The Internet is a great place to do business, whether you’re a retailer selling a particular line of products or a service provider making your living on the Internet. However, there is one age-old business problem that never seems to go away: people won’t buy what they don’t know about.
This is where Internet marketing comes in. Internet marketing involves using various tools and services to let your business reach a wider base of potential customers. Good Internet marketing will bring in a significant number of clients, keep them interested, and make them more than happy to purchase more of your products.
However, a not-so-good Internet marketing program will be a complete waste of time and money. In the worst-case scenario, you could even do more harm than good to your business if the marketing strategy is poorly thought out. Strangely enough, most people fail in their Internet marketing strategies not because they lack the knowledge or technical capabilities to use Internet Marketing well.
SEO, HTML, opt-in lists, landing pages – all will not matter if the would-be marketer does not know how to succeed with the tools at their disposal. Let me be clear: this article is not a technical manual on the finer points of Internet marketing. No tutorials, no tests, no benchmarks. This article aims to supplement your technological know-how and give you an idea of what to do with your skills and knowledge. It will allow you to channel your efforts and create far-reaching plans.
In short, this article will teach you how to be successful in your first year in Internet marketing. The Mindset of a Successful Internet Marketer. A successful marketer needs a vision to be able to succeed. No, I am not talking about some grand, messianic vision or something. I am talking about an idea that will define where all the Internet marketing efforts will go. This vision will allow you to focus your efforts on something more productive and will allow you to truly succeed in Internet marketing. But before you can define your dream, you must first assume the mindset of a successful marketer. This mindset is, in turn, composed of different frames of thought. Here are some of the more important ones:
Honest and Sincere
The first thing I must tell you is that no truly successful Internet marketer is a sham and a fraud. The stereotype of the Internet marketer who sidelines as a ruthless vulture and snake oil salesman is an image that is, sadly, more commonly adopted than I would like. But let me tell you that being a successful Internet marketer means being successful in the long run – and you cannot succeed if you start your career as a fraudster. The rewards from fraudulent sales or deceptive marketing strategies are immediate and attractive, but you cannot build a marketing empire with foundations laid on lies and deceptions. An Internet marketer with a name built upon reliable business and customer satisfaction will yield more rewards in the long run than an anonymous ghost who has to change terms now and then lest they face criminal charges.
Willing to Experiment
One of the marks of a successful Internet marketer is the willingness to try things out. Many would-be marketers spend months (even years) studying how to use Internet marketing effectively. This is all well and good, but it will be for nothing if you are unwilling to put your skills out on the open market, where they will be tested under pressure. The truth is that there is no absolute recipe for success as an Internet marketer. You have to grit your teeth and dive into the whole mess. You learn faster and will discover what works and what does not in your particular line of work. Your mistakes cannot be considered failures if you learn from them and use them to better yourself.
Reflects and Learn From Mistakes
Just because an experiment fails does not mean you should just up and forget it. The whole point of experimenting is to find out what works and what does not. If something you just implemented does not work, like a weak landing page or faulty search engine optimization, you have to trace where the mistake stemmed from. This is why you must reflect upon any problems you encounter in your Internet marketing campaign. How did it go wrong, how can I fix it, and how can I improve? These four questions are staples for reflecting on and learning from any mistakes.
Seeks Excellence in All That Needs to Be Done
Good enough is a far cry from very good, even though both are “good”. Excellence is when you give your best in everything you do. This excellence is not optional if you want to be a successful Internet marketer. You don’t cut corners, you don’t do a sloppy job, and you don’t say, “This is good enough.” Excellence is basically about ensuring you do as good a job as possible. This pursuit of excellence will always drive you to find better and better ways of doing things, greatly increasing productivity and efficiency. Best of all, your customers will immediately recognize this excellence and be more willing to check out at least what you offer.
Sets Competitive Standards to Meet
There is another reason you need to seek excellence – the best and most threatening of your competitors also do the same. You must always understand what your competitors are up to. You have to know what they offer, how they do things, how they market themselves, and even how successful they are. If excellence pushes you further in your marketing efforts, your competition will define the bare minimum you must work with. This is especially useful when you are new to Internet marketing. Your competitors will most likely have been around for quite a long time already and will have spent significant time and money to get where they are now. All you need to do is analyze how they do things, and you will be able to benefit the most from your competitor’s existing practices.
Understanding the Needs of the Customer
I know this is a cliché, but it is something so many new Internet marketers overlook that it is worth pointing out again. All people have needs. If somebody comes along selling something that will satisfy my needs, I will be more than happy to part with my hard-earned money. This simple fact underscores the importance of spending time, money, and effort reaching out and understanding the needs of your target customer base. Many first-time Internet marketers also have this frame of thought where they believe that exploiting their customers and wringing money from them as quickly as possible is the only way to survive. This thinking cannot be more flawed. Any business, Internet marketing included, will only survive if trust is built between customer and client.
Reaches Out and ‘Touches’ Customers
This is another cliché, but it is nonetheless important: your customers must feel you care about their satisfaction. I have encountered many marketing tactics that look and feel stale and are too focused on selling a product. The marketers here have made a fatal mistake: they got too absorbed in exploiting the customers’ needs rather than connecting to these needs. You must always show that the products and services you offer are solutions to a problem, not just tools you use to squeeze money out of customers. It is also worth noting that you should not try too hard to “sell” your product to a potential client. I have encountered numerous sales pages with tons of testimonies, videos, promos, guarantees, and smiling faces, all promising one thing or another. The marketers behind these pages were trying so hard to convince me to buy their products that I got turned off and left the page before finding out what they wanted to sell.
Transparent About Everything
People will be more willing to buy a product if they know exactly what they are getting. Many marketers love to use fancy prose, grand promises, and technical jargon to bedazzle potential customers. This isn’t a bad thing in most cases, but all this grandstanding will be for nothing if the potential client does not understand what they are looking at. Be as transparent as you can about what you sell; you will find customers much more willing to do business with you. This is especially important for product pricing and fees. You would be surprised at how many sales pages exist on the Internet that do not list the actual costs of purchasing a product or service. Yes, there are many promises and testimonies, but the lack of information on something as basic as pricing is enough to turn most people away from the site.
Builds a Network of Partners
Internet marketing is not a one-person (or one-woman) job. You will need the help of many people to make yourself truly successful in this field of work. Once you get down to the more complicated aspects of Internet marketing, you will inevitably find yourself working with many people: content creators, writers, shippers, reviewers, accountants, customer care, etc. Everyone you meet is a potential partner, so always take the opportunity to create and expand your network whenever you can. Even fellow Internet marketers can prove to be useful partners. You could swap customers by selling products and services that complement the business of the other market. For example, marketer A sells fiction ebooks via Amazon, while marketer B sells leather covers for Amazon’s Kindle. Both marketers could promote each other’s products, effectively sharing their customer base.
Emotionally Balanced About the Business
Nobody is a heartless machine, but constantly breaking down into an emotional wreck can’t be good for business. A successful Internet marketer needs to be completely objective when making business decisions. Your personal life must not seep into your work, especially when your marketing efforts get distorted. Beliefs, opinions, biases, and even political affiliations must be kept separate from appointments. Otherwise, they could prevent you from seeing things as they are.
This also goes for the success and failure of your Internet marketing ventures. Internet marketing is a fast-moving world, which means things die off as quickly as they are born. Look long and hard at your marketing programs and be impartial about which ones are worth spending energy on and which need to be dropped.
Uses Money Productively and Efficiently
One of the more common problems with Internet marketers is that they do not know how to use their money wisely. Let’s say you have earned a cool thousand dollars in sales from your most successful marketing campaign. Bills and taxes are paid, and you still have $500 leftover. What will you do with this money? Will you purchase educational materials, obtain marketing tools, and hire people to handle the time-consuming tasks, or will you blow it all on a fancy tablet PC? Remember that the money you earn is not something you must spend immediately. It is a resource you can use to make your marketing campaigns even more successful. You could even use that money to save for retirement or as a mortgage down payment. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you always ‘invest’ your money in something that will truly benefit you.
Willing to Innovate and Create
There are many marketing programs out there that can introduce you to the basics, but do not ever forget to be creative. There is often no need to reinvent the wheel, and there are plenty of instances where you can learn from the experiences of successful (and not-so-successful) marketers. But you have to remember that people are constantly learning and evolving. What might have worked two or three years ago will be done to death by now – especially considering the breakneck pace of evolution over the Internet. For this reason, a successful marketer is always willing to try out new things. These new things may not always be successful or turn a profit immediately, but they will always impart valuable knowledge to the marketer at the end of the day. This is especially important when you consider the next frame of thought present in the mindset of successful Internet marketers.
‘Hungry’ for More and More Knowledge
The last but most certainly not the least important mindset of a successful Internet marketer is the ever-increasing desire to learn more about their business. It would help if you never stopped thinking that you know enough to keep you on top of your business. The business world is ever-evolving, with new players (and competitors) coming in with their innovative and creative methods. The last thing you want to do is fall behind the competitive curve simply because you are not on top of your business’s latest news and information. For this reason, you must always be hungry to learn whatever you can about your business.