you, Bucko. Marketing is work… and successful, bring-home-the-big-profits marketing is HARD work.
That's because marketing isn't a crapshoot or a game of chance. It's a business. And just like any other LEGITIMATE business, you need to invest time, effort and energy to make it grow into a successful enterprise.
And it even takes even MORE ENERGY to maintain that growth and manage your success for the long term.
Now it's definitely true that the "wonders" of technology make it easier to succeed with an online business than a retail store. And even a one-person operation can utilize email, autoresponders, and the Internet's global marketing capabilities to grow rich.
But although it's easier online, it’s still work.
I know it's work because it's the work I do! I am the mentor for the some of the most super-successful websites/internet business people on the planet. I'm the behind-the-scene the guy, helping “little” businesses that are generating $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 a month and "big" businesses with annual revenue figures of $1,000,000.00 and MORE.
There's one thing they have in common: they all agree with me that it takes dedication, commitment, and hard work to reap the benefits of selling online.
Simply put: you get out what you put it. My clients aren't at the top of their industries by just pure dumb luck. Their upwardly mobile climb takes ongoing dedication, forward-thinking, and careful planning. Their success demands creativity, persistence, specialized knowledge, a quality product or service… plus good old-fashioned, shoulder to the wheel and nose to the grindstone, hard work.
Of course, having a mentor helps, too!
So right now, I'm going to mentor you and tell you the facts behind the big lies told across the Internet by the gurus of "make believe," not marketing.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Big Lie #1: You don’t need ANY money to get started.= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
That’s just complete B.S. If you're flat broke and one paycheck from homeless, you’re gonna have a very tough time making it. Of course you need money to get started. Whaddya think… your smile is gonna pay the rent?
Now you don’t need a lot of money to succeed online, it's true… certainly less than it would take to build and open your own Widget Shop on Main Street. But you do need some operating capital… and it stands to reason that having a large bankroll couldn't hurt.
When your pockets are fat and your budget can include more money for “smart” marketing, you'll be able to see (and enjoy) the results of your efforts even faster.
In short, it takes money to make money.
It takes money to educate yourself… to research the marketplace... and to develop your product or service.
It takes money to get a domain name, it takes money to host your site. It takes cold-hard cash to hire a designer to program your site and a copywriter to write a killer sales letter for you. You even need money in order to get a merchant account so you can accept the money your website generates.
And most importantly, it takes money to DRIVE traffic to your site.
Yeah… I know… I know! There are all those "free" traffic-generating ideas that you can pursue. I do a lot of them myself… but I don't trust my success to traffic I can't control.
Most of the time, it costs me money to drive quality traffic to my site, and it will cost you, too. Could be Pay-Per-Click, could be running an ezine ad, could be doing some sort of offline promotion….
But the bottom line is -- you need to have a bottom line. Especially in the beginning, your cash-flow will be in one direction: OUT.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Big Lie #2: You don’t need a list.= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
This is almost as ridiculous as "you don't need money." Give me a break. Sales aren't made to the man in the moon… they're made to people on your list. People you have carefully cultivated and "primed."
You need to build a list because your money is IN the list!
You need to build a “herd” as quickly as humanly possible… but don’t purchase one of those deals where you "GET A MILLION EMAILS ON ONE CD." (That's not a list -- that's spam-in-the-making.)
And don’t do the co-registration deal. With this approach, where people go to a site to subscribe to a particular newsletter that they want, they find a checkbox (or other response mechanism) "advertising" your offer. If they're interested, they check the box to agree to receive mailings from you.
This sounds like a good way to get traffic because unlike spam, you've been given permission to make contact. The problem is these people don’t know you from squat. To them, the checkbox is just an invitation for another form of spam.
The online sales game -- any successful sale, in fact -- is about connecting with the right buyer and make the right offer. The right buyer comes from the right list.
The best approach to list-building is strictly OLD SCHOOL: build it from scratch. That way, your list people are "pre-qualified" from the start. They KNOW you right from the beginning. They want to hear from you. They want to learn more from you. They want to listen to what you have to say.
And with a list of people like that, it doesn't take long before they'll want to BUY from you
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Big Lie #3: You don’t need a product or service.= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Crap. Crap. Crap.
Let's try a little role-playing game. Pretend you and I were thinking about starting an offline business together. What if I said to you, "Oh, don't worry… all we need to do to succeed is open our store. We don’t need any products or services. But we'll still make oodles of money!"
You'd think I was crazy, right?
Well, then why in the world would you believe the same line of crap when it's being fed to you on the Internet by some expert whose credentials can't be verified?
Commerce is all about products and services and if you want to do business, you NEED a quality product or service to sell. Preferably multiple products and services so that you can back-end sell your existing customers and increase their value to you exponentially by turning them into customers for life.
Do I hear you asking, "Dan, what about those super-affiliates who are making a lot of money promoting other’s products and services?"
That's a good question because yes, there are some exceptions to this rule. But the list of exceptions who do well with someone else's product or service is very short. Plus there are a lot of potential risks to being the middleman.
For example, let me ask you this: what if that company you’re promoting products for go out of business? What if they change their products? Where does that leave you?
The answer: High and dry.
And I can’t even begin to tell you how many affiliate "horror stories" I've heard. It's common to hear about vendors not paying affiliates on-time. Or to learn that customers may bypass the affiliate link, so you don’t get paid.
Vendors tracking software screws up, there are "technical difficulties" so you don’t get credited for the sale… and on, and on, and on.
And here's a killer: more often than not, you don’t get to keep the customer, they do. Many affiliate programs are set up so that you only get credit for the first sale a consumer makes. After that, all the profits stay with the vendor.
They keep all the back-end profits.
And when they back-end sell their products and services, you don’t get a dime. It doesn't matter that your links are making the vendor rich. The effort is yours, but the profit is theirs.
When it comes to my income… I'm a control freak! But affiliate programs are out of your control. Your financial well-being is in someone else's hands… and there's nothing you can do to manage your success.
You can't test different things on your site because it’s NOT your site. You can't change what's not working because it's not yours to change. All you can do is cross your fingers and hope for the best…
Hardly a recipe for success, I think you'll agree.
I am not saying you can’t promote other peoples products, but very often you should do it as a back-end, not front-end. You front-end your own stuff, and you can back-end other products and services.
There's still one more problem with promoting other people's stuff: when you stop promoting, your income also stops. You have to constantly be on the lookout to find the NEXT red-hot product and constantly be inking the next great deal.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Big Lie #4: You don’t need any experience.= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Of course, you need experience to succeed online! The only job in the world that doesn't need experience is "virgin."
If you want to make money, you need to get hip as quickly as humanly possible. You need to figure out what works, what doesn't, and how you can use all the "tricks of the trade" to build your success.
That’s why having a mentor works. Working with someone who's "been there and done that" can save you time and money.
Your income can only grow to the extent that you do. You must educate yourself… and you must be open to the process.
Be prepared to make mistakes, try new things, and push yourself beyond your safe, secure comfort level. Do whatever it takes to earn your Masters at the School of Hard Knocks. Learn your lessons and develop the skill sets you need to make the kind of money you want to make.
On this season's The Apprentice, Donald Trump put two teams in a head-to-head competition: book smarts and street smarts. You don't have to play for one team or another, you can take the best of both worlds for your success strategy.
It pays to be educated and street-wise. Knowledge comes from books… and experience.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Big Lie #5: You don’t need any technical knowledge= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
This really is more of a medium-sized lie. It's definitely true that you can be a master online marketer even if you don't programming, HTML codes… and all that stuff. (Hey, you can watch television without understanding how it works!)
However… while you don’t need to know the how-to, you DO need to know what needs to be done and what YOU need for your site. If you don't, you're as "at risk" for being had as a 17-year old car owner who visits the Bad Guys Auto shop.
I'm the first to admit that before I got smart, I was screwed-over and taken advantage of by several dishonest webmasters. They did a lot of unnecessary programming and sent me a hefty bill. They charged me a lot of money and gave me crap.
I definitely overpaid… but I didn't know any better. But you can be damn sure I rectified that situation with a little "quick study."
I found out for myself that it doesn’t hurt to have a little of technical knowledge. If you're familiar with basic HTML -- at least when you want make changes to your site, you can do so instantly.
There are many things that only a programming professional will be able to do for you. But it's nice when you don’t have to go to your webmaster and pay them per hour for a fix that could easily be a do-it-yourselfer.
If you're the "exception that proves the rule" and are making money hand-over-fist as a super-marketer, you may disagree that the four big lies are lies at all. Congratulations on your success… but take it from me.
For the average… even the above-average person… online marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a business and you have to treat it like a business. So if you're not yet rolling in dough, but would like to be part of the Internet moneymaking machine…
Don’t buy into all the hype. Think it through. Use your common sense. Don't try and get rich quick or you may find yourself in the poor house! BUT… you CAN and you WILL make money if you’re willing to do what it takes.
About the author:
Dan Lok is known as "The World's ##1 Website Conversion Expert", with a proven track record of selling over $25.7 million dollars of merchandise and services. Dan has resuscitated copy that was previously in "critical condition" and helped his clients to double and triple their conversion rates… some as much as 417%!!! More than 200 websites have been "Lok-ed" and loaded for Internet action.