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3 Online Marketing Myths That Even Chuck Norris Can’t Kill

3 Online Marketing Myths That Even Chuck Norris Can’t Kill
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Ready for some quick trivia?

True or False? You get arthritis from cracking your knuckles.

True or False? If you’re in space, you can see the Great Wall of China.

True or False? You can kill someone if you throw a coin from the top of the Empire State Building and it hits someone’s head on the ground.

Of course, the answers are all false, false, and yes, false. These are all myths.

Why do myths exist? According to research done by University of Michigan social psychologist Norbert Schwarz:

“The conventional response to myths and urban legends is to counter bad information with accurate information. But the new psychological studies show that denials and clarifications, for all their intuitive appeal, can paradoxically contribute to the resiliency of popular myths…can bias it into thinking that false information is true. Clever manipulators can take advantage of this tendency.”

Now, if you’ve ever tried marketing anything online, I’m sure you’ve come across some internet marketing myths that seem to never die. Though I can’t prove it scientifically, I bet certain people in certain companies want new players to keep believing in these myths. And here I’d like to squash some of these online marketing myths completely:

Myth 1: More Traffic = More Money

Makes sense right? The more eye balls you have, the greater the chance of you selling some stuff. Wrong again.

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In fact, every time I hear that, I feel exactly like this:

face-palm

     

    If that were the case, how come Yahoo, which recently overtook Google for unique U.S. visitor traffic, makes a fraction of what Google makes? It’s because not all traffic is created equal.

    Let me ask you a commonsense question:

    If you sell lemonade, would you stand in the middle of the street every day screaming, “Lemonade!!!” at every person who walked by? Or would you rather wait for the summer and stand in front of a construction zone on a scorching-hot day?

    Sure you probably could make money using a shotgun approach, but I would argue that you would make more profits in less time if you target correctly. In other words, if you can target people’s intent to purchase, you can make a killing. (And that is why search engines make the big bucks because they can tell when you’re ready to buy.)

    In fact, one of my blog posts once ranked really high for some ridiculous keyword that brought in high volume, but low quality, traffic. The traffic not only did not monetize effectively, but it actually hurt my blog because it was temporarily blocked by corporate firewalls since the firewall software labeled my site a “threat” under their corporate policy.

    So what’s the use in trying to get as much traffic as possible?

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    There isn’t.

    What you need is targeted traffic that needs what you have. Doesn’t that make sense? If you open a store, you would rather have people come in and buy something than just have window shoppers. Same logic applies here.

    Myth 2: You Can “Game” the Search Engines (and Social Networks)

    Now, before I get into this, did you know Google employs thousands of people with PhDs in computer science, linguistics, applied math, physics, algorithms, etc.?

    What are the odds that an average person can beat an army of computer nerds whose job is to keep their $250 billion search engine results “authentic?”

    If an SEO company tells you that you can “SEO your way to the top,” ask them this question: How come they don’t rank #1 when you search for “SEO company?” Why did they use advertising, cold email, or however else they got to you to start the conversation?

    Makes sense, right? If they don’t eat their own dog food, why do they expect you to eat it?

    hypocrisy

      If someone offers you some crazy link-building service, or software that promises to make you rank #1 and make you billions of dollars, ask them for:

      • A reference. I doubt they even have a referral from one company that you can recognize.
      • A phone number. I doubt they even have one. If they do, it’s probably some voice IP number that gets picked up in some boiler room in some country you can’t even pronounce.
      • “Dog food.” That is, what keywords do they personally rank for.

      The bottom line is, if it looks like a duck, smells like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, yes…it’s probably a scam or at best a zero-value proposition.

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      So, what’s the right way? There’s no magic. It’s common sense.

      Just think this way: How did our parents and grandparents get the word out about their business, product, or service? Yes, they got up a tree and yelled, they made nice fliers and brochures, and got good ol’ word-of-mouth recommendations. It’s no different in the online world: be social, create awesome media, share, be nice, and yes, try to get people to refer you (i.e. give you a link back).

      Myth 3: Build It and They Will Come

      I see newbie internet entrepreneurs everyday—e-commerce people, software-as-service people, digital products people…all kinds of people. They think just because you have a “buy now” button, and you turn on advertising, then—voilà! Profit!

      hilarious-catch-fails-missed-ball-sports2

        Miscalculated move.

        There are now hundreds of millions of websites, all asking for your attention, and your wallet. Do you really think that just because you have a brand new website that’s nice and shiny and has lovely content, that people are going to trust you?

        Now, this is where common sense comes into play once again.

        Remember when you were single (or if you are single and dating now, I guess you’re going through this) and you went on dates?

        Now, if you’re a guy, what are the odds that you’re going to take that girl home on the first night? Or if you’re a girl, what are the odds that your Prince Charming is going to get on his knees and propose to you that night? Unless you’re Rico Suave or Kim Kardashian, your chances are probably in the sub-1% range.

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        Now, I’m not saying that it’s a bad probability, but the odds are much better if you “nurture” your lead to a point where they feel comfortable with you and start opening up to you. You know, that “crazy” thing you learn in social life called building rapport and establishing trust.

        Guess what? It’s the same in online world. In other words, the odds of you converting a complete stranger to some commercial transaction on the first try are going to be fairly low.

        So what do you do?

        Teach, explain case studies, tell stories, and show examples. All the helpful stuff that people actually do like.

        Do what you’d do in the offline world: communicate, show, share, and yes, listen. This means you have to create media like newsletters and blog posts. In other words, teach people why their problems exist and how you can solve them, and you will never need to “sell” again.

        With each and every “marketing” step you take with them, you’re making them feel more comfortable about buying your stuff. Remember: no one wants to be “sold.” And everyone wants to feel special.

        Takeaway

        1. Don’t “collect” traffic. Focus on who you can serve and target them.
        2. Don’t “SEO”. Focus on creating content people find useful.
        3. Don’t try to “convert users.” Focus on creating value, building rapport, and developing their trust.

        Remember, “traffic” is another way of saying “the person at the other end of the internet.”

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        Published on July 27, 2021

        15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

        15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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        During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

        But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

        Put the Pro in Professional

        After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

        1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

        The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

        Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

        2. Dress the Part

        While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

        Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

        For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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        Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

        3. Stage Your Workspace

        Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

        Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

        4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

        Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

        Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

        Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

        Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

        5. Arrive on Time

        In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

        Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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        6. Turn on Your Video

        Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

        If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

        Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

        7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

        Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

        Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

        Attend to the Pesky Details

        8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

        With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

        Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

        9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

        Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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        Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

        10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

        As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

        Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

        Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

        Talking Has a Time and a Place

        11. Chat Appropriately

        Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

        At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

        12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

        The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

        Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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        13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

        In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

        Manage Yourself

        14. Minimize Distractions

        While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

        Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

        15. Save Snacking for Later

        Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

        However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

        Final Thoughts

        Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

        Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

        Reference

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