Online marketing takes place on the internet (no duh, right?), but that doesn’t mean that many of the same rules that apply to a brick and mortar business don’t also apply to yours.
Business is business, regardless of where it takes place, and takes a great deal of socializing with others in order to expand.
In Part 1 of my series on the most common failures that trip up so many internet marketers, I outlined numerous aspects that need to be taken into consideration in order to create a successful business.
Today, I’d like to show you why socializing is essential to whether or not your business tanks or goes on to become the next Zappos.
That’s enough jibber jabber. Let’s get down to the good stuff!
The Importance of Networking
Those that don’t network, watch as their business opportunities die a sad and lonely death.
Many entrepreneurs insist on traversing through the world of internet marketing alone. Why? I can understand that some may want to build their online empire by the sweat of their own brow (figuratively speaking), but in choosing to work entirely by themselves, they instantly become a small fish in a very big pond. Let’s face it, there may be no bigger pond than the internet.
With the increasing popularity of the internet come countless opportunities to build mutually beneficial working relationships with like minded marketers, many of which are far more establish and have a greater influence than those just starting out.
I dare you to contact ANY successful internet marketer and I guarantee you that the ones with the most influence also network with the most people. Why do you think this is? If they could have amassed their fortune without networking, they likely would have. The truth is, that networking is an absolute necessity.
By definition, networking is a socioeconomic activity in which groups of business people create, recognize, or act upon business opportunities. Admittedly, this is rather broad.
In the online world, there are hundreds of networking methods that can be utilized to help grow your business every single day.
Guest blogging is a form of networking. Obtaining backlinks is a form of networking. Helping other marketers within your niche (even if you ask for nothing in return) is a form of networking. Cross promotion of products and services is a form of networking. The list goes on and on.
However, so many marketers that are just starting out are hesitant to reach out to others, which is causing them to fight an uphill battle.
Here’s an example of one marketer that I met recently that used an unorthodox method to help grow his business;
My friend Daniel is a stud at acquiring emails. Through his lead capture pages, he was obtaining 250 qualified email addresses a day. Unfortunately, Daniel had two problems. His first problem was that he is absolutely horrendous at copywriting. Although he was acquiring all of these emails, he couldn’t convert them to sales to save his life.
His second problem was that he had spent so much money on acquiring leads and maintaining such a sizable list on Aweber, that he had drained his entire marketing budget and couldn’t afford a copywriter to critique his auto response series.
Yes, Daniel was in a pickle. He had tons of email addresses, but no way of converting them. Sure, he could learn how to write compelling emails himself, but that could take months or even years!
Instead, Daniel’s solution was to network. He found a highly qualified copywriter and offered him a percentage of all the sales that came in if the copywriter would craft an auto response sequence for him. Soon enough, the new emails were being sent out and converting like crazy, making both Daniel and the copywriter a lot of money!
Before Daniel reached out to the copywriter, he was in dire straits, but without spending any money or wasting any additional time, he was able to expand his business and make a hefty profit. If it weren’t for networking, Daniel’s business would have been dead in the water.
Of course, this is just one example of how effective networking is.
The Consumer is Always Right (Because They Pay Your Bills)
Are you listening to what your target market is saying? I mean, are you REALLY listening? Even more importantly, are you asking them what they think?
In recent years, Zappos has become an absolute powerhouse in the shoe and clothing business. Oddly enough, you can find all of the shoes that Zappos features elsewhere online.
So what is it that compels people to continue buying from this website? Zappos is notorious for taking feedback (both positive and negative) and using it to apply changes to their business. People from all over the business world have taken notice. Here are just a few examples;
They genuinely care and listen to what their customers and potential buyers have to say. This has allowed them to not only transform an average online shoe store (like the thousands of others out there) into a multibillion dollar powerhouse, but they’ve also created so much brand loyalty, that some consumers are fanatical about only purchasing shoes through their website.
You may not be the size of Zappos (yet), but you can easily follow their example.
Having been around internet marketing for quite some time, I’ve had the privilege of interacting with a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs. Quite often I run into marketers that are just starting out that invest all of their time and money into a product without even knowing if it’s something that people will want.
Their mode of thinking is that THEY would buy it, so others likely will also. To me, this is incredibly foolish and has led to more businesses going under than I’d care to imagine.
Who cares if YOU (the marketer) would buy it? What matters is whether or not THEY (your target market) will buy it.
This is why listening to the feedback of others is so integral to the success of online marketers. Before creating a product, it’s essential that you do your research in order to decide whether or not there is a genuine need for the product.
This may sound crazy, but what if you actually ASKED people what they wanted and then created a product around the answers that they provided? Then you wouldn’t need to guess as to whether or not that product will sell, because you will already know.
It all boils down to listening to what your consumer / target market has to say. Those that listen will survive, while those that don’t, will nose dive.
It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon (yes, I said rocket surgeon) to create a successful business. It does however, take a keen ability to interact with others. Even if your entire business takes place online, you are still dealing with real people in the real world.
Those that are too anti social to communicate with the people around them are surely doomed to fail.
In Part 3 of my series, I will conclude the final reasons as to why so many people fail at online marketing. Some of the key points will be no brainers, while others will surely set off a light bulb in your head and hopefully help you avoid the same pitfalls that have ended the online careers of so many.
As always, if you have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment in the section below!