July 2007 Archives

1

Right from the start you need to know that I’m not using this post to whine, complain or gripe about anyone or any product.

Rather, what I am writing about is my current feelings about Internet Marketing.

I’ve recently made some pretty dramatic changes in my life. 

For the first time in 4 years, I am working in an office outside my home.  I actually have to get up and take a shower first thing in the morning (I always took one eventually… it just might have been at 2PM 😉

What prompted this and what am I doing?

I am now working with an ad agency as their "Commander of Analytics and Internet Strategy".  In short, I am taking all of the IM knowledge, techniques, tricks, contacts etc. that I’ve amassed over the last 4 years and I am applying it to every single one of their clients that has an Internet presence.  If they aren’t yet on the Internet, they will be soon.

This has been a very unique endeavor which I can only explain as a completely different world.

I am no longer working with tiny to nonexistent budgets.  Not to say that these clients don’t watch what they spend, but rather than working in $100 increments it is now in the 10’s of thousands.  One of the clients I am handling directly is a yacht manufacturer selling products that range in price from $250,000 to $5,000,000.  When you spend millions developing a new product that sells for $750K the focus tends to be simply blowing them away with all marketing efforts.

Now, I cannot reveal who our clients are here and frankly, even if I could, I wouldn’t talk openly about them in any way shape or form.  That’s really not why I am writing this.

What I do want to touch on is the change in mentality this has been required on my end.

I, like many "Infopreneurs", am used to doing it all myself.  Even as I undertook efforts to outsource all I could over the last year, there was still an element of "If you want it done fast and right… do it yourself".

That is no longer the case. 

One of the reasons I took this position (besides the fact that I will end up being one of the principles in the business) is the fact that I can do what I know and love, but I can and must employ the efforts of others to make it all happen.  I’ve spent the last 4 years fully immersing myself in all things IM.  I have more IM stuff rolling around in my head than I almost know what to do with.  I now have an outlet for it.

I now find myself teaching team members ranging from account managers, to web designers, to in-house coders, what needs to happen in order for our clients marketing to not only succeed but to surpass the competition.  This means not doing the basics as many marketers tend to do, but hitting every single little design detail, email, copy element etc. so that every single angle has been covered. 

One of the great challenges for a solo IM’er is getting it all done.  There always seem to be too darned many pieces to the puzzle that we KNOW we should be doing that still get left undone.  Now I am able to make sure that every single one of those pieces gets fit into the puzzle exactly where they should be.

Now, if you will please take a moment and imagine this next scenario…

  • A mailing list with 3,500 names on it
  • Many email addresses on the list with not even a first name associated with them
  • All data in a desktop mailing system that must be left to run overnight in order to send out a single broadcast to the list.
  • No automated series of messages, let alone a single message set up to go to that list because it is in no way associated an autoresponder (honestly, one of the greatest weapons in any online marketing arsenal!)
  • No way to get all of those names into an autoresponder account without asking them to re-confirm their subscription (a great way to rapidly reduce your list size).

Tough situation which is most likely all too common.  We’re now having to do frequent broadcast mailings designed to try to get people to optin to a new list (with an autoresponder system running in the background).

Who wouldn’t want to have a list that size?  Now imagine having it and then having someone tell you it’s great you’ve got it but you aren’t using it as you should be and unfortunately you’re going to have a tough time ever getting out of it what you should have been able to.

I remember talking with a personal client roughly a year ago who was spending $500 per email broadcast, mailing 4-6 times per month.  They were mailing to an established list which is cool and as long as the ROI is good, not a bad idea.  The kicker was they were making no effort at all to peel those addresses off into their own house list. 

I explained how and why they should do this and the fact that an Aweber account would run them roughly $20 per month with unlimited mailings, messages and autoresponders.  Talk about an excited client!  They paid me to write a 15 part, evergreen email series and have been building their list with it ever since. 

Now, the reason they had been doing those expensive mailings and not trying to build their own list was that they’d been told it would take expensive mailing servers and software to do their own mailings… by the owner of that big list.  How were they to know any different.  I don’t know about you but that sort of thing really pisses me off.

That list I mentioned earlier that was built and relying on the PC based mailing system was all on the recommendation of someone who was supposedly an "expert" in their field.  Unfortunately that list building issue was only one of a series of unfortunate events caused by a guy who billed himself as knowing better.  Again, that stuff is all too common and all to frustrating.

So why this ramble and where is it heading?

I took this new position after talking with these guys for over a year and a half.  It was not an easy decision to give up some level of supposed freedom by no longer being my own only boss.  I realized though that I had learned all I needed to from the incestuous world of Internet Marketing and it was time to move on from conceiving products simply to sell them to other Internet Marketers.

We are already doing some killer things with online video and are positioning ourselves to really start blowing away the rest of the Advertising world.  That is just one of the things I wanted to do that I am now being asked to do.

After starting this new work I found myself not even wanting to touch my other IM projects.  I was frustrated with the baby steps I had previously felt I had to take and the general sense of knowing I was not thinking BIG enough.  I had also been increasingly turned off by the very marketing circles of which I’d worked hard to be a part.

I needed a serious break quite honestly.

I was also frustrated by hearing what some other "experts" had done and by seeing my own clients get led down the wrong path all too often.  It was time to change both of those situations.

In short, I am washing my hands of how I used to do things and why I was doing it. 

I am going to help those people that have been unfortunate enough to get worked over or flat out ripped off by people "helping" them as they’ve struggled to unravel doing business on the Internet.

I am going to push the boundaries for our new clients, giving them weapons no other agency has in their arsenal and have a heck of a lot of fun doing it.  I’m also going to share with you how I am doing it all, every step of the way.

You my friend will see both an increase in helpful video products from me as well as huge growth in my InternetHowToVideos site.  That site and this one will be my primary focus.

It’s time for Sam and all of his readers to drink in some sweet new success and wash the sour taste of frustrating Internet Marketing out of our mouths.

Buckle yourself in and hold on tight because this is going to be a killer ride!

Thanks for allowing me to vent and ramble.

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll

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