Category Archives: internet marketing

Being Bold in Rough Economy

The economy is in deep trouble.   It’s bad now, but this is just the beginning.   There will be fundamental changes in the global banking system, the use of credit and the value of currencies.   It’s going to be rough.

So what do you do?   Wait it out?

I think this is a time to be bold.   Not stupid or careless, but bold.

So, in keeping with my “Be Bold!” strategy I’m still spending money, investing and growing my business.   In fact, I’m working on buying a pretty expensive domain name for a project right now and I plan to launch two completely new businesses in the next two months.

One of my biggest sources of income is selling domain names.  [I’m not talking about ultra-premium names I’ve kept in my portfolio for years either.   I’m talking about buying and quickly reselling domains for ~$300 each.]    Anyhow…In September of 2008, it really appeared that this part of my business was on a serious decline.   I couldn’t help but only expect it to get worse.

But, As quickly as my domain sales went down, they came back.   Right now, January 2009 is looking like my second best month ever.   How much money did I make flipping domains this month?  It’s a big number, trust me.

So, if I’m selling domains, that means people are still buying.   The world (especially the world of entrepreneurs and small businesses) is made up of innovative people who will strive to survive the downturn.   But more than that, there are many that will “Be Bold!” and take advantage of opportunities and weakness in the marketplace.

Your task, if you want to thrive in this bad economy,  is to serve be Bold by serving the Bold.

“mom-preneurs”

A recent report authored by the Institute for The Future talked about the growing number of “mom-preneurs”.   If you spend anytime working with entrepreneurs (especially micro-preneurs), this seems self-evident.   Some of the key findings of the report include:

As aging Baby Boomers “unretire” to leverage their lifetime of professional acumen in their own business opportunities, and as their children enter the job market, entrepreneurs will come more from the edges of the age spectrum. The younger generation, which is more adaptable to technology, views entrepreneurship as a way to maintain independence, and it might set the bar as the most entrepreneurial generation ever.

and..

With the glass ceiling blocking the corporate career paths of women, a rich talent pool has been sent to the small business sector. Among them are “mom-preneurs,” or mothers who start part-time, home-based businesses with the help of the Internet.

Download the Report Here

Yes, this made (even) me smile…

With more than 6,000,000 views on YouTube, you’ve probably seen this already.  If not set aside 4min right now.  This is guaranteed to make you feel better.

 Oh, yeah and talk about excellent marketing.  The Band featured in this video couldn’t have paid for this kind of publicity.   Viral marketing at it’s best.

Sounds good, but how the hell do you DO “Buzz Marketing”?

I have been marketing online since 1998. I’ve used every “traditional” online marketing strategy including SEO, SEM, email marketing, banners, pops, contextual, affiliate marketing, etc. etc. But the big “Buzz” words are “Buzz Marketing” and (even though I remember hearing about this in 1999) “Viral Marketing”. These things aren’t new at all. A combination of PR and word of mouth advertising supercharged because of the internet.

In theory these things sound really great, but how do you actually implement a “Buzz Marketing” campaign? I have some ideas on this, but they really are just guesses. I’d love to hear from some people who are in the “know” about creating buzz. I’d appreciate any feedback and I’ll share my knowledge on this blog as I experiment.

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Washington, D.C.

white hausI spent the last several days in Wasington D.C.  The purpose of my trip was to attend Yanik Silver’s “Underground Online Marketing Seminar”.   The seminar itself was a bit of a disappointment.   Some of the speakers were good, but others delivered very little value.    I’m not saying the seminar was a waste of time because it wasn’t…but I had to dig really deep to find any gems that could be used in my business. 

The key here is expectations.   Because Yanik is such a phenomenal copywriter, my expectations for the seminar were really high.   Take a look at the sales letter (if it’s still up).   It’s excellent.  I mean really well done in typical Yanik style.   Since I’m not a newbie I was really looking forward to seeing stuff from people who’d been there and done that…. The first great disappointment was that the “headliner”, the first guy discussed in the sales letter was a no show.    I’ve done really well online, but I’ve never done ANYTHING on ebay so I thought I could learn a lot from this guy…. Here’s an exerpt from Yanik’s sales letter about this ‘would-be’ speaker:

One of the hardest things to sell is a high-end product sight unseen over the Internet. Len Critcher is someone who does that approximately 100 times a month. His little company (with a tiny fraction of the staff and overheads of a traditional auto dealer) sells between $3,500,000.00 to $5,000,000.00/month on eBay. That adds up to somewhere between $42-$60M/year in sales.

He does it with high-end vehicles sold out of a airplane hangers in the metro-Dallas area. He’s very quickly moved up the ranks of top used car sellers on eBay and beyond.

I was in the market for an Aston Martin and that’s how we met. Even though he didn’t have the right model I wanted – I could see right away he was doing some interesting things with eBay. But little did I know the extent of it…

Len’s company, eCarLink.com, is leaped up to the #9 spot of 2005 pre-owned Internet driven dealerships in the entire United States.

During Len’s classified presentation you’ll find out:

  • The critical secrets to selling high-end products on eBay (or anywhere else online). Just studying Len’s listings alone on eBay won’t do you much good. In fact, I won’t even make you hunt around for his eBay ID – it’s “ecarlink”. There you go. You can do a search yourself on all his auctions and you still wouldn’t get a fraction of a fraction of what it really takes to make these kinds of sales.
  • How to appeal to high ticket buyers online. There really is a psychology that goes with handling high-ticket buyers to make them overjoyed to do business with you including the right and wrong things to include in your listing.
  • Auction listing secrets to get your targeted audience to actually notice (and bid) on your listings. There are tens of thousands of auctions going on every day and over 25,000 different categories on eBay – so it’s easy to get lost and become ‘invisible’ unless you know exactly what to do.
  • The VERY important job of feedback management. On eBay your feedback is critical to your success. Find out how Len has achieved a 99.7% positive feedback rating (not even close to a simple task for picky consumers especially in the car business).

Too bad Len was a no show.  My question is, when did Yanik know he wasn’t going to be there?  I almost brought a friend of mine to the conference who’s in the car business.  The ONLY reason he would have gone was to see Len.  Good thing my buddy had a scheduling conflict or the entire trip for him would have been a waste.

The seminar wasn’t all bad.   Far from it, in fact.  Hidden amongst the audience were a lot of very successful “doers” with nothing to pitch.   Dispite my antisocial nature, I managed to find a few of these guys and learn about some of the amazing things they’re doing online. 

How will attending this seminar impact my bottom line?   The jury is still out.  I picked up two very specific ideas which I intend to follow through on.  I’ll let you know if I can make any of these things happen. 

There were two highlights from this trip.  The first,  was meeting a really cool guy I hope to get to know a lot better Neil Strauss.  Neil’s an author and writes on some pretty interesting topics.  While I was still in D.C. my beautiful wife and I went to Borders to pick up his latest book: The Game.   I read about 20 pages and love Neil’s writing style.  Reminds me a little of Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) except The Game is non-fiction.   While I was at the seminar my wife started reading the book.  Try as I might, I couldn’t pry it out of her hands.   I guess I’ll wait until she’s done reading it 😦

The second highlight was hanging out with Jessica and Maxim. 

jess&maxSomtimes it’s a little rough gettin’ around with a 7month old.  But he did a pretty good job under the circumstances.  We got to see a lot of D.C. in our short stay.   I was surprised we liked the city as much as we did.  Lot’s of history.  Beautiful buildings.  Too bad it’s full of crooks and liars. 

Check out some of the pictures we took:

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