John is very happy because he has just finished creating his first website. He's excited, anxious and has great anticipation that mobs of visitors will come to his site.
John begins to place his ads on free classified sites, submit his URL to search engines, link pages and he has joined a few banner exchange programs, but to John's surprise nothing happens. John commits to place his ads and submit his URL everyday, but 6 months later he receives very little results from his marketing efforts.
Sounds too familiar, right?
Why does it seem that when we try to do everything in our power to promote our online businesses, it appear that it still comes to nothing? In the end it seems that you have only wasted YOUR time and YOUR money?
There could be many reasons why marketing efforts fail: You could have a poor ad copy, promoting the wrong products or services, capital, etc...
Many of us are like John we just think if we put it out there, people have to come. But this attitude is totally wrong! If you continue to think this way you'll continue to waste more of your time and money!
I was once told that marketing is like fishing. If you only have one line in the water, you'll catch a fish here and there. But the more lines you throw out, the more fish you'll catch.
Which meant I should place more ads on classified sites, in more ezines, in more media, submit my URL to more search engines and link pages. This also meant that I should try to plaster my ads everywhere when given the opportunity; because the more people to view my ads, the more responses I will receive.
As marketers isn't this our attitude already? We want everyone in the world to see our ads and purchase our products or services; so why does this perspective also fail?
Although the internet is one of the greatest mediums that gives us all the advantage and the ability to market our products worldwide; let's face it, the world is not interested in your products. Let's say that one of your ads brought in 250,000 orders in one day. Will you be able to handle these orders? Most small businesses wont. Casting many fishing lines into the waters may sound good, but this can be your guaranteed road to failure.
Let's look at marketing as if we all were fishermen. We hear that big fish bite down at Prospects Lake. We all gather at Prospects Lake and throw out our 5, 10, 20 fishing lines everyday in hope of catching all these big fish. We figure the more lines we put out there, we are bound to catch all these fish. But what do you think will really happen?
With all those lines out there the fish will probably become confused. The lines will probably tangle. Most people will probably be using fake bait and this will discourage the fish from biting; because they wont be able to tell the fake bait from the real thing. So what should you do? How can you compete in such a vast market place?
The first thing you must do is start targeting your marketing efforts. You must totally change your "cast out many lines" attitude and concentrate on what really works. Yes, you may have some success fishing at Prospects Lake, but why only accept the crumbs when you can have the whole. Before we all flock down to Prospects Lake, we must first determine if fishing here will be to our benefit or not? You can start by asking:
* What type of fishermen are you?
* What type of fish do you want to catch?
* What type of fish are at Prospects Lake?
* Are these the type of fish you want to catch?
* What type of bait do they like?
* Can you catch enough fish to sustain you for years to come?
* Can you catch enough fish to support you for a life time?
* Does fishing at Prospects Lake, guarantee catch?
* Is Prospects Lake the only place to fish?
* Are there too many people fishing here?
Prospects Lake may appear to be a fishermen's dream, just as the internet may be to the marketer, but this may not be always true. The internet like Prospects Lake has too many fishermen. They're all attempting to reach the same prospects, offering similar products and services, using the same techniques and cliches etc... Prospects are bombarded with 100's of ads everyday; so they too become very confused and can not distinguish your ads from the next persons offer.
You also lack a USP (Unique Selling Position). You fail to show prospects the benefits that make your offer stand out from the rest of the crowd. Prospects only see your ad as just another ad. It is essential the you develop your USP. This will help you determine who and what your targeted market will consist of.
What if you were only interested in catching cat fish, but at Prospects Lake there were only salmon? You will be wasting your time and effort fishing there. On the other hand, what if there were 2 large ponds and another lake where you would be sure to catch cat fish? You would receive better results fishing in them.
Now let's say your online business was wholesale merchandising. Your targeted market may consist of other wholesalers, retailers, distributors. Instead of trying to market your products to the world, you now begin to target where and to who you market your products. You find classified sites, ezines, opt-in mailing lists, magazines etc... that relate to your targeted market.
To some this may seem that we are trying to cut down our targeted market or lessen our chances for better results. When first trying to only reach your targeted market, you may feel that you are not doing your job as a marketer or that you are lessening your chances of growing or expanding, but simple targeted marketing will increase your chances of growth.
There are many successful online businesses that only cater and service there local areas. They never try to promote and market their products to the whole world; they only concentrate on trying to reach this smaller market. To many of us they may seem "small time", but many are making 6 - 7 figure incomes. Trying to be "bigger" may not always be better. By reaching this smaller market they receive better results and can build better relationships. Plus targeted marketing saves you time and money.
So where will YOU be fishing next time? Will YOU be down at Prospects Lake, throwing out "many lines"? Or at the lake where YOU will be guaranteed to catch more fish?
*This article may be reprinted and used in its entirety in your newsletters or ezines. Only requirement is that you also include the resources box below.
**Article written by John Ellis. John has written several articles, books and manuals on online marketing. Check his newest book, "Net Marketing Made Easy!" His desire is to assist other online businesses in achieving the success YOU deserve! Subscribe to the FREE bi-weekly ezine! http://www.je-circle-marketing.com
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