Today I was reading comments on a blog and came across one that mostly encapsulates what I hate about the whole internet marketing scene:
This video presentation is clear and concise. But I must ask one question, where does one start? I purchased your continuity program — great information. But I just don’t know where to start. I’ve studied internet marketing for almost three years now but have never really acted on it. From experts like AAA to BBB to CCC and DDD I’ve studied their styles. Some I’ve purchased from but so far no one compares to you. So I need the real deal truth. WHERE DOES ONE START?
Please don’t get me wrong, it’s not the person who asked the question that gets my dander up, it’s everybody who sells an IM product without pointing out that you can’t market on the internet unless you have something to market.
Where does one start? With a product.
If you don’t have a product to sell then you don’t need to worry about where to start. It’s like saying you’re into motorcycle racing but you don’t know where to start — and you don’t even have a motorcycle.
Internet marketing isn’t a *thing* in and of itself — it’s a way of doing business. It’s leveraging the blogs, links, articles, PPC, etc., — opportunities that either aren’t available in the “real world” or are prohibitively expensive — to promote a product and make sales.
Internet marketing is promoting and selling a product via the internet.
If you don’t have a product, you don’t need to keep spending money on internet marketing tools and techniques.
If you want to “be an internet marketer” then you MUST have something to market. It can be a product that someone else has created, and you promote it as an affiliate. You use the internet to market that product and then earn a commission when someone buys because of you. That’s a legitimate way to “do” internet marketing.
But not nearly the most fun or profitable way.
For that you need to create your own product (or have it created for you, same thing). And I can almost hear the echo of the follow-up cry…
“What kind of product?!”
I know this is going to sound trite, but it’s something ignored by a LOT of failed marketers (online and off) — the kind of product you want to create is whatever your target market wants and will pay for.
No matter how vital you think that product is, if they don’t want what it, you make no sales. No matter how great you think that product is, if they won’t pay for it, you make no sales.
How do you find out what people want and will pay for? Listen. Pay attention. That’s the secret, right there.
My most recent product is an “integrated development environment” for a programming language people use to create iPhone, iPad, and Android games. How did I find out that product was needed and would sell?
I was in that group, myself.
I was one of the people complaining on the development forums about having to code everything by hand and I realized there was an opportunity. Most of the “research” was already done for me because I could see in the forums what people were wanting and that they were ready to pay for something that could “ease their pain.”
And that’s the follow-up secret. If you don’t already know what product is needed, open your eyes in whatever activities you participate in. Whether it’s quilting, youth soccer, cooking, homeschooling, etc., there are “gaps” that people complain about. There are areas/tasks that are hard or time-consuming.
In many cases those problems are opportunities for you to capitalize on. You can “ease the pain” of people and make money at the same time.
You may find that a physical product is needed – you can still use the internet to market that product. In many cases information is the product, and not only can that be marketed using the internet, it can be delivered via the internet.
So, where does one start?
With a product. Period.
If you don’t have one, you need to get/make one.
There is a lot of info available on how to create products out there, make sure you get a good one. I think mine is the best, it’s called Product Creation Station and it walks you through creating info products using PDF, audio, and video.
But even if you use a different guide, please realize that if you want to BE an internet marketer, if you want to DO internet marketing, you need a product before anything else can happen.