Not a Marketer? Got An Online Business? Guess What? You're A Marketer
© 2013 Elena Fawkner
What's that I hear you say? You're not a marketer? You've
got an online business haven't you? Well, guess what, baby.
You're a marketer!
With all due respect, I have never been too fond of what I
think of as "marketing types". To my mind, they were always
supreme manipulators with one, and only one, purpose in mind
at all times. To convince me by devious means to part with
my hard-earned money. Like if I spend $35,000 on this cute
little bubble car, rich, handsome men will have an epiphany
and suddenly conclude that I have style and panache and that
certain irresistible "something" they never realized before
they've been in search of their entire lives. Yeah, right.
Give me a break.
Since I've been running my own online business, though, I
have come to view "marketers" in a new, softer light. (I'm
still not buying that car thing though.)
Like you, I started out with an idea. In my case it was to
create an online business that tapped into the
entrepreneurial spirit of people like me wanting to break
the corporate shackles for the "freedom" (which is a WHOLE
other article) of work-from-home self-employment.
So, I identified my niche and set about creating my first
website. As any one of you who has built their own website
knows, the first thing you notice when creating your site
is just how much "how-to" information there is out there.
"Build it and they will come" is a common internet
expression to describe the naive expectation some of us had
when first starting business online that all that is required
to have a hugely successful online business is to build a
brilliant and beautiful website that people will flock to in
droves. I'm embarrassed to even admit this now, but when I
started out, I ACTUALLY thought that all I had to do was
create a website and it would automatically be found by all
the major search engines!
Reality check #1 - No-one knows your site exists. And so
you learned that to get people to visit your site you must
first announce its existence. You learned then of improving
search engine rankings and getting listed in the big
directories, of the importance of linking and forging
Reality check #2. No-one cares that your site exists.
If there's nothing in it for them, that is. You learned the
first principle of ecommerce-psychology - WIIFM. What's
In It For Me?
Reality check #3. Even if you manage to drive traffic
to your site and then deliver something your visitor values,
that doesn't mean they will buy from you. You learned that
when it comes to giving over information, whether that be
names and email addresses or credit card numbers, online
consumers are a distrustful lot. And rightly so.
Reality check #4. Our predecessors have done such a
wonderful job of scamming and spamming that we have to
overcome the presumption in the minds of our site visitors
that we are all a bunch of crooks.
So, how do we go about convincing visitors to look at our
site; how do we go about convincing them that we have
something to offer that will benefit them; how do we go
about convincing them that we will safeguard their privacy;
how do we go about convincing them that we are honest and
reputable and professional?
Answer (in unison, please): we MARKET ourselves. Every
day, in every way. Every time we answer an email. Every
time we send an email. Every time we tweak our home page.
Every time we write an article. Every time we request a
link. Every time we swap an ad. Every time we accept an
order. Every time we issue a refund. Literally, with every
action we take, we are marketing ourselves and our
What does YOUR marketing say about YOU and YOUR business?
Start with reality check #1, your website. Is it clean and
professional looking? Does it load quickly or is it bogged
down with humongous graphics that take so long to load that
your visitors hit the BACK button in frustration? Is it
well designed and easy to navigate? Is the color scheme
easy on the eye? Is it welcoming? Does it contain full
contact information so your visitors can actually
COMMUNICATE with you?
Or is it little more than a long list of banners, each one
of which is linked to that wonderful, you-beaut self-
replicating site you got for FREE! when you joined the
Which brings us smack into reality check #2. WIIFM? What's
in it for your visitor? What benefit does a long list of
banners for your umpteen different and unrelated affiliate
programs bring to your site visitors? You've heard it
before. Hear it again, now. C O N T E N T is
K I N G.
Creating a website is a LOT of hard WORK! Slapping up
affiliate program banners is not. Any idiot can do that.
And plenty have.
What do you have to offer that's different from the rest?
Find it and develop it. Separate yourself from your
competition. Find your niche. Give people a reason to
visit you. More importantly, give people a reason to come
back. You want to be bookmarked. Make your site one they
just can't put down.
Let's move onto reality checks #3 and #4. Why should people
give over their information to you, a total stranger? The
internet is a great, big, level playing field. You can be a
one-man band working out of your basement for two hours
after work each night in your underwear and still give every
impression of being Microsoft if you want. The internet is
the great leveler AND it is anonymous. What's that saying?
On the internet no-one knows how ugly you really are.
Something like that. No-one knows WHO you are, either.
Putting my site visitor hat on for a moment, I want to KNOW
who I'm dealing with! I don't want to transact with a
personality-free website that may or may not be legit. I
want to know your name. I want to know your telephone
number. I'm not going to call you. I just want to know
you're a real person with a real voice who I can call if
I want to or if I need to. I want your email address. I
want to know I'm dealing with a PERSON and not an ATM.
So how do you get me to give you my name and email address
and, maybe, eventually, my credit card number? Simple.
show me yours and I'll show you mine. Let me get to know who
you are and why I should do business with you. Be accessible.
Then, maybe, just maybe, I'll trust you with my email
me you won't sell my address or give it away to anyone either.
Do that, and maybe, ten visits from now, or twenty visits
from now, I may just trust you enough to give you my credit
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Elena Fawkner is editor of Home-Based Business Online.
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Tuesday, 29-Sep-2020 05:50:51 CDT