Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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?

    Advertising

    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.

      Advertising

      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.

        Advertising

        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.”

        More by this author

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

        Trending in Work

        1 13 Characteristics of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs 2 5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All 3 10 Simple Habits Every Effective Manager Needs to Learn 4 10 Ways To Help Your Employees Have A Healthy Work-Life Balance 5 Top 10 Workplace Safety Tips Every Employee Should Know

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on March 29, 2021

        5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

        5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

        When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

        What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

        The Dream Type Of Manager

        My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

        I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

        My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

        Advertising

        “Okay…”

        That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

        I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

        The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

        The Bully

        My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

        However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

        Advertising

        The Invisible Boss

        This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

        It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

        The Micro Manager

        The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

        Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

        The Over Promoted Boss

        The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

        Advertising

        You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

        The Credit Stealer

        The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

        Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

        3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

        Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

        1. Keep evidence

        Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

        Advertising

        Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

        Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

        2. Hold regular meetings

        Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

        3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

        Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

        However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

        Good luck!

        Read Next