Advertising

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

Advertising
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 Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career 2 How To Boost Employee Motivation During Difficult Times 3 7 Effective Ways To Motivate Employees in 2021 4 How To Stay Motivated As You Build Your Business 5 15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on August 25, 2021

        Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

        Advertising
        Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

        As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

        Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

        According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

        “Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

        A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

        What Is Your Personal Brand?

        “Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

        Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

        Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

        Advertising

        I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

        A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

        Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

        Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

        Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

        In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

        According to Castrillon,[2]

        “One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

        The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

        Advertising

        As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

        In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

        “if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

        When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

        The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

        Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

        The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

        5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

        These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

        Advertising

        1. Set Your Personal Goals

        What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

        2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

        Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

        1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
        2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
        3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
        4. What makes you different from others like you?

        The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

        3. Write Your Professional Story

        Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

        4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

        Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

        5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

        A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

        The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

        Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

        Advertising

        As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

        Other People’s Stories

        Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

        Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

        Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

        “your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

        So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

        Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

        Reference

        Read Next