Archives for posts with tag: internet business

It has begun…

…and if any of the things I mention in this post apply to you, take heed of the warning, or be prepared to close the doors.

This is probably going to rank in the most important posts I write all year…

Let’s get started, shall we?

Over the next decade, we are going to witness a “great filtering” of sorts in the online marketing arena (and business in general for that matter).

What do I mean?

The shady business people, the snake oil salespeople, the ones that just don’t care about their customers (or even worse, ignore them completely)…and any so-called business person that can be lumped into these categories…will start to suffer a slow and painful business death.

And I mean, all of them…not a percentage…not some, all of them (finally).

How can I make such a widespread claim?

One word…access.

The Internet has changed the game (not will change, has changed).  It has allowed a level of access on many different platforms…that businesses can’t “hide” any more…

  • They can’t scam their customers and get away with it…
  • They can’t hide behind a monitor and be “anonymous” anymore…
  • They can’t make bold-faced lies to the people that do business with them (or are thinking of doing business with them) anymore…

Because it can all be revealed by using the Internet.

Yeah, there will still be scams, unscrupulous business people, and such…but when they set up shop…their lifetime is extremely limited, and will be even more so as the “great filtering” takes place over the next 10 years or so.

So what exactly is the great filtering?

It’s the process where those businesses that fall in the above-mentioned categories will begin to be “filtered out” by the public.

It’s already begun to happen, for example…

What happens to a book on Amazon when a bunch of people leave negative feedback (legitimate negative feedback)? It gets filtered out…falling off the charts.  Those that leave negative feedback that is just not legitimate get filtered out as well.

Spammers aren’t even being paid attention to anymore (other than the customary “how do we get rid of them?” feedback.

If someone uses an anonymous “user name” on a forum, blog, or other social communication media, they usually get “filtered out”.  In the rare case where they are listened to…they always have that barrier they must overcome before what they say matters (eventually, they won’t be listened to at all).

People want to interact with real people, not those who hide behind anonymous or “hidden” information etc…  While it’s certainly possible (for now) to continue to do this… eventually you’ll automatically become “noise” if you’re currently doing this.

There are a TON of other examples I can point to, and I will do so over the course of the next two years or so…(perhaps pointing out some specific examples as they appear to me).   For now, just think of ways for you to avoid “The Great Filtering Of Online Marketing.

If you already are, congratulations, it will get easier to do business as time goes on from this standpoint.

Before you go getting all excited, I want you to know what this article is not:

  • It’s not about making money online fast (like within 3 minutes).
  • It’s not about “gaming” Google or any other search engine.
  • It’s not about making money “without work”, “with no selling”, or any other magic.
  • Most importantly, this is not the only (or the complete) answer…there are many ways to accomplish this.

This is an overview of how to make real money on the Internet (the way I have), the kind of money you can count on month after month without having to alter your business plan on a daily basis.

Contrary to what most of the over-hyped crap out there says about making money online…there are a few qualifications you must have before building a business of any kind (or be willing to make mistakes to learn from along the way), but especially when you use the Internet (because things move so fast online).

Sorry to break this news to you if you hoped this was the “next magic bullet”…

  • You have to be able to sell and understand what true selling is.
  • You must understand marketing, copywriting, and building businesses (not necessarily before you start, but you must gain that knowledge).
  • You must drill into your head that business is about the people you serve (your market)…this is probably the most important part of the whole understanding.
  • You must know “why” you’re creating a business in the first place. Many people miss this critical step, and end up like a fish out of water.
  • You must develop key relationships to grow your business.

More about these points will be covered in this article as you read.

Building a business using the Internet isn’t easy, it requires an above-average understanding of how people buy to be successful in a short period of time.

With that out of the way…let’s get to the meat of this post, shall we?

Based on my observations of the marketplace in online business, and discussions with my own clients (hundreds of them), I am going to frame these “how to’s…” first with “what most people do…” then with “what you need to do…”

Let’s get started.

What most people do:

Focus on the money, and the “quick buck”.

What you need to do:

Focus on the people in your market that you serve.  How can you help them add value to their lives.  This business isn’t about you…it’s about them, always.  The customer may not always be right, but even so, they can make or break your business.

What most people do:

Try to figure this whole business out before trying or testing anything.

What you need to do:

Test everything…try everything…fuck up several times and learn from those mistakes.  That will get you to success faster than trying to figure it out beforehand, every time.

What most people do:

Run their business like they are the only ones running it.

What you need to do:

Develop partnerships.  Not the “legal business” ones necessarily…but key joint venture partnerships that are mutually beneficial.  This means you must get over yourself, and get out there and talk to people (see next point).

Developing partnerships means quit sending templated emails to all the “gurus” and actually attend a seminar and network.  I can already hear the whining, get over it…you have to make personal contacts at some point, or you can count on flushing your business down the toilet.

What most people do:

Hide behind their computer screens because it’s comfortable and anonymous.

What you need to do:

Get over yourself. Put yourself out there.  If you want to be comfortable, and keep operating within your comfort zone, go bake some cookies.  If you continue to stay hidden and in your comfort zone, you’ll enjoy average or below-average results…continue to struggle from opportunity to opportunity…and never build a real business that serves people in a market.

Black hatters and those that game the system might disagree with me on this…but eventually, they’ll suffer too.

What most people do:

After they get some momentum going, they continue “plugging away” and seem to end up running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

What you need to do:

You need to remember two words that make the difference between piddly income in a business and millions of dollars…systems and leverage.

Once you get going, you need to automate parts of your business with people, leverage, and systems so you can begin to work “on” your business…instead of “in” your business.  The sooner you make this transition, the sooner you’ll experience a “breakthrough” in income…period.

People: Eventually, you cannot do this yourself, you will need to involve people in your business for it to grow.  Did I say hire employees?  Nope.  But you might actually want to.  Contrary to bad advice out there, the headaches with employees are minimal when you do things upfront in the process that minimize the chances (didn’t say eliminate, I said minimize) of getting the wrong person for the job.

Creating a vision for the employees to follow, not settling for the “next best” person for the job etc… (you’re in complete control of the hiring process, the results you get are a reflection on you).

Leverage: You must use the Internet for all it’s worth in terms of leverage.  Aside from the obvious ones like autoresponder accounts to send automated emails, and programs used to put your video marketing all over the place…who’s to say you can create and attack multiple segments of your market aggressively using multiple sites, with “marketing channels” set up to automate the selling process to each of those segments?

Folks, aside from legal, ethical, and moral standards…there are no rules. Get your message out there in as many ways as you can.

Systems: This is the part many people get wrong.  Setting up systems has to be done in a fashion where you could hand it off to someone else, and that person would NEVER have to contact you to ask a question about how to operate the system.

From procedures, to issuing various levels of authority to customer service staff so they can take care of customers…

You can’t lose sight of your business while creating systems…but you must create systems so you can see more of your business. –Joseph Ratliff  ©2009

I cannot cover the building of systems in this one blog post, but this will be continued again as an individual topic, as it’s that important.

A final bit of important advice about systems creating…only create a system that will provide leverage for you as a business owner, don’t create systems in your business just for the sake of creating systems.

Note:  This post got sooo long…I’m going to call this part 1.  Part 2 is now here.