5 Things That Matter When You’re Learning Internet Marketing
For many people, their (ad)venture into internet marketing begins with giving themselves pep talks about freeeeeedom (Mel Gibson style), financial independence and firing their boss!
Unfortunately, many newbie internet marketers fail miserably!
Because, setting up an online business is like getting a degree in business administration!
Moreover, there is no fixed syllabus and you have to learn and do EVERYTHING on your own! But wait – there’s more! You also have to learn a bit about programming, journalism, psychology, time management, statistics, copywriting, SEO, analytics etc. Actually, I can add many more topics to the list but I don’t want to scare you away. LOL
Becoming an internet marketer without acquiring the necessary skills is like trying to fly a plane without first learning how to do so! In both cases, you are setting yourself up to eat dirt!
I’ll be honest, I’ve had my fair share of eating dirt and let me tell you that it is not very satisfying – even if you’re really really hungry!
Here is my list of the top 5 things that matter most:
1) Get a good mentor: Don’t even think about choosing Wikipedia as your mentor! Wikipedia is a wonderful resource – but the information is comprehensive in nature and you’ll still have to process and sift through a truckload of unnecessary and irrelevant information.
It is not specific and certainly not tailored for beginners. It is good for understanding general concepts – but not applying them. Pick a person who is successful and practices what he/she preaches. You may be wondering, why did I say – pick a successful mentor? Isn’t that part obvious? Yes it is – but the truth is that the internet is full of touts branding themselves as IM gurus! Since the web offers anonymity, it has become a place where poor people learn how to (not) make money from other poor, unsuccessful people!
Signs of a good mentor: Offers immense value, shares content that is unique and helpful in the real world, has the ability to simplify complicated concepts, is well aware of the common problems faced by beginners, willingness to communicate etc. Your mentor should be available when you need him/her. He/She should be willing to interact and solve your problems. The medium of communication maybe virtual (skype, email etc.) or real (meetings, group discussions, conventions, lectures, parties etc.)
Very important: Choose a mentor wisely and once you do pick one, stick with him/her! Don’t go about seeking advice from a ton of different people. Trust me on this, it will just confuse you won’t get anything done. Imagine that you are in a totally new place, say China for example: You want to get from point A to point B within Beijing. Now, different people have different opinions – some prefer taxis as they as comfortable, others say that taxis are expensive and get stuck in traffic and so metro is the best option. Some people think that metros are claustrophobic, confusing and crowded and hence walking is the best option. Someone might say that walking is slow and cycling is better since it is good for your health as well as for the environment. In short, different people will point you in different directions. So choose a method and a guide that suits you and then stick to that method and guide. Otherwise, you will be going in circles until you run out of steam. Remain aware of other methods and guides – but complete one route before you decide to try others.
2) Your presentation skills: As an internet marketer, your success is heavily dependent upon your ability to express your thoughts to other people. Thus, you must either be a good writer or orator. If you a god writer, you can write killer content; if you have good oratory skills, you can make awesome videos or podcasts. If you are good at neither, practice! If you are too lazy to practice, outsource. You can hire professionals for making and editing videos and for writing high quality copy.
3) Technical skills: As mentioned earlier – you will have to learn at least the basics of HTML, SEO, analytics etc. You do not need to know why or how these things work – but you should be able to utilize them to maximize your earnings. Consider it like using your computer – you probably do not know how exactly your computer works but that is irrelevant as long as you know how to use it to make money or play games or whatever your desire/goal/ambition is!
As an internet marketer, you’ll encounter technical challenges every step of the way; so stop avoiding them and see them as an opportunity to make more money!
Say you made a fantastic video – now you’ll have to edit it to make it more watchable and entertaining. You took a photo – now you need to touch it up to make it look more enticing! You need to learn how to sync your twitter with your facebook. You have to know how to set up a marketing campaign. While all this is not rocket science, you still need to apply yourself to get the job done. I know many ordinary people who make a fortune online. These people are not ‘technies’ by any stretch of the imagination. However, they have taken the time to learn about simple programs and concepts. You can too! I did!
4) Your organizational skills: Understand that as an employee, your job is very simple. A certain task or a set of tasks is delegated to you. You perform this task over and over again, until it almost becomes second nature. In short, you focus on just a specific set of things. However, being an internet marketer is nothing like being an employee.
You control most, if not all aspects of your business. This requires you to think like a leader and frankly – it can be terrifying in the beginning.
- You have to make decisions instead of acting upon the decisions made by others.
- You have to decide whom to trust, how much to spend, which products to endorse etc.
- You even have to choose the background color of your website!
- All this can bog you down if you are not up to the task.
- Also, you have to make sure that there is synergy and co-ordination amongst all the different aspects of your business.
This is when your organizational skills will be tested to their limit. My advise – learn to walk properly before you begin to sprint. Everything is achievable if you do it one step at a time. Be more like the tortoise than the hare – at least while you are learning.
5) Your attitude: This is what will make or break you. Most people have no clue about marketing. They are trained to do a specific job – they do not have to worry about acquiring customers. Marketing is different. Here, you cannot settle into a nice rhythm – you have to keep pushing the envelope.
You have to make yourself stand out, you have to keep being innovative. You cannot stop – if you stop, it is game over for YOU since your competitors are never going to stop. You are continuously under pressure and you will encounter new challenges every step of the way.
Becoming a top internet marketer is like building an empire. You’ll have to fight many battles and invent new strategies. Others will try to take you down but you have to keep going. Even if you lose a battle or two – you have to keep pursuing your goal. You can handle this high pressure lifestyle only if you develop an indomitable spirit. You probably thought that IM was about freedom and independence. Yes, of course it is – but with freedom and independence comes great responsibility! (See what I did there?)
Anyways, I don’t mean to discourage you. Internet Marketing is a GREAT way to make a living, ‘and then some’. Just keep in mind, it won’t immediately put an end to your problems (at least not right away) – but it will definitely improve the quality of them while you’re learning. 🙂
I hope this inspired you, Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!
P.S. For those already asking – I’m NOT taking any students now to be mentored under myself, but check my blog here often – I do review QUALITY products quite frequently that won’t steer you wrong!