Not a Business, a Way of Doing Business
Internet MarketingThe very first step in succeeding at anything is learning to think right about it. Imagine a guy who wants to be a lion tamer, with no previous experience. How successful would he be if he decided to just reason with the lions? I’m guessing that would be a very short, painful career. Learning to think right about IM (Internet Marketing) means recognizing that what you are doing is a way of doing business. The actual business you select must be tied to your biggest strengths. That means you must know yourself.
If you were attracted to IM because of the dream of instant riches with no startup costs and no specialized knowledge, your thinking is wrong! Very hungry lions will eat you up in no time. Those lions are unscrupulous marketers who depend on greedy but otherwise innocent victims who have a poor fund of knowledge about the Internet’s commercial side. They’ll keep gnawing on your credit card balance until you shoot them down.
Like a regular store or business, an Internet business sells a product or service with the aim of making a profit. The product or service is the focus; the Internet part is the means to reaching customers. There’s no magic system, method or Web tool that will produce something out of nothing. At least, there isn’t one at the time of this writing. If they invent a computer that can spend its own money, perhaps there will be. I wouldn’t bet on it!
You, as a prospective Internet Marketer, need to learn a few basics:
Most people use the Internet to get information, not spend money.
Those who do want to spend money online know what they want, usually in specific detail.
Customers can be very selfish and fickle – if you don’t have what they want, they’re gone in an instant. If they bought from you and are dissatisfied, they’ll want an instant refund.
If you don’t seem trustworthy, practically nobody will trust you with his or her money. Perception is reality, online.
You need to be able to tolerate risk and uncertainty without panicking. Every business, online or offline, has slow periods, problems and temporary failures. You need staying power to stay in business.
There’s also the question of how you approach Internet Marketing. Are you a hobbyist or a businessperson? A hobbyist cannot use an online business as a tax write-off. A businessperson can. Turning a hobby into a business requires a level of commitment and due diligence beyond the needs of a hobby. It’s fine if you want to share your passion for a particular subject or pastime with a blog or Web page. Just know that if you want to turn that interest into a business, you need to plan it and work it like a business.
Having a passionate interest in something is often the best motive for starting an online business. If all you really want to do is make some money, get a job and let someone else handle all the problems and do all the real worrying. Passion will carry a business past the last barrier to long-term success – quitting when things get tough. There isn’t one successful business that hasn’t had a challenge that could have sunk it without a commitment to overcome that challenge, no matter what!
If you think you have what it takes to meet such challenges, with passion and commitment, follow the two rules for online success:
1. Get started
2. Don’t quit!
Now that you know how to think right about Internet Marketing, you won’t end up lunch for lions.