It’s been exactly 12 months — just about to the day — that I began to see myself as an “Internet Marketer.” And it’s been quite a ride. I’ve learned a lot of lessons over the past year and had many experiences as a result, most overwhelmingly positive and some sadly negative. I met some truly amazing and wonderful people and have direct insight into how many people are making a whole lot of money in the online world.
Some lessons I learned:
Definition of Internet Marketer: One important lesson I got early on was the fact that if you have a business and you use the Internet to market your business, you are by definition an “Internet marketer.” As soon as I realized that, it opened up a whole new world of educational possibilities about things I can do to help increase my bottom line and generate more cash flow. Paying attention to solid principles of Internet marketing I learned about certain selling and closing techniques that have generated me more income — simply by knowing what to do and how to ask in such a way that people will respond. Either you can learn Internet marketing skills yourself or you can hire someone to manage your online business who does know them. But shooting in the dark is both unnecessary and a big mistake.
Who’s a True Friend: As a professional speaker, no sooner did I hit the Internet marketing community than I was invited to speak on stages across the country as a featured presenter. I’ve appeared on Ken McArthur’s stages, Ross Goldberg’s, Willie Crawford’s, Terry Wygal’s and more, both live and virtually. I’ve shared these stages with the likes of Carrie “Barefoot Executive” Wilkerson, Kevin Nations, Adam Urbanski, Bob “The Teacher” Jenkins, John DiLemme, Bob Burg, Joel Comm, Perry “Ask Mr. Video” Lawerence, Paul Evans, Perry Belcher, Melanie Benson Strick, Lynn Terry, Frank Sousa, Dave Lakhani, Brendon Burchard, Lee Collins, Simon Leung, and more than a dozen others. I’ve met these Internet “rock stars” and plenty of fabulous lesser-known yet still wonderful folks. Here’s what I learned: there are people who will treat you like you mean the world to them… until you ask for a mutually beneficial favor. Then suddenly they’re too busy to help. You never know who those people are going to be and I have been surprised at times. Disappointing as it may be, I do my best to deal with everyone using empathy, realizing we all have our own paths to walk.
Internet Marketing as an Industry Is NOT Set Up for Women: Now wait, before you start posting comments, let me explain. Women can be EXTREMELY successful using Internet marketing either to promote their service businesses or, for example as in the case of affiliate marketers, as the primary means of income. Yet the industry itself is dominated at the top by men. Why? There are many reasons, certainly, but like most other forms of business your success depends largely on who you know and who in return knows you personally. That means to become a “rock star” in Internet marketing you must meet the people and major players in the industry. Live events are fabulous for that. And I recommend you go. However, here’s the problem as I see it: if you’re a Mom like me and the success of your business depends on you getting to live events and meeting the major players… your personal life takes on a different dimension. I found I was often torn between being home with my kids — the reason I started my business to begin with — and getting out on the road to meet the players, to make the deals, and to be in front of new prospsective clients. I’ve spoken to other high profile Moms who agree. It’s a juggling act that many of the Dads I met expereince in a different way. As a result, we simply don’t have a lot of women at the top in terms of popularity and name recognition. However, make no mistake, there are plenty of Moms quietly making a living well beyond being comfortable. It can be done without the trade offs. But as an industry — I think we can agree, the prepondereance of leaders are the guys.
It’s Easy to Get Derailed: There are many promises of online wealth, quick, easy, with little to no effort. And with those promises are testimonials from people assuring you they did it – and it was fast & easy. There are always more offers, more bells & whistles, more everything. It’s easy to spend a lot of money and not make back what you spent. It’s also easy to read an expertly crafted sales page, designed to get you to buy, and believe THIS is something you need. Now. In order to be successful and keep the money you make, you have to make a plan, be aware of what you need to learn or need to implement next in your business, and then stick to that plan. This can be a challenge and the more money you make the more tempted you will be to buy the next cool thing. Only invest in something if it makes sense for where you are in your business TODAY.
So those are the lessons I’ve learned in the past year. I’d love to hear your biggest lessons — and what you think of mine! Post your comments below.