Here’s exactly what all marketing should accomplish:
- Get the attention of your target market.
- Help them make a good decision about what to buy.
- Make it easy and low-risk to buy from you.
Those three rules have been the backbone of marketing and advertising since the first caveman figured out he could profit from teaching others how to make fire (I’m sure science backs that up but I haven’t researched it).
Despite what some would have you believe, the Internet has not changed those rules.
Listen, the Internet is cool. It gives anybody with access the chance to make money.
Unfortunately, it’s become ridiculously—and needlessly—complicated. We’ve drifted from the simple, timeless rules of marketing to a confusing mess that few understand. I’ll explain…
When the average person starts researching how to set up their own website, blog, ecommerce store, social media accounts, etc., they soon stumble onto all this crap they supposedly have to figure out:
- Display Network
- Keyword Research
- Lead Generation
- Sales Funnels
- Content Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- And on and on and on
It’s friggin’ ridiculous!
And the worst part? There are separate paid services that promise to manage all of this crap for you, and each service makes it seem like you’ll never succeed without them.
For instance, there are services that will manage your Facebook pages, automatically posting content for you. There are millions of SEO “experts” who claim they can get your site to rank higher in search engine results.
There are services that will streamline and optimize your website so that it will sell more stuff. And there are writers who say they know how to create high quality blog articles and other content that will establish you as an authority.
All of these services cost money—usually a monthly subscription—and they all make it seem like you absolutely need them.
If you signed up for all of the various online services that promise to help you succeed, it would cost hundreds of dollars every month.
I’m not saying that all of these services are bad. In fact, many of them are extremely helpful and worth the expense. I even use some of them myself.
However, there is one alarming problem I’ve noticed…
One Major Problem With Almost Every Online Marketing Service
Most people don’t think about this much, but marketing actually has two sides…
- The Strategic Side: What you say and how you say it. This is the content of your message and the vibe your brand puts out.
- The Tactical Side: Broadcasting your message. This is the execution of your strategic marketing, or where you place your message.
To simplify this, let’s say an electrician wants to make a flyer to advertise his services. He sits down and writes all of the content that will be on the flyer and chooses some images to make it look nice. That’s strategic marketing.
Once his flyers are printed and ready to distribute, he walks door-to-door in various neighborhoods and hangs a flyer on the front porch of each house. That’s tactical marketing.
So here’s the problem I’ve noticed…
Nearly all online marketing services focus completely on the tactical side of marketing, and never once mention the strategic side.
In other words, they want to help you broadcast and streamline your message, but they never tell you what that message should be. Why?
Because most marketers—even the good ones—have no clue what to do when it comes to strategic marketing. They simply don’t know what to say, and they sure as heck don’t know what to tell you to say. So they ignore the message altogether and focus solely on the tactical side.
Again, I’m not poo-pooing these services. A lot of them are wildly helpful and they freely give away fantastic, valuable information on their blogs and social media accounts.
But they won’t do you any good if your message is lousy. So what are you supposed to do?
How To Create Powerful, Moving Messages
Subscribe to my blog. Far as I can tell, I’m the only guy freely giving away extremely high quality tips on strategic marketing.
I write two or three articles every week. Most of them have to do with the strategic side of marketing, which is exactly what most of you need help with.
When you subscribe (and follow my directions to keep my emails out of your spam box), I’ll send you a very brief email each time I post a new article.
Until then, here are some articles I’ve already written that will instantly improve your strategic message:
How To Get Started With Online Marketing
With all the confusing chatter about online marketing, how should you get started? What advice should you listen to, and what advice should you ignore?
Here’s exactly what you should do…
For now, ignore all the paid services and their doomsday prophecies that you’ll fail without them.
Don’t worry about extreme optimization, SEO, AdWords, social media campaigns, and all of that other crap.
By all means, feel free to research that stuff and make notes when you find something important. And make sure your message is somewhat optimized so that it’s clear and easy to understand.
But don’t let it overwhelm you, because that can easily happen.
It can be disheartening to learn about all of the little tips and tricks that will improve your online presence. There’s so much that could be done, it makes a lot of people give up once they realize how many options truly exist.
I used to feel the same way. Then I read a book called How to Fly a Horse by Kevin Ashton. It made me feel so much better.
The main theme of the book is the actual way that people create things. For instance, the Wright brothers didn’t decide to make an airplane one morning and take to the skies later that afternoon.
They went through hundreds of iterations over the course of years before their first successful flight.
Mozart (despite popular belief) did not compose his musical pieces in one single flash of feverish inspiration. It took him months or years of laborious work before he completed his music.
Pretty much every day for the Wright Brothers for like a decade.
You should approach online marketing the same way. Just start somewhere. And realize that your first attempt won’t be perfect.
It’s okay to suck. If you keep at it, you’ll look back in a year or two and be amazed at your progress.
The key is to take the first step, then build your empire as you go along.
You’re not going to start with an empire. Remember, creation happens in iterations.
In the beginning, don’t place too much importance on the advice of the various paid services. Although helpful, free and informative, their blogs and content are all designed to steer you towards buying something from them.
Not that that’s wrong, but you deserve to know their intentions…eventually, they want your money.
If you want to add paid services later (or figure out how to accomplish what they offer on your own), you’re welcome to do so. But at first, you simply don’t need them.
The best thing you can do now is study the fundamentals of classic marketing, including the three rules I mentioned earlier. Keep an eye on this blog, because that’s exactly what I write about.
I hope this article finds its way into the hands of folks who have a good idea or brand but are scared to bring it online. I promise it’s not nearly as intimidating as it seems.
Especially if you give yourself time to get on your feet and find a groove.
I wish you well in your online endeavors. If you have questions feel free to contact me or ask in the comments section below.
PS: I’m serious about subscribing to my blog. It’s literally dumb not to. Where else are you going to get free, high-end information about improving the message in your marketing? Click here and simply fill out the form.