If you’ve been online for any length of time, then no doubt you have been bombarded at every turn by people trying to sell you their particular brand of Internet success.
Internet Marketing began in the 90s. Back then, it was mostly large corporations advertising on the newest platform. AT&T ran one of the first banner ads to appear on the Internet in 1994.
If you were online during that time or even shortly thereafter, then you can remember an Internet that was a lot more about information and not so much about bombarding us with advertisements.
These days, it certainly seems the opposite is true.
One of the amazing things about the Internet is that it’s a level playing field of sorts. I can advertise right alongside huge corporations through paid advertising. These days, Internet ads are very reasonably-priced. Social Media ads where you can laser target your audience are very affordable for almost anyone to utilize.
How you utilize them is the big secret around the web. Even more secret than that are the true methods you can use to make money online.
Is Your Product, Course, or eBook a Steaming Pile?
In 12 years, I’ve bought and seen a lot of online products. Perhaps not as many as some people because I’m cheap like that, but I’ve seen my fair share.
Let me put it this way, I’ve seen enough to know that many of the products out there on the market are garbage. I’m sorry marketers, but it’s the truth.
I have caught a lot of flak in the past for comparing the value of online products to my Netflix account. I see Netflix as a great model for providing value to customers.
Allow me to digress for a moment…
I don’t know how many different streaming items Netflix has at any given time, but it’s a lot. The only problem I have with Netflix is that it seems they never have the movies I want to watch. I think this is a common consensus. That being said, they somehow find a way to offer massive value through:
- Streaming top shows like The Walking Dead, The 100, Mindhunter, and Scandal (just a few I enjoy)
- Streaming on numerous devices – I can watch on my phone, tablet, PC, and Roku. Before Roku, I used my Nintendo Wii to watch on the big screen
- High quality picture with minimal buffering
- Cheap pricing
Sometimes it can seem that Netflix is missing too many new releases and old favorites, but I can forego access to new releases and old favorites and still feel that I’m receiving massive value due to the sheer volume of content available and great price.
Netflix is a product with room to improve, but still massively popular because it’s not crap.
Case in point, I tried binge-watching a favorite show on one of the cable channel sites the other day, and all I kept thinking was, “They should let Netflix handle this” because it kept buffering and the ad network they were using was a buggy mess. There was no value there.
This is why I like to compare things to Netflix. If you’re not offering massive value for a cheap price nearly anyone can afford, then why should I buy your product?
Sampling the Merchandise
I’ve seen marketers come and go. I’ve followed some of them until I got lost, but I never bought very many products. You can’t sell me on a mystery. I’m sure your course is great, but I’m not paying you $497 for it.
No lie, I went through a course recently. That was the price tag: $497. I didn’t pay that for it. I got it on a stiff discount. This was content from last year, and it so wasn’t worth $500. There was ONE section of the course where I learned something valuable and applicable to my business. That one tidbit was hardly worth $500. I would have been so mad had I paid that price for it.
Soon after, I went through a $200 CPA Marketing, and most of the videos were fluff. Out of 12 videos in the first module, most of them were really short (not a complaint) with pretty much no information. Odds are, if someone is taking a course in something and especially if they are investing $200, they probably don’t need 12 videos of introduction to the subject matter. Thirteen videos into the second module, I was just getting to the content the course was supposed to be about.
Hey, at least that instructor spoke good English while relaying the fluff! I have nothing but love for those across the pond and beyond, but if your English is broken, you probably shouldn’t try to teach stuff using it…just a suggestion. I have probably 10 to 15 courses sitting on my hard drive that I can’t understand. Easily thousands of dollars in content.
Don’t even get me started on the eBooks. eBooks are by far my preferred medium for learning. I’ve gotten some pretty expensive eBooks lately. A few of them were put together quite well, but the methods are tired. I expect a little more from a $60+ eBook.
That was the good eBook. I got one product with 2 OTOs. That’s a “one time offer” for those who don’t know. One of the OTOs had repeat content in it from the main product. There were like 6 eBooks in each item when only one was really needed. They were thrown together with such disregard that it was obvious someone made a product just to make a product and hopefully get some form of measly profit before anyone realized it was crap.
After sampling the merchandise, I wouldn’t buy any of it if I could see it first. Would you?
Would You Buy Your Own Product?
Well, would you? Knowing what’s exactly in your product, would you pay what you are asking for it as a novice in the field? Would it provide knowledge to your target audience? We are beyond the “action” excuse here. You know, where you answer, “Yeah, sure, if they take action.”
That’s an easy escape, huh, when someone doesn’t see promised success? They must not have taken action.
So, you must be a person of massive action then, right? The question remains, would you buy your product? Does that product give a “person of action” everything they need to succeed at the business/method you are hawking?
If your answer to any of these questions is “NO”, deep down or otherwise, you should not be selling that product. PERIOD. PARAGRAPH.
So Is It?
Is your product a steaming pile? Fix it. Honestly, there’s enough crap out there, and I’ve seen my share of it. My advice is to polish your Google skills, and Google any product you’re planning to buy before you pay through the nose for a steaming pile of garbage.
High Standards and Great Expectations
I admit my product standards are high. Look, I don’t know about you, but I can’t just throw upwards of $400 at a course sight unseen.
If I’m going to put that kind of money into something, I need a rock-solid guarantee that good things are going to happen for me on the back end.
I feel that I’m different from a lot of people in that I take action when I put my time and money into an information product. I couldn’t tell you how many courses I’ve taken that had me set up a dedicated website and email list just to promote a product. I found that to be a waste of time for numerous reasons like:
- All of the other people who took the course and are now your competition
- Having a whole separate website, etc. to maintain and create content for
- Labor-intensive traffic methods
I could go on.
Old Tired Marketing Methods
I think my number one hated method would have to be webinars.
I’ll never forget the first one I attended. The guy was 15 minutes late, and when he showed, he proceeded to drone on for an hour and a half. I finally gave up and bailed at that point because I hadn’t learned a single thing.
Every webinar I’ve ever attended was the exact same:
- A lot of hype
- A lot of blabbering
- A lot of selling
- No real substance
So you made $10K last month, great! I’m still not buying your $1000 product. Anyone can find 10 suckers per month if they do enough webinars. That is not the type of business model I’m going for.
Then you have the guys who churn out product after product on platforms like Warrior+ and JVZoo. I’m not saying some of these products aren’t quality, because a few of them certainly are. The problem here is the unbelievable amount of crap you have to wade through to find something real.
Most of the products I’ve gotten via one of these forums were long chains of piggy-backed products. I’ve seen some with as many as 6 to 8 additional offers you have to opt out of to get to your final product download. It’s ridiculous.
Crappy Email Lists
I believe in email marketing, but some guys take it to an insane level. I’d venture to state that there are Marketers out there who teach their students to email their list everyday. Why?
I don’t need an email from anyone everyday unless they are paying me.
No offense to Brendan Mace, but he is one of the worst. I would not doubt that his products help young people learn the ropes of Internet Marketing, but his approach to “get bux” is not my style or the kind of content I enjoy consuming.
Dan Brock, the Deadbeat Super Affiliate took a turn doing this. His testing must have fallen flat because he stopped doing it pretty quickly.
It’s true, there has been many combinations of the same methods to make money online. Build a website, promote a product, build a list, rinse, repeat.
I would say 99% of the products I’ve bought were just rehashed methods. Seriously, every affiliate marketing product is the same:
- Choose a niche
- Create or find a product to promote
- Build a website around that product
- Create an opt in to capture emails
- Give away a free eBook as an incentive for people to opt in
- Write articles about your niche
- Comment on other blogs, forums, and website in your niche
- Ad nauseum, ad infinitum
It’s almost too difficult to get email addresses anymore. The entire Internet is jaded. These methods are just worn out.
If you want to get rid of me, just say “webinar” or “one time offer” to me. I’m out.
I Propose What I Call “The Unique Approach”
At this point, when someone does something fresh and different, it tends to catch my eye.
I kind of accidentally aligned myself with some people who don’t compare themselves constantly to anyone else. That makes it quite difficult to not do things differently.
Once you establish that you’re not really following anyone specific, ideas begin to open up in your mind. The Internet Marketing world sure could use some of those new ideas!
I think the key here is to mix new ideas with old methods.
For example, I still think an email list can be a highly effective marketing tool if you don’t make it so obvious that you’re using it for marketing. Get personal, get deep, and actually send out something of substance. I don’t subscribe to email lists to constantly buy products. I sign up to get the exclusive tidbits that should be offered.
Things like blogs, social media, and video should absolutely be utilized as a means to provide huge value to your audience. If you give people enough for free, they will be happy to pay you when you launch your larger endeavors.
Don’t be afraid to fail.
Testing is the key to new ideas and marketing methods.
For example, my friend Dale from Self-Publishing with Dale has recently spilled over on to Twitch.tv. Twitch is a platform previously occupied by mostly gamers live-streaming video gameplay. Recently, the Creative section of that platform has been growing, and there are aspects of that model that make it more appealing than YouTube…at least to me.
The reason being that it’s a bit easier to build a following on Twitch and monetization is easier to obtain as well since the new rules implemented in the last year over at YouTube.
As someone who has known that I needed to expand into video for some time, but just didn’t feel motivated, Twitch has changed everything for me.
I haven’t seen any other marketers talking about Twitch. I really think we are pioneering a new frontier there.
The unique approach is that there’s no method to the madness. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Just because a million gurus aren’t promoting those same methods doesn’t mean they won’t work.
As more and more technologies are developed, I think the digital marketing landscape will continue to evolve.
That’s a Wrap
If you heard something that interests you, grab the show notes at HeyYoAva.com/Episode23.
I release a new episode each Wednesday!
Until next time…turning your passion into cashflow!