What Did You REALLY Do With That Internet Marketing Course?

I know you have a million things to do right now, and one of them could be reading and absorbing that great Internet Marketing course you just shelled out $297.00 for. You know, the one that has the next secret you can use to make massive amounts of cash.

But that is not what you are doing right now, is it?

I can probably summarize what happened with that Internet Marketing course when it first arrived…

1) You tore it open like a kid in a candy store.

2) You broke out the first manual, dvd, cd, whatever…thinking “I am going to do so much with the information I am about to learn!”

3) You were able to read the first portion of that magnificent course (and many of them are actually loaded with those secrets they promised).

But then…

4) You allowed some sort of distraction, and thought “I will just tend to this and be back in a few minutes…”

Those are the words of death for that internet course.

How many times have you actually made it back to that information that could change your business life?

Come on now, really. Not many times huh?

I totally understand. I was there myself once. You are a business owner right? Lots of important stuff to do, too many “fires to put out.”

Right?

Then why did you buy that internet marketing course to begin with?

By the way, that internet marketing course could be a book, magazine, or any other source of information that you promised yourself “you would get back to.” Is it important to keep yourself educated and on the cutting edge in the world of business?

I already know you know the answer to that question. And, you have probably referred to the title of this post and thought “I thought this was a ‘how to’ post, not a lecture.” The real title to this post should have been:

“How Do You Read And Absorb Information When There Are So Many Distractions Pulling Away Your Time?”

And the answer is…

Just do it. Make time to do it. It is that important. I mean, how much time does it actually take to read a small portion of that Internet Marketing Course and gain a useful idea that you can use in your business the next day, or plan to implement this idea another day?

Ten minutes? Fifteen minutes? Come on now, be realistic…

For those of you that are reading this post to the end here…and saying:

“But Joe, I don’t even have ten or fifteen minutes in a day to sit down and read anything!”

Well…

You are welcome to call me when the money runs out or you are closing your doors. I will try to help. But it might be too late.

Sorry for the harsh reality there. This is just too important to use that excuse though.

Set aside a fifteen minute window for “self education”, every day. Even when you have a day off. It’s that important. Do not allow distractions in this window of time…

Your business depends on it.

Period.

Where’s The Beef? Yet Another Thing I Wish Email Marketers Wouldn’t Do…

I remember a commercial from the 80’s about Wendy’s Hamburgers.

Where’s the beef? They would ask this about their competitor’s hamburgers…claiming that a Wendy’s Hamburger had more delicious beef than say, McDonalds.

Well, I’m asking that of email marketers now.

Where’s the beef email marketers?  What content and other trust-building offers are you creating to develop a relationship with the people who take time to read your emails?

The great unfollowing, unsubscribing, and great filtering has begun folks…and that means if you offer little more than a sales pitch in your emails, you’ll soon be toast.

Believe me or don’t, but don’t come cryin’ to me when the money runs out…people aren’t stupid, and are getting bored with crap promos being sent every single email you send them.

And yes, I will call “I told you so” on this topic. 😉

Yet ANOTHER Thing I wish Email Marketers Wouldn’t Do…

Good god people, this is starting to develop into a series of blog posts…

(if you don’t believe me, use the search box on the right, and type in “email marketers”, then read the older posts with those words in the title)

One of my income streams is promoting other people’s products as an affiliate. There’s no doubt, that I receive emails from the operators of affiliate programs and individual marketers as a result.

But when I give my email address, with the specific intent of joining those programs…I expect that the “news” I receive will be affiliate related.

NOT OFFER RELATED!

I do not subscribe to an affiliate list to get pegged with offers people!

Now, the primary culprits are those in the “make money online” niche, and every time I receive an offer through an affiliate list subscription…

CLICK!  I click on the unsubscribe link.

If someone isn’t going to have high enough integrity to email me the news I signed up for (which goes beyond affiliate lists by the way)…then I guess that isn’t someone I want to be associating with is it?

NOTE:  If you’re one of these individuals who sends offers to the folks on your affiliate (or JV) lists…you might want to click here and get the 3 part report…then read that cover to cover and watch the videos. 😉

‘Nuff said.

3 Steps To Avoid Digital Piracy Of Your Products You May Not Have Thought Of…

“Them damn scammers keep stealing my products, and sharing them on BitTorrent sites!”

“Those dang serial refunders just by my stuff, then get a refund, but get to keep the download!”

“Damn hackers keep getting my digital downloads no matter how hard I try to keep them safe!”

Whine, moan, groan, complain… 🙂

Here’s a rather alternative 3-step process you can implement rather easily to protect your products 100% against thieves, scammers, and refunders.

I have to warn you though, you might be uncomfortable with this alternative thinking 😉 …

1)  Turn your digital product into a physical product. No more download equals no more theft online.  Works with software too (putting the software on CD).

2)  Price your new physical product accordingly to cover “creation costs” like binders for manuals, cd’s, paper, printing, etc… and offer free shipping if your profit margin will cover it (or you can make it cover it, duh).

3)  Outsource the production / shipping to a reputable shipping house. One example is using Kunaki to ship CD’s and DVD’s as you sell them (it’s pretty cheap).

Done.  Quit whining. 🙂

People can’t steal online what isn’t online to begin with.

Social Media: The Hatfields Versus The McCoys

Holy smokes, the nerve of some people.

As a specific example (not that he needs me to stick up for him), Chris Brogan seems to be coming under fire because he’s re-organizing his business (key words: his business)…and on The Infopreneur, there are a few people are actually whining about how much he engages his audience, how he might “brag” too much on his blog, has a “smug” attitude, or even how the freely given content isn’t “valuable” to some people any more.

And on, and on…

These “haters of Social Media marketers” seem to be coming out in droves lately…and it’s actually really disappointing to me to see fellow human beings acting this way towards others.

So it’s time to call this group out.

Where the hell does anyone get off criticizing someone for taking “less” time to provide ANY free content that they could use to improve their businesses or lives AT ALL?

It’s free content folks, so it will come when it comes…

and heaven forbid someone actually tries to make money while recommending affiliate products using their own blogs, or even the Social Media (not referring to spamming, or any other illegal activities)…

because we are (for the most part) adults, not children, but when someone is selling something via FREE content, especially when they provide WAY more free content than selling, that’s not wrong, it’s the business of marketing folks.  It doesn’t matter what tools you’re using.

I just don’t get it.  Has Chris (or any other ethical free content provider) scammed you out of your money or something?  No?

I’d venture a guess that you could in fact get a full refund of all the money you paid for reading his blog if you wanted (oh wait…it’s free content freely given by the time and energy of the individual providing it…sorry).

These exchanges usually center around people offering their opinion about said free content provider, and that opinion is one they are entitled to for sure, but the problem and my issue comes when those opinions evolve into what I define as a Social Media virus (term coined by Nathan Hangen).

Some believe you can use Social Media as a business tool, and some believe you shouldn’t…and guess what?  You’re both right, so leave the other side to their OWN desires and the way they want to pursue them, with what tools they want to use to pursue those desires, including using social media tools to make money if they want.

My personal take on the Social Media as it applies to the business world is the Social Media represents a set of engagement tools, and that’s it. Tools to use at a business owner’s discretion to reach out to an audience of people that have chosen to follow them.

(Using Chris Brogan’s business as an example, 45,000-plus people have chosen to follow him…and if they don’t feel there is a reason to do that any more…they shouldn’t, period)

A big secret here is…tools don’t replace people, nor are tools responsible for establishing any “rules” that govern how to use those tools in an ethical, 100% legal, and moral manner.

Some people, suffering the Social Media Virus, have somehow manufactured the “proper” way to use Social Media…and the truth is, there is way more than one “proper” way.

Since we live in a capitalist society…those tools are available for use in the art of making money while engaging audiences…

…or to contact friends and family members…

…or to reconnect with past acquaintances…

…and on, and on…and I respect the fact that not everyone uses the Social Media in their business-building efforts.  That’s totally ok (not that it has to be ok with me, but it is), and the main Social Media sites are in fact great tools to connect with people for other reasons as well.

But the people who whine about those who are in the business world using Social Media tools to market, make a profit, and engage other people towards that end…well…sometimes they just make me sick.

And I’ve bottled it up for long enough, this had to be written in my opinion.

It reminds me of a couple of two-year olds fighting over a toy in a playroom.  One two-year old says that toy is “theirs”…and the other says “they won’t share with me”.

Come on folks…the tools are available, use them as you see fit (legally, morally, and ethically of course) and quit worrying about how other people choose to use these tools (don’t we have bigger fish to fry anyhow?).  If a person chooses to use Social Media in an illegal, unethical, or immoral manner…life will at some point punish those people, guaranteed.

So, let’s quit coming back to some fantasy land where Social Media can only be used for “noble” or “non-moneymaking” purposes eh?

And if you’re suffering from the Social Media virus…

Social Media Virus symptoms: whining on blogs and forums about who is using the Social Media to make money, picking apart caring people with larger businesses built on one thing…then having to evolve because of that growth…or just because you might be jealous of another person because their business is WAY more successful than yours…

…get over yourselves. We’re all people with lives, emotions, and different reasons for doing what we do…let’s all grow up and act like it.  Who put you in charge of how the Social Media is to be used anyhow?

If someone wants to use Social Media as part of building and growing their business…let’s let ’em, and if they don’t, let’s let ’em too…but let’s not continue a “Hatfields vs. McCoys” thing over something that quite frankly is so trivial.

(By the way, who cares actually?  Quit following an individual if you don’t feel value is being delivered and stop whining about it, that’s your choice.  People like Chris Brogan aren’t the only ones who have experienced great success by building a business around “giving freely” then having to change that direction a little as their business evolves, nor will they be the last)

Life is way too short to worry about whether or not Chris Brogan, or anyone else for that matter, comments on their blog enough, or whether he needs to change his business model (which I imagine will still provide value for free on a different scale). Instead, let’s just get back to building our own businesses…and perhaps grow them to a level we can be proud of.

Quite frankly, if you grow a business to the level that a Chris Brogan, Gary Vaynerchuk, or any of the other “social media stars” have…then you will experience the very same set of challenges they are trying to overcome right now as well, guaranteed.

One of those challenges will unfortunately include some “group” of people who suffer a “virus” similar to the Social Media virus, where they will try to tear down your own success, and when (not if) that happens…

What will you do about that?

I think that once you answer that question comprehensively for yourself first…then and only then could you comment on how a Chris Brogan or Gary Vaynerchuk could be running their businesses better and recommend the tools they are using.

/rant 🙂

Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

–Joseph Ratliff

P.S. Before you fire up your email program, or comment below…I want to state that yes, I actually suffered the same virus I’ve listed above, until I understood why that virus existed in me…and I cured myself of it for the most part (I’m human, so I do and will continue to make mistakes).

This post comes as a result of a “pent up” rant (which feels good to get off my chest), so if it does offend you, it’s possible you might be infected too. 🙂

It isn’t my intention to offend people, I just feel this topic serves as a good lesson for everyone as the Internet allows us a medium to publish our unabated opinions. 🙂