THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF INTERNET MARKETING
by Craig Lock
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach
him to use the Internet, and he won't bother you for
I hope that the following article based on our
experiences may be informative and/or
helpful in your online marketing.
A successful online business isn't built overnight; but is the
result of many late nights. If anyone says that they can
teach you to make a substantial amount of money without
hard work, realize they are talking through "a hole in the
head and are out of their trees".
After four and a half years doing it, here are my TEN
COMMANDMENTS setting out how to conduct business
online (in spite of the recent demise of so many "high-profile
dot-bombs"- ready availability to large amounts of capital,
I believe, can be a big disadvantage to the small/home
Now time to "get straight into it"...
1. Understand that technology should help you achieve
your business and personal goals. It is merely a tool to
move you forward with your vision: a "means to an end"
to HELP and enable you, rather than being an end in
itself, (or perhaps even be a disabler to "untechnos"
like me). So make modern technology work to it's highest
potential for you and your business. Spend time learning
about various computer programmes and applications
(hard though it may be for the 'technically challenged').
Then "use it repeatedly , so you don't lose it!" Accept
that the vast majority of www. users are not "technofreaks"
(like my "geek associate", Bill) and have great difficulty
learning new computer procedures. Well, I certainly do
(just ask Bill)!. However, by making a conscious effort
and with discipline and effort the habit ingrained makes
it easier and easier, as your confidence grows in leaps
2. Don't take the competition for granted...and don't
"knock" them. Never ever! Accept that no business can
be the best in every facet. The convergence of computer,
media, entertainment and communications means the
underlying structures of the computer world will change
rapidly and soon... or so my "technogeek" associate,
Bill (not Gates) says. The TV/computer/music center is
not far away, I hear.
The net is a world wide market-place, so don't be too
zenophobic (now that's a really big word, that I tried
very hard to bring in). I think many Americans (and New
Zealanders too) think that theirs is the only country on
earth in which to trade and is the centre of the world...
and we're nearly falling off the bottom near Antarctica!
However, we can all compete fairly ("fairly") against
the competition by transcending international boundaries
on a "global level playing field" - whereby even the
"little guys" can take on the big corporations around
the world (except for their massive marketing budgets,
of course!) . It may mean adjusting your marketing efforts
to take into account some cultural differences (like my
rather 'weird' sense of humour, or different spelling -
although it's the same English language). However, I believe
people around the world have more in common than their
differences. Common aspirations, eg. security, to do their best
for their children, etc. Enough philosophical digression, Craig...
and back to your point...
Here in "Sleepy Hollow" (with one of the highest unemployment
rates in the country) in little provincial New Zealand near
the bottom of the world, we sell our various products
around the globe in response to customer needs.
3. Consolidate your business by focusing on what you
do best. Don't try to be "all things" to your customer,
nor try to offer too many products. Concentrate on
perfecting and marketing your "best sellers" in your
CORE business activities. That is the area which
produces the most profitable results for your organization.
(remember the "80-20 rule" - 20% of your activities
produces 80% of your results/profit and vice versa!).
For us it's creative writing courses.
Define your "USP" (or "unique selling proposition") -
a "fancy" term loved by "those marketing types". What is
the key, that makes your product or service really special?
Now for one rather more philosophical...
4. Honour your parents, your teachers and your
communities and especially your family. Family is most
precious of all and strong and stable family units make
for a strong and stable country. Parenting, I believe is
the most noble occupation of all - and parents want their
children to be safe on line, so supervise them closely.
Teach them responsibility in internet usage... so they
don't push your telephone bill sky high (as my dear boys
do - but then that's the price of having and educating
children - a tax on sex!). Teach your children well (as
Crosby, Stills, Nash ... and Young used to sing so
melodiously) and wisely. Let them learn that the net is a
great EDUCATION tool for the present and the future
and they could be learning "practical skills on the job"
and preparing for a future technological career.
5. Do not send spam (sending masses of unsolicited
e-mail) - under any circumstances. You are likely to be
cut off by your server. I find it rather irritating receiving
"mountains" of spam and simply delete all unsolicited e-mail
selling products and services... and wouldn't you do likewise;
because it just clutters up your mailbox?
6. Do not launch your product before the market is
ready for it. Test the market first by doing a survey.
Ask yourself: Is there a NEED for your particular product?
In what way is it distinctive (and superior) to the
competition (world-wide, remember!)? Have all your
systems in place to market it... then always remember,
all products have a definite life cycle...and some are
7. Take the business of internet marketing seriously.
The world online population is exploding daily and
exponentially (big word, eh...but what does it mean?).
I'm not sure how many people are online world-wide,
but think it may be in the order of 150-200 million at
present and increasing daily. In addition, I "guess"
there are a similar number of web sites (and many more
pages) "up there in cyberspace". So the competition is
"pretty stiff"! As the "cyber-revolution" gathers momentum,
imagine if everyone is online one day? Impossible perhaps,
but who knows! What will that do for your business and
you? An unlimited target market for your PRODUCTS -
if you are still going strong by then. VERY EXCITING!
8. Have an effective web presence. Your site should
explain immediately what the visitor will get for their time
online. If it is not clear WHY they should stay, they'll
leave before they try to find out. Therefore make your
site as interesting and informative as you can. I've seen
many sites, where I don't know the webmaster's objective,
their purpose. Are they purely for information, or trying to
sell something? Make sure your site loads quickly,
because people soon get tired of waiting in today's fast
/instant (coffee) world.
9. Always remember MARKETING YOUR PRODUCT
EFFECTIVELY is the key to the success of your business.
If you don't get adequate results, you'll soon be out of
business... as recurring bills in the post-box without
income to pay them soon take all the fun out of your
venture into "cyber" self-employment.
I spend at least two hours a day purely on internet
marketing: mainly through my various article submissions.
Don't forget to use traditional methods of marketing to
promote your business, as in advertising (radio, news-
papers, brochures, and the most effective of all, word
of mouth in your local community). The two strategies
(both on-line and off-line), I believe, work best together
in your marketing plan. I plan to do more off-line advert-
ising, by allocating a portion of revenue to marketing, as
it comes in.
Even if you have the greatest product in the world, you
will never sell anything if you don't tell people about it.
It's like having a billboard in the middle of a forest or a
desert. An example: Just because you have a phone
number in the phone book, doesn't mean that a stranger
will call you. So it is absolutely vital that you advertise
effectively to bring people to your site; because without
advertising, there will be no TRAFFIC... and without
prospects there will be NO SALES. And without sales
there will soon be no business!
....and finally and most importantly,.
* 10. Use the Internet to build a better world. We are at
the forefront of one of the most innovative and far-reach-
ing inventions in human history. The net is the most cost-
efficient, INSTANTANEOUS, EXCITING and effective
way of marketing products and services around the globe
through modern telecommunications. We live in one of
the most exciting times in human history; so exploit the
AMAZING POWER of the internet to reach hundreds
of thousands of people and perhaps even millions
around the world. Use your creative energies and imagin-
ation to the fullest, by thinking of new ideas of how to
market your particular products. I keep a notebook by
my bedside and leave to my creative subconscious mind
just before I go to sleep. And we all have great powers of
imagination as the source for creative ideas, through the
amazing power of the human mind.
I believe INTERNET MARKETING is the KEY to internet
success, especially if you have a limited marketing budget,
like us. As mentioned, I allocate at least two hours a day
purely to internet marketing, through submitting my
articles on numerous subjects to various ezines and
publishing resources. I find it by far the most effective
way of free advertising to get traffic (= SALES) . Always
remember to have a resource box at the end of each
article, together with your web site address.
Carefully monitor what's working for you and what's
not on a regular basis. REVIEW YOUR STRATEGIES
FOCUS ON WHAT ACTIONS GET THE BEST RESULTS.
Remember Bill Gates's wise words: "There'll be two types
of business in the year 2000 : those online... and those
out of business.
A few final words to summarize...
There are no 'magic secrets', and there is nothing mystical
about making money online. Other than the advertising
budget, it's a level playing field around the world and
anyone, like the self-employed entrepreneur working from
home, like you and I, can compete with the "big guys".
And we have ONE BIG ADVANTAGE: These corporations
are too unwieldy to react swiftly to changing circumstances
and markets. So we "one and two man bands running our
technology through number eight fence wire* have got the
jump on them".
* Only joking, but Kiwis (New Zealanders) have a reputation
for ingenuity (big word) - mainly caused by our geographical
isolation near the bottom of the world.
(Note correct word order!)
With heaps of hard work, dedication, discipline and a
little perseverance, I believe absolutely anyone can
achieve online success, even taking on the big corporations.
At Eagle Productions, working in association with Bill
Rosoman of the New Zealand Enterprise Centre and
Nugrow Technologies, we've done it all on an absolutely
"shoestring" budget (no-one could believe the story!),
lots of hard graft and heaps of pure faith. We have been
reasonably successful to date (the past four years),
but have hopes of far greater success in the future.
No matter, we are enjoying the journey in a totally
new field and are having great fun learning and
extending ourselves each day. I hope you too take
pleasure and have great success as you travel along
your very individual journey in "cyberspace".
No matter where you may live on this planet, cyberspace
can produce income to so many "budding netrepreneurs" .
The www gives 'ordinary people' without much capital,
like you and I, a great BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY: the
opportunity of self employment(and of a life-time) by
reaching out to a GLOBAL market-place. Each one of us has a
responsibility to ourselves and our families. It is up to each
one of us to reach out and help many people around the
world through being innovative and original in our ideas...
and the money we earn from selling our array of unique
products can be used for many good purposes, like
perhaps even helping others achieve their dreams. In
doing that, WE WILL BE MAKING THE MOST USE
OF OUR UNIQUE (God-given) ABILITIES.
The successful cyber entrepreneur of today could well
be the equivalent of the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts,
Kennedy's, Paul Getty's and Henry Ford's of yesteryear,
especially in the new ENTREPRENEURIAL (nice big
word) AGE, which I believe, is even more important (and
a more appropriate term) than the information age.
What you do today could repay you a hundred-fold
tomorrow...and there is just one rule:
If you really BELIEVE in your product, then get onto
the playing field (or perhaps you Americans call it "the
ball-park") of cyberspace. Then as the famous shoe ad says,
JUST DO IT WITH EVERYTHING YOU'VE GOT AND BE
P.S: * "We can all use the internet to reach out to the
"global community" and build a better world in this new
"Information Revolution" that is upon us. Let's use it
wisely, respect our diversity and unique cultures; but
celebrate a new world in union. One where, like your
founding forefathers in America, you can first celebrate
the Independance Day of the strong burning creative
spirit that lies deep within every one of us. If this spark
is set alight, it is a flame that will burn long and brightly
for future generations and make your personal VISION
of the future a REALITY...
and perhaps even fulfil YOUR UNIQUE DESTINY on this planet."
"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where
there is no path and leave a trail."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
About the author:
Craig Lock has been successfully marketing products online
for the past five years. Craig is a writer, who believes in
sharing information, as well as encouraging and helping
others to find their talents and gifts, to strive for and
accomplish their dreams in life - whatever they may be.
Creative Writing Course
Craig's various books are available at:
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