Category: Internet Marketing

The State Of Play

I’ve been a very busy boy lately. I’ve really gotten into the lead up for the 30DC this year, and not just because I’m now involved behind the scenes. Having been a participant since the very first challenge, I believe the 30DC will always hold a special place for me each year as it’s really what got the ball rolling and enabled me to move onto greener pastures.

But internet marketing was never my only source of investment, and that’s what has led me to writing this post. I began my year in a very comfortable place, but the goalposts have now moved, and it’s scary, frustrating and exciting all at the same time.

But let me give you a bit of backstory if you’re not familiar with how I got here.

I began 2008 very differently from previous years. I was a primary school teacher for 10 years (elementary for those of you in North America), and although I loved being with the kids on a daily basis, for a variety of reasons I knew that long term, teaching just wasn’t where I wanted to be. Fast forward to 2008 and I was about to embark on a new journey, that of a full time internet marketer/web designer. I quit the teaching profession, set up my home office, and hunkered down ready for the time of my life.

At just the right time, an internship program arrived via Ed Dale and Dan Raine, and I took that on as I’ve always believed the best way to learn from people is to be as hands on as possible. Seven months into 2008, from an internet marketing perspective, things couldn’t be better.

But here’s the thing, a part of what enabled me to take such a huge step were some investments my wife and I had made along the way. The internet side has been great, but these investments were really the icing on the cake, enabling me a bit of flexibility to grow my business organically, without trying to force things to make ends meet.

Well, in the last week that has all changed. I won’t go into specifics, but let me just say that our largest investment has just become another victim of the US economy, and overnight we’ve lost a lot of money. I mean a lot of money. Think six figures a couple times over and you’re getting somewhere into the ballpark.

Now, that is the first and last time I’ll mention it. I’m not a victim and I won’t be laying blame or crying poor. I only mentioned it so I can better illustrate the state of play I now find myself in. I now need money, a lot of it. I could go back to teaching tomorrow, but it really wouldn’t help, there’s no leverage there. A fortnightly pay packet is nice and safe, but there’s no room for growth. My current online markets are okay, but nowhere near being able to cover the sudden shift in budget I find myself with.

Here’s the thing I really want people to get though. This changes nothing.

I still want the same things, I still aspire to the same goals, and I still believe that I’ll get there. What I have right now is a golden opportunity. The level of comfort I’d built up for myself is gone, and I’m back to square one. The difference this time is the experience and skills I have going in. I feel like I’m starting all over again, and really, that’s exactly what the situation is.

If I look at what I’ve achieved online over the last few years, I have to be brutally honest with myself. I’ve done okay, but I really should have taken things to new level before now. It’s like I was a trapeze artist who only ever performed with a safety net. The act was okay, and people clapped, but I never really stretched myself because I always had the net there to catch me. Well, the net is now gone and I have 2 choices. Keep performing and get better at what I do, or walk away because I’m afraid of what might happen.

Am I scared? You better believe it. Will I take the safe option? Never.

Strap yourself in if you’re hanging around, things are about to get very interesting.

Tall Poppy Syndrome

In Australia, we have this social effect where anyone who gets too successful eventually gets cut down by everyone else. Effectively, if you get too big for your britches, people feel they have a right to cut you back down. It’s probably the single largest thing about being Australian that I have always hated. For some reason, we get jealous and vindictive about the success of others.

But why? I’ve never understood it. People work hard, make all the right choices, make smart decisions, and reap the rewards. Fair enough to me. I’m not at the point yet myself, but I’m getting there, so why begrudge the succes of others who have gotten there before me.

But I digress….

Today I woke up to find a firestorm of controversy over an article written in Mashable. That can’t right I thought, I like Mashable and read it every day. I better have a look. What I read was really just a personal attack on John Reese. It is unfounded, inaccurate, and quite frankly, just rubbish. Aside from attacking John, the inaccurate prediction that internet marketers are going to ruin Twitter for everybody is just mind boggling.Tall poppy syndrome at its finest

What an utterly rediculous argument. I’ve really enjoyed reading Mashable until today.

This is like saying internet marketers are going to ruin email because they use it. No wait, people can unsubscribe can’t they?

So, obviously for Twitter to survive this massive onslaught of people being marketed to by other Twitter users, there needs to be some sort of way to stop following the people who market to you? Hmm…

Honestly, the personal attack on John Reese without even checking the facts is just gutter journalism, something I thought Mashable would be above. I’d love to do a comparison between the number of times Mashable staff have twittered links to their articles, compared to the number of times John has twittered links to his stuff. Just over the last couple of months.

But I don’t really need to do I, we both know the answer to that already. It’s been quite good though, to see that most of the commenters to the article I’m talking about  don’t agree with it, so at least there’s some common sense out there.

Mashable is a highly, highly monetised site, that uses Twitter to drive traffic. I follow John Reese on Twitter, and I enjoy his tweets. It’s been quite rare to have John link to any of his sites, he’s more likely to offer little nuggets of wisdom or vent about different sports. Who’s the bad guy here?

I want you to make your own mind up, so I’m not going to put in any quotes from either source. Instead, below I’ll link to the Mashable article in question, and then John Reese’s response to the attack on his blog. I know who think shows more ethics but I want you to see it for yourself. Make sure you read the comments section too, that’s very enlightening all by itself.

The Mashable Article

John Reese’s Response

Beechworth 2008 – The Week The Game Changed

So, it’s Sunday morning and I’ve just spent the week at Beechworth. I don’t think I could do justice to the experience by trying to detail it all here. And of course, there’s quite a bit I can’t detail here anyway, as people paid a handsome sum to attend and that knowledge needs to stay indoors.

What I can tell you is what I’ve taken away from the event on a personal level. When I break it down, it all really fits into 3 areas: Community, Knowledge, and Savvy

Community

More than any other event, internet marketing or otherwise, I met and became friends with so many people this week it’s incredible. And that’s taking into consideration the fact that there was only around 30 people in attendance. I won’t rattle off a list of names here either, as I would no doubt forget someone and that would not be cool. The reason that meeting so many people this time around is doubly important for me though, is that everyone I met is actually doing things online rather than just talking about it.

You go to these conferences (not that this was like ANY conference I’d been to before), and you do meet people. Genuinely nice people most of the time, but the common denominator most of the time is that none of them are taking action. The Beechworth crowd are a group taking action. In some cases massive action. Fantastic to be around. By the way, the link to the Beechworth crowd isn’t everybody I met during the week, there were heaps more people.

Knowledge

Of course you know we had Ed and Dan present during the week. They each have their own style and their own brand of presenting. What they did do the same though, was deliver absolute top shelf content. If you were around for the Ustream show on the first day of the conference you got a taste of what Ed was doing. Just brilliant. Dan on the other hand, wowed us in a completely different way. His content was also nothing short of brilliant, but you won’t be hearing about it on this site. I’m not deliberately trying to build it up either, it’s just a simple case of not being able to share. Just wouldn’t be fair to those that attended.

Another huge highlight for me was Rob Somerville’s presentation. It was a real gamechanger for me. Rob really did a fantastic job, and has just opened my eyes up to where I’d been going wrong. Well, not wrong exactly, just not as refined as I should have been. So thanks Rob. By the way, if you’re an Immediate Edge member, Rob’s presentation will be available to members in the next week or so. If you’re not a member right now, it might be a very good time to consider it. There are some very big things coming to the Immediate Edge this year, and if you’re an experienced online marketer there are things coming that will rock your socks off.

There were 2 other presenters at Beechworth, Marc Lindsay, who I unfortunately didn’t get to talk to much, and Pete Williams who is just the coolest dude ever.

Marc gave us a presentation on his service PLR Pro . Now, I’ve been a member of a few PLR services in my time, and I ended up quitting my subscription on all of them after a while. They just didn’t deliver the goods. Marc’s service does. I’ve signed up already, and I can’t believe the quality I’m seeing. The service caters to groups with a maximum of 200 people, and delivers articles, keywords, top affiliate programs, graphics, etc across 11 niches! That’s right 11 niches. There’s heaps more I could tell you, but go check it out for yourself, PLR Pro

And that leaves us with Pete Williams. His presentation was superb, and has given me a huge insight into the process of publicity and general PR. He’s a terrific guy too, and someone that I’m really glad I connected with. His technique as a poker player is ‘interesting’ but I can’t deny that it seemed to work for him. He took out Ed on our poker night and I think that surprised everybody. If you want to see a bit of fun using some of the techniques from Beechworth, go to Google and do a search for man hunk. You’ll find Pete on the front page of google. Pete runs a terrific blog on marketing too, check it out Preneur Marketing. I should also mention too, that I was one if the winners of Pete’s competition he held while he was overseas. Very cool.

Savvy

Presenters and attendees alike, it was just fantastic to be around so many sharp people. I’m in this game for the long haul, and spending time with people smarter than me is never a bad idea. Chatting to people, whether at the conference itself, over dinner (Rob Somerville blew my mind at dinner on the first night), or while playing poker and talking trash, there were just so many nuggets that were flying around. I feel like the bar has been raised on the way I literally do everything online, and that can only be a good thing.

Failure Is Not An Option (or a reality)

I’ve been meaning to write a post reviewing one of the articles Pete Williams has had publishing to his blog while he’s been overseas. My main reason was purely selfish, Pete was running a competition for people who reviewed his articles, and winners would receive a swag of goodies. I really dig Pete’s stuff, so I wanted to win.

But I’ve been pretty busy the last few weeks and time looked like beating me to the punch. But then Pete wrote an article about failure, and there being no such thing, and that struck a cord with me so much that I knew I needed to set a time and write something. So, it’s Sunday morning, I have a brilliant coffee in front of me, I have no pressing work to do, and it’s time to write a review.

What I love about Pete’s article is the simplicity of it. People need to realise some basic truths in order to overcome them. What Pete suggests, which I wholeheartedly agree with, is that failure is just a perception. There is no such thing, it doesn’t exist. Same for success. It’s just a perception as well.

Our culture tells us what success and failure is, and we hear it so much and so often that we just accept it as a reality. It becomes a Pavlov’s dog scenario, and people judge themselves and others based on what they have been conditioned to believe is so. People go though their entire lives living in this lie. I know this because I see it all around me every day. When I made the decision to leave the teaching profession and make my living full time from the internet, I had many, many naysayers. All of the negativity came from one source, fear.

I believe that fear is the one major controlling factor in all of our lives. In my situation, the motivating fear was to have lived a life where I didn’t take chances just in in case, and ended up an old man full of regret. For the people critical of my decision, the fear was grounded in one of three ways. Fear that I would fail, a projection of their own insecurities; Fear that I would succeed, a projection of jealousy or resentment; or fear of the unknown, not understanding this business and therefore being afraid of it. The only people in my life that were happy for me, were those who had no fear associated with the path I chose.

Pete goes on to give a history lesson in the development and acceptance of PostIt Notes. It works on two levels. On the first level we have the classic example of something perceived as a failure. Spencer Silver created an adhesive classified as a failure, spent five long years trying to make it better, until a use was found for the original adhesive. The only reason this first adhesive was classified as a failure was because it was perceived that way. Nobody had found a use for it, so it was seen as a failure until that changed. A shift in thinking is often all that’s needed for something to be viewed in a completely different way

On the second level, this is a great example of the concept of fear in action. One group of people (the 3M marketing department), rejected the PostIt notes as a failure. I believe fear plays a part here in terms of fear of the unknown and fear of an product that doesn’t sell. If the product didn’t sell, the marketing department would’ve had to wear the blame as the people who brought the product to market.

On the flipside, the secretaries began using the PostIt notes with a complete lack of fear. They had them at hand and found a use for them, there were no perceived or real pressures creating fear to contend with. There was no perception of failure or success, just the reality.

Look at the issues in your life, both personal and professional. Everything you see as a failure or a success, what are they really? Try to remove fear from the equation and just look at things from a fact based perspective. Do things look different? They should.

Pete’s Article

An Internet Business – Ed Dale style

I had already written this post once before I realised I’d made an error. Above you’ll see the photo Ed posted of his diagram for running an internet based business. I love it! It’s the way I plan everything. I also mind map constantly, so paper and I are very close. Like Ed, I’m addicted to technology, but I always rely on good old faithful paper and pen to get my ideas down and to brainstorm. The link to Ed’s original post is at the end of this article.

Ed also mentions the book, Back of the Napkin, and introduces us to the concept of visual thinking. He also talks of other big names in the biz like John Reese, Frank Kern and Gary Halbert, and they all use a pad and paper to brainstorm. I know that for many people the concept won’t be new, but to hear Ed’s take on how he approaches things, and the way he maps out things is pretty cool. Now, the above picture gives you an idea of where Ed is coming from, but only an idea. I had rushed on to write a post explaining all of the cool points about the video Ed made. I even did a few screenshots of bits I really liked.

And here’s where I hit my problem. The video. I effecttively had written a review of the video Ed created about the various aspects of online businesses. However I had watched this video as a member of the Immediate Edge . Ed had actually created seven pages, which he then (using Screenflow) had gone on to explain in great detail. It was brilliant! But I can’t publish a review like this if most of the people reading it haven’t seen the video. So I’m an idiot.

If you want to see the video for yourself you’ll have to obviously join up. A word of warning though, the Immediate Edge is like trying to drink from a waterfall. There is tons of great content there (including Ed’s video and a brand new service which just blows me away), but nobody is going to hold your hand. It’s not for beginners either. If all of this is brand new, just stick with the Thrity Day Challenge for now. If however, you feel ready, then maybe try out the Immediate Edge and see what you think.

UPDATE: Ed has just released the video to the general public. I still recommend the Immediate Edge, but you can now watch the video I was raving about for free. Check it out here: The Video