More than 10 years ago I began doing internet marketing. Not like those crazy guru internet marketers that blast you with affiliate links and offers all the time, although I would probably be more wealthy today had I went that route. Instead, it was 10 years ago I started helping companies build websites, publish eMagazines, and built audiences on the internet.
I am telling you this for a couple of reasons. I am going to tell you a secret that will change the way you think about internet marketing, whether you are selling internet marketing services or looking to get internet marketing results.
The internet marketing secret is: To do internet market right, you have to continually do it and add to it and keep up with technology. And you need a lot of hours or money to do it well.
The good news is that you can start small and grow your internet marketing effort over time. But you need to have realistic expectations. Starting small probably means getting small results. You have to be disciplined and keep doing it.
Now you may wonder why I am telling you it is expensive and time consuming. I am not doing a very good job of selling internet marketing services, am I?
Well, ten years ago when we started doing Internet marketing, we were thrilled when we got our first client willing to spend $500 per month with us to do Internet marketing. Of course, we were fairly new at it and we tried everything to see what worked. Eventually, he saw he was not going to get the marketing cost back each month in sales – he was selling a book - and we lost the account.
What I learned from that is that Internet marketing is hard if you are starting from scratch. And while $500 may seem like a lot to some people, it is usually not nearly enough to make an impact.
How to get Internet marketing Results
I am going to list the ways that you can get real internet marketing results. You have a lot of options, but if you are looking for a quick, easy and cheap fix, it is not in the list.
#1 DIY Internet marketing
You can do it all yourself. However, there is a catch. You have to have an automated business that is profitable and runs itself with little effort from you. Why? Because internet marketing is now your full time job. You also should have some good money coming in, because to get good results you will need to do training courses, attend workshops and buy lots of books. Plus you will loose money experimenting with tool and advertising until you get your techniques down.
#2 Outsource Internet marketing Tasks
If you have the time and desire to do strategy and management, but do not want to spend your days writing blog posts, doing keyword research and hanging out in social media sites, then you need to craft your strategy, identify your high value tasks and hire a team of Virtual Assistants to help you.
The mistake someone makes here is thinking one person working ten hours a month is going to make a big fast difference. Remember what I said earlier, Internet marketing gets results when you make a big effort. I love the virtual assistant route, but you need a good plan, patience to find the right virtual assistants and to built a team that work on your behalf.
#3 Hire a Full Time Internet marketing Employee
Certainly hiring and training a full time internet marketing employee is a great option for some people. Just be sure that you document everything (right, I have never seen this happen) and cross train people. The problem with hiring a full time internet marketer is that as soon as they get good at their job, they have the skills to go out and make a lot of money for themselves. So there is a good chance that once you get them where you want them, you will lose them.
#4 Hiring a Professional Internet Marketer
When you hire a professional internet marketer, you are paying a lot more. But don’t feel like you are getting a bad deal because of the cost. If they are any good at their profession, they have spent MANY hours researching, learning and experimenting with internet marketing. Trust me, I spend most of my day doing non-billable internet marketing activities to learn and increase my own income. When I am billable, you are paying for the experience, not just the hours.
Remember that internet marketing secret?
Remember that unfortunate internet marketing secret? It is not fast and cheap, despite the hype you read from people trying to sell you things. It is going to either be someone’s full time job or you are going to have to assemble a team or hire someone that can do the full time job in less time (but at a higher rate).
The good news about Internet marketing is that it grows and builds on itself and gets stronger when done well. An advertisement starts at zero every month and you hope to get ROI. An email list just keeps getting more powerful for you. A blog will keep getting more search engine traffic if you work on it. You can keep modifying your adwords and landing pages to increase profits until you get the perfect formula.
Internet marketing has the best long term ROI, but getting from here to there is no easy task. And it is definitely not something you buy once and forget about.