By Robert Middleton
Yes, you want to market your business online. But have you handled the marketing fundamentals?
I started my business in 1984 and created my first website in 1996 and this eZine in 1987. I put a huge amount of time and effort into building my web presence. But I got exactly zero clients from the web in the first year and perhaps one or two in the second year.
But as my list of subscribers grew and my website improved with my second, third and fourth version, I started to get clients. In fact, by 2,000 I was getting almost all my clients as a result of Internet Marketing.
Those were exciting days. My list was growing exponentially. I launched my InfoGuru Manual and was selling them at the clip of $10,000 a month. All my marketing work had finally paid off.
In 2002 I bought a house and moved to the redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains and decided to change my mode of working with individual clients. I started online group programs: my 3-month “Marketing Action Groups” and ultimately my one-year “Marketing Mastery Program.” All were very successful and generated more income monthly than I ever believed possible.
Now just about every Independent Professional I’ve spoken to would love to have a one-person business as successful as this. Well, it’s certainly possible.
But I left out an important part of the story.
In the first years of my business, before the web, I had to learn, practice, struggle with and ultimately master the whole process of marketing. Ultimately, I got pretty good at attracting new clients through networking, and especially through speaking.
And the thing that made me successful online is that I had a solid marketing foundation. I knew how to talk about and write about my services, products and programs. I knew how to put together the steps of a campaign and I knew how to convert prospects into buyers.
The Internet isn’t magic, it’s just a powerful medium. But if you don’t understand the basics of marketing, your efforts at Internet Marketing are going to flop spectacularly.
So what should you do?
I’m not telling you to abandon the Internet as a marketing platform, I’m telling you to also learn and hone your marketing skills at the same time. And the place to do that is not through blogging, social media, and sending emails to your list. Yes, they have their place, but they’re not great at building your marketing skills.
It’s getting out there and talking to prospects, through both networking and speaking. The power of this is that you get immediate feedback. When you use your marketing message, you’ll instantly know if people get it or not. When giving a speech, you’ll know if you’re on track or not by the number of cards you get afterwards. These kind of activities build your “marketing muscles.”
And you can bring back those offline marketing skills insights into your online marketing efforts. This is exactly what I did, and over the past few years I’ve generated millions of dollars from online products and programs.
If you think you do have that foundation, however, I would encourage you to explore successful methods to sell your services, products and programs online.
What’s your experience of marketing offline vs. marketing online? Please feel free to comment on the More Clients Blog at the link below:
“By Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please visit Robert’s web site at http://www.actionplan.com for additional marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional service businesses.” (Make sure the link is live if placed in an eZine or in a web site.)
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