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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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        Last Updated on November 19, 2019

        Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

        Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

        I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

        How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

        Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

        So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

        1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

        Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

        For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

        Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

        “When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

        2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

        These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

        This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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        But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

        Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

        For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

        There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

        3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

        It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

        Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

        4. Use Your Phone Wisely

        Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

        If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

        5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

        If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

        In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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        One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

        6. Use a “To Don’t” List

        We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

        But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

        Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

        7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

        When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

        Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

        “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

        And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

        8. Be Concise

        Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

        One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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        Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

        • Making new contacts
        • Talking about yourself at a job interview
        • Meeting people at conferences or parties
        • Phone calls to new clients

        9. Ask the Right Questions

        “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

        How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

        When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

        Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

        Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

        10. Learn as Much as You Can

        You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

        Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

        “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

        11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

        No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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        If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

        What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

        Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

        12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

        As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

        But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

        The Bottom Line

        The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

        Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

        More About Working Smart

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Reference

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