For Successful Internet Marketing, Consistency and Discipline Beat Shiny Objects Every Time
How long has it been since you've been able to work for more than three days without hearing about some great new tool, system, or technique that will instantly help you take your marketing efforts and sales results to the next level? My guess is you can actually count the time in hours rather than days.
Any number of these tools have the potential to be valuable. However, for many entrepreneurs, these "shiny objects" draw precious attention away from the focus that they need in order to become truly successful marketers. The true cost of these items may be more than the price tag you see on the website. Chase too many of these trinkets and it may cost you your business.
Psychology vs. Discipline
Our world is dominated by the psychology of immediate graification. The Internet only exacerbates this problem. Buying into the immediate graification thought process is exceedingly dangerous for an entrepreneur. It is directly at odds with two of the most important habits embodied by all successful entrepreneurs – consistency and discipline. There is little glamor in being disciplined and consistency is often viewed as boring, so these hits do not get much press. However, they are more important than 90% of the activities on which most on-line entrepreneurs spend their time.
Best Intentions, Wrong Actions
With marketing, all anyone wants to do is to identify what works as quickly as possible, and then just do it repeatedly. This is understandable and completely valid. However, the message that entrepreneurs must take to heart is that that any marketing strategy can yield results if you stick with it day in and day out. (Assuming that your message is sound and appropriately targeted, but that is a subject for another time.) The key is to concentrate your efforts, monitor your progress and refine your campaigns, not just to scatter your shots and then look for a blood trail .
You need to be rock solid and follow a concrete marketing plan to reliably build your business. This is especially true when your efforts are just beginning. Too many on-line entrepreneurs are so unsure of how they should market that they decide to try everything at once, almost at random. These folks quickly became overwhelmed and exhausted by running around chasing various strategies and tactics without any coherent method to their madness. This activity is further complicated by the barrage of "shiny objects" that gets thrown at them with what looks like increasing volume as they wait for their efforts to produce results.
There are many examples of highly successful marketers who owe their success to a specific form of on-line marketing. You can find a guru for every camp! Many of them are almost handing out the step-by-step instructions that they used to create their success. The obvious contradiction is that precious few of their followers are actually duplicating their results.
How do you explain the dichotomy? It all comes down to the fact that the majority of aspiring on-line entrepreneurs have the wrong mindset about their marketing at the outside. They operate under the assumption that if a form of marketing is going to work, it will work right away, reliably easily. (This expected ease may, in fact, be what they thought they paid for if they bought a "shiny object".) As a result, their expectations leave them unprepared for reality.
A Better Alternative
The most important lesson to learn from the gurus is not the latest new tactic, rather the importance of mastering each form of marketing, one at a time.
Instead of being a dabbler, I suggest that you create a 2-3 month action plan for any form of marketing you will try. Create specific objectives, such as to create 3 new adgroups a week, or to publish one piece of fresh, new content on a fixed schedule until you have 60 – 80 out there for the world to find.
As an added incentive, form an accounting group of your peers to who you will answer regularly. They will keep you honest even if you do not feel like continuing, or when some resistance or doubt is creeping in. They can also help prevent you from jumping into additional forms of marketing until you have mastered the rhythms of those you've already started.
The beauty of marketing is that it is entirely within your control. That is, so long as you have some basic control over your own mindset. When you have the patience to exercise discipline and consistency with any proven form of marketing, you will gain the momentum you seek.