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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Marketing “Experts”

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

I have wanted to increase my marketing skills so, a couple weeks ago, I bought an online marketing course designed for 2017. So, should be new and up to date. Was offered as a deal on a fairly reputable site. A $500 course for just $29. Sure, big savings like that are always questionable but the site offering it is a relative newcomer so probably still trying to build an audience and get positive reviews. So I went for it.

Saw on the site that actual hosts the course that they regularly sell the course for $200, not $500. Still, $29 for a $200 course isn’t bad.

I start following the course, step-by-step, not skimming, not skipping around. Plus it’s a video course, which I hate (that and podcasts) but I want to improve my marketing skills and so there we are.

My initial goal was to learn marketing to better market my eCommerce site. As some of you know, we do printing, rubber stamps, engraving and so on. So a lot of custom stuff. I have found that many marketing books don’t have applicable examples. If you sell pizza or you’re an accountant, sure, they’ve got examples like that covered, but nothing along the lines of offering personalized goods.

This course didn’t promise any examples along those lines, but, from the table of contents listed prior to purchase, I figured it’d at least cover some good ground regarding online marketing in 2017.

Plus, I thought maybe, just maybe, some of the skills might help with selling eBooks as well. Not the main goal of taking the course, but if it helps in that area, yay!

As I go through the course, I shortly discover that it is largely geared around selling courses on stuff to other people. You know how to teach people how to program, well, this course will show you how to make sure you cover the skills people need and reach the people needing to learn those skills.

Oh, but you want to sell widgets? Well, um, sure, that’s applicable, kind of, sort of, yeah, um, you just have to make adjustments and, um, yeah, totally the same techniques and, um, yeah, exactly the same.

Not really.

Ugh.

How about a list building course? You need to build a list of customers to promote stuff to, you know? Thus, I also signed up for a course on list building.

Beyond the technical stuff of building the list (which service to use, how to set it up and all that), the key thing is to . . . give something free to get people to sign up.

Oh, and then that free thing should leave them wanting more, so they will buy your . . . you guessed it . . . course on how to do whatever.

Oy.

And then we fast forward to today, wherein I see a post in social media about an interview with an author selling oodles of books who expects to hit six figures this year and how said author accomplished that. Learn from a successful author!

Okay.

Guess how said author makes the big bucks . . .

If you guessed “selling courses,” give yourself a gold star.

But, at least I have lifetime access to the courses, so if I decide to sell a course five years from now, I’ll have all the information I need to sell a course in 2017.

My Office Window

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Office Window 1331

 

I haven’t posted a new photo since September, so it’s time to change that.

This is the outside of my office window. The outside is still not painted yet. When painted, it won’t be white anymore.

Website Marketing Chat on Skype

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Okay, gang…

If you have a website (and a blog is a website for those of you with a blog that don’t think you have a website because, yes, you do in fact have a website) and you are interested in website marketing, then I have a new Skype chatroom to discuss website marketing.

We’ll (probably) talk about all sorts of website marketing, from driving traffic to your website, monetizing your website with advertising, and even selling products.

So, whatever you’re into, we’ll probably be talking about it.

There’s already a good group of people in there, so we’re just waiting on you to hop on in and join.

Mind you, this is a Skype chat, so you’ll need to have Skype installed in order to participate.

Click here to join my Website Marketing chat.

EDIT: If the above link doesn’t work, just contact me on Skype (dcrinnert) and I can add you to the chatroom.

Wherein I Rant (Sort Of) and Define My Website

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

As some of you know, I have a site I’ve been working on and several of you are “pioneers” on the site, helping me with testing and whatnot, for which I am extremely grateful.

In a discussion with some friends on Skype, the question arose of what my site was about and why someone would want to be a member.

That’s a question I’ve been struggling with quite some time. Sometimes, you know you have a good idea on your hands, but you’re not entirely sure how to express it. I think that’s a reason why some really good ideas never go anywhere. How often do you see a crummy product overtake the market place while a truly excellent product ends up in the margins, and sometimes the parent company folds? Sometimes, I think it’s because they weren’t as able to convince people of the value of their product while the junk peddlers were.

But, I did answer the question by way of a bit of a rant, which goes something like what follows…

Content plus discussions is the very basic thing of my site.  But, more like a casual newspaper, where you get the information you need and can comment on it, discuss it with other users and so forth.  Basically, the typical forum.

The main thing is the content and discussion forums, both of which are admittedly light at the moment.  You have to be registered on the site in order to participate in the forums or leave comments on articles.

I like Twitter.  I’ve met great people on Twitter.  But then hack-marketers went loose on it and largely ruined it.  For the most part, DMs are essentially useless because it’s just abused with spammers.  You had people giving advice like “Send a thank you for following and include your sales pitch and link” and so you’d follow someone that seemed interesting and, right away, you’d get a junk DM.

Twitter does a fairly decent job of getting rid of the blatant spammers, but there are so many borderline ones that clutter things up.  People set up fake profiles and whatnot and it’s just a mess.

I remember one blatant spammer that had this pyramid scam for gaining followers.  The only one that really gained followers was himself and his loyal cadre of his initial participants.  But, like everything else MLM, the people at the bottom levels got squat.  Meanwhile, he’s DMing each new follower with some eBook he’s selling–probably on making money on Twitter or something–and making hundreds (or maybe thousands) of dollars.

He still has a Twitter account too.  If I were Twitter, I would have kicked him out.

Similarly with Facebook, that’s just getting crowded with hack-marketers too.  “Friend me and like my page so I can send you tons of garbage offers on a regular basis in the hopes that you’ll buy my stinking pile of doggy doo.”

And don’t forget about MySpace.  Ugh.

I’m tired of it.  Way back when, way back when Bulletin Board Systems and FreeNets were the norm, if you had users like that, you kicked them to the curb!  Nowadays, there are no mods or administrators.  It’s only the blatant, en masse spammers that get kicked out.

Just look in the Internet Marketing sphere.  There’s a big name so-called “guru” that was fined nearly a quarter of a million dollars for making income claims that weren’t sustainable for most buyers.  Yet, he’s still out there peddling his stuff and has a loyal following of people.

So, I like to think of my site as a bit of a throwback to the old days.  When you had someone come through town selling snake oil, you chased him out.  Or, the sheriff caught him on his way in, and told him he best be peddling his trinkets elsewhere.

The only marketers I really want around are the ones that understand relationship marketing and not the hack-marketers that think they can earn their millions by blasting their link each and every place they can.

There’ll be ads and stuff for sale and the like, but I want to cut out a lot of the noise.  I’ll do my best to cut off the spammers at the pass and readily kick them out if they do sneak in.

So, if you look for content on something you’re interested in, you’re going to find it.  You’re not going to have to sift through a bunch of junk to do so.  You’re not going to have to sort through a bunch of “buy my eBook” sales pitches masquerading as answers to do so.  And, if you can’t find it, you can ask other people for help.  And those people are going to give you direction and not a sales pitch to buy their eBook.

The Internet is sort of like the Big City.  You’ve got lots of stuff there, but you also have scammers and slick salespeople trying to sell you something on every corner and in every alley.

My site would be the Suburbs.  A lot of the benefits of the Big City but with fewer of the drawbacks.

Pay Attention to Small Details

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Often, people tend to think of the small details as unimportant.

They’re just little things, after all.

But, sometimes, getting them wrong can really derail you.

I remember a dating site ad or splash screen from years ago.

Of course, they always try to sell you on the attractive people you’re going to meet and all that. And, probably many of the photos you see (at least in the ads or header images and the like) are going to be that of models and not actual singles on the site.

What doesn’t help the selling point is if one of the supposed singles in the photos is wearing a wedding ring.

Mind you, under a heading of “X percentage of our members get married” or something like that, a wedding ring is not a bad thing.

Under a heading of “meet available singles” then it’s not a good thing.

Of course, some sites are like that, where married people go for “casual” encounters or whatnot, but this was not one of those sites.

The bottom line is that that should never have gotten past whoever it was that designed and approved the ad copy. This site was big enough that I bet it was more than just one guy slapping things together and putting them up. This was a professional site. Someone should have caught that.

But, evidently, no one did.

And, that’s why it’s important to pay attention to small details. Overlooking them might give people the wrong impression. It may lose you potential customers… or attract the wrong ones!