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Marketing Your Internet Businessby Mario Carini, IAHBE Contributor
Marketing is such an integral part of business that without it, your business is dead before it starts. Everyone knows that the merchant who sits in his store and waits for customers to walk through his door is doomed if he doesn't advertise his business.
The Internet isn't any different, but the perception that all you need to do is set up a Website and everyone will come calling is believed by most people, particularly the newbie. The stories of instant Net millionaires affirms this belief. Many people soon discover, however, that the Internet is far from being one great slot machine.
Even in Vegas, if you ever hope to get any money out of the one-armed bandit, you have to deposit a coin and pull the lever. With the Internet, you have to deposit time, effort, and money, and then you have to market your business (pull the lever) if you want to get anything out of it.
Selling Versus Advertising
Inevitably, when we think of marketing, we always think of selling and/or advertising. Selling is just a small part of marketing. Take a look at television ads. Contrary to your belief, the ads you see are not trying to sell you anything. The ad is only meant to appeal to a targeted audience and hopefully motivate those people to get up and go to the store where the sale takes place.
Marketing means promoting your business, but traditional marketing techniques used for those with a storefront don't always apply. The Internet doesn't allow for face-to-face meetings unless you communicate with a camera attached to your computer. Most of the marketing you'll ever do is through the words that appear on your potential customer's screen and the visual content of your Website. If neither impresses a client, there's unlikely to be a sale forthcoming.
Assuming you already have a well-designed Website, your next job is to advertise. Your advertising should only appeal to and attract your target market. Selling comes later. How you frame your ad and where you put it determines the amount of traffic flow to your Website.
Where Should You Put Your Ad?
Since you're not advertising on TV or the radio, it's up to you to place your ad in those areas specifically targeted to the people for whom your product is meant. Trying to sell ice to Eskimos is a bad strategy, and so is tossing your ad willy-nilly across the Internet. Free classifieds and FFA's are the mainstay for the amateur businessperson. The chances of finding your clients this way is minimal. Yahoo, though, at which you can get an ad account and post up to 10 ads in different categories, may bring you a few responses, but your best bet is to post in ezines targeted to a specific group of people.
If you are promoting a business opportunity, you're in luck. There are hundreds of ezines targeted to opportunity seekers, but the competition from other business opportunities is fierce.
To help you locate the ezines to advertise in, I always suggest two sources:
Discussion BoardsSince exposure of your business is the name of the game, you should consider other activities, such as participating in discussion boards. Newsgroups are a good way to advertise your business, but be careful. Your message shouldn't come across like a blatant advertisement if you want to avoid being branded as a spammer.
Opt-in ListsIf you send email, send them to opt-in lists. Too many newbies buy lists of e-mail addresses without checking whether they're sending the kind of information requested by the people on those lists. It's a trap too easy to fall into when you're just starting out on the Web and can quickly deflate your interest in pursuing an Internet career. As anti-spam legislation picks up momentum, you can also get yourself in a lot of trouble unless you use opt-in lists. Use a search engine to find many sources for these.
Writing Articles To Boost Credibility
If you're a writer, consider writing about your specialty. Many ezines are short of material and often end up "borrowing" articles from one another. Most of them don't pay, but you do get the chance to post your business URL with your article. The advantage to this is that people will be more inclined to visit your site if they perceive you to be an expert in your subject.
How Do You Place An Effective Ad?
There are millions of ads, and quite a few advertise the same opportunity. Affiliate programs are great ways to start a new business, but your advertising competes with thousands of others advertising the same thing. One way to avoid this problem is to have a Web page or even a portal that directs the reader to your affiliate program. A site with a www.yourdomain.com will attract the curious surfer more than one that reads www.businessforthemasses.com/?xxxx.
Unless you're posting a sponsor ad or solo ad, your ad is usually limited to a few lines, usually with 65 characters per line. You need to make each word count if you hope to attract someone.
The title is the first thing people read. If it offers up a vague description like "Make Money Now," your customer will move on. There are just too many ads that offer the same thing.
Money isn't always the reason someone is looking for an opportunity. I once posted to FFAs through Link-o-Matic. FFAs give you enough room for a title and your business URL and no more. I didn't expect much from this advertising effort, but was surprised when I received an e-mail from someone who commented on the professionalism of my title. It only comprised two words: "Expose Yourself!"
Admittedly, such a title is appealing. It starts questions in the reader's mind: An ad from a strip club? Perhaps some advertising from a nudist colony? Or maybe a flasher in need of some companionship? Let's find out and surf over to the Website! Bingo, an effective title!
Next comes the body of the text. You simply don't have space to list all the benefits you offer. So your text should be short and direct. Here are some quick points to help you structure your ad:
If your ad is a solo offer or an exclusive ad, you have more room to add a few extras:
These points apply equally to any ads you post, whether in your local paper or online.
Return to Internet Work at Home Opportunity
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