"Do to others as you would have them do unto you." How many times have we heard that Golden Rule? And certainly it is golden, and a good rule to live by! But with all due respect, God never had to market on the Internet! And there are probably more than seven solid principles we should all be following, but these seven should get you well on your way down the "Golden Path to Prosperity." So let's get started!
Golden Rule Number One: Be willing to talk to "real" people.
Come on, now, what are you afraid of? Do not you have a unique product with a large appeal? And did not you make sure and get something you'd be proud to have your name on? Then open your mouth! I'm not saying you should be obnoxious or pushy about it, but do not be afraid to mention it, either. I guarantee you that one "yes" will make up for all of the "no" s that came before it. Tell your friends you're trying something new, and would not they like to look it out just to be nice to you? Talk to telemarketers. Talk to wrong numbers. Talk to your mother. Ok, be careful about talking to your mother, but you should still consider it! Make up business cards and pass them out to people who smile and nod as they walk by. So what if they drop it as soon as you're out of sight? Maybe someone else will pick it up and be interested.
Please allow me to get on a soap box for a minute. I am sick and tired of hearing "I do not like to sell, I'm not good at selling, and I hate sales people!" Successful people in ANY field are people who realized early on that all of life is a sales pitch. When you apply for a job, you are selling yourself to the employer. Why do you think there's such emphasis on a good resume and a well-groomed appearance? When you debate issues that you care deeply about, you're making a sales pitch. You are doing your best to convince someone that you are right! Sales ability is something that everyone has to some extent. How convincing is your son / daughter or nephew / niece, when they want something you have? Do you think they went to school to learn that? NOPE, they were born with it!
So if you've used any negative phrases about your own ability or willingness to sell, I want you to give yourself a sharp slap on the hand and sternly say, "I am a natural at sales!" If you ever want to make money on the internet, you're going to have to develop that ability. Period.
Golden Rule Number Two: Be willing to make use of free and paid advertising sources.
Advertising is the life-blood of the retailing world. Now YOU are a retailer. You have a product to sell! But nobody will ever know or care unless you advertise. On the internet, there are probably more free sources of advertising than there are paid sources. And when it comes to free advertising, the secret is quantity, not quality. If you want quality, pull out your wallet, and we'll talk about that in a minute. (Just kidding!) But when it comes to free, all you have to do is pull up your favorite search engine and type in "free advertising." More on that in another chapter.
Golden Rule Number Three: Be willing to invest a significant amount of time and effort.
Meaning, you are going to have to SWEAT! Oh no, you will not be out digging ditches and getting sunburned, but by the time you've stared at a computer screen for eight or ten hours, you may wish you had. Marketing on the Internet takes work, commitment, and patience. It's a shorter road to riches than some others, but it still is not a free ride by any means. If you want to make money on the Internet, be sure you're prepared to spend almost as much time in front of your computer after work as you spend at work. It may pay off quickly, but then again it may not. Make sure you're in it for the long haul, and you'll be more likely to succeed early.
Golden Rule Number Four: Be willing to learn from your experiences.
Just as all of life is a sales pitch, every experience in life can be a lesson learned, if you'll look at it that way. Never allow yourself to believe you've "arrived" and there's no more left for you to learn. The world of technology is moving way too fast for anyone to ever be content without taking a class or two, but for those of us who can not afford to stay in college, the next best thing is to glean lessons from your life experience. Listen to people who know. Read articles, read books, read sales solicitations. All these are sources of knowledge that will add to your ability to market your own product. Click your dogs together three times and then repeat this to yourself over and over: "I WILL NEVER STOP LEARNING … I WILL NEVER STOP LEARNING … I WILL NEVER STOP LEARNING …"
Golden Rule Number Five: Be willing to form relationships with other marketers.
One thing I wish I had more time for, and probably should MAKE more time for, is the building of friendships with people who are making money on the Internet. The reason is because I understand the principle of association. You tend to become like the people you spend time with – not because you're easily influenced, but simply because that's how human animals are designed. Once in a while, I open my mouth and hear my father speaking. I HATE that! But I realize the simple truth, that we absorb the habits and attitudes of other people in our lives. SO, if you want to learn success in marketing, form a solid habit of association with successful marketers. Join and attend forums where these types of people hang out. Get access to phone numbers and conference calls where you can speak with these people and absorb their knowledge and experience. The fact is that you will not regret the time you spent "shooting the breeze" with someone who, without even realizing it, gave you secrets to success that you were able to put to work in your own life.
Golden Rule Number Six: Remember the principle of increasing returns.
In other words, what comes around, goes around. Or in more traditional words, you reap what you sow. How does this apply to marketing, you ask? Let me explain. I believe that it is a basic law of the universe that you get back what you put into it. If you live your life with honesty and consideration, then it will pay off in dividends of trust and beneficial relationships. In the Internet, it's a small world even though it's a large universe. People who market tend to associate with other marketers. If you run your business with integrity, you will be known as such, and people who respect integrity will send business your way. But if you do not, believe me it will get around, and your name will be mud. Without it already is mud, and then it'll be something worse. Just do not do it. Remember that it all comes back to you one way or another, sooner or later.
Golden Rule Number Seven: Be willing to deal positively with disappointments.
This actually goes well with other Golden Rules, but I think it's important enough to be discussed separately. Life is full of disappointments – if you're over the age of 12, you should already understand that. But in the world of marketing, you may actually suffer quite a few failures before you succeed. But remember this – THE ONLY WAY TO TRULY FAIL IS TO FAIL TO TRY AGAIN.
There may come a point where you decide it simply is not what you want to do, and you've rather pursue other possibilities. But without or until you reach that point, do not give up. Do not give up. Do not give up. And let me emphasize to you, DO NOT GIVE UP! If you give up, you will never know whether you would one day have made it. So – do not give up!
But it's just as important that you determine to learn from your mistakes and disappointments. A lesson learned turns a failure into a success, because you actually gained something positive from the experience. Determine to come up fighting every time you fall, and then look at what made you fall so you can figure out how not to fall again. This is how we learn, and this is how we get strong – through falling and getting up, taking a hit and learning how to duck or block the next one. One more time, just so you can remember … DO NOT GIVE UP!