I hate excuses, and want to vomit every time I hear a “seasoned” business owner rattle one off as a “reason” for their decision to NOT go with a website or Internet marketing for their next marketing endeavor.
My weak stomach, lack of patience, and inability to “sell” business owners on the web aside this post is a preface to another one I read yesterday over on SEOMOZ.
Top 5 Bullshit Excuses on Why the Web Won’t Work
(You see what I did there – I added a curse word. I felt like it was inappropriate for the true title!)
Yesterday I had the opportunity to read Neil Patel’s “12 Things That will Kill Your Blog Post… Every Time.” Go read it now if you’re a blogger – you can even skim over it – but just 30 seconds of your time will help you produce even MORE results from your blog, instantly, for years to come.
The article, brought to you by SEOMoz (one of the most respected names in SEO) highlights 12 fantastic pitfalls ALL bloggers must be on the look out for.
Just a day ago, I had a quick impromptu meeting with another business owner who shares our building and conveyed many of the same points. It’s true, doing the things Neil suggests will hurt your blog. Avoiding the 12 things mentioned will help your blog SOAR!
Our own blog is an excellent example of some of his more technical points (consistent blogging will lead to huge traffic gains) but that’s a topic for another post. What I wanted to write here involves taking a step back. Too often I see business owners unwilling to step out of their comfort zone, explore the marketing benefits of a great website, or *GASP!!* a BLOG! It really is a four letter word for many business owners who still believe a blog is a sounding board for opinions and complaints.
I’ve come up with the top 5 excuses I’ve heard over the years…
1) “It’s Too Hard (or Technical or Difficult)”
Let’s get this straight, anything worth doing takes time, effort… work. I wholeheartedly do NOT believe that anything can be accomplished, that money can be made, without hard work. Maybe that’s why I hate Multi-Level Marketing organizations, “work from home,” & Network Marketing companies so much. You can make money, but they always sell a lifestyle that doesn’t exist – money for nothing (and chicks for free!). Any Dire Straits fans out there?
The web is no different – and even when you “strike it rich” often times it’s only because a good amount of planning & execution (work) over time went into making it a success. I currently have one business model that’s worked very well. And each week a few hours of work brings in 5 figures of income each month. Awesome! But it took 2.5 years to get there… 2.5 years of planning, refinement and hard work.
With this said, the actual work involved in properly marketing a website are things we learned back when we first developed language – most of it is simply communication. Writing, networking, asking, being inquisitive, etc. nothing complicated… but it will take actually DOING these things to make your site and online business a success.
2) “I Already Tried, it Didn’t Work Out”
If your website and Internet marketing failed you before, it was 1 of 3 things (or all 3)..
- The company you hired sucked (if you hired someone)…
- You did things wrong…
- You didn’t stick to it
Internet marketing works, and I’ve only seen 1 situation out of 1000’s where it didn’t make sense for a particular business model (and even then we COULD have changed the model slightly to make it work!). There has never been an easier tool to make money, and market your business. Now you can compete with the “big guys” – the fortune 500’s – and in some cases even destroy them if you stick to it and practice what you’ll be learning in this guide.
3) The Web is Too Expensive
Certain things on the web can be expensive. I feel one of the most valuable, but bottom-line expensive things in this industry is expertise. Few have it, and it’s worth a lot to those that do – and those that implement that expertise. That’s why a great web development company will charge $120 – $250/hour for work or charge tens of thousands for a simple website.
But, relatively speaking – and we’ll come back to this kind of thinking in just a minute – it’s typically WAY less expensive. To give you an example a local business we just started working with (that has a national product) went from roughly 0 traffic on their site to over 10,000/month in a matter of months. That means nearly a quarter of a million people will see them by end of year. Imagine what you would have to do to gain that kind of exposure. One way would be to setup an office in a fancy/busy part of town – that might cost $20,000+ in additional rent over the year. Then they could purchase a billboard, as well as advertising in a national magazine ($50,000+/year). Let’s not even get to television and radio.
And, even with all of that – do you think 250,000 people would visit their office? That many people are visiting their digital office… their website.
4) I Don’t Have the Time
As a rule, our web development firm doesn’t work with clients that are unwilling to commit to additional marketing of their website after launch. Why? Because it’s the only thing that really matters.
You don’t have the time? What? You don’t have the time to grow your business? When you work on your website and Internet marketing you leverage your time on one of the greatest wealth generation (and communication tools) in all of history. If you can spend, a few hundred hours creating a great website, content, or digital book you have the opportunity to reach thousands, or possibly millions for years to come. If you don’t have the time for the above, you should get out of business. But, if you do dedicate the time I can promise that – if you abide by the principals we write about (and those that Neil mentions in his own posts) – that nothing will be a greater return for your business.
5) My Audience Isn’t Online
I’ve saved the best for last. I hate this one (probably because I hear it more often than any other excuse).
It’s an excuse because – how the hell do you know?
Understand immediately the difference between an assumption and a fact – you know your customers, but do you really know their Internet behavior?
Are you sitting behind their house, camouflaged by their Azalea bushes, watching them surf the web. If you were dedicated like me – you would be.
(Every Friday night I camp out at another “clients” house to watch their “Internet behaviour”)
On a serious not – have you actually done research or tried soliciting your clients for their opinion on the web? Simply ask, or do some research. Every segment of the population is growing their Internet use – and the largest/fastest growing segment are seniors (the population I hear doesn’t use the web MOST often).
Let’s take a minute to reaffirm:
Developing your business online IS easy. You will be successful if you stick to what you know (your business, and your audience), and apply that knowledge to your website, and Internet marketing. The web is but a fraction of the expense of others similar marketing tools (an office, print advertising, etc.). You DO have the time to do this, as you can leverage the power of exponential returns on your time and realize that an hour invested in something related to bettering your business online today can equal tens of thousands of dollars of return over the coming years. Finally, your audience IS online!
Have any excuses you’ve heard over the years?
(You see Neil – I’m inviting my audience to comment as you suggested…)