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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

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

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        Published on March 20, 2019

        How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

        How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

        Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

        As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

        While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

        What is a Mission Statement?

        Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

        In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

        “Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

        In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

        Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

        While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

        First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

        While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

        While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

        “To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

        This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

        What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

        When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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        Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

        When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

        • What we do?
        • How we do it?
        • Whom do we do it for?
        • What value are we bringing?

        Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

        After all, that did check off all the boxes:

        What we do? Provide widgets.

        How we do it? Online.

        Who do we do it for? The consumer.

        What value we bring? The best widgets.

        The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

        Compare that mission statement to this one:

        “We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

        What’s the difference?

        Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

        Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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        You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

        A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

        Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

        1. Keep It Brief

        Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

        You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

        2. Have a Purpose

        A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

        Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

        3. Include a “How”

        Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

        How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

        4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

        This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

        Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

        5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

        It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

        Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

        6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

        Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

        7. Think Long Term

        A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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        8. Get Feedback

        This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

        Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

        9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

        You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

        First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

        And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

        For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

        The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

        It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

        First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

        If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

        Strategic Planning

        A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

        Measuring Performance

        By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

        Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

        Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

        Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

        As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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        Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

        To Hold Management Accountable

        By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

        So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

        If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

        To Serve as an Example

        This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

        After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

        Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

        Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

        Final Thoughts

        Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

        Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

        That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

        By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

        More Resources About Achieving Business Success

        Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
        [2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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